So do you remember when I first moved to Japan, when I was stuck on base and couldn't wait, COULD NOT WAIT, to get off that little American archipelago and into Japan?
Turns out, the Japanese feel the same way about the base.
See, most of the time it's a huge pain to get on base if you don't have a military ID. There are day passes, but you have to know somebody, and get them to apply, and be approved, etc. But a couple times a year, including one day last week, the gates open to the locals, and they come in DROVES. Ever seen a drove? Here you go; click to embiggen:
That first one is the main road in front of base, Rt. 16. And yes, that line is as long as it looks.
Josh had to leave for work really early that morning, since the band was playing on a family cruise of the Blue Ridge, which went to Tokyo. (I thought about going on the cruise, but there were a lot of logistical problems and no friends to go with.) Plus it was balls cold.
Speaking of the cold, I brilliantly decided to ride my bike to the base with only a sweatshirt and jeans for warmth. No gloves, no hat, no coat - GOOD MOVE, SULLINS. It hasn't been New England cold here, not by a long shot, but there was an icy wind coming in over the ocean that day, and I was not happy. Especially since I knew I had to do the same thing in reverse to get home.
Nadine and I met up at the gate - and can I just say, I love her! We hang out all the time and never run out of things to talk about - and took turns pushing the stroller all over base. We opted out of a tour of the aircraft carrier George Washington; it would have been fun, but the lines were Biblical and neither of us felt like waiting. We later learned we would have been among 40,000 people to tour it that day - yikes.
Instead, we walked all over, had lunch, went to the Exchange and the baby store. Not an exciting day, but a good one with lots of exercise and good company. I rode my bike home in the freezing cold again, then came home and went straight to bed for a much-needed hour long nap. Warm again, I spent the evening baking homemade crackers (a delicious pain in the neck) and waiting for Josh, who arrived around 10pm, frozen and exhausted.
This all occurred on December 6th, which also happens to have been my little brother's birthday. Happy quarter century, little bro. I love you and kampai with a big ol' beer and a wish for your health.