I am very excited to write my first post in Japan! We arrived safely in Japan on Thursday night and drove from Nagoya yesterday afternoon to a cabin near Karuizawa, Japan, a beautiful and very well-known area. We will be here until Monday when we will drive to Ishinomaki, our future home.

I am very thankful that my father entered the long-term care facility the night before I left. It was very hard to say goodbye to him through our tears, and I deeply wished I had more some time with him. I think that he adjusting to his new life, but my mom tells me that he has had a few bad days lately and was not being very cooperative. My mom gave us a terrible scare when she went to the ER on Monday morning but she was released the same day after she underwent a round of tests by the doctors. I hope and pray my mother and father will adjust to this painful change in life of not being able to live together.

Matthias and I are quite jet-lagged but very thankful to be in Japan again. Before coming to Japan we spent a few nights in Portland, Oregon which is renowned for its natural beauty and friendly people. I can honestly say I have never encountered friendlier, sweeter people than in Portland. We were so impressed with Portland on so many levels – the people, the sights, the food, the cleanliness, and the transportation system. I cannot recommend a visit to Portland highly enough – what an awesome place to visit!

Our lovely, bubbly hostess Maggie who has such incredible joie de vivre!
Hanging out in downtown Portland

Market downtown

A great shot of Portland with Mt. Hood in the background

We loved, among other things, the fabulous selection of fresh & healthy foods at the supermarkets in Portland

Random photo: right before we left New Jersey, my dear hubby caught a chipmunk in our front yard and we kept it in a box for a few hours. Isn’t it cute? Matthias adores squirrels and chipmunks so this really made his day!

More posts from Japan soon to come!