May 31, 2008

Sports Saturday and Meriken Park - Kobe

We kicked off this Saturday just like last Saturday. Mike again joined the weekly pick-up basketball game at the Canadian Academy gym and then we all biked on over to the field for family baseball. (Unfortunately, the majority of the participants are Red Sox fans who insist on calling it Funway Park. Un-amusing.) Mike was the automatic pitcher, although Jacob got a turn on the bump as well. This is turning into a really fun weekend tradition. (Jumping from biking, to basketball, to baseball makes Mike feel sort of like a (way way) less athletic Bo Jackson). Here are a couple of pictures from today's game:

In one of the sadder aspects of ex-pat life, a lot of our friends from Rokko Island seem to be leaving! Although turn-over at this time of year is quite high in this community, we're sure to meet many new friends as well. Recently, we have been informed that some of our good friends are moving back to the U.S., Switzerland, and Korea. We will miss them. But we hope to visit them all in the coming months and years! (We already have the Korea trip planned for the Fall.)

Today we spent most of the afternoon with a family that we have become friends with through Jacob. They have been living here for three years and are moving back to Korea this month. We headed into Kobe with them and treated them to lunch. We all spent the rest of the afternoon strolling and playing in Meriken Park (at the Kobe Port area).

It was supposed to rain, so the kids had their rain-boots; instead of actually wearing them (what fun would that be?!), they used them in a game of horse-shoes:

In the park, we stopped to check out this juggler (and some roller-bladers and skate-boarders):

Some that we encountered, preferred the horizontal position. This first group were wedding party goers. We are not sure if this was the pre-party, the post-party, or they just decided to skip the whole thing and get wasted):

Second, is just some random guy catching some R&R (he was snoring quite loudly):

Third, well, that's Mike having a quiet moment, while the kids their darndest tried to scale the obviously unscalable art/monument:

We also walked around part of the Park that is a Memorial for the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which devastated the Kobe area in 1995. One corner of Meriken Park (which was heavily damaged in the quake), was left in an un-repaired state, so you could see the earthquake damage (pretty amazing):

They also had a nicely done exhibit there that described the earthquake and the reconstruction. As you may imagine, Jacob and Lauren had many many questions...

Back home on Rokko Island, we spent the early evening relaxing outside of Tully's Coffee, where Mike and Ilena each enjoyed a Swirkle pick-me-up and the kids each enjoyed an ice cream pick-them-up. (The later evening was spent watching the season finale of LOST; go iTunes!)

Tomorrow, we plan to go back to Kyoto for the day. But for now, we're bushed.


jmgesq said...

I'd know Lauren anywhere - pretty in pink! And Jacob pitching - running - jumping - tumblings whatever! Glad you guys are so active.

Lisa said...

Alright Joyce...move on over, the number one blogger is back! What a great blog this was...sounds like the weekends are filled with everything you love, sports, ice cream, fun and relaxation!