catching up!

Apr 29, 2013

Lately, life hasn't felt very blog worthy.  After 2 1/2 weeks of traveling foreign countries, day to day life seems far less thrilling.  But alas, today is a snowy cold day (yes, it's nearly May) and I have little motivation to do anything that is actually productive.  I'm back in the swing of things at work.  I recently returned from the most uneventful St. John's pairing that I've experienced in quite some time. With pregnancy, gone is my adventurous "who needs sleep?!" mentality. I need sleep. I need lots of sleep. It was a tough night as I fought to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning.  Unlike previous pairings in which I try to sleep all day to be awake for the night flight, this time I was stuck in the waiting room of a doctor's office. My appointments are usually short, 15 minutes at the most, so I figured that I'd be in and out in no time.  Timing wasn't on my side, as my doctor left to deliver not one, but two babies as I waited sleepily for my appointment. I knew that I was wasting precious sleep time, but I'd had the appointment booked for weeks and there was no better day to reschedule.  I eventually made it home, crawled into bed, and only a short time later woke up to fly across the country. I survived by drinking excessive amounts of water. Take my word for it, you can't sleep when you constantly have to pee. 
In St John's I met up with my friend and training classmate, Dan. He is Calgary based crew, but we were both there the same days. We went for coffee and aimlessly wandered Water Street until it was time to meet up with our crews for dinner.  I ate more than most people at the table, and then proceeded back to the hotel as the others headed to the infamous Shamrock for a beer or 2.  In previous occasions I'd be guilted into staying, but pregnancy has its perks. 
The next day we had the entire day to do whatever we pleased... an exciting prospect that was wasted by my laziness. Dan and I went for breakfast followed by a walk to nowhere in particular. Dinner that evening was Subway, and I called it an early night. Former me would have been disappointed in my lack of exploring a place that I love. Pregnant me couldn't care less.  
We flew home to Edmonton and I settled in for the weekend with my husband and puppy.  It was the most consecutive days that Ryan and I have both been home in a long, long time.  We used it as an opportunity to finally get some spring cleaning accomplished, much to my dismay.  Of course, after a beautiful weekend we woke up to snow this morning.  I washed the floors yesterday, just in time for Niko's tiny paw prints to dirty them again today. 
That's pretty much life lately. Work, sleep, eat, and be lazy. Baby Shippelt is growing away and I'm finally getting to that point of looking like I'm actually pregnant. Our due date is now August 29, and as much as I'm dreading being heavily pregnant all summer long, I'm excited for summer birthdays. Now that I'm past the point of constant nausea and not quite at the point of constant discomfort, I'm enjoying growing this little human, who spends the days wiggling around. It's a bit crazy that it's nearly May and that everything is happening so fast. We are excited, overwhelmed and terrified all at the same time.
 I wouldn't change a thing!  

back to reality, and speaking english.

Apr 17, 2013

Oh, Canada... It's been awhile. We are back from our vacation. Back to the cold, back to our jobs... But thinking positively, we are also back to our own house, our queen sized bed (unheard of in Japan) and most importantly, our furry baby Niko.
It was one heck of a trip. We finished off our time in Japan by heading to Tokyo Disneyland on our last night there. It was smaller than California, but still a magical place filled with Japanese speaking Disney characters. Being pregnant kept me from going on the extreme rides but provided me with an incredibly valid excuse to ride "It's a Small World". I love that ride more than the average person. (I know that you all have that song in your heads now. You're welcome.)

The next day we headed for the airport and sadly bid farewell to Japan. Even more sad was the fact that since the Boeing 787 still remains grounded, we were rebooked with a less desirable airline with absolutely no leg room. My pregnant, constantly needing to go pee self was stuck in a dreaded middle seat. With my husband sleeping in the window seat and a stranger in the aisle, I felt trapped and uncomfortable as I tried to ignore my bladder. Fortunately the flight back was shorter at just under 9 hours. We eventually made it to Seattle, dazed, confused and practically sleep walking.
We proceeded to our hotel where we were lucky enough to be able to check in at 10 am instead of the usual 4 pm. This was wonderful news as it meant that we'd be able to nap before venturing into the city. I set my alarm and dragged myself and Ryan out of bed a few hours later. We walked to Pike Place Market and stocked up on the freshest, most delicious fruit that I'd consumed in months. At my insistence, we also stopped for Starbucks. When in Seattle, we drink Starbucks daily.

Instead of going for a nice dinner we picked up Subway. I'd been craving it in Japan  and could think of few things more satisfying. With full bellies we returned to our hotel and drifted off into a jet lagged sleep.
The next morning we were up and wide awake at 5 am. It was an important day... Our very first wedding anniversary! We started our morning off with breakfast in bed, complete with our market fruits and delicious Tilamook cheese and yogurt. We spent the morning lounging and relaxing before venturing out for our daily Starbucks and lunch at the market... Famous Pike Place clam chowder! We stocked up on some candy and then returned to our hotel. Being our first anniversary, we'd surely have a busy, fun day ahead... right?! Right. If you consider a 4 hour nap followed by a movie and Subway for dinner a second night in a row fun. It was our day, and we were entitled to do what we wanted. The time change from Japan made sleep the most desirable activity on the planet that day.
We were a bit more ambitious the following day. We had arranged a car rental and after picking up our ride we set out bound for Everett, the home of our beloved Boeing factory. Although we'd been there before, we decided to do the tour again and it was just as exciting the second time around. After the tour we hit up the gift shop where we'd spent rather large sums of money in the past. Luckily, we already owned most of the awesome merchandise this time around. We did grab a few items for baby Shippelt, our little aviator to be.
The rest of our afternoon was spent eating and shopping. Our first stop was Taco Bell. Thanks to American advertising while I'm watching my TV shows, I had been dying to try the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Yes, you read correctly. Doritos. Taco. The shell is actually made of a giant Dorito. It was amazing, as I'd anticipated. We didn't stop there. We also consumed a nacho cheese version as well as normal tacos that came included in our "Big Box Meal". We felt like pigs after our big American meals, especially after 2 weeks of eating in Japan. It was time to hit the mall to walk it off.

 The great thing about being an Albertan is the fact that we are exempt from paying taxes in the state of Washington. This made it even more enticing to stock up on baby clothes, maternity clothes (which are ridiculously overpriced in Canada) and even a brand new video camera. We had bought an extra suitcase in Japan to accommodate the purchases that wouldn't fit in our suitcases.
Once we'd gave our credit cards a good workout we went to see a movie. We had received  free movie coupons from the Boeing store for spending over $50. Ryan found a coupon for a free small popcorn online and we were set for a cheap date. We spent a stressful few minutes driving back to our hotel, frustrated with the abundance of one way streets in downtown Seattle. It had been a long day without a nap, and we were exhausted.
The next day was home day. We were sad but looking forward to our own bed and getting to unpack our new possessions.  Checkout wasn't until noon, which seemed wonderfully generous compared to most hotels.  We headed for Pike Place Market to grab coffee and a late lunch as well as take my 20 week "bump" photo.  This little one is quite the globetrotter already! 

After lunch we checked out of our hotel room, packed our bags, and hit the road. With hours to waste before our flight, we hit up the mall and Costco, picking up a few last minute purchases.  With our bags stuffed full it was time to return to Canada. We headed for the airport and flew back home.

 As sad as I was to be back, it was wonderful to reunite with my Niko and get another glimpse of our baby at our 20 week ultrasound. We are halfway there already! Now it's back to life, and reality... but it won't be long until I'm on maternity leave!  

I'll leave you with some vacation photos...

Off we go!! 
First day in Tokyo!
 Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko
 Delicious tempura, we ate a lot of this! 
 Shibuya Crossing
 Trains, trains, trains. 
 Sushi!!! I love sushi!!
 The Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
 Miyajima Island Shrine
 Sakura trees in Osaka! 
 MONKEY PARK! This was amazing.
 My love and I! 
 Shinjuku Park, Tokyo
 18 weeks pregnant in Shibuya
 19 weeks pregnant on Naf and Sayaka's wedding day. 
 The beautiful couple. 
 Okonomiyaki... delicious!

One year!

Apr 12, 2013

Last year on this day I stood with my toes in the sand and vowed to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. On one hand, it's hard to believe that a year has come and gone so fast... On the other hand, it feels like forever. I can't imagine life any other way!
The first year of our marriage was wonderful, with many adventures and memories.This year will bring even more memories, as well as some challenges as we embark on a new journey as first time parents.
Life is good, and I wouldn't change a thing if I could.
We are off to spend the day celebrating our anniversary in Seattle, doing what we do best... Eating, exploring, and taking photos of it all!

Exploring Kyoto!

Apr 9, 2013

It's hard to believe that we are already nearing the end of our trip! 2 weeks goes by so fast when you are having fun and experiencing so many new things each and every day. I'm writing this from my seat on the Shinkansen Bullet Train, bound for Tokyo. We are currently traveling at 245 kilometers per hour, which feels slow in comparison to the speeds of 310 that we've seen in the past. The first time we rode this train I was slightly nervous. How can a vehicle move so fast and not be equipped with seatbelts?! I think the combination of being a safety conscious flight attendant and an overprotective mom-to-be has ruined the carefree me. I eventually got over my high speed train anxiety... I like to live on the edge.
Yesterday we spent the day in Kyoto. It is a city known for its multitude of shrines and temples, and I'll disappoint you all by telling you that we didn't visit any of them. I've been to so many temples from Thailand to China and everywhere in between and while they are gorgeous and great photo opportunities, I wanted to do something different this trip. And Ryan, well, quite frankly he just didn't care about seeing temples after I told him about the monkey park. Off we went, hiking about 15 minutes up a mountain and earning all of that food we've been consuming. At the top we were blessed with beautiful views of Kyoto and the surrounding mountains... And monkeys! Monkeys, everywhere! They roam free and visitors are allowed to feed them provided they go inside a caged room so as not to be swarmed by crazy, hungry monkeys. I was amused by the fact that the humans were the ones in cages as the monkeys peered in. We fed them peanuts and apples and had far too much fun. Ryan played catch with the faster, less lazy monkeys and marveled at their hand-eye coordination that is far better than his own wife's. Once we'd ran out of food we went back outside to walk amongst the monkeys and take photos of them. We spent a reasonable amount of time up there before finally venturing back down to explore the rest of the area.
Next up was a train ride through the lush forests and bamboo, winding alongside a river. It was a slow, scenic ride specifically called "The Romantic Train" despite the herds of people and families squashing any romance to be found.
Once we'd got off of the train it was late afternoon and most temples and shrines would soon be closed. We opted to stroll down the bamboo lined path and then head back towards the Kyoto station for dinner. Before eating, we picked up a little gift for baby Shippelt. After a bit of shopping we were hungry and sought out delicious food.
We've been to plenty of kaiten (sushi trains) during our trip, but we hadn't yet enjoyed a sit down, order from the menu sushi restaurant. In Japan, going for kaiten sushi instead of a real restaurant is like going to McDonald's vs the Keg... the cost being no exception. We had to try the full experience once, so we sat down at the sushi bar of a nice restaurant. We clearly seemed confused, because the old man sitting next to us laughed as he taught us (speaking absolutely no English) the proper way to eat sushi. Dip the fish in the soy sauce, not the rice. Sip tea between to cleanse your palette. He encouraged us to drink sake, and I tried to explain that I was pregnant and avoiding alcohol. Most of our communication was lost in translation, but we had fun dining with the locals. Oh, and the sushi? Amazing, as always. We finished up and left satisfied.
Right outside of the station stands the Kyoto Tower. Since attractions are so cheap in comparison to Canada, we decided to go to the top for the price of about $6 Canadian. The city looked quite pretty all lit up. Instead of charging extra to use the binoculars, they are free for everyone to try. They were amazingly clear and we could see far into the distance. Ryan spent a great deal of time following the Bullet Trains as they zoomed to and from the station. We were happy as we spent the rest of our evening shopping the mega malls and stocking up on snacks at the grocery store. Ryan can't get over his fascination of Japanese grocery stores and we never leave empty handed. We returned to our hotel and called it a night after a long, fun day in Kyoto. Today we return to Tokyo for a few more adventures before we are forced to return to North America in a short few days. Vacations are just never quite long enough!

Japan... So far!

Apr 6, 2013

Greetings from Osaka, Japan! We are a week into our trip and it's safe to say that we love this country. The people, the food, the technology... Everything is amazing here. We've crammed a lot into our visit so far, in typical Ryan and Krysta style.
Our journey began with a nearly 11 hour flight from Seattle to Tokyo. I've done longer trips in the past, but it's a whole new ball game when you are 4 1/2 months pregnant. I probably managed a total of 40 minutes of sleep the entire flight, and found myself pacing up and down the aisles, bloated and uncomfortable. When we landed, I was huge. I've always been bloated after hours in the sky, but never to this extent. There was no mistaking the fact that I was pregnant. Fortunately I was far less puffy and much more rested the next day. We spent our first day exploring Tokyo in all of its chaotic glory. We squeezed onto jam packed trains and crossed the busy Shibuya Crossing. I could watch the people swarm like ants all day long.
We headed for Nikko National Park that afternoon, where we spent a couple of days exploring the sights of the area and trying to keep warm in the cool temperatures of the higher altitude. With no central heating, we relied on a heated blanket and space heater to keep cozy at night. Getting out of the shower into a 4 degree room was quite unpleasant.
After Nikko it was back to Tokyo for more city madness. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to indulge in sushi, contrary to everything that Google warns against during pregnancy. Japanese women have been eating sushi and having babies for many, many years and the fish here is far more fresh and expertly handled. With permission granted, we sought out a sushi restaurant near our hotel and happily chowed down.
The next day we had big plans for a day at Fuji-Q Highland, a theme park that is home to many extreme rollercoasters that hold world records for various reasons. I knew that I couldn't go on the rides, but I was happy to go for the day while my husband had fun. What we'd failed to anticipate was the fact that it would be pouring rain and that the good rides would be closed. We were at the base of Mt. Fuji and unable to see the mountain. It had took us nearly 3 hours of train rides and transfers and we'd planned to spend the night, but with miserable weather we made the decision to head south for sunshine. We got on a train bound for Hiroshima and several hours later we arrived.
Hiroshima won my heart with the friendly locals, small city atmosphere, and delicious food. It's hard to believe that the thriving city suffered such a devastating past. We spent a couple of days shopping, eating, and exploring, taking in the Atomic Bomb Dome and Memorial Peace Park as well as gorgeous Miyajima Island.
Our next stop on the journey was Osaka, which brings us to today! We arrived yesterday and did a bit of exploring and of course, eating. We discovered an incredible sushi train with prices that blew us away and made us eat more than necessary.
Today was the day that inspired the entire trip. We were so happy to be able to attend the wedding of my former colleagues and good friends Naf and Sayaka. It was very interesting to attend a Japanese wedding and experience the different traditions of another culture. It was a beautiful wedding and I could not be happier for them. I was also able to reunite with many of my friends from Dubai, which was great after nearly 2 years.
The adventure continues tomorrow, as we head to Kyoto! I have so many photos to share, but since I'm blogging from my phone they'll have to wait for our return to Canada!
Sayonara for now!