Last night, we hitched a ride (again) from our amazing sponsors, Michele and Andy. I hate saying the word sponsor because it makes me feel like we are part of AA. But...anyway, that is what they are referred to here. Sponsors. So they took us to the commisary (grocery shopping), the BX (like a mini Walmart) and the cell phone store. We have been researching a ton about what phone provider to go with and ended up choosing the one on base that offers the IPhone4. We both got one - which ended up being free when you sign onto a 2-year contract. And the total monthly bill for 2 phones (calls, texts, data, web - unlimited in Japan) will be $100. For BOTH phones total! That is cheaper than our Verizon bill was + free IPhone4s + unlimited usage. We are pretty excited! We still have our US numbers - but they are on a military suspend. We will activate them anytime we come home to visit - so we will still have the same numbers. But for now, we will have some kick a** IPhone4s. And we can take the SIM card out when we go back to the US and use it there like an Itouch (for all those tech savvy people that know what I am talking about).
Anyway, I also got a ton of groceries so we can actually eat like normal, not junk food all day. I got the basics to fill the pantry (sugar, flour, oil, etc) as well as 4 dinner ingredients. And all lunch and breakfast items too. And my whole bill was $150. It was 2 cart-fuls. I love it!!! I also picked up some things at the BX - an ironing board, coffee maker, light bulbs...all things that will get here in a few weeks when our big shipment arrives - but things we needed now also. I hated spending the extra money - but we can always donate them when we get our shipment. And of course, I got some flowers to make it feel prettier in our home.
This morning, Michele took us to a playgroup at a Japanese swimming pool. This place was so awesome. It had so many areas for young kids to play. There was a 3 foot pool (the entire pool was 3 ft), a water slide into shallow water, a lazy river that was 1 ft high with a huge padded mountain in the middle (the kids used ropes to help climb up and then roll down), etc. There were many rules (no jewelry at all, no cameras (boo), no sun glasses) but the entire day only cost 400yen (about $5). Gavin said it was his most fun day in Japan yet. There were also lots of other kids in the group and I got to meet some new moms.
One of the nicest encounters was with a woman who turned out to be Mormon. For those who know, I was very close to many Mormons in Ohio and have a great admiration and love for them. They joked that I would end up being friends with lots of Mormons "because they are everywhere :-)". And it's true, I loved meeting this woman (who reminded me exactly of my friends in OH) and am going to playgroup with them tomorrow. And the weirdest 'coincident' was that her best friend just moved to Columbus because her hubby is a DO in anesthesia. So I will help her network in OH.
Now it is time to keep cleaning and putting away boxes. This was ur small shipment and is taking forever to put away. I can't imagine what the big shipment will be like!!?!?!!