<   2007年 08月 ( 9 )   > この月の画像一覧

近場のレクレーション Recreations Nearby

f0146342_14314855.jpg
ちえぞうとみゆちゃんがいた時、ヨセミテ、サンフランシスコ、ギルロイといった遠出の合間に、家の近くでいろいろなレクレーションを楽しみました。みゆちゃんが帰る時、「何が一番楽しかった?」と聞いたら、「水の滑り台とゴルフ!」という答えが返ってきました。それはゴルフランドに行った時のこと。

ゴルフランドには、ミニゴルフのコースが2つ、そして3つの巨大なウォータースライドがあります。みゆちゃんはあんなに大きなウォータースライドは初めてだそうで、どんな顔して出てくるかな〜と見てたら、バチャーンと出てきてにんまりと大きな笑顔。ドラ息子と何回か滑りましたが、ちょっと風があってさすがに冷たかったのかギブアップ、あとはゴルフで楽しみました。さすが身体を動かすことが好きなみゆちゃん、これまた初体験のゴルフに取り組む姿は真剣そのもの。

他にどこに行ったっけ? ゲームセンターとピザ屋さんが一緒になったチャッキーチーズは、みゆちゃんが10回行きたいと言っていたところ。なんとか2回行きました! ボーリング場には、ギルロイ・ガーデンで半日遊んだ後、昼食もとらずに直行。「アメリカのレーンに慣れるのに時間がかかったわ。」って誰か言ってましたっけ? 

動物園と遊園地が同居するレトロなハッピーホロー・パークでは、羊や山羊に餌をあげたり、迷路で追いかけっこしたり、メリーゴーランドに乗ったり。映画「レミーのおいしいレストラン」も映画館で観たり、なんと家で映画まで作ってしまいました(編集作業にはまだ手がついてませんが)。とにかく盛り沢山、あちこちつれ回したのは大人だけど、パワフルな子供相手に、結局大人の方が体力勝負だったかも(^_^;)。

Between the trips to Yosemite, San Francisco and Gilroy, we were busy having fun with Chiezo and Miyu at various fun places nearby. When Miyu was going home, I asked, “What was the best part of your stay?” She said, “Water slides and golf!” That was when we went to Golfland.

In Golfland there were two miniature golf courses and three giant water slides. It was Miyu’s first time to try such huge water slides. I waited for her to come down to see her reaction. Making a big splash, she came out with a big smile!! The weather was on a cool side with breeze. So the kids gave up sliding after several times and we were in the golf course next. Miyu, as physical as she was, challenged very seriously. It was again her very first time to play golf.

Where else did we go? Chuck E Cheese’s, a pizza restaurant where kids can play games, was a place that Miyu had wanted to go to 10 times during her stay. Well, we made it twice!! We played bowling right after spending half day at Gilroy Gardens. We didn’t even want to stop for lunch. Was somebody saying, “It took me a while to get used to American lanes.”?

Happy Hollow Zoo and Park was kind of a retrospective place with a zoo, play areas and rides. We fed sheep and goats, played tug in the maze, rode carrousels and did all kinds of fun. We watched a movie called “Ratatouiile” in a theater. We even made a movie!! (I haven’t even started editing, though.) Everyday was full of activities. Although we, adults, took the kids around, it was us who had to keep up with these powerful kids after all (^_^;).
f0146342_14331757.jpg

[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-30 14:33

舞姫、学校始まる Princess Back to School

f0146342_1401837.jpg
長〜い長〜い夏休みが終わり、今日から舞姫の学校が始まりました。約10週間の夏休み、舞姫と一緒にいろいろなところに行って、とても楽しく過ごせました。途中5週間ちょっとのサマースクールがあったのも助かりました。が、正直なところ、やはりお姫様のお世話は疲れます。

また早起きの日々が始まるけど、舞姫、すんなり起きてくれました。なんだか学校に行くのがわかっているようです。舞姫は学校が大好き。去年もほとんど休まないで行きました。朝方に発作があると、どうしても起きられなくて、スクールバスに乗れずに私があとで学校に連れて行くのですが、その回数も以前に比べればだいぶ少なくなって、私も自分の時間が大分増えました。

「今年も元気で学校を楽しんでね。」舞姫を送り出したとき、心の中でそう願いました。私のためにもね。おっと、しかしまだ学校が始まっていないのがもう一人残っていたんだ (^_^;)。

The long, long summer was finally over and new school year started today for my dancing princess. We had a great time going to many places with her during the 10 week vacation. She also attended five week summer program which was a big help to me. However, to be honest, taking care of princess is very tiring.

Once school starts, we have to get up early. But today she woke up without problem. She seemed to know that she was going to school, her favorite place. Last year she attended school almost everyday. When she has a seizure early morning, it is hard for her to get up in time for school bus, in which case I have to take her to school later. But last year it didn’t happen as often as before, leaving me more free time.

“Please stay healthy and enjoy school, my princess.” This is what I had in mind (for myself as well as for her) when I was seeing her off to school this morning. Oops, I have one more kid left whose school hasn’t started yet (^_^;).
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-29 14:12

ヨセミテへの旅(第三日) Trip to Yosemite (Third Day)

f0146342_931614.jpg
あっという間に最後の日です。全ての荷物を車に詰め込んでキャビンをチェックアウトし、再びヨセミテへ。まず探したのは川遊びができるところ。よさそうなスポットを見つけて陣取ることにしました。

川辺まではごつごつした坂だったので、先にケーシーが舞姫を歩かせて、あとから車椅子だけどうやって降ろそうかと思案していたら、そこにいたハーレー・ダビッドソンのお兄ちゃん二人が手伝ってくれました。革ジャン着て、アメリカ国旗のバンダナに入れ墨(詳しくは覚えていませんが)、いかにもという感じのいかついお兄ちゃんたち。「僕もママの車椅子をいつも運んでるんだよ」っていいながら、あっという間に車椅子を川辺まで持っていってくれました。外見に似合わず心優しい紳士なんですね。

川の水は身が引き締まるような冷たさ。でも最高の景色の中で気分も最高。谷中に響き渡りそうな雄叫びを上げていたのはケーシーです。舞姫も足だけ水につけさせたら、当然顔もつけたくなって、しきりに顔を水面につけようとして前のめりに。それで椅子の前脚が砂にのめり込んでしまうものだから、周りは舞姫を引き戻すのに四苦八苦。

野生の子グマに遭遇するというハプニングもありました。反対側の岸にいたのを、近くにいた人が教えてくれました。周りの景色にあまりにも溶け込んでいるので、教えてもらわなかったらきっと気がつかなかったでしょう。数分の間、私たちの目は子グマにくぎ付け。子グマはひっそりと水を飲んで、ひっそりと森に帰って行きました。

結局この日は、ずっとそこで川遊び。ひとしきり満足して車に乗り込み、ヨセミテを後にしたのは夕方の4時くらいでした。途中、またトレイシーで夕飯を食べ、サンノゼ帰着は9時頃。 今回の旅では、ヨセミテのほんの一握りしか見ていませんが、大自然のパワーをたっぷりもらった、素晴らしい旅でした。その証拠に、家に戻ってからも元気いっぱい。ま、車の中でたっぷり眠った後ということもありますけどね(運転手以外)(^_^;)。

It was already the last day. Everything back in the van, cabin checked out, off we went back to Yosemite. First thing we did in the park was to look for a place along the river so that we could play. We stopped at one place and decided to stay there.

There was a rocky slope to the riverbank. Casey helped my dancing princess walk down and I was trying to figure out how to take her wheelchair when two men came up and offered a help. They were typical Harley-Davidson riders, wearing a leather jacket, an American flag bandanna and a tattoo (although I don’t remember details). Despite their rugged appearance, they were such nice gentlemen. One man said, “I do this all the time for my mom,” and the wheelchair was down in the riverbank in no time.

The water was refreshingly cold but feeling heavenly great in the heavenly great scenery. Casey let out a joyous yell that could be heard all over the valley. We let princess soak in her feet. She wanted to put her face next as a matter of course. She leaned forward so much that the front legs of the chair were digging into the river floor, making everybody sweat to pull her back.

We had a joyous encounter with a bear cub, which was at the other side of the river. We didn’t notice it until somebody nearby let us know. Otherwise we would have never known because it was blended in its surrounding nature so well. We couldn’t take our eyes off the cub for a few minutes. It quietly drank water and quietly went back to the forest.

It turned out we stayed there all day until we got in the van and left around four o’clock, all of us satisfied. After stopping at Tracy again for dinner, it was nine at night when we were back in San Jose. Although we only saw a part of Yosemite this time, we had a great time, powered up by the grand nature. In fact, we were all energetic even when we got home. Well, it was after we all had a good sleep in the van, except the driver (^_^;).
f0146342_934756.jpg

[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-27 09:08

ヨセミテへの旅(第二日) Trip to Yosemite (Second Day)

f0146342_14153571.jpg
キャビンで朝食をとり、お弁当にサンドイッチを用意して、いよいよヨセミテに向けて出発。キャビンからヨセミテ国立公園の入り口まで約40分、私にとって10年ぶりの2回目のヨセミテ。最初に行った時は舞姫が2才でした。まだ生まれてもいなかったドラ息子は、旅行の前に「僕だけヨセミテ行ってないなんて不公平だ〜!」と泣いて怒ってたけど、生まれる前のことを責められてもねぇ(^_^;)。

公園内に入ってしばらくすると、遠くにハーフドームの姿が。荘厳ながらもおまんじゅうを半分にしたような、どこか愛嬌のある姿は健在です。ブライダルベール滝では、岩を登ったり這ったりして、岩伝いに滝壺の近くまで行きました(私と舞姫はお留守番)。水の落ちる姿が花嫁のベールに似ているので有名な滝ですが、今年の極端な水不足を反映して水しぶき程度のベールでした。お昼をとった川辺では、ドラ息子、光る砂利を見つけては「金だ金だ!」と大喜び。本物だとどんなにいいでしょう。

それにしても広い広い。移動だけでもかなりのドライブ。それもそのはず、後で知りましたが、ヨセミテ国立公園は東京都の面積の1.5倍だそう。ビジターセンターでヨセミテの歴史を少し勉強した後、次の目的地、グレイシャーポイントに到達するまでなんと丸1時間かかりました。グレーイシャーポイントは標高1200mのところにあり、氷河が通って削られた谷を一望できる場所です。その昔、そこが氷河で覆われていたなんて、にわかには想像し難いものがありました。

とにかく自然のスケールが桁違い。気の遠くなるような歳月をかけて作られた、1000mを超える高さの峡谷、美しい滝、川、森林の数々。今この瞬間目にしているこの景色も、また気の遠くなるような歳月をかけてその姿を変えていくかと思うと、言葉も出ません。

子供たちはとにかく岩登り。岩という岩に片っ端からよじ登ります。いくつの岩に登ったことか。この大自然を全身で感じてくれたかな。

キャビンに帰り着いたのは夜8時過ぎ、でも全然疲れてません。夕飯はパスタ。こうもりを追いかけたり、星空を眺めたり。みゆちゃんは初めて流れ星を見ました。

After having breakfast in the cabin and packing sandwiches for lunch, we finally headed for Yosemite. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the gate of Yosemite National Park. This would be my second visit. It was ten years ago when I first went there. My dancing princess was only two years old and my dragon boy was not even born. Before this trip, he cried with tears and anger, “I’m the only one who hasn’t been there. It’s not fair!!” How could I responsible for it? (^_^;)

A while after entering the park, we caught sight of Half Dome in the distance. It was still there looking so awesome, but at the same time it looked somewhat cute due to its shape like a half bun. At Bridalveil Fall we went near the basin, climbing and crawling from rock to rock (Princess and I stayed behind). This waterfall is famous for its water falling like a wedding veil. This year, however, because of an extremely dry weather, the veil was only sprays of water. At the riverside where we had lunch, my dragon was overjoyed to find shiny gravels in the water, shouting, “It’s gold, gold!!” I wished so much they had been real.

Anyway, Yosemite was unimaginably huge. Just going from one place to another needed a long car ride. I learned later that the size of Yosemite National Park was 1.5 times bigger than whole Tokyo, which made sense to me. After briefly learning the history of Yosemite at the visitor center, it took us a good hour to get to the next destination, Glacier Point, at 4700 feet elevation. From Glacier Point we could view the valley where huge iceberg had traveled through, scraping the landscape around it. How could one imagine that at one time in the past this place had been covered with iceberg?

The scale of the grand nature of Yosemite was just immeasurable. The huge valley which was more than 4000 feet tall, beautiful waterfalls and rivers, forest and groves, all of which had formed in the incredibly vast amount of time. It also made me speechless to think that this spectacular view, spreading in front of me at this very moment, would change its shape agaomin the incredibly vast amount of time.

The kids were so busy climbing almost every single rock that fell in their sight. I have no idea how many rocks they climbed. I hope they felt this grand nature with their entire body.

It was past eight at night when we got back to the cabin. But we were not exhausted at all. We chased bats, had pasta for dinner and watched the starlit sky. Miyu saw a shooting star for the very first time.
f0146342_1416660.jpg

[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-24 14:18

ヨセミテへの旅(第一日) Trip to Yosemite (First Day)

「やはり、ここまで来たからには、ヨセミテを見ないで帰すわけにはいかない。」

ということで、次はヨセミテに向けて3日間の旅へ。食料に荷物、そして6人の人間を車に詰め込み出発です。途中、トレイシーという町のパンケーキ・レストランでお昼をとり、また東へどんどん走ります。東に行くにつれて気温もどんどん上がってきます。ヨセミテに直接行こうか、宿泊先のキャビンに行こうか。「ヨセミテは様子見て」なんて駄洒落を言いながらの気楽な旅。

キャビンは、ヨセミテから30kmくらい手前のグローブランドという小さな町にあります。車の旅も長くなったので、ひとまずチェックインすることに。泊まるキャビンはどんなだろう、、、期待半分不安半分で入ってみたら、こじんまりしてこざっぱりした山小屋風の内装に、皆「かわいい〜〜」と大喜び。子供たちもロフトへの階段を登ったり降りたり、大はしゃぎです。

結局この日は、ヨセミテまでは行かずに、キャビン周辺で過ごすことに。プールで泳いだり、途中までしか掘られていない金鉱を探検したり。グローブランドの町まで行って、いかにも西部劇に出てきそうなバーでソーダを飲んだり。夕食は、家から持ってきたカレーをキャビンのテラスでいただきました。夜は、2人ずつ3つのベッドに分かれて就寝。さあ、明日はどんな一日になるかな。

“If you have come this far, I cannot let you go home without seeing Yosemite.”

Now we were off to Yosemite for a three-day adventure in the van loaded with luggage, food and six of us. After having lunch at a pancake restaurant in a town called Tracy, we continued on eastbound. As we went farther, the temperature went up, too. Should we go directly to Yosemite? Or stop by at the cabin we were staying? Well, there was no hurry in this trip. Singing a panning, “Yosemite, Yosumite (Yosumite means play by ear),” we played by ear!!

The cabin was located in a small town called Groveland, approximately 20 miles west of Yosemite. We decided to check in at the cabin first as we were getting tired of the long car ride. “What is the cabin like???” We walked in excited as well as uncertain, then we all shouted, “Wow! This is cute!!” The cabin was nicely done, tiny and tidy, with all the interior coordinated to produce a real cabin atmosphere. The kids were already busy going up and down the stairs to the loft.

After all, we did not go to Yosemite and stayed around the cabin instead. We had fun swimming in the pool, exploring the gold mine which hadn’t been quite finished. We drove to the center of Groveland and had a drink at a bar, just like one in a Western movie. We had dinner in the patio outside the cabin. The menu was curry rice we had brought from home. At bedtime, we split into three groups and slept in the three beds. “How will tomorrow turn out to be?”
f0146342_13142133.jpg
f0146342_13143866.jpg
*写真は、ちえぞうが撮影したものもあります。
*Some photos were taken by Chiezo.
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-21 15:13

サンフランシスコは大混雑 Stuck in San Francisco

「やはり、ここまで来たからには、サンフランシスコを見ないで帰すわけにはいかない。」

ということで、ちえぞうとみゆちゃんを連れて、目指すはサンフランシスコ。私にとってもサンフランシスコは5年ぶり。ちょっとワクワク。ピア39、コイトタワーにゴールデンゲート・ブリッジ。その先にあるおしゃれな町、サウサリートでお茶をするのもいいかもね。綺麗な景色に一日ひたり、いい気分で帰ってくる。そんな一日を想像してたんだけど、、、さて現実は、、、

夏休みの週末ということで、どこも大渋滞。ピア39までは良かったけど、コイトタワーでは駐車場の空き待ちの車の列。タワーでも上まで行こうとする人の長蛇の列。結局タワーには上らず、ふもとから景色を眺めました。ジグザグの坂で有名なロンバード通りも見るからに混んでいたので、車の中から通りすがりに眺めただけ。途中、海沿いの公園で腹ごしらえ。お弁当を持ってきてよかった(^_^;)。いよいよ車でゴールデンゲート・ブリッジを渡ります。渡ったところで車を降りて、橋を少し歩いてみました。

ところが、ふと気がつくと反対車線が大渋滞。つまり、この渋滞に入らないと帰れない。それならサウサリートでブラブラしているうちに渋滞もなくなるだろうと、車に乗り込んだものの、サウサリートも大渋滞。結局引き返して橋に向かう大渋滞に突入。ただ時間だけが過ぎていきます。ちえぞうとみゆちゃんが、車中ぐっすり寝ていてくれたのがせめてもの救いです。目が覚めて時計を見て、でもまだ橋の上にいるのにびっくりのちえぞうでした。

結局、そのままサンノゼに帰ったのですが、途中、トイレ休憩で寄ったビーチのアイスクリーム売りのトラックが、後光をさして見えました。この日の教訓「ゴールデンゲートは渡っちゃいけない。」肝に銘じておきましょう。

“If you have come this far, I cannot let you go home without seeing San Francisco.”

Yes, we were off to San Francisco with Chiezo and Miyu. I was excited about going to San Francisco because I hadn’t been there for 5 years. We could go to Pier 39, Coit Tower, and Golden Gate Bridge. It would be nice to stop at Sausalito for a cup of coffee, a fancy town on the other side of the bridge. Then we could happily come home after being exposed to the beautiful scenery all day. That was what I had imagined the day would be like. Well, here is the reality...

It was a weekend in the middle of summer, which meant a heavy traffic all over the city. Things had gone fairly well until we left Pier 39. There was a long line of cars waiting to get in the parking lot of Coit Tower. At the tower, there was a long line of people waiting to go up to the top of the tower. We gave up going up and enjoyed the scenery at the foot of the tower instead. Lombard Street, famous for its zigzag slope, looked so crowded that we just caught a glimpse of it in the car. After having a picnic at a seaside park (I was so glad that we brought our lunch), we headed for Golden Gate Bridge and finally crossed it. On the other side of the bridge, we got off the car and took a little walk.

Then, we noticed that all the lanes going the other way were packed with cars, which meant we couldn’t go home without getting in that traffic. Well, let’s go further to Sausalito for a cup of coffee. The traffic would be better later. All we found was Sausalito was packed with cars, too, leaving us no choice but going into the big traffic jam toward the bridge. Only time went by. Good thing was that Chiezo and Miyu were fast asleep in the car until Chiezo woke up to be surprised that we were still stuck on a bridge after all this time.

Without going anywhere anymore, we headed home, except for a short stop at a beach for bathroom. There was an ice cream van at the beach. Wow, I could see a luminous halo shining behind the van. A lesson learned, “Never cross Golden Gate Bridge.” I will definitely keep that in mind.
f0146342_145948.jpg

[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-17 15:00

ギルロイ・ガーデン Gilroy Gardens

サンノゼから車で約30分くらい南に行くと、ギルロイという田舎町があります。にんにくの栽培が有名な、小さな農業の町。でも、日本人観光バスがやってくる巨大なアウトレットがあったり意表をついています。もう一つ意外なのが、このギルロイ・ガーデン。名前のとおり、 植物園の中に遊園地があるような、 遊園地の中に植物園があるような、歩き回るだけでも楽しいテーマパークがあるのです。

農業の町らしく、遊園地では定番のコーヒーカップがにんにくだったり、ぐるぐる回るブランコがマッシュルームだったり、なかなか凝っています。園内にはサーカス・ツリーと呼ばれる、人工的にいろいろな形に仕上げられた木が点在していて、見ごたえ満点。ちえぞうとみゆの滞在中、ここには2回足を運んだのでした。もちろん、子供たちは大はしゃぎ。キッズパワーはとどまるところを知りません。

About 30 minute drive toward south from San Jose takes us to a country town, Gilroy. It is a small farming town famous for growing garlic. But there is a huge shopping outlet where Japanese tour buses stop, which is quite surprising. Another exceptional thing in this town is Gilroy Gardens. As its name tells, it is botanical gardens with an amusement park in it, or it is an amusement park with botanical gardens in it. A very pleasant theme park where we can have a good time just walking around.

The park is nicely done and reminds visitors of Gilroy as a farming town. Coffee cup twirls, one of the standard rides in amusement parks, are in the shape of garlics here. Swings that go around and around are called Mushroom Swings. Here and there in the gardens, you can see artificially shaped trees called Circus Trees, which is quite a sight. We took Chiezo and Miyu here twice during their stay. Of course, the kids were so excited. There was no way of stopping them.
f0146342_1342995.jpg
不思議な形をしたサーカス・ツリー。ある農夫が、1920年代から40年余りの間、自分の生涯をかけて創り出した木の芸術。その農夫亡き後、朽ち果てるばかりだったのを、1970年代にある建築家が見つけて蘇らせ、それがこのギルロイ・ガーデンの創立者の目に留まり、買い取られて今ここに安住しているという歴史の持ち主。ガーデン内には19本あるそうです。次に行った時は全部探してみようかな。

Strangely shaped Circus Trees. In 1920s, a farmer devoted his life to creating the art of trees for about 40 years. After he had passed away they were left to die until an architect discovered them in 1970s. The trees revived and caught an eye of the founder of this garden. He bought and moved the trees where they sit peacefully now. There are 19 of them on display in the park. Next time I think I should try spotting all of them.
f0146342_13425417.jpg
激しい乗り物も子供たちはへっちゃら。日本ではバイキングでおなじみの、前後に激しく揺れる世にも恐ろしい乗り物。こちらでは海賊船ではなくバナナ! 初挑戦のみゆちゃん、すっかり気に入って誰よりも多く乗りました。半面、ドラ息子は乗りすぎて嫌いになってしまいました。そして、どんな状況でも自然体の舞姫、コースターに乗りながら今回も、にやっーー。

Kids loved hard rides. The ride, known as Viking in Japan, was a banana here instead of a pirate ship. Miyu had never ridden this vicious ride which went back and forth crazily. She loved it and went riding it more than anybody else. On the other hand, my dragon boy was fed up with this, saying he didn’t like it anymore. My dancing princess, who was always her regular self in any circumstances, showed a big grinning face again while in the coaster ride.
f0146342_13433862.jpg
他にも楽しいアトラクションがいっぱい。大人もしっかり童心に帰りました。
*写真は、ちえぞうが撮影したものもあります。

There were lots of other attractions in the park. Grown-ups played like kids, too.
*Some photos were taken by Chiezo.
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-15 13:52

みゆちゃんと過ごした日々 Days I Spent with Miyu

f0146342_13394944.jpg
7才の女の子、みゆちゃんと過ごした2週間は、私にとって貴重な体験でした。いやうちにも舞姫という立派な女の子がいることはいますけどね。なんせ姫ですからちょっと事情が違うのです。 ともかくも、1年半ぶりに会ったみゆちゃんはしっかりと成長していました。大好きなパパに会えないし、時差ボケも経験するだろうけど、カリフォルニアを好きになってくれるといいなぁ。

まず驚いたのは、みゆちゃんの体力。楽しいことに熱中している間は、時差ボケも吹っ飛ばして突き進みます。そして身体を動かすことが大好き。ドラ息子が岩に登れば、自分も登らずにはいられません。こんな小さな女の子のどこにそんなエネルギーがあるんでしょう。何にでも興味をもって、何にでも挑戦する姿勢はママ譲りですね。遊園地でも未体験の乗り物に果敢に挑戦します。家にいる時は、ものすごい集中力でいろいろなクラフトに取り組みました。ママによると、勉強以外のことにかけての集中力は並みじゃないとのこと。なんだかいろんなところがドラ息子と同じだぞー。

ただ、最初の1週間はさすがに時差ボケが辛そうでした。その上、慣れないところで慣れない人に囲まれて戸惑っただろうし、心も身体も必死でしたね。でも、持ち前のタフさで時差ボケも乗り越え、後半はますます元気に。

みゆちゃんとドラ息子が、 お互い知らんぷりしているかと思えば、次の瞬間には意気投合して遊んでいたり、 普通の兄妹のように関わっていたのは面白かったです。舞姫には特に親しみを感じてくれたみたいで、いろいろと気にかけてくれて、女の子ならではの優しさを見せてくれました。きっと舞姫も「なんで私には妹がいなくて弟がいるのよ。」と思っていることでしょう。

帰国の日が近づくと、日本に帰りたくないと言ってはママに抱きついて涙を流してくれたそうで、それを聞いただけで嬉しかったです。「みゆと一緒で楽しかったよ。時々カリフォルニアのこと思い出してね。また会う日をおばちゃん(?!)は楽しみにしているよ!」

The two weeks that I spent with Miyu, a seven year-old girl, was a precious experience for me. Well, I have my dancing princess who is unmistakably a girl. But, you know, she is princess. Things are a little different with her.

Anyway, Miyu looked solidly grown since the last time I had seen her 18 months before. Although she might miss her loving daddy and might have some jet lag, I hoped she would like California.

What amazed me first was her energy. While she was engaged in fun activities, Miyu just kept going, shaking off her jet lag. And she was so physical. When my dragon boy climbed a rock, Miyu couldn’t help but climbing too. How could a little girl like her have so much energy? Her attitude to be interested in anything and challenges anything, I believe it all came down from her mom. In amusement parks Miyu boldly tried some rides she had never ridden before. At home she did a lot of crafts with amazing concentration. According to her mom, Miyu really stays focus when it come to something that is not study-related. Wow, there are lots of things that Miyu and my dragon had in common!

However, the first week was really tough on her due to jet lag. On top of that, she was surrounded with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar place. Her body and mind must have worked hard to get adjusted. Once adjusted, after all she was a tough girl, she was more lively in the second week.

It was fun to watch Miyu and dragon boy interacting just like regular brother and sister. A moment after I thought they were ignoring each other, they were vigorously playing together. Miyu especially became fond of my dancing princess. She was very nice and kept her attention to princess, kindness that only girls have. I’m sure princess wondered, “How come I don’t have a sister but a brother?”

As their stay was coming to an end, I heard, she held on to her mom and cried, saying she didn’t want to go back home. I just couldn’t be happier to hear that. “Miyu, I had a great time with you. Please think of California every once in a while. You auntie (?!) is looking forward to seeing you again!”
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-12 06:20

家族が増えた2週間 Two Weeks When We Were a Family of Six

f0146342_13434490.jpg
この夏、我が家の最大のイベントは、日本から友人親子がやって来たことです。「ちえぞう」(と呼ばせてもらいます)と娘の「みゆちゃん」。3年前に東京で出会って以来、家族ぐるみでおつき合いいただいている友人です。日本でも、一緒にキャンプや小旅行に出かけたり、去年はハワイで合流したり、言ってみれば「旅仲間」(^_^)/。今年はなんと二人でカリフォルニアまではるばる飛んで来てくれ、この2週間、家族が増えた我が家は大にぎわいでした。

ちえぞうは、2004年の春、私たちが1年半の予定で東京に引っ越して間もない頃、ドラ息子のプリスクールで初めて話しかけてくれたママでした。いくら住み慣れた東京に戻ったとはいえ、不安でいっぱいの時だったので、すごく嬉しかったのを今でも鮮明に覚えています。

お友達になってからは、ちえぞうの好奇心旺盛で、何でも吸収しようという姿勢に何度も刺激されたものです。行動力も抜群で、乗りもばっちり。そんな彼女だから、みゆちゃんを連れてカリフォルニアまで来るというのも、当然の流れなのかも。

ちえぞうとみゆちゃんがいた間、とにかく楽しかった。1年分くらいの楽しみを2週間に凝縮して、遊んだ遊んだ。全てが忘れられない夏の思い出です。どれだけこのブログで報告できるかな。二人が帰って寂しくなったけど、また会える日が楽しみです。いつどこで? それはわかりませんけどね。

(写真:帰国の途に着く、ちえぞうとみゆ、サンフランシスコ空港で)

The biggest event of this summer for us was a visit with Chiezo, a friend of ours and her daughter Miyu from Japan. Since we met in Tokyo three years ago, we have gone out together a lot as family friends. In Japan we went on a couple of trips together and last year we joined them in Hawaii. I guess we are sort of “travel buddies.” (^_^)/ This summer, Chiezo and Miyu flew all the way to California to stay with us. Having a bigger family, our home was full of merriment and excitement during the last two weeks.

In spring 2004 when we moved back to Tokyo to stay for 18 months, Chiezo was the first mom who had spoken to me at the preschool my dragon boy had just started to attend. Although Tokyo was a place where I had lived for a long time, I was pretty nervous at that time. So I clearly remember my first meeting with her, which made me feel so comfortable.

As I got to know her, I was always impressed and stimulated with her curiosity and eagerness to learn anything. She is so energetic and fun to be with. After all it may be no wonder that she would come to California with Miyu.

During their stay, we had so much fun, nothing but fun. We simply crammed all kinds of fun activities for about a year into two weeks, all of which are unforgettable summer memories. I’m not sure how much I can write in this blog. We miss them a lot but we are looking forward to seeing them again. When and where? I don’t know...

(Photo: Chiezo and Miyu homeward bound at San Francisco Airport)
[PR]

by danceofdragon | 2007-08-09 13:39