Oh, hi!!

I really did mean to update this blog more often. I swear. We left Sydney almost a month and a half ago and in that time I’ve blogged exactly zero times. Hideous. Warning. Massive first-world problem alert… I just hate using the iPhone or iPad to blog. We didn’t bring the laptop on this trip so right now I’m begrudgingly typing on my iPad and cursing the decision to ship the laptop to America.

Enough excuses! Hi! We’re back! We are having a blast! Let’s catch up, shall we?

Our final days in Sydney were spent seeing friends, having lovely Going Away parties, eating as much seafood as possible and crying about the outcome of the US Presidential election. Literal crying. A lot of crying.

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This isn’t a political blog, but it is a look at our lives and we were devastated by what we saw as the victory of unkindness, bullying, harassment and a total lack of respect for huge groups of Americans. The election outcome made me panic. Do I really want to move back to the US right now? As a mother, is exposing my daughter to the ideas supported by our next President a responsible thing to do? These are questions we are still grappling with.

But, we got on the plane. We left Sydney and had two very uneventful flights to Osaka, Japan. And once in Osaka, we were joined by… Bimmy and Pop Pop!!

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My incredible and very adventurous parents joined us for all three weeks of our time in Japan! It was brilliant. Andy and I had been to Japan two other times, but being there with a child was a whole new thing. I felt so grateful to have my parents there for help.

We stayed in Osaka for ten days. I’d never been to Osaka before, but I’d read that it is the foodie capital of Japan and if there’s one thing we all love, it’s Japanese food!

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And we didn’t just eat food! Oh, no! We cooked food! We took a cooking class at Osaka Kitchen where our incredible teacher, Yoko, taught us to make pickled cucumber salad, persimmon salad with sesame dressing, traditional Japanese omelet, okonomiyaki and lots of other stellar Osakan dishes.

Yoko had even given tons of thought to how to involve Georgia in the cooking class. She had multiple perfectly age-appropriate tasks ready for Georgia and as a result our little wiggle worm stayed at the table and completely engaged for the entire length of the class. She even tried all the food at the end! Highly recommend Osaka Kitchen to other families travelling with children.

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In order to burn off all that food we walked for miles and miles in Osaka. We spent one afternoon just exploring the extensive grounds of Osaka Castle and another whole day exploring the interior of the Castle (the outside was better.)

One afternoon my parents took Georgia to Kids Plaza in Osaka, a five story play area with games, rides, activity centres, etc. It was crammed full of local families and kids on school outings and despite speaking zero Japanese mum and dad and G managed beautifully and had a blast. There was also a small play ground near our apartment that Georgia loved. We made friends, haltingly and with little language and many hand gestures, with the local parents and kids.

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We adored our time in Osaka and were starting to feel like proper locals ourselves by the end of our ten days there. It’s a brilliant city for kids, very walkable, easy public transport, a million food options and, most importantly, incredibly friendly people. Osaka! We miss you!