Friday, August 13, 2010

More and More Ketchup

Since I am so behind on my blog, I am just going to do a quick recap for right now.

July 17= Zushi Beach

July 18= Canyoning

July 24-25= Nikko (where we did not get to pet monkeys, but where we had our first onsen experience and Megan sprayed some poor Japanese lady with the shower hose on accident, which was hilarious by the way)

July 31- Aug 1= Light Festival
So, basically three counselors (Jen, Caitlin, and me) got adopted by the family of these two kids from camp, and we got to go into Tokyo on Saturday and stay at a super nice hotel overnight. The hotel was called the New Sanno, and it was specifically for military people. The family, the Gilberts, took us to lunch and then to the festival that apparently had the biggest display of fireworks out of the whole entire year. There were so many people there, and a lot of the girls were all dressed up in their yukatas and looking all Japanese and stuff. The two kids from the family we were with, Ginger and Carter, were wearing these cute little yukatas too. Unfortunately, we didn't see the fireworks very well because we apparently didn't pick a good spot to sit in, but it was still pretty awesome. Ginger about cried though when some Japanese guy bumped into her. Then the next day, we went swimming in an indoor pool and then the Gilberts treated us to this amazing breakfast buffet. They had almost everything!!! It was delicious!!!

Aug 7= Mt. Fuji
I got up at 1 in the morning (after 2 hours of sleep) to climb Fuji-yama. We got there at about 5 and started the climb at 5:30. All I can say is... it was hard. I was going to walk with Megan, but she walked too fast. So I hung back and ended up walking with Aquatics girls (Monica, Molly, Stacey, CJ to name a few). It was nice to hang out with them since I usually only hang out with day camp people. Anywho, I made it to the top at around 12:10, which wasn't too bad considering we had to start climbing down at 1. Unfortunately, though, I missed two stamps at the top (for my Fuji stick) because they were hidden away apparently... although somehow everyone else managed to find them hehe. Then I headed down with two other aquatics girls, Danielle and Beth, and so the hell began. At first it was fine, but then all that slipping and sliding (fell on my butt) and those neverending switchbacks just get to you. I was so sore and tired by the time me and Danielle got off those switchbacks (Beth was far ahead by then), and I was done with downhill... but apparently it wasn't done with me. There was still more downhill and a bunch of stairs. Somehow, we managed to make it by 5, exactly right on time, but it was tough. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I forgot to put on sunscreen??? My back is peeling like crazy now...

Aug 8= Shopping in Yokosuka
Going up and down stairs is killer, so we pretty much hang around base and go to the hundred yen store out in town. got some shopping done.

Aug 10= Date Night
Danielle, my walking buddy from Fuji, asks me out on a date!!! (Since aquatics and day camp people never really hang out, the directors devised this date night thing where we all go out together.) A big group of us went to the Officer's Mess where they were having Mongolian BBQ. We got to make up our own bowl of stuff, they fry it up, and yum!!!!

Aug 13= Eating Out
Some staff from the SAC center invited us out to eat dinner. (It was the staff from the green room, and they invited me along since I was in green room this week). It was Miss Itsuko, Miss Shige, and Mr. Jeremy who invited us, and me and Aaron and Allen who went. Miss Itsuko and Miss Shige just ordered a bunch of food and we all just shared it. It was really fun. I love the green room staff!!! Honestly, they help out a lot more than some of the red room staff. They participate in closing and blitz, and we really appreciate that. They are all super super nice... and they give me lots of extra food for snack!!!

Aug 14= Concert?
Hopefully going to a concert in Yokohama tomorrow, and it's supposed to be pretty awesome. Tokyo on Sunday, I think. Idk, we shall see!!!

I am soooo excited to go back to red room for the last week. Green room was a bit easier than red room, but my kids are cuter and therefore easier to forgive when they are naughty. I miss my kids!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Ketchup

Ah! I realized I skipped a weekend in my last entry!!! And what a bomb weekend it was!!!

Two weekends ago from now, Jen, me, Haashim, and Branden (two sports camp people) met up with a bunch of people at Zushi beach on Friday night. We actually ended up taking the wrong train, but we made it there okay. And we got to see the end of this funky little festival parade with people wearing creepy masks!!!

Then, on Saturday, me and Aaron went back to Zushi Beach and just chillaxed in the sun. Bre, Courtney, Justine, Mariah, and Kayla (all day camp people) had stayed there overnight, and they just happened to run into us on the beach. So we just hung out in the water and drank chuhais (delicious!) for the rest of the day… and got SUPER sunburned!!!

Sunday was the best, though. A bunch of camp people had all signed up to go canyoning on Sunday, so we all got up at like 4 in the morning (can you believe it!?!). We rode on the bus for like 3 or 4 hours and finally got to the canyoning place, so aptly named “Canyons.” I have no idea where it was because we booked this trip through MWR Outdoor Recreation, so we pretty much just got on the bus and let it take us where it would.

Anywho, we had to squeeze into these little wetsuits (ugh), put on some funny shoes and life jackets, and then we went white water rafting!!! I was only scared for my life a couple times on that particular venture, and I had lots of fun! Our guide, Jenny, was from New Zealand, and she was pretty cool…although towards the end she said she was trying to knock one of us from the boat just for kicks and giggles. Oh, and at one point, she told us we could go for a swim, and I was like “how am I supposed to get back in the boat?” Luckily, we had Hunter on our boat (an Outdoor Adventure camp guy) so he pretty much yanked me and Jen back in the boat since we couldn’t get up ourselves. We also had Allen and our MWR trip leader and her hubby (Carolyn and Dave?) on our boat. And let me tell you, we ran into a bunch of rocks.

After that was lunch, and then we went canyoning! Basically, for those of you who don’t know, canyoning is basically like going down a skinny little canyon. We had our wet suits and our life jackets and different funny little shoes and helmets, and we basically let the current take us. We would walk some parts of it, but you had to be very careful not to slip. Then our guides would tell us to get in the water and assume some position (feet first on your back, head first on your back, or head first on your stomach) and they would send us down a waterfall or down some rapids. It was pretty scary.

The biggest waterfall was 20 meters, and they lowered us down on a rope for 10 meters, and then just let us fall. I saw Justine go right before me, but then I couldn’t see her at the bottom. I ask the guy where she went, and he just shrugs and says “Oh, she’s probably down there somewhere.” I’m pretty sure he was joking, but that just wasn’t very nice. But I did it!!! (I mean, I pretty much had to. Once you start, there’s really only one direction you can go in.)

And then after that big waterfall were the scarier ones. They weren’t as big, but you had to go down them head first, and that was HORRIBLE. I have never even been able to dive in a pool, and since this kinda had the same idea, I was a bit out of my element. But anyways, there was this one waterfall where the guides said that there was a giant hole where you can get sucked under and die. (Just before this I heard one guide asking another if they thought we could do this one or not… and the answer was “why not?”). So they had two guides stationed on either side of the waterfall at the bottom to hopefully catch anyone before they get sucked under. Joy. The guide tells us over and over again to aim for the right of the waterfall, and I am thinking “well, that’s kind of hard when you are FALLING DOWN A WATERFALL!!!”

So Bre basically almost died. She did not go to the right. She ended up closer to the left, but she reached for the guide that was waiting on the right side and couldn’t reach him. The guide on the left couldn’t reach her either, and she was being sucked into the hole. She was pulled under the water, and the guide on the left dove under too. They both came up about 3 seconds later, the guide holding onto Bre and pulling her to the side. It was super scary, but Bre seemed to be fine (though after she said that she thought she was going to die). She was super lucky (especially since the guide that saved her life was suuuuuuuper hot).

When I went down that waterfall, I did okay. I made it to the right, but I had my head up when I hit the water, so that I could feel my back crack. It didn’t feel very good, let me tell you, but I was alright. Then, the very last two waterfalls were ones where we go down head first on our stomachs, and then a guide flips us onto our backs and sends us down the next one. That was scary because we couldn’t see where we were going and I had no idea when I would hit the water. Then we got to jump off this rock thing if we wanted, and I climbed up there… and I hesitated. The guide pushed me a little, as if he were going to push me off, and I freaked out and almost fell on my butt. I finally did it, though, and I was very proud. It was like a 15 foot drop!!! Okay… maybe 10. I don’t know.

Anyways, so that was my weekend!!! It was a tad scary, but loads of fun. I count Sunday as my birthday because it was just so awesome!!! (and my birthday was that Tuesday anyways).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Well, since I’ve been super behind on my blog, I’ve decided to ketchup. (I do love ketchup!!!)

Monday of last last week was Miss Mancala’s (Jennifer’s) first day… and it was an interesting one. Overall, the kids weren’t too bad, but imagine Jennifer’s shock after being at a site that was overstaffed and didn’t not have these crazy crazy kids. The poor thing! But she handled it well.

Anyways, so the kids weren’t horrible on Monday… we just had a lot of weird incidents. For instance, as soon as me and Spencer left on our breaks during lunch (usually a calm time of the day), a kid burps in a little girl’s face, and she throws up all over herself. Then Miss Tiffany starts to throw up a little bit, too, and Miss Mancala is dealing with all the screaming grossed-out kids while Miss Uno was dealing with the one covered in throw up. Then, another kids comes up to Miss Uno and tells her that the little guy of the room (the class A clinger) had his pants down and was doing what Spencer calls “the meat spin.” …. Don’t ask…

I have no idea how Miss Uno handled all that, but let me tell you, she got an extra long break that day. But, oh, it wasn’t quite over yet. One girl comes up to me towards the end of the day and says the dreaded words: “Uh, Miss Domino, I had a accident.” Bum bum bum. I asked her what happened and she says she was going to the bathroom, she stood up, and then… “something came out.” I was like “huh?” Well, I went into the bathroom stall with her, and it was exactly like she said. There was poo on the toilet seat and on the ground. Ugh. Then, as we are walking out of the bathroom, Miss Uno is walking down the hallway with a different girl, and tells me that the girl with her had an accident, too. Sure enough, I peek in the other stall, and there is pee all over the floor, and this poor girl had pee all down her pant legs.

Fortunately, this all happened around 5, so we were all off the clock and didn’t have to clean up the messes hehehehe.

That week, we went to the water park called Summerland and it was AWESOME. Best field trip so far!!!

Last week’s Monday was also fun. In the morning, we went to the pool… and we lost a kid. A counselor’s worst fear. Fortunately, Jeremy (our PC/ the big boss) was there and so he witnessed the whole thing. Essentially, one of our relatively good kids forgot his bathing suit for the day and was pretty upset. So when I asked him not to sit where he was sitting (because he really wasn’t supposed to sit there), he got all huffy and stormed off into the boys locker room. Of course, I couldn’t go in there, so I got Mr. Hippo, and he went in there… and couldn’t find the kid. Now, the locker rooms are basically the entrance (and exit) to the pool. So when Mr. Hippo couldn’t find the kid, we both got a little worried. We told Jeremy, and basically Jeremy ran back all the way to the center looking for him while me and Spencer ran around (literally ran) area around the pool looking for him.

It ended up that he had stuffed himself into a locker and shut it completely, so neither Spencer or Jeremy thought to check the closed lockers. It was a big deal, and even though it was well-handled (or so Jeremy claims) we still had to change our pool policy because of it. Ugh.

The next day we went to the train museum… and that day also happened to be my birthday. Unfortunately, the train museum was HORRIBLE. Apparently, the staff that checked it out knew that there wasn’t much for the kids to do there, but allowed it to stay on the list anyway. Joy. And, on top of that, I was getting sick. Thankfully, I hadn’t told anyone it was my birthday and pretty much everyone who already knew forgot, so I could sleep after camp without any disturbances. But, of course, literally an hour before midnight, Jeremy sees me and somehow remembers it was my birthday. He gets this whole big group together in about ten minutes and pulls out this half of chocolate cake from who knows where. I almost made it without anyone saying happy birthday too!!!

On Wednesday, I was home sick from work for most of the day. The normal Camp A policy is that if you are sick enough to stay home, you have to go see a doctor, but the big big boss (our program director, Angie) said it was okay for me to just stay home because apparently going to the doctor here means going to the emergency room. Fun.

I tried to go back to work for part of the day, but I just got a fever again so I had to go home. But that night was a big “social” event called Holiday in summertime. We had to sing Christmas songs and stuff. That’s when they gave us our care packages from home, and when I found out how Jeremy so miraculously remembered my birthday the night before. Apparently, my mom (love you mom!) somehow got him to buy cupcakes for everybody (and yes, mom, before you ask, I already paid him back). The cupcakes were bright neon colors (oh yes, including green!) and they were DELICIOUS. Thanks, mom! =)

And then, even though I was sick, the next two days weren’t too bad. On Thursday, we got to go to the gym since it was a black flag day (meaning we can’t really go outside), and it was a lot of fun. I pretty much ran that because I had a bunch of games I wanted to play. We did some fun exercises, then we played line tag. After that, I made them do the drill from basketball where they have to get in their stance and then slide and do fire feet and stuff. I remembered hating that drill whenever we had to do it, but the kids seemed to love it. And, best of all, it tired them all out!!!

On Friday, the kids got to vote for the one counselor they wanted to cream since again we couldn’t go outside and had to do the creaming indoors. It made my day when they all picked Mr. Hippo. He was all bothered because he wanted them to pie Miss Guess Who (our director, Bre) but she was busy, so she couldn’t.

Oh, and before I forget, one of my quieter kids said today “Shake what your momma gave you!” and I thought it was HILARIOUS!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 4 of Camp

So this last weekend was AWESOME.

We went to Tokyo on Saturday. We went to Shibuya, then walked over to Harajuku. We saw the world's busiest crosswalk (i think), drank at a Starbucks, visited a music store and a Disney store, the C.C. Lemon Hall, a four story 100 yen store, and the H&M in Harajuku. We met up with Aaron's friend, Ken, and he was really funny. We are going to meet up with him again at Zushi Beach this weekend. He would shout stuff out to the crowd in Harajuku, then go "Shh! Public place, public place!" It was really funny.

And we got back from Tokyo just in time to catch the new Twilight movie at the theater. It wasn't bad, although I was sitting next to Megan, who doesn't really like twilight all that much. She was just there to see taylor lautner without his shirt on. So, when he first walks out with a shirt on, she says "What's he doing with his shirt on!?!?" Then later it was "Well, he's getting closer" because he was wearing a tank top. She was all excited when it came off. Then Allen, who was sitting down the row, says "Wow. Once he took his shirt off, he must have lost it, because it never comes back on."

On Sunday, we got up super early to get to Disneyland (and by "we" I mean Sarah, Aaron, Megan, Allen, Jennifer, and me). We were originally going to go to Disney Sea, but a bunch of girls who went there the day before said we should go to Disneyland instead (but now I am hearing the opposite from everyone else, so I may just have to go back to Disney Sea). But we got there... somehow... and got inside. We went on a ton of rides. Luckily, Sarah knew a bunch of tricks, and we got on Splash Mountain super fast as single riders, which was pretty awesome. We hit up Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates, and It's a Small World. Allen and Sarah also almost made me puke on the teacups. I felt super sick after that. But it was so much fun!

This week at camp hasn't been too bad either. I have Jennifer (Miss Mancala) in our group now, and Allen is actually working at camp, too, now. He's in green room, though, and only for two weeks (because sadly Ikego didn't need him for these 2 weeks). So, Jennifer is sharing my group with me, and she's really awesome. Today, the kids were SO well-behaved... I was a little scared. Wednesday is usually their crazy day. I think they are saving it for Friday....

More later. Bre and Courtney are making me leave, the meanies.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara (Continued)

After the Kinkakuji Shrine, we walked on over to the Rock Garden, which was in Ryoanji Temple, and everyone was all snappish at me because we could have taken the bus instead of walking and I was the only one with the bus map... oops hehe. It really wasn't that great as rock gardens go (there were only like 2 rocks), but the scenery was gorgeous! The picture with the umbrellas is with the Dr. Seuss-like trees.

After the Rock Garden, we took the bus back toward our hotel and stopped off at the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. Sadly, it was closed for lunch hour, and we didn't want to wait around, so we just got some pics of the outside.

We really wanted to get over to Osaka by this time, but we still wanted to see Toji Temple. So we went over there, found out it was 500 yen to get in, and decided we could just get pics outside of it. Megan and Spencer both tried to get these mini good luck charms thingies, but I think they jinxed themselves because they put in yennies instead of 100 yen coins like they were supposed to. They just bought themselves some bad luck.

This was a super creep pawn shop we tried to go into on our way from Toji Temple to Kyoto Station. The storeowner basically told us to leave. And Spencer got pooped on by birds. haha

We finally made it to Osaka. We checked into our hotel, which was pretty nice, and the person at the desk eyed us and was like "Can I see your voucher?" He was very suspicious when we didn't have one, it was kinda funny. Then we went right over to Osaka Castle using the subway, and this is a picture of us trying to figure out where we're going. Then there's us in front of Osaka Castle, all lit up at night.

We were starving and looking for a place to eat, walking down these super sketch streets. We finally ended up trying this little place on the second floor of a building, and tried out some legit Japanese cuisine.... corn dogs!

And yes, of course, we just had to do some karaoke!!!!

We got up early Monday morning, and went straight over to Nara. Luckily, we found a Mr. Donut right outside the Nara Station. Spencer tried some green donut things, and said they tasted like grass. I got me a melon soda, and it was delicious (and also a fabulous color)!!!

This is Spencer trying to "get in the map." Apparently, it is some obscure Friends reference, but at the time, he just looked like a complete idiot. So, of course, i got a picture. =)

And, finally, bring on the reindeer of Nara Park!!! These things were like dogs!!! They followed you around and loooooooved to be pet. If you had deer cookies in your hand (they sold them at the park), you would be molested by deer. I do have quite a few pics of the deer and other things at Nara Park (like a giant Buddha and devil-looking statues) but unfortunately my camera ran out of battery after these two pics, so all my other pics are on my phone.

But anyway, after Nara, we headed back. We just barely caught our 1:40 train (Sports camp ran in order to catch it) and made it back on base by six, just in time for our 7:00 and 9:00 meetings for camp. Fun fun, i know. But it was an awesome weekend, and I am soooooo glad we went... even if bank account suffered a bit!

Today, Saturday, we went to Shibuya and Harajuku in Tokyo, and tomorrow we are going to Tokyo Disney. So I best go get some sleep!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pics of Kyoto/Osaka/Nara Trip

This is us on the bullet train on the way to Kyoto. Spencer and Megan got to put their seats back.... it was soooo unfair. But we made it on the right train even though we were suuuuper tired since we had to get up at 5 in the morning.

It was POURING all day Saturday. So Spencer bought the first umbrellas they found (for 200 yen), and I waited and got a super cute umbrella at the 100 yen store. But anyways, this is in front of the first shrine we went to, Higashi Honganji. My favorite part of this building was the rain gutters coming off the roof, because they were made to look like decorative fountains or something.

Then, because after that shrine, we were practically right next to Kyoto Tower, we ended up going there, and I am really glad we did. It was really awesome to see Kyoto from so high up, and we also got to take tons of pics with Tower-chan (the figure in the picture). Also, on the way to the tower, we randomly met up with Sports camp people at the Starbucks there, the first of our many encounters (after the initial train ride, that is).

So, when we went up in Kyoto Tower, Aaron saw this garden, called the Shosei-en Garden, that he wanted to go to, so we went. It was beautiful there, and we got tons of crazy pictures there (but they would take too long to upload, sorry). I also got thirteen bug bites there, but that's unimportant. The best part was at the end, there was this strange little teahouse thing, and the Japanese people in there beckoned us in. We had to sign our names, and then we just went in, sat down, and they gave us really yummy tea (and I don't even like tea!). Spencer said it was kinda like joining a cult because it was so quiet in there and all the other Japanese people were giving us strange looks. We still have no idea what exactly we signed up to do, but there's the pic of Spencer and Megan at the table drinking tea.

After the garden, we went back to the hotel to put on some dry clothes, and then we went to the Gion district, aka Geisha District, and we saw a Geisha show with Sports camp people, which was pretty cool. It was a little expensive though... oh, well. Then we went straight to bed (after ice cream at Baskin Robbins of course!)

This is the Golden Pavilion, or Golden Shrine, or whatever, but it's the main attraction of Kyoto. It was pretty awesome-looking, but there were so many people there I felt kind of rushed. Anyway, it is called Kinkakuji Shrine, and there I got some charms. A good luck charm... and also a charm to hang in my car for safe driving... What?!? I figure I might need it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

3rd Week of Camp

Well, today was interesting.

I had this one kid choke another kid (and by "choke" I just mean hands around the neck, not really squeezing) at the bowling alley. I pulled him aside and talked to him, and since I never usually have problems with him, I let him go back to bowl after making sure he understood that choking was BAD. 15 minutes later, can you guess what he did??? Yes, he choked another kid. And then when I told him he couldn't bowl anymore, he threw a full-blown tantrum.

So, that added up to three incident reports (two for the kids being choked, and one for the choker), and one accident report (because when the choker was throwing his tantrum, he banged his head on the ground repeatedly and got a bump on his head).

Other than that, though, the day went all right. The kids were a tad crazier than usual, but I think that's just because it was Wednesday. I swear, the kids here have issues with Wednesdays. The kids from Spain had trouble with Mondays, but these kids chose Wednesday as their crazy day. I shall dub it "Wacky Wednesday," in honor of my second favorite Dr. Seuss book (first is "Go Dog Go" because it's awesome, and you know it!).

I got in trouble a bit last week for not taking my breaks (and so did Aaron, btw), so now everyone is being forced to take a break. Honestly, I didn't mind too much today.

Oh, and yesterday, we took the kids to these auditions for the play Princess and the Pea that this children's theater is putting on, and something...uh... interesting happened. The kids were all standing in a giant circle (there were a 100 or so kids there, about a third from Yokosuka Day camp, another third from Ikego and Negishi day camps, and a third just random kids from base). I was walking around outside the circle, keeping the kids quiet, when I hear a voice behind me saying, "Hey, counselor-lady. Counselor lady!" I turn around, and it's one of the kids' dad sitting there. He says, "Do you see that little girl standing by my daughter? See how she has her hands all the way inside her pants?" She really did, btw. I could see her butt, literally. "Well, she keeps rubbing her poopy hands all over my daughter, so could you tell her to keep her poopy hands to herself and to get them out of her butt."

I was like "Well, I'm not sure that girl's part of camp, but I will talk to her anyway." She ended up being from Ikego camp, and as soon as I said something to her, she immediately took her hands out of her pants (thankfully). I just thought that was a funny little story.

I know I said I will tell you more about our trip to Kyoto and Osaka, but I've run out of time (and battery). So, you will just have to wait.