Dear NYC Tourists…

Please don’t visit the Starbucks near Wall St. with your small children before 9am without knowing way far in advance what you will be ordering. (pssst.  I’ll let you in on a secret–the menu is the same everywhere).  It makes everyone really really grumpy to wait longer than a millisecond for their coffee. And no, the fact that you ordered in French is not endearing.

And, please, when you’re looking up at all those fabulously tall buildings (and soon to be buildings), stay off to the right.  It’s sorta like a road race down here in lower Manhattan, and if you’re walking through the water stops, or looking up all the time, keep right so the faster folk (basically everyone who depends on this neighborhood for their salaries) can scoot on by.  

But really, enjoy your stay! We’re happy you’re here.  Just keep your head down, walk fast, and know your drink order before you get to the barista.

Once a week I head into the City (which will always by NYC in my mind) for work.  My organization has the bad luck privilege of being right near the new World Trade Center building.  This summer it has been basically impossible to move down here. I know it’s a good sign of a strong economy when there are tourists, but it can really try your patience.

I’m doing my best to not rant, because in 5 short days, la famile Sato will be sojourning to Japan, and I’m certain we will piss off a fair number of people with our ineptness.

BUT! I’m so excited.  Because today was almost like Christmas here.  I did a Last Minute Lucy amazon order, and it all arrived today!



Here are the left-overs!

The big box contained our travel packs.  Our luggage is old and cumbersome.  I wanted some travel packs that could double as either a duffle or backpack, and work as carry-on luggage as well.  Despite the unfortunate name (why do companies think putting a lower case “e” or “i” in front of a product’s name makes it more tech-ish?), I ordered these from ebags.



Since we’re doing a fair amount of train travel, I’m hoping these will work out.  Japan doesn’t have lots of escalators, etc. in their train stations, so being able to carry our lives on our backs will help.  The goal: to fit about 5 days worth of clothing, and do laundry right before we leave the in-laws for our train travel (another 5 days by train to Tokyo from Nagasaki).

Also arriving:



Undies and socks.  Thing 3 comes home from camp Saturday.  We leave on Sunday.  All of Thing 3’s current undies are at camp.  I’m not sure how much laundry we’ll have time for, so I preemptively purchased enough for her (and Things 1 and 2) to eliminate last minute laundry from the to-do list. Yes, I’m lazy smart like that.

Once we return, we only have a week before school begins.  Thing 1 was clever enough to write down his school supply list for the upcoming year on the last day of school.  This is a skill not yet passed along to Thing 2.  Anyways, it was easy enough to add to my order:

IMG_1798 IMG_1802


Thing 1 is very excited for his senior year–AP Physics and Advanced Art.  I don’t know where this kid got his brain.  And I know this order will eternally screw up the relevancy ratings for those pop up ads that appear on my sidebars.  A 24″ x 36″ portfolio? Graphic pencils in varying hardnesses?  And an AP Physics book? Good luck figuring that out Google Ads.

Oh, and I couldn’t resist.  Some new kicks.



Montrail trail running shoes. On a steep discount.  To replace my Solomon’s which were shrunk in the laundry courtesy of the Mister.  Which is a shame, because they had fewer than 100 miles on them, and I loved how they fit.  But now they don’t.

We’ve got a crazy busy schedule prior to the trip, and lots (and lots and lots) of packing to do to make sure everything fits on our new backpacks.  But our train passes come tomorrow, our passports and other docs are in the ready, ryokan (Japanese style B&Bs) have been reserved, and most importantly, we’ve practiced our French to order our coffee in the morning. We’re good to go!


  1. Ohhh….I want to go to Japan one day. Yahhh. Are you going to also visit the Mr.’s family too?

    And I want the purple bag! Who gets that one? Gimme! lol

    As for Thing 1 and physics…*makes gurgly noises in my throat* …. physics means … math *gurgle, gurgle*….I loved physics.

    *tries out what little Japanese I know* Nihongo wakarimas? (is the a ‘u’ at the end? I thought there was, but when I hear someone saying it in my head I do not hear the ‘u’).

    If I don’t see you before you leave …. have a GREAT trip Paige!

    • Oh, Thing 3 gets the purple bag–hers is a “jr” size (about 2 inches shorter).

      I NEVER even took physics. I am completely hopeless at it. And art. Good luck Thing 1!

      it’s funny–Japanese, that is. The final “u” in the last syllable of wakarimasu is barely pronounced. The Japanese tend to drop that last vowel sound in their words. They do the same in English, so Toronto becomes Toront, etc.

      Lastly, I’ll try to post from Japan. I’ve got the phone set up to do so. Hopefully we’ll find some wifi…

  2. I really enjoyed your post.`
    I`d heard that before about getting your breakfast order in NYC. But you`re also reminding me that I`ve never been!
    Love the backpacks. I used to do the same thing for the kids when they were little-and then use the backpacks as school bags for the next term,
    I`m a very good armchair traveller so I hope you can post from Japan. Otherwise I`ll wait for your catch up post on your return.
    But, most importantly, have a great trip!

  3. He shrunk your trail shoes? I didn’t know you could do that. lol. You’re right about Japan and few escalators. Those suitcases get heavy after the 20th step. Safe travels.

  4. So pleased you will be blogging in Japan. NYC on my to do list maybe I will hitch a ride with redhen! Love the trainers, great colour which of course is very important.

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