Christmas in Hawaii, The Lava Edition: The Big Island

After a fantastic five days on Kauai, we hopped on a one-hour flight to the Big Island of Hawaii. We started in Kona, the city on the perpetually-sunny western coast famous for its coffee, sunsets, and Ironman competition. Mark's youngest brother Marshall moved to Hawaii this summer from Washington state. Though he now lives in …

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Sunday Morning in Tokyo: Museums, Shoe Shopping, and Food

Tessa has joined a drama program in Tokyo. So cool! Less cool is getting her there and back, since the program runs from 9AM to 1PM every Sunday until April. The commute involves roughly 75 minutes and three trains, or one hour and two trains if the trailing parent takes pity and drives the commuters …

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The “Are You Really in Japan?” Stuff: Middle School Volleyball

Living in Japan for three years, we have had a lot of amazing experiences that we would never have done if we were still in DC. Like visiting Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, and Taiwan. Or skiing Olympic venues, just a few hours' drive from our house. But sometimes, having school-age kids means doing school-age-kid stuff, …

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Walking the 800-Year-Old Asaina Pass into Japan’s Ancient Capital, Kamakura

We're back in Japan! The weather has been absolutely glorious the last few days.  So instead of hiding from the heat in the air-conditioned indoors, I cajoled the family into a hike along Asaina Kiridoshi, one of the mountain pass entrances into the city of Kamakura. Loyal martayaki readers may recall previous visits to Kamakura …

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