We are officially DINKs

Kyle is a week away from starting his new job… and we are on our way to becoming DINKs for the very first time ever in our marriage!! Just in time too, since I will be going into my 3rd year in Japan, meaning I have to pay an inhabitants tax :/ Boo. But we’re stoked, and looking forward to being debt free and ready to roll! With a new job, and new income, Kyle has become a fashionista and is in the process of changing up his wardrobe, and I am finally forcing myself to learn to walk in heels:) Kyle is now a dapper lookin’ dude…

kyle

 

He’s even learning how to sew!

Sewing suspender buttons on his pantalones.

Sewing suspender buttons on his pantalones.

Spring is starting to take over our little town. I am super sad when I think about how I can count on my two hands how many times I have left to go snowboarding this season… It is such a sad thought. But what’s cool, is that now I get to ride my bike everywhere!!

Our town and the mountain, Iwaski-san, as it looks now.

The outskirts of our city and the mountain, Iwaski-san, as it looks now.

 

Now that I can ride my bike, I can FINALLY get to the gym before it closes!! Why not go to the gym in winter, you ask? Because it is almost impossible. In the winter, Kyle and I share a car, and the drive to work is a waste of gas. Buses are super expensive,  and it takes almost as long as it would for me to walk on foot, so… in the winter I walk. 3.7 miles to school, and 3.7 miles back. Uphill both ways, no joke. Whatchu got Grandma!? Walking one way takes an hour and five min on a good day (or 1:15 on a snowy day), and by the time I get home I have little time to walk another 30 minutes to the gym. So, most recently, I have begun BEASTMODE and am challenging myself with a workout plan that I’ve never tried before! Progress pics in the cards later? Mayyyybe! I have also recently put Tahitian Dance on hold while we look at our finances and decide what the best course of action is with how much money we’ll be spending on things here and there. I seriously love dance so much, but I have really truly been missing my much needed gym sessions since the winter’s hit.

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The beautiful blue arches to my gym! 100 yen an hour! Can’t beat that!

So, with the bike riding, comes more and more exploring. You don’t really know how much you miss when you drive around the city in a car. But on a bike, less stuff passes you by! In fact, Kyle had noticed a few weeks ago that there was what appeared to be a new hamburger diner opening up called Pepe Kitchen. It said a bunch of things on the window, but we noticed “Hamburger”. Now, you have to understand something… this might not seem like a very big deal to you Americans out there, but you CANNOT FIND A GOOD HAMBURGER PLACE HERE!! Like, a legit sized burger on a good bun with all the fixin’s. There is also the worry that you walk into a place that is actually a “hamburg” joint, which is definitely NOT the same as a HAMBURGER. Hamburg, is more like a meatloaf, served on a bed of rice, and looks like this:

This is a good looking one!

This is a good looking one!

And while this is sometimes very good, it is DEFINITELY no hamburger. When we DO happen to find a place that boasts of “American Style Hamburgers” they end up falling short of our expectations. Usually Japanese style flavor (which is non-flavor) tiny skinny patties, and limited fixins. It has been impossible to find a place that served such a thing. Until now…

Pepe Kitchen burger. That is a normal sized plate people!!

Pepe Kitchen burger. That is a normal sized plate people!!

This burger… was amazing… I can’t even remember the last time I had a chili cheeseburger. It was glorious. There were a lot of other things on the menu that we can’t find anywhere else in Aomori! Clam chowder, fish and chips, tacos, corned beef, rootbeer, cherry coke, American Milkshakes. SO MANY THINGS!! Kyle, Kimberly, and I were delightfully surprized. And no joke… it is a literal 5 minute walk from our apartment door. The place actually felt like a diner. The two owners, Keiji and Masako, built the entire inside by hand. They antiqued every single piece of wood slab on the floor, textured and painted the walls, placed colored tiles one by one, built the shelves and dividers. We asked, and they said it took them about one month to build the inside. We assured them it felt like a real diner, and that their burgers were some of the best we’d had… NOT just in Japan. They even give you a little paper sleeve for your burger so you can smoosh it down and eat it without the juices getting all over your hands. I just hope that more food discoveries like this are in our future as we ride our bikes around!!

Spring is the beginning of all the festivals! At festivals, people are seen wearing yukatas and light kimonos. I had been thinking of getting one that I can wear to every type of nice event or party, when my friend Eri pulled through like a champ!

This is Eri and me last Halloween.

This is Eri and me last Halloween.

I met Eri my first year here in Aomori. She invited me to model for her Kimono and Mojha show that she put on. What’s Mojha? CLICK HERE to see what it is. Her and I hit it off really fast, and we became pretty good friends 2 years ago. Her husband is a DJ at one of the clubs we frequent, and she always lets us in free of charge. She is a gem. Back to the original thought… So, last year Eri invited me over for my birthday, made me a cake and dinner, and gave me an envelop as a gift. Inside the envelope there was a piece of paper that said, “For your birthday I want to make you a special kimono,” It is one of the nicest gestures anyone has ever given me. I couldn’t believe it! So, two nights ago Eri brought the kimono she had been working on. It is perfectly for my size, the only one in this print, and handmade and handsewn by my good friend Eri. I feel so incredibly lucky.

My new beautiful kimono and a Japanese style apron she bought for Kyle:)

My new beautiful kimono and a Japanese style apron she bought for Kyle:)

Life is good, and we can’t wait to see what Dual Income No Kids looks like!

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