Our day started with many tears this morning as we gave up Daisy our 8 week old  lab puppy to their  new owner’s Dave and Liza.  Daisy or as she was known at the Vet “Leeloo’s puppy” was born on our  oldest son’s birthday 12/12.  She was a singleton and didn’t nearly make it as she was stuck and Leeloo had to have a c-section.  And yes, it is more expensive  than when Nathan was born by c-section!

Daisy at 7 weeks

Daisy at 7 weeks - (C) 2010 Samuel Edge Photograph

KJ and I have to admit this little pup touched our lives in many ways our other dogs have not.  Hand raising her from the instant she was born, watching her feed for the first time, her eyes and ears opening, her first steps, her first little tail wag, even the first time she could poop all on her own are very precious times  for us.  As we watched this transformation of “nothing” into a living and growing animal we stood in awe of God’s creative power.  The hardwired ability for Daisy to nurse and to do it perfectly the first time. But most of all we cherish the relationship created with her.  We have three other labs at home: Leeloo,  Cody and Sampon otherwise we would  have kept her  and let me tell you to give her  away was perhaps one of our largest acts of love – ever.

Well this is how our day started, seeing David and Liza greet her warmly and with open arms and us placing them in the terribly awkward position of watching us cry like  babies knowing that our little girl was going away.  Perhaps God knew best and that it was good that we were hitting the road that morning for a 12 day trip.

So we left at 7am heading into the city to pick up  Jeff and Mary in San Francisco.  The traffic was light – perhaps due to being Friday – so we were at their  house in under an hour. Quickly packing their bags into the Sienna off to the airport, security, and waiting always waiting.  The weather was good and our 747-400 took off right on time.  The flight was the best you can have – uneventful.  We landed at Narita 40 minutes early.  Breezed through  customs and grabbed our bags. While walking into the main terminal we immediately ran into  Yoshi and that was quite a surprise.  He was waiting on visitors from Brazil; always at work.

Next Jeff and  I took our 9  suiseki stones and mailed  them via ABC Delivery to Yoshi’s shop for  1290 Yen so they could be sent off to Koji Suzuki for diazas to be made.  Wish the  post office at home was this easy; four people waiting on us and their English impeccable.

Next down to find the Keisei train and the Ueno Skyliner.

Jeff and Mary waiting for the train at Narita.

Jeff and Mary waiting for the train at Narita.

The trip  to Ueno station in Tokyo was only 1920 Yen with reserved seats so we loaded our 9 bags on the train and off we went.  The train ride took about 61 minutes with four stops.  Having been to Ueno before we disembarked and immediately headed out to the Astil Hotel across  the street from the JR station.  There was a big business party in the restaurant and it was filled with smoke which by now to us is a strange site.

We headed up to our rooms and threw things done and decided to head out to eat.  We walked back to the main street by the Train Stations and headed down a familiar alley to find food.  After walking for 10-15 minutes we decided to duck into a restaurant and it turned out they served Korean food and none of the waiters spoke English.  So we ordered food and believe you me it was some of  the hottest Korean food I have ever eaten.  Poor Mary tried three times to get a simple  “hot” in temperature bowl of noodles but each time they brought her back this beautiful  dish of noodles filled with ice!  So we got our water without ice and our soup full of it. Go figure…

Anyway, a short meal  and we headed back to the hotel to get a night sleep. Short night that is since I’m typing this post at 3am. LOL

Well today we meet at 8am for Starbucks and a visit to the bakery and then off to find a museum and then shopping in Ginza.  More  tonight….