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My husband called on a cold San Francisco day and said “babe, we’re going to Japan,” and all I could say was “I love sushi!!!!”.
A few weeks later, I’m running around literally an hour before my flight out of Los Angeles trying to take EVEN MORE black leggings and shoes.
Immediately after we were invited I started planning the trip. Me, my husband, my 10 month baby and my sister to help when Dexter isn’t around.
I started counting the number of diapers, blowouts, accidents, outfits, backup outfits, backup of the backup outfits for the blowout, and anything else I’d need. Being a little “over the top”, I strategically started mapping EVERYTHING.
I looked up weather reports, Googled Japan street style, looked up every hotel and facility. I’m pretty sure it was all adding up to a really big novel. I finally had to sit down and breathe and do what I think every baseball spouse should do, call a veteran and get some advice.
We are fortunate enough to know two people who have been on these Japan trips and each had amazing words of wisdom. Both Barry Bonds and Samantha Castilla (the gorgeous wife of Vinny Castilla) told me that if I took the baby at such a young age, I’d risk losing sight of the beauty and opportunity to really see Japan. Especially because it is such a whirlwind tour, packed with buses and trains and tours and stairs and walks and multiple cities. So, with a bit of anxiety and tears in my eyes, I took my little baby to the hands I trust most–my mother’s in Utah.
That being said, there is a wife here who brought her three-month baby, a spouse who brought her three beautiful children, and a wife who is pregnant. They have done amazingly well and everyone from spouses to staff have been completely helpful. So it’s definitely an option.
Our flight to Osaka was really fun. We were on a chartered plane out of LA. The plane was private and we had delicious food with a Japanese flair. It definitely didn’t have a commercial flight feel. Everyone was treated like a VIP. One word of advice, definitely listen to the attendants and doctors on their guidance to prevent jet lag. I got off the plane 12 hours later not feeling like death for a week.
First stop Osaka, which was such a great introduction to Japan. Big, but not too big. Nice and clean. We stayed at the St. Regis and had a comfortable few days. The people of Japan are so kind and polite it’s literally shocking. Especially if you come from a big city where life is always a big rush from point A to point B. The Japanese slow down…and walk! Since Dexter is not a fan of group sightseeing tours, we arranged our own private tours of major landmarks that we didn’t want to miss. You’ll definitely have a million chances for some amazing selfies! From what I’ve gathered from chats with other spouses, the organized tours were still great and definitely worth going.
Hands down the most amazing moments were the embassy luncheon where we had the privilege of meeting LADY AMBASSADOR CAROLINE KENNEDY. I’ve literally never been so star struck. She was such a sweet woman. The tea ceremony they set up for us was also such an amazing experience. Geishas in formal tea ceremony rituals, what more could you ask for? It was all like from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”.
Games have been really enjoyable too! We have great seats, so watching is fun and the atmosphere is half like being in a soccer game and half a fashion show…all at a baseball game! Since the Japanese don’t really do “American casual” we were all more or less forced out of our lululemon workout wear into blazers, boots and heels. When you looked at the stadium it was filled with men in suits and women in heels, so it was such a pleasure getting dressed.
Each wife and guest has been so kind and friendly. Regardless of background or team, we all talked like we knew each other longer than two days! Each was supportive of the other and more than helpful if needed.
What a great experience to meet women from all over the country who you might never have had the chance to ever see.
Right now I’m sitting at The Palace Hotel, overlooking the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, wondering what exciting adventure I should go on today and being completely blessed that we had the opportunity to be here. If you are ever invited to a tour, I have one word for you….GO!
I would love to connect with my fellow SISters on Instagram at: Aliya.Fowler. I have posted more photos and videos there, please check them out!