Wolf Lodge, Idaho

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Wolf Lodge is a beautiful campground just east of Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. The lake is a very beautiful mountain lake and the campground is a place where there are lots of animals. Some campers have seen a moose in the creek by the campground. Edward was hoping to see a bear.

It is going to be a quick stop because the camper needs to get all the way to Big Timber tomorrow and Rapid City on Friday. That is still more than 800 miles to go. The camper rides smoothly behind the truck and the traveling has gone well, even though it was a rainy day until they got past the Cascade Mountains. You couldn't even see the tops of some of the mountains because of all of the fog and rain.

Wolf Lodge campground is a good place to rest for the night.

Mount Vernon, Washington

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Edward was glad to have Ted and Susan come back from Japan. They were very tired the first night, but they had Elliot and Emmala for a sleep over the second night. It was their last night in Mount Vernon. Eliza came over for stories before her bedtime as well. It was a really, really fun time. Edward likes it a lot when grandchildren come for a sleepover. They are always kind to Edward and make him feel happy.

It was a little sad to think about leaving Mount Vernon. Edward knows it will be just a few more nights and then the camper will go into storage for the winter. Edward hibernates in the winter, so it works out all right, but he has had a wonderfully fun summer of traveling this year.

Ueno, Japan

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With all of the traveling, we have not kept up with the Adventures of Edward Bear, so we will post a few updates this evening.

On Sunday, we traveled on the Aomori train to Hachinohe and the Shinkansen from Hachinohe too Ueno. Ueno is on the main Tokyo circle, so it is in a really, really big city. The first picture with this post is of a busy shopping area where Susan and Ted went to look around. Near the train station is a big park that has many famous museums in it. There are art museums, a science museum and the national museum of Japan. There is a zoo in the park, too. There are also several temples in the park. Susan and Ted visited one of the temples and bought their supper from vendors who were there. They had skewers with lots of crab meat and a roasted ear of corn. It had soy sauce on it and was served with a pair of chopsticks pushed up into one end, so you could hold the chopsticks and eat the corn off of the cob. For dessert, we had some little donuts. Each donut was shaped like a panda bear. There are lots of panda things in Ueno because the Zoo has two panda bears in it.

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The man who sold the bear donuts made them right in front of us. He stood next to his fryer, which had a lot of hot oil, so his job was a really hot one. He first brushed oil onto metal molds. Then he poured the batter into the molds. Then he closed the top of the mold and turned it over so it was down in the hot oil. After a few minutes, he turned it over and used a chopstick to lift the bear donuts out of the mold. Here is a picture of him flicking the bears out of the mold.

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The next day we went for a walk in the park. We saw lots of interesting things. One was a woman who could get the pigeons to land on here hand. She stood very quietly and still and they would fly into her hand and she would look at them. It was pretty fun to watch.

We also saw a woman and a girl who were blowing big bubbles for the children. They set their bubble making supplies next to a playground and made lots and lots of bubbles for children to chase and watch. They were really good at making bubbles. The girl made lots and lots of smaller bubbles and the woman made some really, really big ones.

After we had walked around the park, we had lunch in a cafe that was in the park and later got our suitcases and got ready to take a train to the airport and fly back to Vancouver, Washington, where Elliot, Emmala and Isaac came to meet our plane. We were excited to see them.

Our last day in Japan was a lot of fun!

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Aomori, Japan

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WOW! We saw one of the biggest and brightest and loudest parades ever last night! Aomori is at the northern end of the main island of Japan, right on the sea. Each summer there is a week-long festival of parades and special events and we went to Aomori to see the festival. We rode the train from Misawa and got of into a large crowd of people. There were all kinds of people selling food and souvenirs and costumes and fancy hats as we walked to the place where we could watch the parade. Tens of thousands of people lined the parade route to see the bands and dancers and floats.

Everything was spectacular! There were huge drums that you could hear coming for blocks. There were bands of flute and cymbal players. There were hundreds of dancers with each float and the floats were enormous and all lit up with bright colors and fantastic figures. All of the floats are pulled along the parade route by people who lift heavy beams and pull the carts and floats. There are even people whose job it is to pull carts with barrels of water and dippers for the workers to get a drink during the parade.

Everyone can join in the dancing. Even tiny children and babies are dressed in costumes and allowed to take part. It is a wonderful celebration filled with lots of bright colors. The hats that people wear are amazing and fun, covered with birds and flowers and bells.

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Misawa and Patrick

Finally, here are some pictures. We are starting to get over our jet lag an enjoying our time in Misawa and our time with Patrick.

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Patrick sleeps quite a bit of the time, but he is fun to hold and watch even when he is sleeping. His usual routine is a diaper change followed by a time of eating. After he eats he will sometimes stay awake for a little while and look around at the world and enjoy the people in his life. He likes to lay on his mother and be close to her. Sometimes he moves his arms and legs even when he is sleeping. Most of the time he eats directly from his mother. Sometimes he gets milk from a bottle. When he gets fed from a bottle, his father or grandparents can feed him. We enjoy doing that. He is an eager eater and takes his bottle easily.

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Mike is a very good and very attentive dad. He loves to hold Patrick and help him. Mike is also cooking most of the meals and doing a lot of laundry. Babies need a lot of laundry. In addition to several changes of clothes each day, Patrick needs to have blankets and changing table covers and spit up rags and more and all of those things need to be washed each time they get something on them. Mike has been taking time off of work to care for Patrick and Rachel since Patrick was born, but today he goes back to work. He will miss having so much time with his son, but since grandma and grandpa are here, they can help with the cooking and laundry.

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Misawa isn't a very big city, but the houses are all close together and the streets are not very wide, so sometimes it seems like it is a bit crowded. Everything is kept very clean and it is a fun place to walk around the streets and explore. For our first couple of days here, we are staying on the 7th floor of a hotel, so we can see over the tops of most of the buildings out of our window. It has been very warm, with high temperatures in the 80's and 90's and it is very humid. We seem to raise a sweat whenever we go outside. Most of the buildings are air conditioned, so it is very comfortable inside.

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Because the air base is located in Misawa, there are a lot of people from America here. Especially close to the base entrance, a lot of the signs are in English with a mixture of Japanese characters in various places. The building across the street from the hotel has a karaoke bar in it and a great big, bright sign with lots of colors. It does not seem to be very busy during the week, but maybe it has more customers on the weekends. Most of the buildings are modern with lots of steel, concrete and glass, but they are a little different from many buildings in the Untied States. Many big buildings in the US have tall first floors, but this is not as common in Japan. The buildings seem to fit in their locations, with no space between them. Even though Misawa isn't a big city, much of the town is built as if it were a big city.

We have a lot more pictures and I may post more of them during our stay. Today we move into a different hotel on the base and perhaps I can post more pictures tomorrow.