Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Tila in Japan! I left her on the side of the road while looking at pineapples... $9 for a pineapple!!!
I think I will wait till I get back to Hawaii!

A view from our neighborhood...

Biking on the left side...

My blue eyed boys... No joke, we were stopped by some strangers that never even saw Americans on their island and they wanted a photo with Jim and Kainoa! They were in love with their blue eyes, thought Jim was a pro baseball player, and tried to adopt Kainoa...

Wee made it to Japan!

36 hours later we are on the island of Fukue... and it is BEAUTIFUL! It is so laid back and so quiet. You can tell Ironman Japan is the only action this place gets. There are 1,000's of posters hanging on every shop, in every street, on all the walls advertising the race. Everyone points at us and stares, then points to the posters as if to say, "you, you you".

There is nothing American about this island. There are no signs in English, nobody speaks any English, and it is VERY traditional Japanese. As in, the beds are futon mats on the floor, little soft ones, and a brick for a pillow. Slight exaggeration, it's not a brick, but it is a rock. I am sure the hotel is not like that, BUT we are with a home stay. The people are amazing... and I would not have this trip or experience any other way than fully diving into the culture.

I have eaten 3 types of seaweed today... I eat it at home so it was nothing new... but the meat. Oh man, I have got to find something not fried. They fry all the meat (similar to chicken catsu style or something).

Yesterday we were in Fukuoka. Ever seen "Tokyo Drift"? Well, that was exactly like that movie. BIG bill boards, bright lights, huge city, loads of cars, tons of people... it was exciting! I took a run at 5:30 am and was amazed. I have never been anywhere like it, never seen anything like it. I loved it... it was so much fun! On every corner was a vending machine selling beer, pops, and juices. No coffee. Not that I drink the stuff, but Jim does, no where had coffee. After my run I see him (6:30 am) on the corner with Kainoa drinking a beer. I was laughing... he was laughing, only in Fukuoka... he was bummed about the coffee...

Today, on Fukue, I rode my bike... it was so exhilarating! It just felt so new and so different. Everything is just catching my eye and taking my breath away. I feel like a young girl in love... it is all so new to me. Have you ever seen "Memoirs of a Geisha"? The neighborhood we are in reminds me exactly of where the little girl lived early in the movie... I feel like I am there...

No, this trip hasn't been smooth sailing. BUT attitude is everything and traveling sure brings out your true colors. We had layovers, the plane couldn't land and we flew back to another island, I was puking on the plane, I couldn't (still can't find a place to swim), my stomach hurts from the meat, it is so hot here (yes hotter than Hawaii and more humid), I tried to buy some food but they don't take bank or credit cards ANYWHERE in the little town, no ATM to be found, I need some yens, the list of things that could make you mad goes on and on... BUT I love to travel and I know this comes with the traveling adventures!

The only bummer is Coachee (as the Japanese call the coaches) is freaking that I still haven't called him, that I lacked email, didn't update my training to him, that I've yet to swim, that I am not text messaging him, haven't sent my files, pretty much he thinks I am avoiding him... it feels like a break up with a boyfriend and I told him "Sayanara"! ha ha ha... I know he has invested A LOT of time in me preparing for this race and only wants my head/heart/body in the right spot in the final days leading up to the race... sorry coach, still LOVE ya!

And that is about it WAY over here in Japan...
Totally love you guys!



Blogger Brooke Myers said...

I was wondering how things were glad you made it safely Don't worry about the food, etc..You will be way ready race morning.
love all of you and have a blast.....keep us posted - if you can!

June 18, 2008 at 8:03 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Time to Rock this race Bree. You are totally ready. Everything will come together Sun AM for you (japan time)! this is your element go get it!

Can't wait to see the video from the plane! Good job Jim!!LOL!

G-night from CA...E says Hi!:)

June 18, 2008 at 8:14 PM

Blogger Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

There should be an ATM somewhere, like at the Post Office. If there is a bank, send Jim to get the money. You can easily wait 40 minutes while they serve you there. Other than that there should be supermarkets to buy supplementary food. There's also a contingent of localized Westerners around there so they would know where everything is at. Wish I was there, too.

June 18, 2008 at 8:14 PM

Blogger Karen said...

It sounds like you're having a great time and a great experience, even though things are going a little rough for you. I'm glad to see you made it there safely. You have been in our thoughts and prayers. We'll be cheering for you from Kona during your race.

June 18, 2008 at 9:29 PM

Blogger Beth said...

Your attitude and outlook is great Bree!! Traveling like that and getting out of your routine is tough...but you are obviously making the most of it and because of that IT WILL ALL BE FINE!!! Best of luck with your final preparations and I hope you get lots of pictures. Can't wait to see how beautiful everything is!! Take care!!

June 18, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Blogger Train-This said...

Stay you BREE, that's why your stars will align on race day!

:-) mary

June 18, 2008 at 11:15 PM

Blogger TB said...

I'm fired up for race day!

You will be flying!

June 19, 2008 at 12:25 AM

Blogger Rural Girl said...

Good luck this weekend! That is so exciting to experience a new culture. Too bad it couldn't be all after the race. Love the pic in the last post with you and Shirley. She's great!

June 19, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

BREE! You will do GREAT! EVERYONE has to deal with this kind of stuff - and you will do just great! You already are... :) Hang in there - you've got A LOT of people cheering you on. We believe in YOU! GO BREE GO!

June 19, 2008 at 12:58 AM

Blogger Kellye Mills said...

You are going to have the most wonderful race! Sounds like your head is right where it needs to be... focused without letting all of those challenges bother you! Enjoy your experience and do what you know how to do BEST!!

June 19, 2008 at 1:42 AM

Blogger James and Lindsay Cotter said...

If you ever need a travel buddy just let us know. James and i are pretty good at it ourselves and we get stuck everywhere! Oh the Japanese word for grilled meat is Yakiniku (焼き肉 or 焼肉). See if that helps any!

June 19, 2008 at 1:53 AM

Blogger Kona Shelley said...

Wow..thank you so much for posting the pics and taking us along on your adventure, best of luck to you and i'll be watching!!!!!

June 19, 2008 at 2:01 AM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Indeed, Japan is VERY expensive. About 15 years ago I was there and I got a cup of coffee from McDonald's for like $4 (I think it was the only place I could find any). It's probably $10 or so now.

Way to handle all the things that aren't quite going right. Attitude is everything and yours is awesome. You will have a great race no matter what!!

June 19, 2008 at 2:26 AM

Blogger Trigirlpink said...

Oh sounds a bit rough there but in your true fashion, puking and all (lol) you find the silver lining.
Sending good thoughts you will find meat that's not fried, a place to swim, a calm stomach and smoooooth sailing from here on out 'til race day.

June 19, 2008 at 2:29 AM

Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

Great pics!!! Enjoy your time there!! (and make sure not to LEAVE you bike just sitting in that market!)

June 19, 2008 at 2:42 AM

Blogger Flatman said...

It is so cool that you are doing a homestay and soaking up all the culture. It will make your trip and race that much more meaningful and memorable. Plus, having Jim and Kainoa there to share it with is so cool. Have a great time and keep posting so we can all enjoy your trip too! HAVE A GREAT RACE!!!

June 19, 2008 at 2:48 AM

Blogger Cricket said...

The Richau's are so happy you made it there safe! What an awesome experience for the Wee's!
We're keeping you in our prayers and know this is your time to shine! Great attitude, keep it up!
Love you Wee's- We'll all be watching you kick some butt on the computer! We're with you Bree and we love you! Love you too Jim and Kainoa- take care of mama!

June 19, 2008 at 3:11 AM

Blogger Mel said...

Bree, you are such a good sport....good thing your heart is really into this I would be crying to go home NOW!!! I guess I am a little spoiled.....OH and poor Jim...get him some coffee NOW!!! I am SO SO happy that you have your family there with you!!! BREATH and get ready to GO!!! We all love you Bree and will be cheering you on :)

June 19, 2008 at 3:27 AM

Blogger Marni said...

Try to do the best you can there! Just try not to eat too many unfamiliar foods. even if you are eating cheese and bread (that is what i lived on when I went to japan) or well-washed fruit, bottled water and sticky rice (that is what I had everyday in the philippeans) try to have simple foods.
You trained hard and traveling is just part of the plan! Good luck.

June 19, 2008 at 3:52 AM

Blogger Emmalee said...

If someone is going to adopt Kainoa I just want to call first dibs.
Glad you made it safe and hope your belly feels better.
Good luck, you're in all our thoughts and prayers!

June 19, 2008 at 4:27 AM

Anonymous Naughty said...

Oh the updates are so good; I have been looking at this blog many times a day awaiting the updates; because I knew they would be there....thank you for sharing your journey's......I love this blog and am so excited for you and your family to have this experience together. Hearing of your experience I think it would be so yucky without your family with you to share it all!! Best to you, Jim and Kainoa.......Heart and Soul.......the Nottage Family

June 19, 2008 at 4:43 AM

Blogger Eileen Swanson said...

Hi Wee! Thanks for checking up on me and Rach! You are so sweet!! Attitude is everthing for sure and you got the RIGHT ONE! Keep up the positiveness! You guys look so CUTE in all the pics. Love 'em. Pat stayed the night here ;-) He is too funny! We miss ya tons....


June 19, 2008 at 6:13 AM

Blogger TriGirl Kate O said...

Travelling is such and adventure, and even though it can be stressful, how great is it to share all those new experiences with your family. Enjoy each one--memories of puking on the plane diminish, but those of the island will stay forever. You'll kick butt this weekend, I've no doubt! Thanks for keeping us all updated.

June 19, 2008 at 6:25 AM

Blogger Jen said... are such a good sport! None of the travel "drama" will matter once you are out on that are goning to ROCK IT! We will be following you on race day from sunny (and hot!) Tucson. Be the best you can and think positive will all come together and then we can CELEBRATE the VICTORY!

June 19, 2008 at 6:31 AM

Blogger Rory said...

That is awesome. Great stories. Keep us posted.

June 19, 2008 at 7:03 AM

Blogger shawn and tracy said...

What an adventure! All the best :-)

June 19, 2008 at 7:04 AM

Blogger Shan said...

Oh man, what an adventure!!!! Despite the lack of swimming and fried meat (EWWWWW), I know you'll be ready on Sunday...CAN'T WAIT to read more!!

Go Bree Go!!!!

June 19, 2008 at 7:06 AM

Blogger Brooke Myers said...

I love the pictures Bree, they didn't show up yesterday when i wrote...
Nick says "konichiwa" how ever you spell it... How's the bike riding, since you sold out on mechanic's. He wants to know if you got everything together alright...good thing you have Jimbo for back up.

Well we miss you three lots..We'll all have to have dinner when you get back or something okay...
love ya

June 19, 2008 at 7:14 AM

Blogger E.L.F. said...

Bree - sorry about the meat and the swim BUT did anyone else pick up that POOR JIM DOES NOT HAVE COFFEE!? I'm going to drink an extra cup for him today.

All the best this weekend with the race!

June 19, 2008 at 8:03 AM

Blogger Stef said...

Bree here is to YOU having your BEST RACE on Sunday. Cheering wildly for you from Southern Nevada. You are such an inspiration.

Re ELF's comment: I had two cups of coffee today on Jim's behalf too. :-)

June 19, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Blogger Paul said...

Killer pictures!! Too funny about them wanting to adopt Kainoa.

June 19, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Blogger rr said...

Why do I think Jim is probably OK with no coffee so long as he's allowed to substitute beer in at 6:30am??

Love hearing about it Bree.. thinking of you tons, have a perfect day on Sunday, we'll be cheering loud here!

June 19, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Blogger Ange said...

What an adventure!! I am so impressed and inspired by your attitude. I hope all the food issues smooth out and you get some sleep despite the Rock. :) GOOD LUCK!!

June 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Blogger Kim said...

Great hearing about your trip thus far and keep your head up and your heart up! There's lots of exciting things to look foward to despite the small obstacales. I don't think I spelled the right..but you get my drift! Good luck even though you DON'T NEED IT - YOU"RE AWESOME!!

June 19, 2008 at 3:32 PM

Blogger beth said...

sounds like some serious culture shock...but as usual you have a killer attitude...

all the best on race day (is it race day? isn't japan like 2 days ahead?)

go for it!

June 19, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Blogger alison said...

sounds like you are having fun! japan is a crazy place...i'm sure you can also get canned coffee in vending machines..just dont accidently get a whiskey soda!
can't wait to follow the race!!!

June 19, 2008 at 9:37 PM

Blogger Sarah McMillan said...

Wooohooo Bree, watching you on ironmanlive right now tear it up over there in Japan. You Rock Island Girl!

June 21, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Blogger Jen in Budapest said...

Bree - so proud of you! What an incredible experience. You're an inspiration, as always.

June 22, 2008 at 8:08 PM


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