Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Awesome trip

I mentioned that we took a great trip in May, and now I'm finally, three months later, ready to blog about it. 

Let's see if you can guess where we went.

We saw a mangy cat.

We drank refreshing and uplifting Coca Cola,

saw random cute statues,

saw crosswalk signs of men with hats,

ate ice cream burgers,

saw mushroom looking mascots,

stayed in a minuscule hotel room,

and were warned about the lack of "toirets."

Any guesses? 

We went to Tokyo!

Why? Why not! 

We got a hankering to go to Tokyo, so we did. It was a long time coming, in that we had originally planned to go in April 2011, but with the earthquakes and tsunamis and all it felt wrong to go and party while the country was just trying to put theirs lives back together. So we postponed our trip.

So here's a sampling of the things TC and I did.

Our first stop was to go to the Sony showroom.

We happened upon an Oktoberfest, which was random.

We went to the Imperial Palace grounds.

We headed to Akihabara, headquarters of anime and tech fans.

And it was in Akihabara that we met the Colonel. I was surprised at his wee beady eyes.

We ate ramen in our hotel room.

One day we took the train down to Kamakura, a quaint town with a plethora of gorgeous temples.

I fell in love with the lucky cat, so when I saw a statue I had to have my picture taken next to it. 

 We saw the Great Buddah there. 

Do I look happy?

Then we took the train to Yokohama in the hopes of riding an awesome roller coaster, but it was closed.

We went to Harajuku,

and we saw crazy costumes there.

At the gate of the Meiji Jingu there was a sign forbidding cats, which you know made me giggle.

We also took a little trip out to Nakano, where we read there was a great selection of anime stuff (we are kind of anime geeks).

We took the train everywhere, which was crowded pretty much no matter the time of day or day of the week.

We went to Sensoji,

And saw beautiful things.

We saw the Tokyo Sky Tree.

We got drinks from a variety of vending machines.

We caught a glimpse of Sony Entertainment building that was closed since it was a Saturday.

We ate donuts.

We went to Nippori Textile Town, and I was so excited I could hardly open my eyes. I did buy some fantastic fabric there. The selection of stores was beyond amazing, and the selection of fabrics and sewing accouterments made my head spin. If fabric wasn't so heavy...

TC and I in front of the Tokyo LDS Temple.

Here are some of the interesting signs we saw. 

Please note the crow in the sky.

So what's the verdict? Tokyo was awesome. We had a great time! And we love all things Japan. So, yay!

Monday, August 13, 2012


I haven't written in a while, even though I promised awesomeness. Right after my last post, something  not awesome happened in The Compensator family, hence the moment of silence. Since there's no easy way to say this, here it is: TC's mother, Beatriz, passed away. She battled multiple myeloma for five years, and now her battle is over.

Death is bittersweet. It's indescribably difficult for those of us left behind. We miss her and will until we see her again on the other side. But the sweet side of it is that her pain is over and she's moved on to the next step in life. We have the assurance that she is happy now and that we will see her again, which makes coping easier. And we know she's with loved ones that she lost, like her parents. What a sweet comfort that is!

I thought it would be fitting to honor the woman who raised my husband.

Beatriz was a teenager she found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and began attending. Before she was even baptized as a member she had a calling (assignment) that she fulfilled faithfully. This is the kind of woman she was. Whatever assignment she had, whether in the Church, or in her community, she worked hard.

This is the same woman who had three babies in less than three years, all while her husband was in medical school.

TC and his Mami.

This woman had the courage to urge her husband to leave their native Argentina to complete a fellowship in the United States, even though she spoke very little English. With three babies in tow (the oldest, TC, only 2), she moved her little family, and lived in a foreign country for four years. This was before the day of e-mail, voip, Facebook, and all instant ways to communicate across hemispheres, yet she moved forward fearlessly. She had the foresight to see that sacrifices now bring blessings later, and she passed that along to her children.

Beatriz in the USA as a young mother.

It was this beautiful woman who spent her life serving others, whether extended family members who were ill and lived with her for a time, church members who she served in her various assignments, ancestors she served by doing genealogy, orphan children that she cared for, and her own children that she made countless sacrifices for. I've heard story after story of her staying up until the wee hours of the morning to help a child finish a school project just to get up a few hours later to prepare breakfast and make sure everyone's clothes were ironed.

Beautiful covered in laundry.

It was this talented woman who sewed for her children, taught Argentinian folk dance, was a great photographer and had talent for art and any craft.

But to describe Beatriz without mentioning her tenacity in the face of challenges would be to fail to describe her at all. She was a spitfire who had no problem speaking her mind, standing up for what she believed in, and defending her loved ones. She was fierce and didn't care what others thought of her, as long as she knew she was doing what's right.

Beatriz in one of her dance costumes.

Just with what I've written, you can likely see how I could love this woman. But wait, it gets better. When I joined this family 12 years ago, it was this beautiful woman who took me in as one of her own "chicos." My Argentinian "Mami" considered me one of her own, and she loved me like she had raised me herself. The first time I traveled to Argentina I was stressed beyond belief; I was worried about meeting the majority of my in-laws for the first time, I was worried about my inability to communicate beyond "Hola" and "Donde esta el baƱo?", I was worried about my inherent shyness, that I would be scared frozen unable to speak at all, and that I just wouldn't be good enough in the eyes of my in-laws for my new husband. Beatriz eased all of those worries for me. She went out of her way to love me and accept me. 

The two of us on Temple Square in 2005.

She was so kind, didn't judge me for being too lame to speak Spanish, somehow understood what I meant when I did try, and made sure I knew that I was part of her family.

Beatriz with her two youngest daughters.

And that's how she was with all of her children. We could call her with any problem, any complaint, and she would be on our side, no matter how silly we were being. No questions asked, she was our ally. So it's only natural that I will miss having an ally, a friend, a Mami, and beautiful, talented woman to look up to. 

We love you Beatriz, and are looking forward to when we get to see you again.

love, Gordita and The Compensator