Okonomiyaki, Charcoal Chocolate Ice Cream, and Orange Juice- A Cautionary Tale


After a LONG day of walking all over Kyoto, we were ready to look for a place to eat dinner. We went on a hunt for okonomiyaki, on a recommendation from a friend. Searching for restaurants always takes forever for us. We usually have the stroller, so restaurants on an upper floor without an elevator are out, and it is just hard to pick a restaurant in an unfamiliar place! We located several okonomiyaki restaurants close to us on Google maps, and they were closed when we tried to find them. Finally, we walked up to a group of restaurants, and a guy tried to get us to go in, and we said “Okonomiyaki” and they pointed us down the street and said “Donguri!” We came to this doorway with flags, which led down this long, dark, wet hallway. At the end of the hall, was an okonomiyaki restaurant! We found it! I’m still not sure why the hallway was wet…IMG_9498

IMG_9495During our search for a restaurant, Landon fell asleep so we carried him to our seats and he slept through our meal. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made with a base of cabbage, flour and eggs. Other proteins and veggies can be mixed into the batter, and then it is topped with either spicy or BBQ-type sauce. The kitchen is open, so we saw the chef making our pancake on a giant griddle. Then, when it was almost done, a server brought our pancakes over to the griddle at our table. Out of all of the things we ordered, we loved the udon noodles the most. The pancakes were a little tasteless without sauce, but still a fun, new food item to try.



Owen was awake for our whole meal, and keeping him away from the piping hot griddle was exhausting! The pancakes took at least a half hour to cook, and we were burning our mouths trying to eat them as fast as possible before Owen completely melted down. Finally, we just had to call it and take the rest of our food with us. We had ordered Landon an orange juice, so we woke him up to have him drink his juice before we left. Let’s flash back to the last thing Landon ate. In the afternoon, we had charcoal chocolate ice cream at the park. This ice cream was black. Landon loved it. IMG_9366

Back to dinner. He woke up and sucked down a cup of orange juice really fast. He was still groggy and came out to the entryway of the restaurant and sat down. Then, he puked up black liquid all over the entryway. This was the first time I’ve ever had to clean up puke in public, and I was frantically trying to clean everything up with a few diaper wipes. The staff came with some towels and that helped a little. I’m sure they were afraid he had the plague or something since his puke was pure black!

Right before the “incident”

He seemed fine afterwards, so we put him in the stroller and headed back to our Airbnb. We bought him some electrolyte drink and had him take small sips. I figured that over the course of our long walk in the hot weather, he had a little heat exhaustion and was dehydrated. Other theories I had is that he drank his orange juice too fast, or that the charcoal in the ice cream upset his stomach when combined with orange juice. He made it the whole subway ride back to where we were staying, although he did seem a little pale/green on the way. At the doorway of our Airbnb, as soon as he stood up from the stroller, he threw up everything else that was in his stomach. It was heartbreaking. We cleaned him up, had him drink small sips of water, and put him to bed. Instead of relaxing after a long day of sight-seeing, I was trying to clean black vomit off of our front porch with diaper wipes and bowls of water after putting the kids to bed! Diaper wipes for the win!

Front door of the restaurant

Later, when Owen threw up a few days later, I realized that Landon just picked up a stomach bug at some point and passed it along to all of us. Austin and I didn’t throw up, but we felt nauseous for a whole week. Stomach bugs are nasty. Why did I feel the need to share this with all of you? We have traveled to amazing places, and seen awesome things. However, traveling with kids is not always sunshine and rainbows. Along with our own fatigue from a long day, we have to then worry about the welfare of two little people as well. Family travel is so worth it for all the experiences that we share together, but it is also exhausting and a lot of work!


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