So here we go...
Yesterday at 5 in the morning some bell/alarm starts going off and I am the last one still in bed - everyone else had been up for hours. I thought it was the washing machine or some other appliance playing it's daily tune announcing the cycle is over - but no - then some Japanese woman starts talking and she goes on for some time. Following her announcement, somebody says about 5 words in English and then it just cuts off. I then remember that I thought I had heard quite a few fire engines a few moments ago...I quickly got out of bed. Jack comes in and says, "I think the building is on fire (we are on the 22nd floor)! Get the passports and get out!" The kids start going crazy - not upset - just excited crazy! We go out into the hall and there are a bunch of firefighters at our neighbors door. We learn in the lobby that some other American's washer/dryer started sparking and smoking. Everything was fine and under control, but apparently there were a lot of fire engines and there were people everywhere for sometime. I guess that's a good thing - they take there smokin' appliances very seriously. So, I sat and chatted with a woman over the complimentary coffee and returned to the room to get the kids off to school.
It's around 3 PM today and I am on the computer because the kids are at school and Connor is catching up on some sleep on the couch...when the ground beneath my feet starts vibrating! I thought - really - no way, we just got here. I started to panic a bit, snagged Connor off the couch and went out to the lobby. All 3 people at reception were simply going about their business - so I figured maybe it was nothing. Jack calls later and said, "Did you feel the earthquake?" The kids were all there by that time, so I tried not to sound alarmed. Jack said apparently it was a bigger one than normal. And what is normal?!?