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Archive for the category “Creativity on the road and abraod”

Road Trip!

It’ been awhile since I’ve posted. Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to post anything. Right now both kids are asleep in their respective beds, which is a huge accomplishment for me, and I have time to actually post something. This past weekend was our first road trip as a foursome. We travelled about seven hours south to Crescent City, CA with a crying baby, so it inevitably turned into an eight-hour trip. Ugh! Our toddler did remarkably well considering he was confined to a hard seat without much leg room. The crying baby situation meant we had to stop often so that also helped get our toddler some much-needed running time. I also had to get a bit creative with games as I was wedged in between two car seats in the back for most of the trip ,but whatever works to keep the kids happy and the adults sane.

Once we arrived at our destination all was good. I was on a picture-taking spree and had lots of fun playing around with lighting and subjects. Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend. Enjoy!

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Nostalgia at its best

For some reason the start of baseball’s World Series, particularly this year with the SF Giants playing, really reminded me of our trip to Japan in 2010. We were on our last day or so there when the games started and I remember sitting in a restaurant at the Tokyo train station eating breakfast and watching the game on TV. Of course that got me thinking about the rest of the trip and what an amazing country Japan is. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the start of our trip and 14 weeks when we returned. The first half I had some nausea, and a couple of really embarrassing moments, but everyone was very gracious and kind. So, I thought I’d walk down memory lane with some of my favorite pictures. On this trip we crisscrossed the country trying to see as much as we could. I think we did a pretty good job for our first trip.

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Tokyo from our hotel very small hotel room.

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I saw these berries while walking around Kyoto. If someone knows what plant this is, please tell me because I want it!

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The Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, which was one of our favorite places.

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The previous night we were wandering around the Gion district hoping to catch a glimpse of a geisha. The next day while traveling down the philosopher’s path, we were in luck!

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This is at the Adachi gardens in Western Japan near Matsue. It has been ranked the number one garden in Japan for several years and it was stunning.

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Matsue is known for its brilliant sunsets, and event though it was cloudy, it was very beautiful.

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The floating Tori on the island of Miyajima. We went here after touring around Hiroshima. There was a street festival on the way to the ferry that was highly entertaining.

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We stopped off in Iwakuni on our way down to Beppu to view this bridge and eat some lunch. Historically this bridge divided the town between the samurai class and everyone else. The construction of the bridge was very interesting and it’s all wood.

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A bath house in Yudanaka, one of our favorite destinations.

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The outdoor hot spring at our inn in Yudanaka. I highly recommend staying at inns and ordering their dinners, because the food was amazing and this bath was one of the best.

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Jigokudani Snow Monkeys Park. It is about as close to a wild living situation you can get as they leave every night for the forest and come back to warm up in the hot springs during the day. I love monkeys so this was probably my favorite day. It was fascinating and if they would have let me hug them I would have. However, they are pretty feisty and I was pregnant, so I kept my distance, but I could have spent days there.

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Ikaho which is known for its rust colored water. Here and Beppu were the only two places that we felt that the general population wasn’t as friendly. Maybe they weren’t used to seeing tourist, I don’t know, but it was an interesting spot.

The Pacific Ocean

I’ll admit I’m not the biggest beach fan. All that sand that stays with you for days and you can’t get rid of drives me crazy. However, I loved the beach as a kid and this time I wasn’t as annoyed by the sand as I have in the past. The beach was almost deserted, it was cloudy and cool, but not too windy and the water was cool, but not frigid. It was also my son’s first time at the beach and he had a blast. He was thoroughly entertained with digging and moving the sand into a bucket. He also loved the water, maybe a bit too much, as we had to move him away from the tide a couple of times. All in all, it was a successful trip and I would go back to the beach again.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful scenery.

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The following day, which was actually more sunny, we went to the Hatfield Marine Science Center which is owned and operated by Oregon State University (go Beavers!). They had some interesting interactive displays discussing their ongoing marine research, but they also had aquariums and tide pools.

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A Happy Anniversary

In October of 2010 we took our first overseas trip together to Japan. It was one of the best trips ever! I have wanted to travel to Japan for years and it was everything I thought it would be and more. It was one of the friendliest, cleanest, and safest places I have ever been. Not to mention that everywhere you turned there was something interesting, beautiful and creative.

During our travels we ended up in Nara, which, according to the travel book, had a very good sake shop which offered tastings. We put in on our list and found the place.
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The tasting menu

Since I was three months pregnant at the time I was the designated picture taker. It must have been good because my husband still raves about it.

 

Memorial weekend my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. The plan was the break open the bottle of sake we bought and drink to our future, but as usual, our best laid plans didn’t happen and we ended up drinking the sake two weeks later. It was worth the wait. It was unlike any sake I’ve ever tasted. This particular one was made from “double cherry blossoms”. We were told that you can only get it in Nara. It was fruity, crisp and delicious!

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The pottery we bought on our way to Miyajima Island from a man who was making it at a street fair.

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It was amazing to watch him work

We both miss Japan and want to go back. For now, however, we’ll have to settle for an excellent bottle of sake and our memories.

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