I'm a young professional at a university in Oregon State University who loves to read, hang out with my sweetheart, watch television, take walks, and write. I enjoy seeing new places.

Asia » Japan » Iwate » Kitakami May 6th 2012

It's 9:31 am in the morning on Sunday, May 6th in Japan-time and 5:30 PM on Saturday Pacific Standard Time (happy early birthday, Mom). I'm all packed except for the laptop. Anna is taking a quick shower and then I'm off to Kitakami station to get on the shinkansen. We didn't move fast enough this week to get reserved tickets, so I will be jumping on one of the three cars that are for unreserved passengers. After that trip, I will arrive in Ueno Station and head for the Narita Airport. It's been a great trip, although I know I didn't update as much as I should have. I will have to add photographs upon my return. See many of you soon.... read more

Asia » Japan » Iwate » Kitakami May 4th 2012

I've received some inquiries as to how I'm doing, and the answer is I'm very, very tired but it's been a great trip so far. I was at an onsen for two days, which was relaxing (especially loved the massage) but no Internet access. Yesterday I was out all day to look at areas of the coast -- very hard to see, but important to see as well. Anna's volunteer group HANDS went in a trip and we went to several temporary shops to support the economy of the coast. Today once Anna wakes up, I will be visiting the ATM (budgeted a withdrawal two days ago but didn't have time, so I literally have 1 yen (approximately 1.2 pennies) to my name right now. We plan on visiting Morioka today. They are having record rains ... read more

Asia » Japan » Iwate » Kitakami April 29th 2012

I was up early this morning (Monday Japan-time, still Sunday I believe old time) and wrote the longest entry about my arrival and the first morning I stayed here only to accidentally bump my laptop and closed the browser window. This laptop is extremely sensitive to small movements. I thought I might have saved a draft of the entry, but I hadn't. I was a bit encouraged when I found three comments on my blog, as the site never notified me anyone attempted to comment so that I could moderate them. Although I'm not doing an adequate job, at least some people might be enjoying the updates and photos. There is so much to share that I feel I'm not doing an adequate job, but instead I'll include a few more photographs of the time I ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ueno April 28th 2012

I have more to come, but here are some photos to make up for the lack of photographs so far of my Japan trip on this blog. There are lots of food photographs for those of you who said you wanted to live vicariously through my food experiences.... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ueno April 27th 2012

I have now officially been awake for 24 hours, but despite a general fatigue I seem to be feeling a second wind. Maybe it was the two dinners Singapore Airlines served me (one at what was 1 AM Pacific Standard Time) or all the juice and green tea I drank. Or perhaps it is a false rush of adrenaline I received after the frenzied race through Customs, buying my ticket to the Skyliner, and getting to the Skyliner. Now I'm kicking back a window seat in Car 8 of the Skyliner waiting for it to take off from the station. I look forward to seeing what the night view of Tokyo is from the Skyliner. All I have to do now is get to Ueno Station and find the McDonald's where I am meeting my sister. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Tokyo » Ueno April 27th 2012

It's almost 2:00 PM here at LAX as I'm writing these words, about an hour from boarding time on my flight on Singapore Airlines to Narita. I assumed with the length of layover I have here (over six hours) there would be plenty of time to update my travel blog. However, I haven't been able to access the Internet despite a tantalizing list of network names that seem to be some various of "LAX-WiFi." The flight to LAX on Alaskan Airlines was very pleasant. I sat in a window seat in row 23, right behind the wing. There were some great views taking off and landing. The middle seat was empty and my neighbor at the aisle quietly alternated sleeping and reading. I read the entire in flight magazine and then finished reading a free YA ... read more

Asia » Japan April 27th 2012

I wrote some blog posts when I didn't have access to the Internet and took some photographs, but I've been up for 25+ hours as of now without sleeping, so the short story is I'm safely lodged at my hotel room in Ueno with my sister.... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland April 26th 2012

This morning I got to sleep in a few minutes beyond 3:30 am as my mom was unaware I was relying on her as my alarm clock. We still managed to take off from my parents' house around 4:00 am. I didn't really feel like anything to eat or drink, but I took an allergy tablet. I was very grateful to have Mom drive me to the airport. I went to get my boarding pass and check my small suitcase. With the help of Mom, Dad, and Levi my suitcase is now packed in a similar way to one of those magic clown cars (with clothes and gifts, of course, not clowns). I can only hope that once I remove gifts in Japan that it will open up some space in case I want to buy ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Silverton April 26th 2012

Vacations that involve going somewhere are not just physical journeys about how we get from Point A to Point B and back again. It might be the English literature major in me, but I do believe that all physical journeys are also mental journeys. Do I feel prepared for this particular journey to Japan?--not yet, but I'm not sure if one ever is completely mentally and emotionally prepared to take a trip. I suppose in an ideal trip situation, the rest of our lives (work, chores) would all fall away and we could focus our sole attention on preparing our minds for our trip. I've never really found the rest of the world to fall away in this convenient manner. I'm just now trying to forget all the stress of trying to complete as much as ... read more

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