Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stuck in Thailand

Well, as you have probably heard on the news... there is a lot going on in Thailand at the moment with the protests. We were scheduled to fly out of Bangkok, but that won't be happening now.

We're looking at our options...most involve very long bus rides. Either we get bused to a military base and wait in a cue to fly out of there or take a bus down into Malaysia. Should be more of an adventure I think.

This trip has been amazing. We've really enjoyed it here and though it's rained off and on--it's stayed really warm. The water is as clear as I could have ever imagined water to be. Pictures coming eventually ;) hopefully we can make it back to Japan soon and safely.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thailand ni ikimasu

Much excitement coming up so there will be a bit (more) of a lag in posting and then I should be posting pictures from our upcoming trip to Thailand (yay, yay!) not too long from now ;)

It was a relatively last-minute booking, and we wanted to go to another country while we're out here in Japan, so Thailand it is :) We'll be looking forward to summer weather and clear water...hopefully there won't be too much rain--that is a little unpredictable for this time of year.

Overview of lately--mostly working and relaxing. Our time is winding down here in Japan and now we're down to only a handful of weekends before we're headed back to the states. We're getting more and more excited about that too. --Lots of new things happening when we get back--I'll likely start a completely new blog separate from this one about our "lives in the U.S." but haven't decided yet.

Keep a look-out for coming pics, but expect a bit of a lag. I may still post before we leave--I'll see what happens.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Roppongi Hills

Chris and I headed over to Roppongi Hills Sunday afternoon. A little rainy and cold--but we found some really nice shops to do some window-shopping and a cafe with the best juice ever. It was a guava-peach type combo which we may never come across again, but absolutely amazing juice (and neither of us have ever felt that way about a juice--of all things). We walked around quite a bit, then ate dinner at a really nice restaurant called "Botanica." It was a date night for us.

spider sculpture of some sort

Awwwe...I took many more pics... (animal shop)
Just so cute

outside of the shopping center
(many shopping centers in Japan are architecturally pretty amazing)

right outside the shopping center was a field of blue and white lights
sooo beautiful--never seen anything like it

we had to wait about 30 min for the restaurant to open
Chris playing the game "Risk" on his ipod

1st course -- really good salad

[skipped pictures of the courses in-between]

last course -- dessert

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kyoto on Sunday

incense sticks to place

large Buddha-like statue

interesting way the flowers grow

zen garden

walking through an older area in Kyoto
Maiko girls -- notice the look the girl on the left is giving Chris (he's to the left of me)

more Maiko girls and their protectors (or stalkers ;) )

our lunch -- I am going to miss the variety of items you get with these types of dishes

beautiful hills


traditional singing and dancing on boats in the river

really cool bamboo walkway (it was darker than the picture portrays)
I changed the contrast of the picture and brightened it up

really nice small shops -- a lot of pottery and home-made looking goods

a random temple/garden we went to...really beautiful moss and trees

I love this picture--it almost doesn't look real.
The pinkish-red color you see in the middle is
the red leaves from trees behind this garden.

You can find these types of gardens many many places in Japan--
Many of these gardens are in random neighborhoods in
empty plots of land between houses.
I wonder if this is how the U.S. will eventually become--each neighborhood
taking on a plot of land to grow garden.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

OZ cafe and Kyoto

Friday night at OZ Cafe - Keith's I'm-going-back-t0-the -U.S. party
Saturday pictures: Chris and I visiting Kyoto :)

one of the gates into the Imperial Palace grounds

walls of the Imperial Palace

Chris took this picture -- also Imperial Palace grounds

this cat looks very very similar to 2 different cats I took pictures of:
a cat in Rome, another cat in Tuscany
These pictures can be found in the Rome and Tuscany videos
(look back to a previous Italy post for the links)

I rung this very hard...hehe...

I really surprised the employee-onlooker with how hard I hit it

Chris gave it a tap ;)

Kinkakuji -- tourists vying for the best position to take a picture