Experiencing Ueno

Finding Hatchbori

Disovering Kyoto

Day 7: April 4, 2012 Wednesday

Melodrama aside, I was actually sad leaving Kyoto…and exhausted. As we neared Tokyo, we caught sight of Mt. Fuji – separated by a glass on a moving bullet train!

Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji – through the looking glass

The train pulled into Tokyo Station at 5pm. Back on familiar ground. We were back on familiar ground. How quickly the surroundings become comforting. We took the Keiyo line, switched to the Hibiya line and reached our next stop, Naka-okachimachi station. Taking the subway was no longer a scramble of coins and map. We were well-prepared.

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Discovering Kyoto


Day 5: April 2, 2012 Monday

The next morning, after breakfast, we leisurely packed up (after the clueless hotel clerk told us getting to Tokyo Station on the Keiyo Line takes less than 10 minutes) and strolled to the train station. We barely made the bullet train, Shinkansen Hikari 新幹線 ひかり (ran by the JR Rail), and didn’t find our seats (13 cars later) until 15 minutes after the train left the station. The trip was purchased through Japanican.


Shinkansen Bullet Train

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Finding Hatchobori

Day 1: March 29, 2012 Thursday

Our journey began from JFK and took us into the Land of the Rising Sun some 13-back-breaking-hours later.

At the airport, I could have sworn I saw Ninomiya-kun of Japanese boy band Arashi, and is known (to American audiences) for his portrayal as Private Saigo in the 2006 Letters from Iwo Jima and most recently Gantz.

Day 2: March 30, 2012 Friday

Maneuvering from Narita Airport to the heart of Tokyo was pretty simple and came with English instructions/speakers to aid. We took the Keisei Skyliner from Terminal 2 right into Ueno (40 minutes) without too much of a hiccup. However, once in the city, we were overwhelmed with signs, information in Japanese and the general bustle of the city. However, the people were helpful and understanding – even though it came down to signing.

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獨一無二 Unrivaled: Omen(s)

All we wanted was a nice, exciting yet relaxing get-a-way with a concert as an added cherry on the cake. What we got was a harrowing, panicked-filled, mad dash to mark the unofficial end of summer.

My DC (大姐), who was recently introduced to Show Luo, aka Alan Luo, aka Luo Zhi Xiang (羅志祥) aka xiao zhu 小豬 (little pig) via his infamous drama Hi! My Sweetheart (海派甜心) became quite obsessed with him. She went from watching his dramas, to his talk show to tracking down his concert. As luck would have had it, he was throwing his 舞法舞天之一萬零一夜 (Dance with Limits Encore World Live Tour) concert in the Borgata Hotel and Casino at Atlantic City on Labor Day. What’s more, she sold it to me as a two for the price of one concert! Show Luo AND Vanness Wu. Not really convinced, but had nothing better to do, I agreed to go with her, and convinced hubs that HE needed some vaca time.

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DC with my dc

As some of you may or may not know I addressed my OLDER sister as dua cheh, 大姐, a term of respect, from a younger sibling. She has become dc, in short, during conversations. And just this evening, we returned from DC aka District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, Obama land.

After reading Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol (earlier this year), we were moved to visit the city to see the sites mentioned in his novel. That valiant idea was flushed down the drain as quickly as it was born. Too much work. Too much walking. Too little time. Too many excuses.

We left for DC with dc on a road trip that took only 3.5 hours there on Thursday morning. But we doubled that time on the return, thanks to heavy traffic compounded by road works and accidents. One would imagine that the driver and navigator/map reader/exact change provider/road watcher would be the most exhausted of them lot (the back-seat driver was just entertaining herself at the back). But our four-legged critter, Jessie, was the most fatigued of us all, even though she slept the ENTIRE journey back. She crashed the moment we reached home. Must be hard work sleeping, getting waited on hand and foot, fanned, and relieved.
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Living life to the fullest


Our trip started with a stop in the city for a “quick” errand, which then took an hour. After battling the traffic, 30 minutes later, we were off. I though it was going to take 4 hours++ to get into Boston, MA. But we made it in 3 hours. No, we were not speeding. But tomtom took us on a “scenic route” with less traffic – 87 to 91 North to 84 to 95. Not too shabby.

Pulling into our hotel, Doubletree Bedford/Glen, 44 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford MA, we were pleasantly surprised by the sprawling lawn of flowers and greenery that welcomed us. Located in a quiet little turn of Middlesex Turnpike, this will definitely be a return hotel, if we ever came back again. Not only did they have a gorgeous garden (great for weddings and walking dogs), but they also have two tennis courts! Next time, if we have nothing to do around Boston, we will bring our racquets, and pick up balls for the rest of the trip.
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The Next Best Thing

Instead of Niagara Falls in New York, eight hours away from Jersey, we went to the Paterson Great Falls State Park in Jersey, just a mere 30 minutes away. The view wasn’t as spectacular, but I still got the spray of mist from the falls and the fear of heights came rushing back too. I did see a few people making out in the small park in front of children too, mind you. Joisey. It’s gone to the trash of Jersey Shore.
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Asians in Amish Land

Fri, May 7, 2010: Road trip

Tardiness and holidays always go hand-in-hand. Whenever we get time off, we always end up late and off schedule. We were supposed to leave early for our trip and I even woke up at 6 for it. But hubs didn’t budge from bed until close to 8, and even insisted on taking the car out for a wash before we left. We didn’t leave the house until 11-ish. Lucky for him, patience is my middle name, or so it seem just for that day.

By the time we reached our hotel in Lititz PA, a new Holiday Inn Express (HIE) on Crosswinds Drive, it was past 2 pm. After checking-in, and dropping off our bags, we drove straight into Lancaster, which was 15 minutes away. Even Jessie, our Cocker Spaniel, has her own travel bag, filled with her own food, bowl, brush, poop bags, shoes and rubber band. That’s my little princess for you. First stop, Central Market (downtown Lancaster) on Market Street. Jess came with us; she was excited but very confused with her new surrounding and probably the new smells. Seeing as most places didn’t allow dogs indoors, we had to take turns in going in and out of the stores.
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Art & the Art of Buying

The trip to Providence late last weekend / early this week wasn’t satisfying at all – artistically and acquisition wise. Food wasn’t to die for, as we had normal chain-store fare and mediocre Asian cuisine. It is worsened by horrible traffic and a lifeless town.

So, after realizing we had a day off for Good Friday, we began planning for the three day-week. It began with my morning trip to the dentist in Secaucus. After a quick filling, hubs dropped me off at Loehmann’s while he got an oil change for the Acura. The oil change turned into a transmission fluid change and more, as it always does, and my 1 hour at the store became 2.5 hours of flipping through EVERY rack, including the men’s non-sale items. In case you didn’t know, my philosophy in shopping is – why buy retail when you can buy bargain at SALE price.
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What do you do when you owe yourself a little time off… three months ago? You take it three months later. Three hours away from home. For three days.

As we worked our way through the work week, we were looking forward to our much-needed time off in Providence, RI. What’s in Providence? Nothing. Well, almost nothing.

The city is called the “Creative Capital.” That means lots of museum, parks and artsy-fartsy makings. (Cheh says, “That just means gay town.”) Nice relaxing time. OR we can always head to Foxwoods or Mohegan Suns in CT, or New London for seafood. Or sit in our hotel room with Jess and just veg out. There are endless possibilities.
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