Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Two posers in Sapporo Art Park

I started my summer vacation off right, and went on my first summer holiday of the season. The heat was really starting to get to me, so I headed up to see Mikaly up in Hokkaido. We had booked it months and months in advance, and I was so excited to see him! I was very lucky, and got to spend my Friday night with my Josh. He was such a sweetie, and due to my early morning flight, we ended up staying in a nice hotel in Rinku Town. It was kinda like a shopping mall, but everything was closed, and we ended up eating classy combini dinner in the hotel room (which was super fun!) In the morning, he got up, took me to the airport and off I went for my flight! I met Mikaly at Sapporo station, and I was pleased to say that I remembered my way around. I love how going and spending a few days in one place can make you remember your way around for years after. Last time I saw Mikaly, he didnt have a camera, but since, he had aquired a nice old fashioned camera. I convinced him that he needed some Lomo style camera film - which is really in in Japan right now. We did some research on the iPads in the Big Camera store, and discovered a very cool place which was an Art Park. We took a subway, and then a bus out to the suburbs. Hokkaido always seems to remind me of Sweden or Norway, and so very different than the rest of Japan! Once we made it to the park, we spent hours taking photos all over the park and with all sorts of poses and with all sorts of sculptures. I found that I am quite partial to really modern ones! There were lots of stainless steel ones, and some stone ones, and even a stone tepee which was huge! Some of them were made to look like people, and Mikaly especially enjoyed posing with them! He is just as much of a poser as me, and is always kind enough to take photos of me if I take photos of him! And he has an eye for photos! His camera wasnt digital so we really worked at trying to set up the shots!I think possibly the coolest part about the entire park was a little museum which looked like a building you might find in Norway. Actually, we did see some just like it there when we visited! The siding of the walls were red, which went perfectly with my red cardigan and Mikaly's red shorts! He taught me the art of being very serious in photos, with quite comic results!

Sunflowers in Tokusa

Summer vacation was beginning soon! It was the start of long, lonely days in the office. It was starting to get so hot, and they didnt start turning on the AC till it was 30 degrees! My last day at school was at my favourite visit school, up in the mountains. When I had arrived a year ago, the sunflowers were tall and beautiful. Now they are starting to get bigger, and I just had to go take a photo. I didnt have my normal camera with me, so these were iPad photos!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Sunrise over Osaka at 30,000 feet

Josh and I flew home together, which was nice, and much nicer than flying to Hong Kong seperately. I slept a long time, which was really nice, as our flight left at about half past midnight. I woke up just in time for landing, and got to see the beautiful sunrise over the cloudy city of Osaka. I loved how the colours blended together. I often wish I could do a time lapse of the sky as I fly, but I always worry about getting into trouble with the flight attendants! It was nice to spend the Monday back at Josh's sleeping again, because we were so tired from the flight!

Meeting the Characters

I remember the last time I went to Disney Land in Hong Kong, I went with Mummy and Daddy and Shelby and we met Mickey Mouse and had a cute little photo taken, which I still love to this day. We were very lucky that Disney wasnt very busy, and there was an area inside of Fantasy Land where you could meet all the characters. We met Minnie, and Josh is such a trooper - he made the heart shape when I asked. Thankfully we are in Asia, and it's so normal. But still, for him to do it made me smile. He also posed with Goofy for an adorable photo! The new section of the park, which is called Grizzly Gulch, they were having a kind of special show for Mickey and Minnie. Josh agreed to stand in the sun for about 20 minutes. It was the shortest line to see Mickey and Minnie I've ever seen! But it did seem a heck of a lot longer in the sun! I was pretty sure we were going to die of heatstroke or sun stroke, but soon, Mickey and Minnie came out in their new outfits! They were super cute, and I felt sorry for the people in the costumes, but I was estatic to finally have a picture with them! In the end I bought the photo of me and Josh with both Minnie (at Fantasy Land) and Mickey and Minnie at the Opening of Grizzly Gulch. A great reminder of our lovely trip!

Fantasy Land

Fantasy land is generally the area for the little kids, but as the Hong Kong Disney isnt very big, it was easy enough to go through it. I actually think that because of all the little kids, that was the busiest section! We made sure to pose with the sign at the entrance, which I really liked because it was in English and Chinese.The sun was really very hot, actually, we were both about to die, so it was a good time to go inside, and thankfully, then we found a great show, Fantasia. I actually have never seen it before, but Josh assured me it was good! The 3D thing has really taken off, and this was no different. The best thing was, it was made up of all of my favourite films, the Lion King, Ariel and all sorts of nice show tunes. Josh and I sang the whole way through!I have always wanted to ride the Dumbo elephants, but I never get to...a - Im too old, and b - the line is always so long! I can see why they are popular! I love that they have an elephant just so that you can sit and pose in it...that is just so Japanese!

Josh and my Jelly!

Toy Land

The Opening of Grizzly Gulch

Tomorrow Land

A very empty Main Street USA

Hong Kong Disney with my Man

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Being weird and adorable

The boys at the Outback


On the Metro

Sky Scrapers in Hong Kong

I jetted off to Hong Kong on Friday. I had to leave work a little early, and head up over to Kansai airport. I was flying on the super cute, brand new airline called Peach. It's got low fares, and the best thing is that most things associated with it are pink! I had quite a late flight, and then I had to get from the airport to the hotel via taxi. Needless to say, I was pretty knackered, but I was so excited to see Josh. I can't begin to describe how happy I was to see him after so long! I promptly ate brownie cake (Mrs. Fields) and then went to sleep. In the morning, we went and met the boy's tailor, and then went for dim sum. David (Josh's brother) ordered waaaaaayyy to much, but it was so yummy none the less.We then headed out to go to David's ship. He is in the Navy and they were having a few days in Hong Kong. I was lucky enough that he had it Ok'd for me to come aboard! On the way there, we walked from the restaurant to the metro station, I was stopping every thirty seconds to take some snapshots of the skyscrapers. I prefer looking at them from afar, but some of these I took in a taxi later, or from the ship. It's pretty much the big thing about Hong Kong, the sky scrapers all along the harbour. I think theyre really pretty, and some of them are real architectural masterpieces. I really didn't see so much in terms of touristy stuff in Hong Kong, but I saw plenty of beautiful sky scrapers. They were beautiful in the afternoon light and at night all lit up too!

Saying goodbye to the O'Briens

Last Monday was Elizabeth's last day in Hagi. Carl had already left about 2 months earlier, and I had gotten to see him in Nara a few times since he moved up there. However, Carl and Elizabeth were pretty miserable apart, and she was more than pleased to be leaving and heading up north to live with him again. I was sad to see her go, but it was nice that all her friends came out to say goodbye to her at the bus station!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A stop at Chomonkyo Gorge

After dropping Sarah off, and our quick photo at the Stargate, we headed north towards Hagi. Amy mentioned that Chomonkyo was someplace she hadn't done while she lived in Hagi, and so we figured, since she was leaving, we might as well go see it. So off we went, on a slight detour, but an exciting one. We got there, and decided to walk until we got tired. The path along the river is mainly under the shade, which was lovely since it was so hot. Everyone said "hello" to us as we walked, as walkers do, and it was just such a nice experience. I wish my photos were better to show you how amazingly beautiful it was! There were lots of bugs, but also lots of pretty trees, and even a baby frog on the railing! We stopped along the river quite often, as there were steps which went down to the river. It was much bigger than I thought and had a lot of white water and big boulders. I think we decided that it probably wasn't suitable for white water rafting, sadly! Amy had brought along her recorder, so we listened to her lovely music on the riverbanks and amused ourself singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs! It was so much fun!

I found a Stargate!

When I was back at University, I used to watch Stargate. While it was a little scary (isn't everything to me?) I did love the circlular gates which appeared in the middle of unknown lands. So when I first came down to Hofu in August, I spotted it, but it was dark. And now, after dropping Sarah off, I finally had the oppourtunity to have my photo in the very cool Stargate....I mean clock....I don't have a clue how you would tell the time on the clock, but I like it none the less. And even though people looked at me strangely, I was still very very excited about this picture!

The ferry home

After heading to bed at quite a reasonable time, Sunday came way too soon. I literally just had time for a shower and some breakfast bars before I headed off on the ferry. Wayne had kindly agreed to drive Amy, Sarah and me home, so I wasn't arguing! Quite a lot of people did the same and headed out on the 9am ferry. The day before had been only partially sunny so I was astounded with how beautiful the island looked as we pulled away from it!

Who gave us fireworks?!

After our time at the beach, we headed back to the cabins, quite a few people showered, and we all rebug-sprayed. It was pretty crazy with all the mosquitoes! I really, really dislike mosquitoes! I was really excited because I was partially in charge of starting the barbeques with Bill and a friend of his. I really enjoyed getting to send stuff alight, and learn how to get the coals alight and stuff. It was quite fun learning guy things! I suuppose it will come in useful one day! Quite a lot of people (me included) had the ingenious idea and bought fireworks. After my time in Hagi with fireworks, I was excited for the sparklers! I have discovered that they sell fireworks everywhere in Japan, from baby sparklers all the way up to the big fireworks! Some people also brought much bigger fireworks, and rockets and such. I am terrified of big fireworks, but what scared me more was how drunk people were, hanging out right near the fireworks! I really think we all should have stood much farther back! But I did enjoy taking photos of Yoko (who was crazy about fireworks!) and Jessica and Ziggy making pretty shapes with their sparklers! Jessica was most excited about making a star, so I tried my hardest to get a good shot of it!