Oh, Belize!

Oh, Belize!

I don’t Belize in those whale tales. AKA “You better Belize it,” and “Conch Frittahs!” Early Saturday morning I was off to the Miami airport to meet Sam for our flight to Belize City where we’d take an island hopper to Placencia. Belize it or not, we’ve not only been on a smaller plane than this, but Sam has flown it! (and then another time we jumped out the back!) After checking in at Placencia we walked up the street…

Read More Read More

Miami

Miami

On Saturday, April 13th, Sam drove me to LAX to begin my first trip to Florida. My flight was delayed, so I had to wait a few extra hours to see what drives Florida Man so crazy. When I got to Miami Beach I met my friends, B and C, who were generous enough to let me stay at their condo for the following week, and went to a late dinner at a local place next to the harbor. On…

Read More Read More

Sacred Valley + Machu Picchu

Sacred Valley + Machu Picchu

Our flight to Cusco was uneventful. We had heard that it was the “most dangerous flight in the world,” but after arriving we still don’t see why. Yes, you fly over mountains and over the city itself, but this is no more dangerous than Burbank. Then again… Our pre-arranged driver to Ollantaytambo showed up almost an hour late, even though we had agreed to pay $20 extra to have him meet us at the airport, which is normally not included…

Read More Read More

Lima

Lima

On Saturday morning we took an Uber to LAX to board a LATAM flight to Lima. No, mom, not Lima, Ohio. Lima, Peru. Somewhere off the coast of Mexico, we watched a stunning sunset over the Pacific. We landed shortly after midnight, Sunday. A driver was waiting. Why did we have a driver, you ask; are we special? Sam is; the Peru trip came out of nowhere a few weeks ago after Sam responded to outreach from the Peru Trade Office about…

Read More Read More

Sapporo

Sapporo

After checking in at our Sapporo hotel (Gracery, across the street from the station) we visited the huge food market adjacent to (or in?) the train station before hopping a few subway trains across town to find the famous Genghis Kahn BBQ restaurant for Jingisukan. beautiful, clean (char)coal! Remember what I said about that Ferris Wheel requirement? After dinner we went to the JR Tower observatory next to our hotel. These folks prefer their glowing lights a little closer, thank you!…

Read More Read More

Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu

Another few trains and a bus ride later we arrived in Noboribetsu, also known as “Demon City,” which welcomes you with a big angry club-wielding demon at the train station. A good dentist could really clean up in this town. On the bus ride to the hotel we went past a giant blue demon, like Paul Bunyan’s evil brother at a Duke game. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of that, but he appeared again later in the…

Read More Read More

Hakodate

Hakodate

On Tuesday morning the family assembled for a long three train journey to Hokkaido. At our first destination, Hakodate, we visited the cape just as the sun started to set behind Mt. Hakodate. I disappeared to take this picture as the cabs waited for us. I could hear Sam yelling for me, but she couldn’t see me. A few minutes later the rest of the Fam realized what the view looked like on the western side of the cape and…

Read More Read More

Tokyo

Tokyo

On Sunday we took a Shinkansen from Odawara to Tokyo to meet up with Sam’s family. Both her sisters and their husbands joined us as well as her mother and her brother-in-law’s mother for the rest of the trip. Her sister booked us all rooms in the Shinjuku Prince hotel, a high-rise not far from the subway station and across the street from the bustling core of Shinjuku – the densest part of Japan. After the family assembled in late…

Read More Read More

Kyoto

Kyoto

On Tuesday morning we started our JR passes and took the express to Kyoto. On the express, the ride is only about twenty minutes, surprisingly quick. After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we walked to Nishiki Market for lunch. Interesting to look at, but maybe not to actually eat. Unless your name is Sommarat. We were a little bit frustrated because we were refused seats at a few restaurants (apparently for being foreigners) and then were served rather…

Read More Read More

Hakone

Hakone

Saturday we took a Shinkansen to Odawara. I can’t stress enough how wonderful the Shinkansen experience is. It’s insane that we do not have this option for travel in America. I travel to Oakland for work often and I’d much prefer to take a high-speed train than take a southwest flight.  Remove the time of checking in at the airport, boarding, deplaning, etc. and the train would actually be faster (if we can make them as fast as Japan does). After…

Read More Read More