In the city

Tokyo is a big city is an understatement. I’m not really a city person though I’m living in one in China at the moment. Tokyo is made up of massive buildings that seem to go on forever. We have not scratched the surface there, but this was our second glimpse. It’s an expensive place, but there is a good website called : www.tokyocheapo.com   I used their information on both my visits. We were able to get a 24 hour subway pass though for a pretty good deal. We allowed my 16 year old to choose our city itinerary and it was fine. We travel a fair amount so I rarely get set on must see stuff cause there is stuff to see everywhere. I think you could really enjoy some amazing food there too if you want. We really just end up eating where we are when we get hungry. We had watched some YouTube people showing us what to eat in Harajuku so we planned that. We had ice cream for breakfast, but I couldn’t wash that down with more crazy sweets like they do so that was the extent of our wild foray into YouTube recommendations.

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Almost 4 years after our first trip….

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The locals have some really fun whacky style. The pig hat was very popular. Japanese like to dress all the same in friend groups and wear the same hat. It was a normal sight to see a dozen boys and girls wearing the pig head or some other matching ears. Sooo funny and fun!!! ❤️

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They are celebrating 35 years of Disney Tokyo this year. ⭐️

218C4E0C-B684-4C02-A94A-69CBD7760F21we came back to Tokyo Disneyland/sea. We got some super sore feet from lines and saw a lot of tourists. I know social media has made tourism grow exponentially, but we were really surprised by the difference. When we were there in December 2014, there were about a dozen (max) of us white folk in the park that day. The other day, it was tourists from all over. AND LOTS OF THEM! It was so much more diverse. Was it social media or simply October? Maybe a bit of both. The crowds were doable by Disney standards, but sore feet are my worst enemy there. It seems that my feet do not enjoy standing in one spot. At ALL!

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First time ever on JAL. It was a very nice experience. A tasty lunch was provided on a short 2 1/2 hour flight. That hasn’t happened for me on a US carrier that I recall since the eighties. 

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Boat rides are a fun way to get off your feet. The lines are usually a bit shorter on the non-thrillers. 

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It’s not the best burger 🍔, but maybe the cutest. 

And then what???

You quit your job to travel the world and then what? My blog is about a pretty mundane subject, but the years of blogging have come and gone. I know (in a way you know strangers on Instagram) some people who have “sold it all” and have zero sponsors after a long time. They quit their jobs. They sold their homes.  They cashed in on the equity in their house; their furniture, their clothes, their doodads, to travel. It sounds crazy! Cause it is!!!!! I feel like I’m watching a train wreck. Maybe they’ll get famous and it will all be made right.  Not likely!  It took us years to get where we are with our not so perfect furniture, but good career. I realized early on I couldn’t sustain any momentum to do what it takes. I’m not going to hike Kilimanjaro one day and follow it us with something better the next week. It’s too much. We had a trip to Chile planned for this summer, but our career sent us to China. I could have done both. Nobody was stopping me, but me. It’s no piece of cake to do what moving entails. Nope. I don’t want to throw a first trip to South America into the mix. I’ve been trying to go for 20 years. It will be or it will not be.  I tried a thousand times to use my funds from my Aeromexico flights that were going to go unused to no avail. I learned that I’m not going to book flights with them ever again because of the headache. My seats were empty, but they won’t get another dime from me.  Lesson learned!

What have you bought that was worth the money?

Besides a national park pass, the best thing I’ve spent my money on is family pictures. We didn’t have engagement pictures done. We set a timer on an old fashioned nineties camera on a hike and went with those. I didn’t have a dime so I didn’t know better. When we went to Hawaii for the first time, I wanted to book a professional to take pictures of our family. It was one of my best purchases.

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2009 The North Shore

Night walker

It has been hot here. Sooo hot that I only walk after dark. When I finally go outside, I’m not sure what’s going on as it’s still so hot. Specifically, it had been about 100 with a high humidity factor, but it has improved. It’s gross. Growing up near the mountains, the days can be hot, but nightfall always brings some relief. There are a lot of obstacles here so walking can be hazardous even in the day. Car drivers that don’t care about pedestrians and don’t step on a pot hole. We figured that out before even getting the advice from some Canadians as we had already seen a car crashed into one. 

Beach 🏖

We live very near the ocean here in China, but it took us awhile to make it to the tourist beach. There is a huge Hilton resort, helicopter pad for tours, bikes and watercraft for rent. The usual beach vibe, but with a very Chinese flair. The water was warmish, but the waves were crazy.

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Golden Pebble Beach 

Walking around

This is China. We have gone on a lot of walks. It has been humid. This week I was reminded of our seemingly mundane walks in Oregon daily. How do you keep your kids fit in the summer? We walked a lot. It was free. We would bring some snacks and water and pretty much do it every day. We would usually do one small camp per kid per summer to learn a new skill of choice and swimming, but walking was always free. It could be seen as boring, but being outside moving your body is never a waste.  The mundane walks to the park to play quickly turned into teens growing up.

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About an hour from our new home. 

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Dalian, China 

Moved…

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Follow the signs! 

2018 has been a crazy year. We did NOT sell everything we owned after my blog made $5 to travel the world. We sold 3 vehicles. 2 were old clunkers and 1 was a dream truck 😥 and we are in the process of hopefully selling our home. We moved to China 2 weeks ago for a job transfer. It was not a fun process. It was not exciting as everyone expected it should be because it was our life and uprooting 2 teenagers and a tween was hard to do. I knew it would be an epic learning opportunity though so we came. (Also, we need a good job to float our family 🚤) I have lived abroad before. It is awesome. It is also really hard and is not a vacay. So on that 🎼, I will be walking in a more urban setting for awhile. I have already stated that walking is great wherever you are. I’ve walked many a dirt road as well as busy streets and sidewalks. It will be fun. It will be adventure. #China

Horse 🐎 riding in paradise. #Stanley #Idaho

I had a horse growing up. I’ve been bucked off before and had rides that were way too long for mere mortals. None of which was even with my life long rancher grandfather.  My grandfather was too kind to put someone through that and too old when I was around. Anyway as an adult, I haven’t been around horses much so my children have not either. On Saturday, the elements came together and we got on the last ride of the day as walk up customers. It was fun to be back in the saddle and also uncomfortable.  We had been trying to get to this area for awhile, but major travel got in the way and when we were home it was always some other weekend responsibility.

A lesser known place…

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City of Rocks, Idaho 

We recently went to visit family in Southern Utah. 2 daughters went to summer camp with my sister in law. We stayed busy, but didn’t get in tons of hiking time. There was a nice evening trip to Zion to hike. It was a much better time crowd wise not to get the day rush. On the return trip, we took a detour to a place my husband really likes. It was in his neck of the woods growing up and I had only gone once. It’s called City of Rocks. There is a lot of camping and it’s fairly remote, but not too far off the freeway. It’s a pretty place. There were rock climbers doing their thing. I don’t do that. I’m weak on my upper body and though I enjoyed rappelling once as a kid, I don’t really care for dangerous  heights and leg/hand scrapes.