Must Do Tokyo: Japanese Tea Ceremony

Going into this trip, one our of goals was to attend a Japanese tea ceremony. I have always associated Japan with the ritualized drinking of tea, and so I was keen to experience this while we were there. Due to our limited Japanese language skills, we had to aim for something that was accessible for tourists, so we made an appointment for a tea ceremony at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel. The website…

3 years ago

A Beautiful Afternoon at the Meiji Shrine

On day five of our Tokyo trip, Reva and I decided to split up for an afternoon of solo adventuring. She headed to an onsen (natural hot spring baths), and I went off to Meiji shrine. Most onsens do not allow people with tattoos to bathe due to fear of gangsters, so it wasn’t much of an option for me. So after…

3 years ago

Taking Trains + Missing Flights

We’ve just returned from eight nights in Tokyo, and we had a fantastic time! We were fortunate enough to be able to stay with family friends outside the city – they gave us a great insider’s view of the sights and transport around the city. We also have another friend who lives in the city and was able to meet with us for dinner one evening. She answered all our questions about cultural differences and…

3 years ago

Planning Meals + Eating In

John and I have come into a pretty great routine when it comes to meal planning. We’ve come into modest success limiting our restaurant trips, as well. We though it might be mildly interesting to share our weekly meal plans. For one, because food is kind of a big deal to us. We eat well, and we have high standards about the amount of veggies we…

3 years ago

Orientation: Brisbane CBD

Brisbane is a medium-big city. It’s smaller than Sydney and Melbourne, and most non-Aussies don’t really know it exists unless they have reason to (e.g., family, business, etc.). For comparison, its metro-area population is 2.3 million, and Atlanta’s is 5.3 million. Portland (OR), Pittsburgh, Orlando, and Charlotte all have populations around 2.3 million. Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD, or downtown) is small enough and flat enough that you can walk across it. It might actually…

3 years ago

An Afternoon at the Brisbane Kite Festival

John and I visited the Brisbane Kite Festival this past Sunday because, well, it seemed like a cool thing to do. And also because I helped coordinate the festival through my work with the Rotary Club of Carindale. My main contribution was overhauling their website. Even after a few meetings pertaining to the festival, I didn’t quite know what to expect. When we walked up, there were kites surrounding…

3 years ago

A Day in Springbrook

Springbrook National Park is located in the very southeast corner of Queensland. It’s just inland from the Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise. We drove our rental car up the windy, narrow, scary roads from the highway toward the National Park. While Surfer’s may be a paradise for those who love…

3 years ago

A Weekend in Byron Bay

We had our best weekend so far in Byron Bay. It was going to take a lot to top the mangrove-kayaking, but Byron Bay was spectacular. October is pretty much the perfect time of year for all sorts of active, fun things as well. It’s no longer winter, so the water is warm enough for kayaking and playing. The dolphins…

3 years ago

Orientation: Byron Bay

We rented a car to get to Byron Bay from Brisbane. Busses and other options exist, but they weren’t cost effective. It’s about a two-hour drive from Brisbane to the area, and the drive was fairly simple. We tossed around the idea of staying in the youth hostel, which is…

3 years ago

On Music

After much effort and lessons learned, I have finally finished and released the album! It’s called Holy Mountaintop, and you can find it for free here on Bandcamp.

This is my first album; it also happens to be my…

3 years ago