Final Day Freelancing | JAPAN DAY 4

No schedule, no problem.  A later breakfast around 9, we enjoyed the wonderful pastries the Hyatt Regency bakes. A short walk up the street lead us to a little Shinto shrine.  Deserted except for the few elderly Japanese preparing for an upcoming festival, we were able to feel the full effect of the serenity of…

Nishiki and Nara | JAPAN DAY 3

If you want your senses to be overwhelmed, go to Nishiki market.  A tiny maze of alleys, this market is chalk full of little stalls hawking goodies from fish to tea to fans.  In one place the smell of squid and sea will fill your nose, but one step to the left and you’ll sniff…

A Royal Affair | JAPAN DAY 2

Japan knows how to do pastry right.  Our first morning, our hotel breakfast included fresh croissants.  Their buttery goodness almost made me cry.  Today, a mom and pop shop selling filled buns and more croissants set off the day right.  For less than $10, we filled up our bag with croissants, an apple fritter, red…

Temple Tempest | JAPAN DAY 1

Serenity can be found in negative space, and the Japanese sure know how to use it to it’s full potential. Our day consisted of Buddhist temple followed by another Buddhist temple followed by a Zen temple complex to be finished off with a Shinto Temple.  Although each one varied, what strung them together was beauty.  The mixture…

Land of the Rising Sun | JAPAN DAY 0

Within the first hour of landing at Haneda Tokyo Airport, I managed to make several cultural blunders. My Dad and I step up to the baggage check counter for our domestic flight, stiff from our 10 hour flight from San Francisco, and signal the attendant that we have no knowledge of Japanese with a sad…

Camping in Plumas

I missed my brother’s bachelor’s party.  I was in school and couldn’t make it up for the weekend, so to make up for the boating excursion I missed out on we decided to have a post-wedding “bachelor’s” party of our own now that I’m off from school.  We wanted to stay along the same camping theme…

Aboard an Aircraft Carrier

Running races has it’s perks. One of them for the San Diego Half Marathon is free admission to the USS Midway Museum. The museum, which usually costs $20 for general admission and less for students/seniors/veterans, gives an inside look to life on the ship when it was active and to the battle that gave it…

Paris: Jour 6

Our last day in Paris started with us standing in line to go up the tower at Notre Dame.  A Spanish couple stood behind us, but they spoke too fast for me to understand anything.  A Chinese woman stood in front of us and tried talking to my Dad who understood every few words of…

Paris: Jour 5

We left the hotel early this morning for our excursion out to Normandy. Our first stop was Point du Hoc, where we walked through the trenches and bunkers used by the Germans to defend against the Allied invasion.  It was erie to see butterflies and wild flowers growing in great holes in the earth, caused…

Paris: Jour 4

We started off our day at Notre Dame, waiting among the many to enter the famed cathedral.  Once inside, we were amazed by the vaulted ceilings and impeccable stained glass work within the windows.  There was a man who spoke loudly despite the many signs (in multiple languages) advising him not to. We took the…

Paris: Jour 3

I just realized how many tombs and coffins were in this one.  The first tomb in the Medieval museum was for templar knights, and I definitely saw something that looked like a ghost.  Turned out it was just the light reflecting off of the metal door behind me. I didn’t have a chance to shoot…

Paris: Jour 2

More museums today.  Musée d’Orsay, which used to be a train station, houses a varied collection of paintings and other objects d’art.  I did not get to see as many Van Gogh paintings as I wanted, which was disappointing.  The Impressionist gallery, however, was spectacular.  The Impressionist movement is one of my favorite eras of…