Tag Archives: Travel

Deer Camp 2008!!

Deer Hunting Season in Michigan (really the U.P.) is like a religion.  I take part in the ritual with my Dad, Brother, Nephew, cousin and a big group of friends.

I don’t “hunt” per se…since becoming a retired Air Force guy, I can no longer get the hunting license for $2, and I don’t want to pay $150 for the honor to sit in the woods.

But, I do love drinking beer, playing cards, and laughing with “Da MEN”.

Sure, I don’t really fit in up there with a lot of the locals, I don’t drink cheap beer and that must make me gay (not that there is anything wrong with that)…but the core of the group makes it worth it.

So this is a long way of saying I will be out of town for a while…but I will try to post some pictures from the road…if I can find a place to connect!

Yoops  :-)

Travel Log: Vancouver Canada

We returned from a 2 night/3-day trip to Vancouver Canada last night.?? Here is the photo summary:

??Day 1:?? Thursday 3 July

??Get up way too early to catch the early flight.

Arrive and??get some lunch at Tim Horton (Tim bits are doughnut holes…very tasty)

Tim bits

Then we went for a Bike Ride in Stanely Park…

Bike Ride

??By the way, our hotel room had a great view (even on a cloudy day)…

view from hotel

Day 2:?? Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon

Day 3:?? Van Dusen Gardens

I was pretty pooped out:

Van Dusen Jeff

Yayoi was still ready to rock!

Van Dusen yayoi

If you want to see all the pictures check out this link:

http://picasaweb.google.com/yoopersmith/Vancouver2008

Japan Travel Log: Day 11…more time travel

It’s Sunday morning in Japan.?? I will get on a train soon and my flight leaves Japan at 3:00 pm Japan time.

I will arrive in LA at 9:45 on Sunday.?? Yes that is before I left Japan.

Time and space may be illusions, but jet lag sure feels real.

Japan has come along way and I am more at home here than I was years ago.?? The high speed internet connection at home is very nice.?? Also, there is really good cable tv options for a good price.

The beer still needs improvement.?? I really like ale, and they are hard to come by in this country.?? I might have to start home-brewing again if I ever move back to Japan.

This trip was a great test-run for our future life on the road.?? I was able to update the blog from virtually anywhere, and I would get better hardward to make it easier and more fun.

Next update will be from LA…and will be kinda??groggy.

??y00p—getting ready to fly again.

Travel Log: Japan Trip Day 5-8 Summary.

Internet connections dried up and I really don’t like txting that much, so here is what happened.

Link to all Pics??on MS Group

Flickr

 

Day 5

That was in the city of Yakayama(SP?) and we stayed in a business hotel that had an internet computer.??

We took at bus for 1.5 hours to the villiage that is listed as a world heritage site.?? We didn’t really have enough time to get take in the whole village.?? What we saw was very cool.?? A whole little villiage with an ancient irrigation system that is still being used and thatched roofed houses that have not changed in sytle since God knows when.??

Also, I think I drank two beers during the day before we got back on the bus.?? After the village it got a little un-fun.

The bus trip back to Yakayama took 1.5 hours.?? Then we got on another bus (for another 1.5 hours) to get to our next hotel.???? Note to Yayoi for next time:?? 4.5 hours on a bus in any one day is too much.

The hotel was very nice.?? It was out in the woods and in the mountains.?? I was able to again be naked outside at the open air public bath.?? I had more beer at the hotel.?? Made up a litte for the long bus ride day.

Day 6

On top of the Mountain???VERY COLD!

We took a very short 15 minute bus ride to a tramway that takes you up into the mountains.

The weather was rainy when we woke up, but Yayoi has Sunshine power that kicked in just when we needed it.

There were three stops on this Tramway system…bottom, middle and top.

Bottom is the bottom…not much to see.

Middle is nice…better moutain view, good bakery bread and a hot spring foot soaking bath that’s free! (see pics).

Top is the top…its really cold and has a great view…we both got a little alltitude sick and missed the first tram back down to the middle.

After the tramway, we took the bus back to Yakayama and then got on a train (I think) to our next Hotel.?? That hotel…was neat.?? I have to get details from Yayoi later, my brain is fired and I don’t remember much.??

What I do remember:

1.?? I had beer (at least three or maybe more)

2.?? The food was good.

3.?? I was naked outside again.?? Great public bath.

Day 7

Breakfast with Mom and Dad

We took a local bus to the train station and then a train to Kanazawa to meet Mom and Dad Seko.

We had lunch in a fancy hotel (because Yayoi had some coupons).?? After lunch we RAN through a Japanese park for about 45 minutes before catching the bus back to the station to catch our train to the next hotel.

This Hotel was right on the water…very nice.?? Highlights are the same as above, it was nice to visit with Mom and Dad.

Day??8 (Friday)

Bus Trip Stop

Today we spent all day on a tour bus from the hotel back to Kanazawa.?? That was on purpose, to have fun sightseeing.?? If we went direct it would have take a lot less time.?? Anyway, it was??a very nice sightseeing bus ride.

See pictures of the bus ride stops:

Mountain coast

Beach

Temple

Other things that went by kinda quick.

We got back to Kanazawa station early and changed our train back to Kyoto to 1600…which was cool.

We had a little a race with the clock in Kyoto.?? We only had four minutes to change trains to catch the first express from Kyoto to Aburahi (HOME).?? Mom and Yayoi made it now problem.?? They were in car 4 and closer to the stairs where you change platforms.

Dad and I were in car 10 and I had our rolling suitcase to lug so we made it just in the nick of time.

We got back about 1930.?? Yayoi and mom are out shopping and dad and I went and got some take out dinner and had a couple of beers.

Now, I am going to take a shower and pass out.?? Yeah, I now its only 2107…but I am pooped.

y00p….pooped.

Travel Log: Japan Trip Day 5 update

Yesterday we took two trains to get to the city of Hida-Takayama.?? The ride was very scenic through the mountains and next to a river (of course I dont remember the name of the river!).Jeff in Old Village

After arriving in Hida-Takayama…we had lunch and shopped and walked around the tourist area of the city.?? There are pics…but I cant upload from until we get back home.

Today, we are taking a bus to visit a village that is listed on the some World Heritage list…it is supposed to be on the list of places you see before you die…so that makes it sound interesting.

After the villiage, we will return to the Takayama train station and catch another bus to go to another hotel…which is supposed to be in the woods and have a nice natural spring hot bath.

This hotel was pretty nice…like a business hotel.?? It was only a five minute walk from the train station, so that was nice.??

Dinner and breakfast were included in the room price along with access to two public hot baths.???? The bath that we both used (no…they are not co-ed!) has a open air bath on the roof of the hotel…so its private and you can be naked outside on the 9th floor of a building.?? That was fun for me…Yayoi didn’t go to the roof…I guess she’s not into that kind of thang.

I am having a good time so far…not to exhausting pace and lots of beer and good food.

Travel Log: Japan Trip Day 4…Hitting the road.

Yayoi in YakayamaThis morning we are hitting the road for a 3 night trip to see some of Japan on the trains.?? We got a rail pass and we will do some site seeing and end up and a Ryokan Hotel.

Ryokan?? Hotels have traditional food and hot baths and beds.?? The food is generally really good and we both love hot baths.

My connection will go down to email from the cell phone only for three nights…that will be fun.

y00p| going back to bed.

Japan Travel Log: Day 3, Looking back at the trip

11 May 0745

I just got up and Yayoi is still sleeping (hmm just like home).?? The Japanese keyboard is a little different, but mostly the same…i just have to look for keys every now and again.

Here are some notes in case you have never done a long international flight:

  • 9 May – 0900 Leave house in Torrance in Taxi
  • 9 May – 1130 AM leave LAX in plane
  • ~12ish hours later
  • 10 May – 4:30 PM in Osaka Japan (Here where did Friday night go?)
  • 10 May – 5:15 PM I clear Immigration (there was a hugh tour group in line)
  • 10 May – 5:35 PM Yayoi finishes getting train reservations
  • 10 May – 5:45 PM We sit on the train from Oksaka to Kyoto (eat Bento)
  • 10 May – 6:50 PM We get on the train to??Home (there is one transfer)
  • 10 May – 9:30 PM We get to Aburahi Station??(Home)
  • 10 May – 11:00 PM I go to bed after beer and shower (Yayoi stayed up)

I didn’t do the exact time conversion, but after my shower I felt like it was time to stay up.?? It was close to my wake up time in LA.?? Thankfully I was pretty pooped and I slept very well.

This trip was lots better than trips in the past.?? We have arrived in Japan in the morning…that is the worst!?? You have to just feel like dead tired all day and can’t go to bed without mucking up your Japan sleep schedule.??

??This arrival time was pretty close to perfect.?? If I could to it again…a hotel stay for one night in Osaka area would be better…cuz you really want a shower right after you get off that plane.??

Or…if you could just take a shower and drink a couple of beers and then hit the road maybe that would work a little better.

Anywho, Today we are meeting some friends at their place for lunch…I will take pictures.?? I don’t know how I will post the pics…I don’t have my computer here, and this windows is in Japanese…I don’t really want to load software.?? If I can remember the password to the web FTP site for YS.com then I will be ok to upload the pics…otherwise I will have to figure something else out.

First I have to see if I can get camera to connect to this computer…I brought the cord but no software…fingers crossed!

y00p—Ready to ROCK! (could use some coffee)

Christmas on the beach

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Yayoi and I decided to take the RV out to the beach on Christmas eve. This was a last minute idea, so we had to get to the RV park (Dockweiler State Beach) as soon as we could because it was first come first serve. Since the park is only about 10 miles from our house, I drove the RV and Yayoi followed in the car. We got a spot, parked the RV, and then took off for the rest of the day to shop and eat. We make it back to the beach in time to watch the sun go down over the ocean (ahhh, that was nice).

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