Sunday, October 31, 2010

daily glimpse

Goldie Gert wishes you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN...

But advises you not to eat too much candy...

Photo props to Miss L! Thanks for loving our girl!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

daily glimpse

You'd think that with only 3 buttons it wouldn't really matter that you didn't have a clue as to what they said. All you're doing is trying to get hot water out of the thing for some tea. It's only 3 buttons, you've got this. Right?

Today's lesson: 3 indecipherable buttons is 2 indecipherable buttons too many.

Friday, October 29, 2010

flashback friday

South African fans cheering on their team at the Confederation Cup last year that the Wife attended in South Africa…

daily glimpse


The new guy is going to have a long 1st round.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

daily glimpse

Tokyo is full of the strange, but I believe this one may be the strangest so far...

Walking home from dinner the other night we passed a clothing store with a display of lots of little punk babies. Strange? A little, but not really.

The actual weird (read:disturbing)thing is what you probably can't see too well in the picture. These babies were all anatomically correct. How do I know? Well, all their little genitalia was poking out of their pants.

Yeah. You read that right.

yet another friendly reminder

okay, we're in JAPAN- this means incredible food experience after incredible food don't forget about our other blog. i've already got like 3 posts in the works just from this week alone.

seriously though, i look like a total tool taking photos of all my food at restaurants, so indulge me.

the last of our european fare is up right now and the first japanese meal so go check it out!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

daily glimpse

My lunch date on Monday...

Thanks for showing me the ropes at my very first conveyor belt sushi! Loved it!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

daily glimpse

One of the little outfits our hotel provides...

How cute is that? It's super comfy and the pants have big huge pockets. Jules fears she may never see me in anything else.

I may or may not be known to do a few ka-ra-tay moves when wearing it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

open letter

Dear Jet Lag,

So we meet again. It's been a while. I hope all has been well in your world of torturing travelers.

I know you're busy and all, but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind easing up just a wee bit today considering I feel like the walking dead.

I know you actually allowed me more than 3 hours of sleep last night . I know that's the most I've had since last Wednesday night and really I'm very thankful. To be fair, I know Thursday night was self-induced.

I also know I've technically got another 4 days before you truly release your grip, but you see I can barely keep my head up right now and I'm seriously debating on the use of toothpicks to hold open my eye lids. I'm sure you'll agree that tiny pointed wooden sticks should never be near one's eyes so you can appreciate the severity of the situation today.

Any little bone you want to throw me would be wildly appreciated.


p.s.- Apologies for any misspelled words or incoherency, since you're the cause I'm sure you understand.

daily glimpse

About as often as Hailey’s Comet makes its appearance, we get to sit in business class for flights. Luck shined upon us for our long haul to Tokyo though and we were beyond grateful.

The two little Blue Delft canal houses KLM gave us as a gift…

The chimneys actually open since they are filled with Dutch gin or jenever.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

daily glimpse

In an effort to keep us both engaged a little more and to give you a glimpse into our day to day life instead of just our weekend jaunts- I’ve decided to start a daily photo(s) thing. Yay! Exciting isn’t it?

Today’s come from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. It took me about 10 minutes to actually figure out how to get the door to close and how to flush the toilet.

There were about 4 other “receptacles” outside of the toilet and sink, most of which I could only guess their purpose. I flushed about 3 of them before finding the correct button.

I don't know. I know they really get into their gizmos here, but I don't want to have to read instructions to pee...

Please note there is no flusher in the photos. It actually was on an opposite wall with numerous other buttons. Fun times!

We're here!

After a few hiccups like almost missing our connection in Amsterdam and then missing the bus into Tokyo making it another long 4 ½ hours before we got to our hotel- we finally arrived Saturday late afternoon. Sadly one of my bags did not. Hopefully it will come today though.

We didn’t do much yesterday in our jet-lagged state. I had slept about an hour and a half on the flight and passed out around 7pm on Saturday only to wake up at midnight and stay awake until 3am. Considering our “last night in Dublin” shenanigans only allowed me only 3 hours sleep on Friday night I wasn’t too interested in exploring Tokyo yesterday.

We did take a walk around the neighborhood. We’re kinda on the outskirts of everything, but it’s a nice area, close to a train station and there are tons of restaurants/shops. I love the food shops here so much! I couldn’t tell you what half of the items are but they look so interesting. I could stay in them for days just exploring all the colors and textures.

Everyone else arrived last night and it was great catching up over a few drinks in the lounge. I think we’ve got a pretty good group of people and I’m predicting a really nice end to our year here in Japan.

I’ve got a visitor of the French variety coming today on his way to Manila. I’m really looking forward to having someone to keep me awake for most of the afternoon. It is only 9:30am and I’m dying for a nap. I was actually up until midnight last night. I was oh so proud thinking I was totally going to get on schedule staying up so late. Oh so proud until I was awake at 4am this morning. At 5am I decided I should go to the gym instead of wake up Jules anymore. As suspected, this jet lag is going to probably kick my ass for a few days before easing up.

Jules left for her first day at the office and I’m praying her hours aren’t as crazy as they’ve been in Dublin. At least the commute is much shorter.

Oh, oh, oh…and I felt my very first earthquake yesterday. I was lying on the bed and started moving back and forth. I was like “what the what?” It continued for probably 20 seconds. It was weird, very mild and I don’t care to experience another one.

We’re staying this first weekend in Tokyo and I’m so excited I could pee in my pants! Sure I’m looking forward to seeing more of Tokyo, but the real excitement comes from knowing we’ll be living in the same hotel room for 13 whole days.

Amazing! We haven’t stayed in one place for longer than 5 days since early April. I was giddy yesterday unpacking every single little thing. I’m even thinking of maybe painting or changing the carpet. I mean 13 days? That’s like a long term rental right??

Friday, October 22, 2010

flashback friday

I just found these two videos hidden away with the pictures from our very first weekend in India. For some reason I had never seen them. Watching I was instantly back on the bank across from the Taj Mahal. This isn’t where most tourists go so you see a very real side of India behind their most famous landmark. Jules must have taken the videos. I put both because one is short, but it lets you see the kids more. The boy on the camel was Anan. Hhe and his brother sold rides on Roger (the camel) for around a dollar.

Filth and garbage lay everywhere, but the kids are happy, playing and rolling around in it. It’s sad and it’s beautiful and in such is a perfect little sliver of India where the horrific and wonderful never leave each other’s side…

**For once my technical issues were not due to user error. Seems Google has ended their video platform so we’ll be YouTube-ing it from now on. sigh.**

Thursday, October 21, 2010

That time again...

We're leaving Ireland tomorrow and there are more emotions than usual with this departure. As with any location after 2 months- I’m a little bored, I’m totally over the breakfast*, and I’m ready for the new and unknown. But I’m also incredibly sad to leave, like I’m a little tearful about it even.

I think most of it’s saying goodbye to our Betty’s Town girl…

Although we completely plan on bombarding her with visits every chance we get, life has a way of getting away from you and sometimes the best laid plans are only that- plans. It’s hard for us to know that someone we’ve come to hold so dear isn’t as accessible anymore. We wish her all the luck in the world in her new life back home, but we’re going to seriously miss her. Seriously.

The other hard thing about leaving is that this country is kind of full of the same kind of people. Warm, welcoming, funny and generous, the Irish people have been what has really made me fall in love with this country. Of course, the Guinness and potatoes didn’t hurt either.

We’ve never lived anywhere before that felt so much like home. We’ve actually never lived anywhere that we said “We could REALLY live here!” and actually mean it.

Lush green beauty, deliciously rich culture, immense pride, wit and charm…Ireland, I miss you already and we haven’t even left yet.

*How is it that I can eat the same dang thing every single morning for years at home, but now with a myriad of breakfast choices I get so sick of every single thing on the buffet that I usually stop eating breakfast altogether by week 5?

Monday, October 18, 2010


casa batllo
A weekend spent in Spain with my beautiful wife…can there be anything better? Me thinks not!

We got in very, very late Friday night (read: Saturday morning) thanks to a flight delay (oh Ryan Air- I’d like to thank you for the incredibly cheap fares, but I couldn’t be more happy to say goodbye to an airline!!) as well as a real first- a cab driver that didn’t just obey the speed limit, but actually drove about 20 kilometers under the limit. Although I’m sure we could have rustled up some dinner and surely had some drinks at 2am when we finally got into Barcelona proper, because Spaniards like Argentineans are insane night owls…we were wiped and couldn’t wait to get into the bed.

We got a late start to our day on Saturday and didn’t really care. More than killing ourselves trying to see everything we just wanted an enjoyable weekend together. We had coffee at a café around the corner and hopped on the “hop on, hop off” bus to get a feel for the city…

hop on hop off bus

Barcelona is beautiful and much larger and spread out that I expected. When we grew tired of riding we hopped off (cause that’s what you do- hop onhop off) and had some lunch before getting our first taste of Gaudi. We chose to do the Casa Batllò…

casa batllo
casa balto
casa balto
casa balto

It really was a feast for your eyes and neither of us expected to like it so much. I had thought Gaudi was so over the top that it would be interesting to see his work, but I left a true fan.

We then hopped back on and went over to Parc Güell for some outdoor Gaudi…

parc guell
parc guell

It was a chilly ride back and we were grateful for the late dinner times to have time to thaw out before heading out for dinner in the Barri Gòtic. Long and delicious I could seriously move to Spain just for their dining culture alone.

We were out much earlier on Sunday to fight the hordes at the Sagrada Famìlia. The line was well around the block just moments after it opening. The girl in front of us was so annoyed at its slow pace that she convinced her boyfriend that they should leave “You’ve seen one church, you’ve seen them all. Right?”

Although I had no way of knowing at the time, but that girl had just made one colossal mistake.

Holy holiness…I know I said this about Notre Dame, but seriously if you can enter the Sagrada Famìlia (or even just see its exterior) and not feel the awesomeness that is your higher power then, well, you’re blind.

Even though it’s still under construction it is, by far, the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen and maybe the most incredible manmade structure I’ve ever had the pleasure to explore…

Sagrada Famìlia
Sagrada Famìlia
Sagrada Famìlia
Sagrada Famìlia
Sagrada Famìlia
Sagrada Famìlia

There is no way to do it justice. You have to just see it and all its magnificent detail and uniqueness. It is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen and a true masterpiece by a true master. I wanted to go give back the Euro I saved by showing my bus ticket to help them with the construction funding. I just pray it is finished in my lifetime.

After we finished reveling in the wonder that is the Sagrada Famìlia we walked down to Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf...

Arc de Triomf
Arc de Triomf

We found a little restaurant nearby and proceeded to have a late and leisurely lunch in the glorious Spanish sunshine before making our way back to the hotel, the airport and eventually Dublin.

Barcelona was everything I hoped it would be and more. I only wish we could have stayed forever.

This weekend we’ll be visiting the inside of an airplane. Seriously though, we’ve got a long haul ahead of us and I’m sure some gnarly jetlag in our future. Can’t wait to get to Tokyo though…just wish we could somehow take Ireland with us.

Friday, October 15, 2010

toot, toot! (that's me tooting my own horn)

So, somehow I missed that my article had been published. In July. Whoops! All the photos are mine as well!

Big thanks to MIX IT UP Magazine for asking me to contribute.

Myebook - Issue 4 - click here to open my ebook

Pages 31-33 to read my travel piece on India.

flashback friday! (of the still picture variety)

Blogger is having some issues with uploading my videos and after numerous attempts I thought it better to stop trying before my computer took a little trip out the window to meet the Dublin sidewalk.

The past couple of days have been full of flashbacks for me. I finally started working on a photo book. Seemed like a good idea since I'm almost 2 years and about 38 countries behind in getting any pictures printed.

It's been crazy going back through our first few weeks on the road in India. It seems so long ago that we started out on this journey. I truly feel like such a different person. I hardly recognize these two novice travelers so full of trepidation and anticipation for all the unknown that lie ahead of them...

us literally checking in at Atlanta Jackson-Hartsfield airport before our very first flight

If you're new to the blog or just want to kill some time before the weekend- January 2009 is where it all really began.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a typical dinner conversation...

The Wife: “I think I’ll take some ka-ra-tay lessons in Japan.”

Me: “When are you going to have time for karate lessons…wait, is karate Japanese or Chinese?”

The Wife: “I don’t know, but I bet I can find ka-ra-tay lessons in Tokyo.”

Me: “Who had ninjas? I think ninjas did karate. Maybe ninjas are from Japan?”

The Wife: “Okay, so I take ninja lessons.”

Me: “No, wait…what is that metal star thingy?”

The Wife: “Chinese throwing star?”

Me: “Okay, well then ninjas are Chinese. Japan definitely had the samurais though.”

The Wife (said while making slashing motions through the air): “Okay, so I take samurai lessons.”

Monday, October 11, 2010


Keeping to our current trend of late flights out and eating dinner in the Dublin Airport, we arrived in Denmark’s capital city ready for bed. Thankfully the trip into Copenhagen using the train was super convenient. That or we’re actually getting the hang of public transport in Europe.

On the agenda for Saturday was a trip into the south of Sweden, particularly Malmö and Lund. It was an organized bus tour so we had an hour and a half in both cities and got to enjoy the Danish coast with its spectacular homes and quiet Swedish farmland along the way…

danish coast homeswedish windmill

Both the ancient town of Lund and the larger city of Malmö were nice and it was a gorgeous albeit a bit chilly day...

university in lundmalmo
Really loved Malmö’s twisting torso building. Just don’t give credit to the Swedes since it was designed by a Spaniard…

twisting torso in malmotwisting torso in malmo

We had taken a 20 minute ferry across to Sweden, but took the impressive Øresund Bridge back into Denmark.

oresund bridge

That night we walked through the center of Copenhagen and had dinner at a restaurant I had found online. I would like to have said a quiet dinner, but it seems the Danes like to gather in big groups for dinner and clap randomly throughout the meal. The food was wonderful, but the atmosphere a bit strange and we kept looking around for what in the hell they were clapping about.

Sunday we spent the morning doing my favorite thing- wandering around and taking in the city. Fall is upon them in Denmark and the crisp air and autumnal hues made for a lovely morning and afternoon stroll through Copenhagen…



Even with the overcast skies, the Nyhavn area is one of the most picturesque areas we’ve ever seen…


We missed out on two of Copenhagen’s most famous tourist attractions, but I don’t think we’ll be up at night with regrets. The Little Mermaid statue is still in China for the World Expo show and we decided to skip going to Tivoli, their famous amusement park. Reviews kept saying “don’t go if you don’t have kids!!” and after you read about 100 people saying the same thing you kinda feel like you should take the hint.

This is a trip we probably wouldn’t have taken had we not been living in Europe for 4 months. I’m overjoyed we did it with help from our Sponsor because Scandinavia ain’t cheap. The kind of "ain't cheap" where you pay $12 flipping dollars for 2 glasses of tap (oh yeah, I said TAP- like out of the faucet) water at dinner.

I have zero understanding of why things in Scandinavia cost 10 times what you would pay for them elsewhere, but I’m glad we got back to Dublin with the Wife’s head still attached. There were more than a few times I thought it may pop right off from sticker shock. My favorite was a cheap looking diner that was advertising a lunch “deal” where you could get a club sandwich for the rock bottom price of $30 USD. Yowser.

This weekend is our last in Europe, and we’re ending on what I hope to be the highlight of our time here…Barcelona! Along with Edinburgh, this city has been at the tippy top of my must-see list. I fell in love with Spain and their passionate life-devouring culture last year, and I seriously can’t wait to be back and to finally see Barcelona!!