Sake to me Baby – Japan Day Three

I want to let everyone know that I’m “sumimasen-ing” all over the place!!!  It was my phrase of the day! I’m saying it without thinking twice about it now.

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Speaking of thinking about it twice, hubby used to confuse arigato and konichiwa and now, I find that I’m confusing it also which is probably karma as I paid him out badly for it. He’d walk past someone on the street and say “arigato” then keep walking. I’d love to know what they were thinking.

This morning hasn’t started off great in that it’s been raining all night. It’s not cold. It’s pretty muggy, but the rain means we can’t go walking. The pics above were taken from our balcony. I was up early again and now can’t do anything. That’s a bit depressing.

Seeing as we were up so early, we had a second breakfast. This time courtesy of the Family Mart that’s thirty metres away (dangerous) and look at what I scored for not much more than 500 yen.

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Ahhh, you wonderful treats that delight my taste buds. I miss you already.

Tomorrow we’re going on a tour (won’t spoil it by saying where yet!) and the tour was booked online. Because I want to make sure everything  is correct and that we have the right meeting spot, hubby and I went to Shinjuku. The only info I had was that the pick up is from Keio Plaza Hotel but I wasn’t given the time. Inconvenient.

So we braved the weather. When we got to Shinjuku it was still raining.


IMG_0502We found the hotel the tour is leaving from and confirmed the departure time. All good.

Seeing as we were so close to the Tokyo Government Building and it was still mostly an undercover walk to get there, we decided to go on and see that.

Only to be met by the sign on the right.

No!!! They’re not allowed to be closed on a rainy day when there’s nothing much else to do!!!

We we went back to the station and walked around the shops. Looked at the food. Got hungry, got a little bored. Walked around in circles.
They’ve got one of those food areas where you can buy all kinds of food. Sadly, not many were offering samples. I would have loved to have tried some of the foods I saw. I didn’t even know what half of it was! So many people. And the food is packaged and packaged and packaged. Layer after layer of wrapping and packaging.


I’ve seen the restaurant “La Pausa” about the place here and was craving some kind of pasta. I would have had ramen but every place we went to had a line up and we didn’t want to wait. So, we went to La Pausa which is an Italian restaurant.
I took a pic of their lunch menu.
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IMG_0511They didn’t have an English menu so we had to try to decipher ourselves.

Because I wanted to try something different. I had the one on the bottom right.

And that pic to the left is what I was given. Look ok doesn’t it? I mean, it’s not Italian and the egg on top was cold which was a bit weird but it tasted pretty good. There was some sort of cheesy sauce on the bottom too.

There are so many Italian restaurants here!! But they’re all like this. It’s “Italian” but with a Japanese spin.

As it was still pouring with rain we decided to take an afternoon break – it’s supposed to clear up later today.
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I’m not sure if we are still a bit jet lagged (you can use that excuse for just about anything when travelling) but we lay down and when we stirred again it was 9pm. Changing time zones and 4am wake ups will do that to you!

We had a few museums and other indoor activities planned but that went out the window!

We went for a bit of a late night walk but there are no photos to prove it so did it really happen??

I’m so excited about tomorrow I’m barely going to be able to sleep!!!

Oyasuminasai

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sake to me Baby – Japan Day Two

We are still adjusting to the different time zone so were up at 4am this morning. Felt a lot better about the world once we’d had a good night’s sleep!

Not wanting to waste a moment, we decided to go for a decent walk and set our sights on Ueno Park. Last time we were here, we stayed within a few kilometres of the park.


Passed lots of bikes parked along the way.
As we were walking, we saw an interesting building in the distance and hubby said “That’s Tokyo Dome!”
Now I don’t know anything about Tokyo Dome but it did look like an interesting building so we took a couple of pics. It was still only 7am at this stage so we figured we’d have a better look once it was actually open. Have a look at that roller coaster though! OMG!


Ueno park was beautiful and peaceful so early in the morning. There were a few people around but not the multitudes that we’re used to.

Hubby spied the Starbucks (he said he’d plugged it into his internal google maps) and we went over there. There was a yellow chain across the entrance but hubby was sure they were open so he went in only to be told they don’t open until 8am.
It sounds so simple when I write it but when there’s a language barrier, and you’re with someone who thinks you should already be open, it’s an awkward and comical situation.

So we walked around some while we counted down the seconds until 8am. Most stores don’t open until 10am.

That sign on the bottom left says not to smoke while walking. What was funny was seconds before I took this photo, a man had walked over it while smoking.
And look at that murder of crows bottom right!! They’re everywhere here. Not threatening but geez they make an awful sound.


IMG_0431So far I haven’t gone inside a Lawson’s or Family Mart (I know, I can’t believe it either) I’m addicted to the bakery goods in these stores.

When we’ve been here before, I’ll go out early and get some goodies to eat for breakfast before hubby wakes up. He both loves and hates it.
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I love seeing the things they have advertised in English here.

I always wonder why they don’t get an English speaking person to double check before they make a sign.

This one isn’t bad but it’s still funny to see fries referred to as long potato.

Long potato. I guess that means just one?

IMG_0432I also giggle every time I see Calpis Soda. I mean come one. It sounds like you’re saying “Cow Piss” doesn’t it??
It tastes good by the way!! I haven’t had it yet this time but if I’m remembering correctly, it tastes like lemonade.

Diet drinks are very difficult to find here. Zero Coke is probably the most common but after that, you’re pretty much out of luck.

After our Starbucks we made our way back to Tokyo Dome City. Aside from baseball, the arena also hosts concerts etc. There’s lots of shopping, restaurants and amusements there! I wish the big rollercoaster had been going while we were there.


Oh and I’m loving seeing the “food art”. Want to order from a restaurant? Well if you don’t know what you want, the food art will tell you exactly what your order will look like!
Spaghetti pizza anyone?

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We stopped and got some goodies for an early lunch. I had to take pics. I just love this junk!! Love it! It’s not even a guilty pleasure. I’m not ashamed, I am in love with this food!! Gimme, gimme!


We stopped to get a few more things from the supermarket and I happened to notice a spaghetti cake. Now, I don’t know if that was real spaghetti on the cake but it sure did look like it!!!

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And another supermarket item. You can get these potatoes and, hot dogs bits(?),  for about $2.30 Australian.

I don’t know what they taste like (and no, they weren’t refrigerated, they were just sitting on the supermarket shelf) and I probably never will.

The bathrooms at Tokyo Dome City had make up stations in them. I thought that was pretty interesting too!

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This evening we went to Harajuku and visited the famous Takeshita Street.

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People must mull over the pronunciation of it all the time. It’s pronounced like “tah-kesh-tuh” and has nothing to do with bodily functions.

This street is just amazing!! So many unique food, clothing and people. I didn’t take a lot of  pictures as we’ve been here many times already but I did take a few.

We got a couple of those things in the bottom pics. They were nice but not anything I thought would be amazing enough to go back for.

Take a look at these handbags and purses!! OMG how great are they!! I didn’t dare look at the price.  The shoes are pretty interesting too and I was going to say “but who would wear them?” but I’m in Japan and you can find someone to wear just about anything.


We read a bit about the Monster Cafe that’s here. I’d read that it was kind of like Alice in Wonderland meets Wonka on Acid and that description is probably pretty accurate!

It took us a little while to find it.  Up the escalators we went and joined the other fifty or so people that were waiting to get in. Ok, maybe there was significantly less than fifty but it did feel like it was going to be a huge wait when we got there!

After that we walked around Harajuku a little more and started to feel peckish so, being creatures of habit, we went and got a kebab (yeah I know not Japanese) from a place we’d been to last year. It was pretty tasty too!! Not as good as The Cheeky Greek at Henley Beach but they set the bar pretty high.

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And to show hubby that I can put up pictures that he approves of even though I don’t, I’m sharing one last one of us on the escalators.

It’s been a long full day and I can’t wait to get back out there tomorrow!

For now, Oyasuminasai (oh look, a new Japanese word learnt!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day trip to Victor

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img_8867The unimaginable happened today. I gave up my usual exercise routine and went on a full day trip to Victor Harbor with hubby!
I kind of felt like I owed it to him as the night before, he’d asked me to cut his hair (and believe me, I’m not hair dresser) Normally I cut his hair during the day because after 3pm, my brain cells have given up on me and it’s a risk at best.
So he gets home at 5.30pm and I’m already a couple of wines in and I start cutting. I’m actually congratulating myself at how quick I’m going. I really FEEL like a hairdresser for the first time in years! Snip, snip, snip… oh, and I’m doing something a little different back here but it seems to be working… until I comb it all down. No.. that is not right at all and I hoped to God he hadn’t seen the expression on my face. I tried to fix it as best as I could and I’m pretty sure I got away with it. It will grow…

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So, after no exercise we got into the car and drove! Such a gorgeous day in Adelaide today.
Just perfect for driving and being out in the world.
Our first stop was McDonalds. What’s a road trip with some Macca’s after all???

It was still fairly early when we got to Victor. We parked and decided we were going to walk along the bluff to Rosetta Head.
I probably should add that while hubby does exercise, he’s a reluctant exerciser…

 


img_8868These are the nice pictures. After this bit, the grass was dry, the air smelt bad and everything was so sparse. Hubby was in a grumpy mood because he didn’t want to walk. He said he’d rather be walking in Italy, Japan or Greece.
I tried to sell the nature to him (hard at that exact moment) but it didn’t work.  Do you know how hard conversation is with a grumpy person?

At one point he asked me if I wanted to go for a bike ride when we got back home. The last time I had answered “yes” to that question was over twelve years ago and why is he even thinking of that when today has not even started!

We saw Rosetta Head in the distance and I suggested to hubby we should just walk to the cafe, have a drink, then if we felt like going further we would or we could just turn back.


I saved us a table while hubby went to get some cake and coffee. After a little while he comes out with a brown paper bag. “Don’t open it yet” he says. He knows there’s a high probability that whatever yummy thing is in there, is likely to be picked at by me if I can see it.
He went back for the coffee and I peeked.

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While it may not look that exciting, the apricot squares were pretty delicious and I had the difficult task of looking surprised and excited when he opened the bag up in front of me.
Sometimes my life is so exhausting.

After the coffee and cake, and the promise that we didn’t have to walk any further, hubby’s mood greatly lifted.

By the time we got back into Victor we were starting to think about having some lunch. We walked past restaurants and cafes and hotels yet nothing seemed suitable for hubby. “No, not there, no that place doesn’t look good, no, not enough people sitting in that one.”
We walked and walked, then went back to the car and drove. We were on our way to Goolwa, potentially stopping somewhere along the way if we saw somewhere decent to eat.
I had lost all hope and said “I feel like we’re never going to eat” and hubby replied “What? We can stop wherever you want!” Seriously, like that last 90 minutes hadn’t happened…


We drove through Port Elliot without stopping, through Middleton without stopping and soon found ourselves in Goolwa.

We got out and walked to the waterfront.


img_8878Nice places but not anywhere that hubby wanted to eat.

I heard the Cockle Train so ran to try to get a photo but just missed it!!!

All that was left were the puffs of black smoke…

So we finally went to the first hotel we saw.
I won’t name it here. It was fine. Food was average. Not bad, not fantastic either. Drinks were fairly cheap.


Hubby had the Chicken Caesar (left) and I had grilled fish. Not sure mine was cooked all the way through but it still tasted ok.

After lunch we walked down the main street towards the bakery. We always get something from there but unfortunately we were later in the day and most of the cakes were gone already.

We bought this cherry yeast loaf/bun thing and a Chester Slice. Hubby seems to think the Cherry bun is all his.


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Oh and we went by the Convenient Chef’s but they were closed.

How inconvenient!

Little message for Betsy there too….

We stopped at Horseshoe Bay on the way back. Before we got there, we heard that Cockle Train and guess what? It crossed right in front of us so I was able to get some photos!!! And then waved at everyone in the train. I got a couple of waves back too!!

Out of the car and down the steps, then hubby went straight for the rocks. It’s not like people get swept off them by rogue waves or anything.


He got quite invigorated down there which led to this clip…

The very next thing he said to me was “Did you see me Parkour?”

Few more pics as we walked along. We didn’t go all the way down to the middle of the horseshoe of Horseshoe bay because it was down hill and hubby knows downhill means an uphill is coming…


We took a different turn on the way back home which may not have been the best option. The road was narrow and curvy and I just had to shut my eyes and hope for the best.I know hubby is a fantastic driver but it’s everyone else I’m worried about.

Not sure what this is but we passed it along the way…


Our last stretch was along the coast. How beautiful is the state I live in!!!
We are so lucky to have these beautiful places right on our doorstep.

If you made it this far, thanks for sharing this day trip with us!
Feel free to leave any comments.

Until next time…

Girls Gone Mild – Day Three

This morning we were back in the gym very early – even though we knew there was going to be a lot of walking today. There’s something soothing about being in an empty gym in the wee hours of the morning (trust me, there is no sarcasm in my words)

IMG_7977As I was making breakfast and going through our groceries I saw a few of our purchases from the Asian Supermarket from yesterday and realised we forgot to open the SoJu!

We saw it in the Korean restaurant we went to yesterday but didn’t drink it so bought a bottle later in the day because we wanted to have some – Will need to make room for that tonight.

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Our plan of attack today was to visit the QueenVictoria Market. This time I checked the opening time online and saw the food and veg sections open at 6am and the rest of it opens at 8am!

That didn’t sound right to me  but we got ready and walked down there. As it turned out, most of the shops were open and trading!

Melbourne has really turned on the weather for us! 22 degrees today and it was such a lovely fresh walk down there.

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We spent a bit of time clocking up steps, walking up and down the aisles but not really finding anything to buy.


I think we got more excited to go back to “our” coffee place. Last year we exhausted their supply of “free to try” chocolate coffee beans. (We bought lots of jars of them too!)

This year, we were excited to be back and wouldn’t you know it, the woman who served us remembered us from last year! She was lovely and I’m sure we were memorable not for raiding their chocolate coffee bean bowl, but because of our lovely personalities and enviable good looks.


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On the way back mumma bear wanted to stop in a kitchen store and I saw this which I thought would go perfect in my kitchen at home!

The only thing missing is the word “permanently”

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The next stop on our agenda was St Kilda so we topped up our public travel cards and hopped on a tram.

A vigorous discussion about whether you had to “tap on” and “tap off” ensued and a local woman thankfully interceded and said tapping off was not required on the tram.

We got to St Kilda and passed the various cake stores. I’m not sure how others feel but those cake stores seem to be better in fantasy than reality. Every time I go there I feel excited to try something but often it disappoints and my mum noted that the cakes at Brunetti looked better.
We didn’t get any cakes.


We ended up lunching at the same place we did last year. Well it was pretty good last year so why ignore a known entity?

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And the food was pretty good!!! Those serves were huge! In fact we were wondering whether we’d be able to take our leftovers with us so when the server came to take our plates away my mum asked “Do you do doggy style?” 
Of course she meant “Do you do doggy bags?” which the rest of us girls quickly restated.
I bet that server will have a story to tell tonight!


My mum wanted to walk to Port Melbourne. Sounds like a good idea in theory but it was so very windy and we were against the wind and walking in a warm sun the whole way.

Of course we stopped for pictures and coffee as we walked.


And finally we were there!! For a brief horrifying second we worried that there might not be a tram from there to Melbourne but thankfully there was.


I’m not sure why the “thumbs up” (Fonzie would be proud) has made an appearance in our photos but we all got into the spirit of it by the end of the day.

I’m not sure about the other girls but I’m pretty sure that I’ve had enough excitement for the day and am looking forward to getting into bed and dreaming about days with no wind.

Now, where’s that Soju…

Greece is the Word – Day Eight

The “sleeping in” plan didn’t work. How can you sleep in when you are in a country that’s just waiting for you!

Before I get into today, I just want to comment on the bathroom situation. Skip this paragraph if you’re afraid of TMI.

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That picture above is typical of what you’ll see in a lot of public restrooms, including air Bnb’s. I’m not sure exactly why, something to do with the sewer system, but they don’t want you throwing used toilet paper in the toilet bowl. Of course, if you dirty the paper, then yes, it needs to go in, but if you are just doing what affectionately known as number ones, then that goes into a trashcan/bin that will be beside the toilet.
Sorry for grossing you out, but yes, that is what happens here.

Today was a slower day after what we did yesterday. Hubby and I walked back down to Glyfada around lunch time.

We went into the Police Station to report his wallet being stolen the other day and not only did they not seem interested, they were encouraging him to go do it somewhere else. Finally he got to speak to someone who jotted down some details on a throw away piece of paper, made sure that the credit cards were cancelled and said he’d let us know if anything came up.
As we walked out of his office I said to hubby “he’s scrunching up that piece of paper right now”

Oh well. Like we said, it could have been worse. The cards weren’t used

We stopped to get some lunch at a bakery that was in Glyfada. Look at this!

 

They look amazing and they tasted even better! I just find the produce seems sweeter and more full of flavour here.
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We grabbed some water to bring to our table and I noticed the bottle had the names of cities around the world.

It didn’t take long to notice the error….

And the winner is …. Not Sydney.

IMG_6874When you’re with a group of ten it’s hard to synchronise it so you’re all ready to do the same thing at the same time. Up until now we’ve managed quite well considering, but I have to say that most of the afternoon was spent waiting around.
That’s why this entry is not really picture heavy. It was just a more relaxed kind of day. I felt like I spent a lot of it just sitting, waiting in the car.

We drove down to Piraeus to pick up our tickets for the ferry trip tomorrow. We’re going to Naxos and taking our cars.
It was a busy little hub down there. I would have taken photos but in all honesty, I was a bit anxious about taking out my phone.
I tried to get a picture of the ferry from the ferry ticket office.

 

 

We were rushing to get back from there because we were supposed to be meeting up with family at 6.30.
We didn’t get there until almost 8pm but had such a lovely time. Hubby and I met old and new relatives and the time just flew!
They provided us a wonderful dinner!!! It was really too dark for photos but I tried to snap a picture of one of the meat trays.

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We had such a late night last night and tonight was no different. Normally that would be fine but tomorrow we’re up early!! We need to be at the ferry at 5.45am.

Very excited about going to Naxos!! See you on the island!