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Life Travel

Goodbye Seattle!

"hello seattle" - musically inspired

About 12 hours from now I’m going to be headed back east to Kentucky. I’m not a nervous flyer but I know as soon as I get to Sea-Tac I’ll be anxious for the flight to be over with. My flight is around midnight, with a layover in Houston around 5AM, and I should be arriving in Louisville around 10:45AM assuming there are no delays. Hopefully I can sleep through most of the flight. I have my iPhone filled with several tv shows and new music to listen to. I’ll have that if nothing else.

I’ve really enjoyed the time that I’ve spent with my brother, I haven’t been able to spend this much time with him since I was a kid. I’m really surprised we haven’t got into more arguments than we did given the fact we’re getting into arguments when he comes to KY for a few days. When I say “we” it’s mostly “me” starting the arguments. That’s what happens when you have similar personalities, confined spaces, and love one another.

There’s definitely things I won’t miss like waking up to horns honking outside of my bedroom window at 4 freakin’ AM, gun shots, the traffic, etc. I’m looking forward to getting home to see the family, friends this weekend, classes starting in two weeks, and what ever else happens.

Looking back this trip has flown by, but while it was happening it seemed to go by so slowly. There’s only been one time that I started looking at flights home earlier but after a day or two I decided I would “tough it out”. All in all I’m glad I got to experience this for the summer. Would I do it again? Hmm, I don’t know. Like I’ve mentioned before this trip has definitely opened my eyes to things I forget I liked about living at home. That’s a good thing . . .

So Goodbye Seattle, it’s been real!

Life Photography Travel

Live from Seattle

seattle centerOn Friday I will have been in Seattle a whole week. The days I’ve been here have flown by, probably because my friends and I have filled it with lots of sightseeing. My first two nights I was here I found myself quite overwhelmed by being in a new place, and I’ll be honest at times I wanted my Mom. Back home I’m used to the comforts of a lot of space from other people, so it felt odd being surrounded by people. It still feels odd but I seem to be coping a lot better. My friends are heading back home tomorrow and it’s inevitable that I’ll probably freak out again. Heh-heh.

Speaking of freaking out, Tuesday was our first time using public transportation by ourselves and it was a complete disaster. It took a good portion of the day switching from bus to bus to get to the Space Needle. Finally we got there and I don’t think any of really got to enjoy it from all of the walking we did during the day – trying to get there. Today was a lot better. My friends stayed at a hotel last night and are doing so tonight. I met them down at their hotel today and made it there without any trouble. Go me! I feel a bit more confident using public transportation because of the problems we had on Tuesday; I guess it was a blessing in disguise.

Here are just a few photos I’ve taken of Seattle so far . . . I’ve still got lots and lots of editing to do and hopefully I’ll get around to it eventually. I’m feeling very inspired being in Seattle right now.

Life Travel

Planning: Part II

triptik

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that I’m embarking on a cross-country road trip in fourteen days! It’s hard to believe how fast time has flown by since the entry in which I initially mentioned going to Seattle. I’m excited about this, but I wish I had more time to get some extra cash, and had some time to rest before leaving as I’m leaving right after the semester is up.

I’ve been downloading all sorts of new music to have for the trip. I’ve been burned out on my current music selection for a while so the new music is welcomed. I got a few recommendations from friends for road trip music, and if you have some to add please do. Today I downloaded Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog OST (saw this recently and loved it), The Dandy Warhols (Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars and Welcome To The Monkey House), and Tinted Windows – Taylor Hanson’s side project. I’m really interested to hear the Tinted Windows album, it’s Taylor Hanson (from my favorite band of all time Hanson, obviously), James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne and Ivy). It’s got a lot of good reviews, but my opinion will be biased either way.

Trip Itinerary
Day 1 (Sunday, May 17th)
– Leaving early morning, stopping in St. Louis for lunch near the Gateway Arch.
– Drive through the night to South Dakota. We’re half way there!

Day 2
– Arrive at Mt. Rushmore in Keystone, SD to sightsee.
– Travel a couple more hours to Wyoming to Devil’s Tower. Should I see the Steven Spielberg film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” before going? Apparently it was filmed there many years ago.
– Drive a few more hours to Red Lodge, Montana and stay the night in a hotel. Are we going to wake up the next morning? Heh-heh.

Day 3
– That morning (late morning, I hope) begin the Beartooth Scenic Byway. I think this will be my favorite part, from the pictures I’ve seen the views are incredible. My friends will probably hate me by the end of the drive because I’ll be stopping too many times to take photos. ;-P
– Find a hotel and relax.
Those were the plans, but we found out on Friday that the Beartooth Scenic Bypass is only open seasonly – Memorial Day weekend to early September. I was a bit disappointed in that, but there are several bypasses in Seattle and Oregon that I can do on my own time. Plans for the extra day we’ll have are still up in the air.

Day 4
– Day at Yellowstone National Park.
– Get mauled by a bear. :(
– Recover and depending on how we feel we will either drive the 11 hours to Seattle, or we will stay at the hotel again and leave the following morning.

Day 5 (Friday, May 22nd)
– Arrive in Seattle after 2,600+ miles of driving (!!)

Life Travel

Vacation: NJ and NYC

Casino Pier.

I’ve spent the last few days in New Jersey and NYC visiting with my friend Andy and had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect the first day I was there, so we went to the shore in Seaside Heights and walked along the beach. It was odd seeing a beach almost deserted, but then again it is October. Despite my fear of large bodies of water I wandered in just a tiny bit, only to run out when the shock of the cold water hit my feet. The shore was my favorite part of the trip, because I’ve never been to a beach and it was nice to experience it.

86th Floor

Andy and I also spent some time in parts of New York visiting Central Park, the Empire State Building, and walking the Brooklyn Bridge to name a few. The views from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building were spectacular! Andy hadn’t been to either the Empire State Building or walked the Brooklyn Bridge in the time that he has lived near the city. Needless to say, it was an experience for both of us.

Richest Chocolate Chip Cupcake

This has only been my second trip to NYC, but there’s something about it that I really like, maybe the fact that there’s always something new and fun to see. Like a homeless woman washing her naughty bits in a public restroom. Or a man bumping into a woman and inadvertently (or purposely) groping her. Technically those two incidents happened in Jersey — maybe it’s people from Jersey who are weird. ;-)

Boardwalk (poladroid style)

I don’t travel often, but when I do I feel reluctant about coming home and back to the daily grind. It’s nice doing daily activities that you want to do and not what you have to do. Unfortunately, time goes by too fast on vacation and it’s over with before you know it. Despite being back home and back to normal life I’m happy that I got to see Andy again and made new memories.

The Manhattan Bridge

You may see a part two to this post in a few days, because the film from my Holga is currently being developed. Cross your fingers that I actually did everything right this time and my images don’t come back weird. Heh-heh. I really thought I would have more photos to show but I didn’t take a lot of diverse images. Still I’m happy with the ones that I did upload.

Click the slideshow below to view more photos from this trip!



Life Photography Travel

Lost in Translation

Blooms.

My trip to Japan lasted almost two weeks and went by in a bit of a blur. It’s hard to believe that I’m back home and life is back to normal, well somewhat normal. I’ve been home almost two days now and of course my sleep schedule is completely whacked. It’s 8AM, I have yet to fall asleep, and I go back to work on Saturday. I’m going to do my best and keep myself busy today and hope that I can get to sleep early tonight.

4:30AM

It was nice seeing my sister, niece, and brother-in-law, who I haven’t seen since they moved there two years ago. However, Japan is not someplace that I would ever want to live. If you’ve grown up with that culture or if you’re highly adaptable to your surroundings you could enjoy it there. It’s a hard place to live. Living in America my entire life has spoiled me on such luxuries as my personal space, portion sizes*, and most importantly diet pepsi. Two weeks without a decent soda is enough to drive someone mad. They have Coca-Cola there but it tastes like a flat version of America’s Coca-Cola. *Probably a bad thing.

Chuu

Honestly, if it wasn’t for having family over there I doubt I would have a desire to return. I think I’ve deluded myself into believing that I like Japanese culture more than I really do. It’s a very hard place to visit if you haven’t mastered the language. According to my sister even if you have mastered the language it’s still a hard place to live. This is her second time living in Japan and she’s still trying to get used to their customs.

subway

I felt helpless throughout most of the trip because I would need my sister or brother-in-law to translate or ask questions for me. I came unprepared and it was no ones fault but my own. I knew there wouldn’t be English translations everywhere but assumed there would be some translations. Not at all.

Interior

Despite saying all of these negative things I did enjoy the time I had with my family. The mountains in Kamikochi were my favorite, we went to Kamikochi for a weekend and spent our nights at the Pension TengallonHat which was surprisingly nice after all. My sister and I relaxed in an outdoor hot tub (not the correct term), which was right next to a loud stream coming from the mountains. When we visited the Japan Alps it was cool and rainy so it left a nice fog on the mountains. Sadly I haven’t mastered photography enough to capture it really well.

Krill

Other than that we did a lot of (window) shopping, went to the aquarium, Nagoya Castle, visited with my brother-in-law’s parents, and more shopping… Did I mention shopping? Yeah, we did that too! Oh and I watched about 12 Japanese people try to fit into a very small elevator. After pressing several buttons and the elevator door still wasn’t closing two of them ran off to the escalator to catch their train. That was pretty amusing.

Bicycle

I’m pretty happy with the way my photos turned out. I have about three rolls from my Holga that will be developed this weekend so you should see more photos soon. Unfortunately, my supersampler* broke near the end of the trip. ::tear:: However, I’m hoping lomography will replace it, as it’s not even been three months. Cross your fingers for me…

Click below to view a slideshow of photos from this trip!



Life Travel

Sayonara

I’m leaving for the airport in about an hour and I’ve been doing a good job of not getting worked up about it. I’m not a nervous flier like some, but being in a confined space; in the air, for many hours may end up taking a toll on me. I’m bringing a journal with me and hopefully I’ll utilize it. Instead of blogging about the entire trip I thought I might just blog about really interesting parts of the trip in detail. We’ll see how that works out.

We’re flying out to Chicago tonight where we have an 11-hour layover, needless to say we’ve reserved a hotel room near O’Hare. (Thanks, Roy!) At 7:30 tomorrow morning we fly to San Francisco and reach our final destination (Nagoya) 17.5 hours later. I think we arrive in Japan at about 2:30pm their time; they’re 13 hours ahead which would make it 1:30AM on Wednesday EST. I’m sure I’ll be fine once we’re getting on the plane in San Francisco and en route to Japan. I’ll have books, an ipod, my laptop, and camera with me on board so I should be entertained for a while.

I suppose this will be the last you hear from me until I return on June 3rd. Most likely I’ll be updating my twitter account sporadically. Keep an eye out! :)