The Great Wall of China!

Our next stop in Beijing…The Great Wall of China, and great it was! We decided to go to the Mutianyu section of the wall which was about 2.5 hours from downtown Beijing. We hired a driver to take us to…

Beijing and the Forbidden City

Beijing has always been a bucket list item for me, and with our time winding down in Asia, we decided we had better take the plunge. There are lots of hoops to jump through to visit China, including getting a…

Cousins in Tokyo- Part Two

Part Two– My sister Pam, along with her two young kids, came all the way from Italy to pay us a visit. Most of our activities included having four kids in tow, but we did manage to get out one…

Cousins in Tokyo- Part One

Who would ever guess that the cheapest flight to anywhere in the world from Italy, was to Tokyo? Well, that is exactly what happened when my sister Pam was randomly searching airfares one night. Pam had just moved to Italy…

A few days in Phuket, Thailand

With the return of the cold (relatively!) and gray days of winter, we heard the beckoning call of Phuket, Thailand, yet again. Our last visit to this beautiful and exotic country was close to a year ago, and we were…

Fukubukuro- “lucky bag” shopping, 2016

Another new year in Japan, means another stab at fukubukuro, or lucky bag shopping! The gist of fukubukuro is heading to the mall on New Year’s Day, and buying a bag with unknown contents for a set price. The contents…

A quick trip to Singapore

We usually use Singapore as our southeast Asian hub, so we’ve been in and out many times, but since it had been a few years since we stayed there we decided to sneak in a quick trip before Christmas, and…

A visit with Grandma and Grandpa

We were so happy to find out that grandma and grandpa (Matt’s parents) were planning to visit Japan! It was their very first trip out of the United States, and we couldn’t wait to show them more of this wonderful…

Kamakura and Yokosuka Naval Base

Kamakura is a great seaside town, a few hours southwest of Tokyo, and was once considered the capital of Japan. It’s most famous attraction is Daibutsu, or Great Buddha. He is the oldest statue of buddha in Japan, and at…