Quick trip to Portland, Olympia and Seattle 2 weeks ago. Very quick with sunset time for any exploring. And I really need to go back. Loved all the coffee options in Portland the could spend more time exploring Seattle and the area. Hit some tourist sites like the very first Starbucks, the fish market and fancy Portland coffee at Coava. I couldn’t say no to the pumpkin ginger scone or latte (should have gotten their honey latte at that point!).
Quick 2 day trip to Canada. Two very long days, though. Vancouver seems like a great city and the mountains in the background are beautiful. I’ve never been and would love to go back for fun. I even fit in a sea plane trip over to Victoria. This little puddle jumper was busy all day long, flights leaving every 20 minutes. Which means the pilot is actually looking out the window to confirm where the planes are.
We spent the long weekend at my parents in Connecticut. Baby was still getting over her cold/congestion and Mark caught what Stella was passing out. I got back to New York with my own crusty eye. Other than that, it was good to see the family. My mom does use this as a chance to make desserts, including the chocolate cake I remember as a kid (the frosting is like chocolate chips). And we cut it right out of the middle of the pan. Some parade, trip to Target, home cooked meals…
We did it! We made it to California and back. Baby is our star traveler, and I think she’s ready for that trip to Paris next. You’ll notice that Glow Worm came with us. Tucked away in the Go Ruck on the way there (so manly!) and the diaper bag on the way home. Security is a breeze when you are the 5th person through it at 5 am.
Last month I took my last pre-baby flight to head to Walnut Creek for my baby shower with the Brooks family. I stayed with Mark’s family, and his sister joined us from LA for the weekend. Baby Shower and an earthquake, I fit it all in! Thank you to my sister for sending along one of her maternity dresses. May as well get some more use out of it! We had lots of family friends and new moms (so ambitious to bring all the new babies).
We went on a little adventure this weekend north to Canada. It’s always nice to get away from New York City, and it’s always nice to come back home. We took the camera to get some practice in before October.
First stop Burlington, VT. Burgers with local beef, pizza with fresh ingredients and of course, coffee in the morning.
Then on to Montreal. Montreal is a small city, so very easy to cover some ground if you’ve got your walking shoes on. Nice to see the French influence. When they ask me for water in French, does that mean they think I’m French?
We left early Monday to beat the traffic. Just a quick stop in New Paltz where we made a pit stop and I had some apple cider doughnuts. Why not?
I got to escape the cold with a quick trip to San Francisco and Half Moon Bay for work last week. I couldn’t have needed it any more…I could feel the warm air as soon as I exited the plane. Dinner with a friend and day in the San Francisco office…was great. I also took advantage of lunch to head next door to the Ferry Building. After checking out all my options, I went with the Beef Pho from Out the Door, the takeout of the Slanted Door which I love. I went outside and sat on the bench, enjoying the view and lunch.
And just a few shots of the office which is out on the pier. Great space. I even lucked into a cocktail reception for work that night, right next door at La Mar.
Tokyo ended with a night in the Narita Airport. The typhoon (yes, I typhoon) cause the train to the airport to be delayed by 3 hours…putting me there 10 minutes after my flight left on time. After many calls to the travel department, and no hope of a hotel near the airport…I decided I was going to be there for the long haul. No way was I going BACK to Tokyo, to then return TO the airport after that disastrous train ride.
First step: find dinner. As you can see from the pics below, it is very popular to display the plastic version of what you are going to sell. It’s a really hard way to judge one’s dinner. I basically picked a place by the number of people there, figuring more was a good sign.
And my dinner:
Finally, it was time to camp out for the night. I have to be honest, it was all quite civil. The shops and restaurants all shut down around 9 pm, people found the benches, and just stretched out. I tried to keep a hand and arm touching my luggage at all times for fear someone would come swipe a bag. And then the airport people rolled out a cart with sleeping bags and water. There was no way I was going to crawl into a dirty sleeping back, so I used the roll as a pillow.
I was so happy to get a boarding pass and across security the next day. My Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong never looked better. I indulged in a sweet bean roll thing and and some breakfast sushi in the lounge. I can’t say I looked my best. But I will admit that I rallied when I hit the train station in Hong Kong, changed into a new outfit, put on makeup, some jewelry and moved on to my next city….
With limited days in Tokyo, I had to make the most of my Monday night. I got very good directions from Asuka at work, and headed off on the train to Shibuya and Roppongi Hills. I wish I knew a little Japanese, but I managed with some smiling and head nodding.
Shibuya is one of the shopping districts in Tokyo, and is famous for the huge crosswalk. The entire intersection clears and then massive amounts of people cross all at once. Then it’s clear again for cars. I walked through a few times just to see it from both sides of the street. I walked around the Shibuya area for a bit. Lots of lights and young people. And Uniqlo, of course.
Then off to the observatory at Roppongi (free entry with my work badge), with a great view of the expansive city of Tokyo. The pictures don’t do it justice because of the glare off the glass. I found a spot for dinner, but they had to call over the waiter who knew some English to help guide me. I eat just about anything, but I wasn’t sure how much to order off the menu. It all worked out just fine and was pretty tasty.
It’s been 2 weeks since my last post…because I’ve been doing the grand tour of Asia for work. I had a fantastic opportunity to visit our offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. They days were busy busy busy, but you know me. I managed to fit in site before and after work. And ate along the way. And of course I documented it for my loyal followers.
I left Saturday night and arrived very late Sunday night. The goal was to time it so I would go to bed when I arrived in Tokyo at 11 pm. Whatever I did worked, because I didn’t really suffer from jet lag. The plane menu let me know how it would be in Japan. Lots of Japanese, none of which I know. I ended my meal with a hot fudge sundae. At this rate, I knew it was going to eat just about everything during the 2 weeks so there was no holding back.
Lots of the buildings have retail and restaurants at the base, and the all connect underground. Even my hotel was the same, the lobby was on the 7th floor and there were underground restaurants, food courts, shopping. When the typhoon came, I tried to leverage this and stay dry. This didn’t work out so well as I got lost in the maze and couldn’t make my way to the work building. I ended up back outside in the pouring rain.
The hotel, my view from the hotel, and the very complicated toilet in the hotel room. Of course I went for the heated seat!
My company sent me an office guide to each location, so the directions to the office were very clear. Yes, I used it to walk the 4 blocks to the office on the first day.
So got an early start Monday before work with a walk to the Imperial Garden. The streets are immaculate and no one jaywalks. This is a little hard for a die hard New Yorker. So I made sure to stand at the designated spot at the crosswalk. Oh, and I got a lot of compliments on these shoes throughout my trip (Aerosoles, who would have thought!). I may be traveling, but I don’t leave my commuter shoes behind. They came with me to and from the office each day.
Some early morning sights not far from the office. I wasn’t the only one walking around at 7 am. This is the main palace of the Emperor of Japan, but is closed to the public. The grounds around it are open for walking.
And off to work!