NYC days 4 & 5

As I go through my pictures I realise how many of them I forgot. I have photos from Sevilla and Açores to put up. More often than not, these days, I want to close down the blog. Make it private, maybe? This is something I do for me, most of the times. I know I have something to look back to, all my ‘memories’ are up here. The good ones and the bad ones. That’s why I love the blog so much…but it’s just hard to keep it up sometimes. And then there’s a privacy issue that is kind of a bother.

With facebook linking instagram it’s getting harder and harder to keep akane kinomoto away from the me out there. I’ve had a lot of students adding me on instagram — why kids are adding teachers on social media is so mind boggling to me; back in the day, if I saw a teacher outside of school I’d try my very best to avoid him! — and it’s not like I mind that they see my pictures, but it’s like…I cannot get a break! I like to keep things a little separate and it’s becoming harder to do that… I’m hoping that will change with age. Not theirs, mine. I’ll get crankier as years go by, so they will want to avoid me. Right? Right.

Here’s a bit of NYC from our 4th and 5th days in the city.

On the third night, we went to bed with live images of the gun shots to the police force. We woke up the next day and could tell by the news that the next few days were going to be tense. We were caught up in a middle of one of the protests, but managed to quickly get out of the area before the police arrived. That was intense though.

If you ever read one of my posts on trips, you surely know that we like to randomly walk without agenda. And that is most of what we did back in New York. We never really had a plan except to go out and enjoy everything around us. The city is incredibly diverse and nice, and you find something interesting on every corner, but its immensity is also a fact, so walking all of it was a bit daunting. When we go out somewhere, we almost never get on a subway — with the exception of Tokyo, I don’t remember being in a city where we’d take the subway to go anywhere — and in New York we also managed to get by without it by walking the High Line.

This place is called Tacombi and we found it thanks to Jim Gaffigan (I loooooooooove him) who mentioned it in his series. It’s a taco place that served delicious margaritas and, of course, tacos. The place was vibrant and happy and busy, and the food was really really good.

We fell in love with the High Line. We would walk to it nearly everyday just so we could cross 20 blocks or so, going from the Meatpacking district through Chelsea and getting out on 34th street. This 2.33 km pathway was once a railroad that crossed the city on the West side, and it is now a beautiful walkable elevated park that offers gorgeous views of the city and great sites to just sit and relax for a while. You can see more photos on mutelife.com. I really really enjoyed the High Line. It’s one of those places in a foreign city that you adopt as a temporary home, or at least, I do.

By 5pm on the fifth day in NYC, the 10th of July, something happened that made millions jump with joy, including us.

Against all odds, Portugal football team won the playoffs, got to the final and won the European championship. We are European champions! On a foreign land that doesn’t really care much for football, we suffered, I must say. First we agreed to not watch the game — it would just be a waste of nearly two hours, and we only had a few more days in NYC — but we found a bar that was playing the game and stayed there for a while. The bar was way too noisy. And there was a guy there, right next to us, playing the expert in soccer, who apparently knew all about Cristiano Ronaldo and hated him, for some reason, and was so happy when he was injured. Ronaldo couldn’t go on. We decided to leave right then and there. We sat along the bay and listened to the game on the radio. It was nerve wrecking. We were tied. I had to go to the bathroom so we walked to the nearest mall and accidentally found a restaurant that had the game on. It was us against everybody. People were looking at us and sneering. Portugal would never win. We never win anything. And GOAL! and we won. And we shouted and screamed and jumped up and down! We facetimed home. We had to feel nearer somehow: CAMPEÕES! was the first word we heard. It was real! We won. We are the champions. And it felt so freaking amazing — New York felt even better that day. And I’ll leave you with this, just because.

NYC, I miss you.

I realised yesterday’s post was the first of 2017. Woah. And it’s nearly March already. How did that happen? (I keep repeating this…)

It’s never too late to say it: Happy New Year! Have a good one!

My year? Well, I don’t have to keep saying it, do I? busy, busy, busy… I guess that if I want to keep this up I have to try to find some kind of balance…However I can’t really seem to find a good solution that doesn’t involve me sleeping less than the 5h30 per night I get… This school year has gotten me completely haywire. We’re half way through, and I can only think that after this week-long break I’ve got less than a month and a half of school work to do for the easter break — but I’ve got SO much work to do on those 37 days that it gives me the shivers. Ugh.

Anyway… Let’s not think about that and let’s enjoy some NYC goodness, from our third day in this city.

Thank you for stopping by.

kyoto’s streets.

And here we are once again with Japan pics, finally!

These are just a few pics of the streets in Kyoto. This day we went to the aquarium in the morning. Salamanders there were not your normal salamander. These are giant Japanese salamanders that can grow up to two meters in length. They’re huge. And a just a teeny bit on the fugly side

They are the mascot of the aquarium and you’ve got an amazing choice of figurines and stuffed salamanders.

Hope you like the pics!

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Zen in Kyoto.

Back from the beach! The weekend was amazing! Could have been better if it wasn’t for the funny fact that I forgot to put sunscreen on my belly, and now it’s a shade darker than the rest of my body — lovely isn’t it? I tan fast, you see, heck, I get tanned from crossing the street! No, no, no, that is not a good thing… I get crazy tan lines.

I am also confined to the sofa or bed, because I have been having this funny (ah ah) pain near my left shoulder blade, that really comes and goes, but evolved yesterday, while I was laughing like crazy, to a not funny stab-with-a-knife kind of pain… So yes. Fun, fun, fun!

Let’s talk about something else. Kyoto. Oh yes.

After Nagoya, we arrived in Kyoto completely devoid of any will to do anything but stay in bed sleeping, but alas, we did not do that. We did however get ourselves a really delicious breakfast served in our room, at Hyatt Regency. The hotel was pretty amazing: spacious and pretty room, with a huge bed and an awesome walk-in shower. Also you could open the blinds without the fear of people seeing you half-naked — that’s always a plus.  The breakfast was incredible. We had a combined breakfast for two, with a traditional Japanese breakfast, featuring miso soup, grilled fish, vegetables, rice, etc, etc; and a western breakfast, with the mandatory eggs and bacon, pastries, jams, bread, etc, etc.

click for mooooooooooore

Holidays, don’t go away.

I can’t believe I wrote petty instead of PRETTY on the previous post.
All sorted out now, anyway.

The moment you read this I’ll be lying on warm sand, trying to keep akira off my towel and/or myself, reading another Murakami masterpiece, feeling the freshness of the Atlantic, hopefully eating pastries, delicious pasta and fresh grilled fish, all in the good company of cold wine (or beer, either one is fine).

Yes, I’ll be at the beach. So make sure to follow on instagram!

Have a great weekend!

Pretty Nagoya.

After a well spent day in between little towns, we headed to Nagoya.

Nagoya is big and very business-y like. One of the first things we saw when we go there was a lady laying on the floor and a few of her friends surrounding her. I got immediately worried, but figured the situation was completely under control — as in, calling an ambulance an such — turns out she was out drunk, and everyone was laughing and behaving as if that was completely normal! Turns out, it is…

We would only be in Nagoya for a day, to visit the castle. We were incredibly tired, and we just wanted to get a good night sleep — the hotel we stayed in for the night before was decent, just on the verge of bad and we couldn’t really rest properly.

The castle is amazing! It reminded us a lot of Osaka’s castle, but of course this one was completely different in every detail inside and out. Golden carps were everywhere and there was a reenacting of ancient times, with samurais strolling around and old shops all over.

Nagoya castle up ahead!

Continue reading “Pretty Nagoya.”

takayama and furukawa.

I’m sorry for the radio silence.

Life’s been busy around here: house painting, coming up with the new office, moving up furniture, bringing in new furniture…and then we had to dip our feet on the crystal clear water of our beautiful Atlantic (meaning, we went to the beach).

I also have been thinking a lot about the future direction of this blog, I need to freshen it up, somehow! — I’m on a cleaning/tidying up rampage, okay? For now, I have a few ideas, but since I have no one to pitch them to, because I’m my own boss around here, I need to mull them over and come up with what I really want to see.

Today I’m presenting you photos from our trip to Takayama and Furukawa. *This post is heavily loaded with photos, I am sorry!*

A couple of days after arriving to Tokyo, we packed some clothes on our backpacks and headed off to Nagoya, but in between, we visited the very beautiful Takayama and Furukawa. Both are very small towns but very authentic and pretty. We walked around quite a lot, tried fresh soba, beef sushi and grilled dango, fed the carps and knew immediately why we were back to Japan after 11 months.

meal on the train.

make the kitties happy and click for more pics!

Tokyo through the camera – part one.

August arrived looking grey and cold.

Now that I’ve had time to relax and sleep, I can finally start working on the pictures straight from the camera.

These will be fairly photo-exclusive posts, in its majority, because I really just want to share the pics without many words, or I’ll end up repeating myself. So here are the first couple of days in Tokyo.

just arrived after nearly 18 hours on a plane (one hour ish of layover)

click for more — make the kitties happy!