Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tokyo part 2

The Government building - there is a free viewing deck up top. S loves heights and was desperate to visit this one and see Tokyo before dark. I think the platform was 50 or 56 stories high and I was adamant that I was staying in the lobby while S went up but in the end decide to hell with it.
So many skyscrapers for one little island.
Nightfall coming in - this is looking out to the Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Tower.
Such a dense city - every inch is built on.
Another very rare clear day allowed us another rare view of Mount Fuji from Tokyo.
Evidence of March 2011 earthquake in the Harajuku district.

Downtown/main street Harajuku.

Shibuya - graet for shopping and people watching but S of course didn't spare me enough time before our J League game to look around properly.
The busiest (and most famous) crossing in the world - Shibuya.
S extra large JD & Dry served at Hub (an english chain of pubs throughout Japan) - it became a favourite of ours for a few drinks at happy hour.
A true Japanese dinner with sake - no one in the restaurant spoke any english and there were no english menus so lots of sign language and gibberish led to a dinner of fish, vegetable, dim sim and tempura.

We were pretty proud of our efforts to navigate a locals restaurant and still manage to eat.

Downtown Shinjuku.. its ridiculously easy to get lost as we kept finding out.
More Shinjuku by night - we stayed in Shinjuku (the Sunroute Plaza) and explored the area most nights for restaurants, bars and karaoke.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Japan posts are still coming - Tokyo part 1

VERY RARE view of Mount Fuji from Obaida (man-made islands) between the buildings at sunset. Apparently you never see this view anymore due to smog etc and the locals were going just as crazy as us photographing it.
Tokyo's very own Statue of Liberty at Obaida.
City view from our cruise of Tokyo Bay.
Cruising Tokyo Bay at Sunset with S.

The man-made beach at Obaida with wake boarding!

Chilling out in the sunshine at Obaida on the beachfront.
At Obaida (man made islands and beach) looking back to Tokyo - this place is a must visit for a chilled out day.

View from the front of the monorail through the skyscraper district on the way to Obaida (man made islands).
The Imperial Gardens reminds me a lot of Central Park. A lush greenspace in the heart of a huge city.
The Imperial Gardens - beautiful for a stroll and absolutely huge. A little boring though so only go here if you have lots of time.

Downtown Roppongi (Financial district/ very Americanised) heading towards the Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower was so big we couldn't get it in one shot from here

Completely petrified - me looking out at the view from the first viewing deck. I refused to go up any further but S did and loved it. I told him he was lucky to get me off the ground and up any heights given our previous Tokyo visit!

S standing on the clear viewing platform ... no thank you!

A Crazy Clarks type store in Roppongi.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

And so it returns...

that dreaded tropical flu is back and kicking my butt again. The fun part of course being that the strongest treatment I can take is a Lemsip sachet with hot water before bed so I'm back to being close friends with my vitamin C, OJ, cranberry juice, bed, vicks and saltwater nasal spray again.

As a result, my weekend has been pretty low-key. I was supposed to catch up with a girlfriend to watch Crazy Stupid Love but had to cancel on her as she and her little ones were sick last week with gastro so didn't want to risk sharing the flu with them too. Instead my Friday night was spent rugged up on the lounge watching Hart of Dixie eps.

It completely poured rain here all day so I did some campaigning for dad on Saturday morning with some positive results (and only one crazy person cornered us), grocery shopped (and some sneaky clothes shopping) and hung out with my dad watching a Top 100 Divas countdown on cable for the afternoon - I know, I'm exciting :)

S took pity on me when he got home from work and took me out for dinner at a local teppanyaki place just to get me out of the house. It was packed but luckily they could seat us - the large group queuing before us weren't so lucky and were disappointingly rude when told there would be a wait... words were exchanged along the lines of 'fine dont take our money' and 'well we wont bother coming here again'. The staff were very nice about it all IMO and honestly, what do you expect on a Saturday night with a group of 6+ and no booking.

Today was still feeling pretty average so I had a huge sleep in and then enjoyed a surprise visit from my sis and her husband - she popped in to raid my pre-pregnancy work wardrobe for Cue dresses to take with her on a work trip this week. The lucky girl... her work trip is in Canberra as she works for a local Federal MP so his office staff rotate trips to Canberra accompanying him when parliament is sitting. This just happened to be her rostered week and being the political nerds we both are, she is pretty excited to be onsite with tomorrow's big vote happening. She has already planned where and how to maximise her information access and sources tomorrow and will be in touch to give me the lowdown as it unfolds on the scene.

Following a lengthy discussion of the Respill debacle and just how well it is working out for the LNP, we debated whether or not Rudd has the numbers to win the leadership (we believe this is now possible given Albo's shift yesterday) and how although we aren't and never will be Rudd fans, as Aussies and from a non-political standpoint, we do wish to give him a bit of a pat on the back and say good for you - after what that party did to him, he got the last laugh and he has won either way... he will either get the leadership or decimate the party but either way you look at it, he wins. We also discussed whether a third person will throw their hat in the ring for tomorrow's ballot. There ensued another debate and we agreed Crean is a definite possibilty. lets face it, Shorten is too obvious and is the master manipulator biding his time for the leadership. It would be too obvious for him to come out now, we think he's going to wait till the results of the next election before making his bid. Any thoughts on this?

Love talking with my sis on politics as we are both equally interest and she is just so stimulating to discuss with - she should be with a double degree in Law and Politics.

Not willing to waste the whole day on my sickbed, I insisted S find something for use to do and thats how our afternoon ended at the movies watching Contraband. If its not on your list to see, add it! I didn't really know what it was about, just that it had Marky Mark starring (Mark Wahlberg for those too young to understand the reference). Let me start by saying, Mark W is grossly underrated as an actor in my humble opinion and I had forgotten how much I enjoy his movies... he's great in a comedy or an action. Contraband is a gritty action movie set in New Orleans around international smuggling and there are quite a few twists and turns (one big one I picked up on pretty quick to S' amazement but I think that's because I just have a very suspicious mind naturally). It had me on the edge a few times and i was genuinely cheering for him ad his crew by the end and hoping the bad guy got a bullet. It all wraps up very neatly and was a satisfying and entertaining movie - bubba even thought so as he kicked nonstop for the first hour at least.

What was your weekend all about?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My first award

... in the online community - at least I'm pretty sure it is.

Moving forward, Cindy from http://uniqueblogofawesome.blogspot.com.au/ (check it out if you don't follow already) has very kindly awarded me

So the award requires me to share 7 random things about myself... here goes

1. I am a Queens Scout ... it took me about three years to complete in my mid-teens and is the highest award given in the Scouting organisation. No one believes me when I tell them I was a Scout or the District Chairperson in Scouting, apparently it doesn't reconcile easily with the rest of me.

2. I am an Australian and World champion in Inflatable Rescue Boat racing for Surf Life Saving... I have the scars to prove it including a nice one near my temple where I cracked my face open when a motor landed on it (the boat flipped in the surf and landed on me). Don't worry, I clearly lived to tell the tale. Again, apparently it doesn't reconcile easily with the rest of me.

3. One of my favourite after school snacks was fresh white bread with butter and vegemite, microwaved for 25 seconds - not sure how this was even thought up or by who but it was delicious. We'll save the other (much weirder) snack for a different time I think.

4. I don't own a hairdryer or any kind of hair products apart from shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment ... not even hairspray. I have used Pantene religiously since I was 13 and colour my hair every few years when I remember. My hairdresser tells me I have the best softest silkiest hair of anyone she knows - she may tell all her clients this though.

5. I won't eat bread if its not fresh baked that day my only exception is that up to 3 day old bread may be toasted. I also have superpowers at detecting if bread of any kind is more than one day old... my mum has learnt not to bother trying to trick me anymore as she always gets caught out.

6. I went stair surfing the night before my wedding and badly twisted my ankle - really, I was lucky not to break my neck. Unfortunately I'm a sucker for peer-pressure from my (younger crazier) siblings but hey, no one knew about the sore ankle - I sucked it up and wore my heels all day with no complaint (could be that I was floating in a champagne bubble but that's beside the point).

7. I examine every bite of food before putting it in my mouth... its a bad habit but I am a ridiculously fussy eater - something about certain textures in my mouth, especially fat of any kind put me off an entire meal. It drives my mum crazy as won't eat anything with a bone in it either (chicken drumsticks no way).

Well they're certainly random facts... not too boring though I hope.

I get so much enjoyment (and procrastination) out of reading blogs and I am awarding the following as Versatile Blogs:

Sydney Shop Girl

The Passionate Shopper

Peanut Butter & Honey


Marriage Motherhood & Renovations

Lovely Jublies

Motherhood Career Fashion


I Came to Make A Bang

(Canberra) City Girl

... and anyone else who would like to share some randomness about themselves

1. Add the award to your blog
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and post a link to their blog.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Give the award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photos from my weekend

A present to bubba from daddy - S has a new obsession with buying the baby Nike gear from the US. This is the fourth Nike onesie so far.

Saturday morning's breakfast for me...pancakes (I know, they look more like pikelets).
I realised while cooking them that I haven't cooked or even eaten pancakes since June 2008.
My very dear poppy passed away in June 2008 and in the few years before his death, it was our little ritual to have a 'pancake party' on a weekend every few weeks where I would come round and we would have a little catchup while he cooked pancakes.
I guess I just haven't wanted to have pancakes without him till now.

A gorgeous poster I found on Etsy by GraceHarper for bubba's room - will have a green or pale blue background to suit our colour scheme though. (I am in love with all the posters available though - just need a bigger home so I can buy them all).

Lunch with a view... our plans for Sunday were scrapped last minute so we decided to
head out for lunch with S' parents to Mount Tamborine. It wasn't any cooler in the mountains
let me tell you but we did have a lovely time strolling the main street
and lunching at the micro brewery there.

Drinks at the micro-brewery.
S struggled with his first beer after spending the previous night at the pub with the boys much to my amusement - he does not cope well with hangovers at the best of times and Sunday was no different. One thing I do love about pregnancy is waking up every day and knowing there will be no hangover or impending headache to cope with :)

Bubba's First Manchester United teddy bear all the way from friend's in England.
Bubba's team was predetermined before conception even by his daddy, grandfather and great grandfather... hope he doesn't rock the boat and choose another team when he's older as I'm not sure that will go down well :)

Not that bubba needs any more clothes but another gorgeous jumpsuit gifted.

Bubba's first swimsuit and matching hat from.

Don't judge me but I ate two minute noodles for dinner on Sunday night... and I enjoyed them!
I know, I don't even know who I am anymore either.

The best (and most unhealthy) way to eat two minute noodles is by draining them when cooked & stirring in a little butter with the seasoning. Absolutely no nutritional value in that entire bowl but it was yummy.

Ended the weekend watching The Adjustment Bureau in bed... love Emily Blunt and quite enjoyed this movie.

Deer everywhere ... a day trip to Nara

Still posting pics from our October Japan trip...

These are from a day trip out of Kyoto to Nara. It wasn't on my must do list, more of a if we have time we'll do it type plan but I will be forever glad we did as we had a fantastic day exploring and the city is just lovely to tour on foot with lots to see.

There are deer everywhere - they roam free around the city and you can buy deer crackers to feed them but be warned, you quickly get swarmed if you have crackers.

Hundreds of stone lanterns light the way through a gorgeous forest to the temple

A quaint little restaurant on the fringes of the forest

The buddha's companion

The World's biggest Buddha - this pic was taken from 10 metres away and its ginourmous.

The building that houses the Buddha - oh, and my makeup free face (cringe)

Traffic stopping to allow the deer to cross - we were amazed!

S getting mobbed for deer crackers.

Lunch at a makeshift/pop up restaurant in the park
Another temple building
A pagoda built by the Empress in the 14th (maybe 13th) century

Lots and lots of stairs to the temple :(
Temple amongst shops on the main street

The main street of Nara - you have to walk all the way to the top of it to get to the sites but its a nice walk with lots to look at.