Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm still here!

Just... not HERE, here.

Sorry about that.

It's been a busy couple of few months. I feel like I've gone on a trip every other weekend (which is not much of an exaggeration since I actually went on one every other, other weekend for awhile there), and the start of the school year is always pretty energy consuming. But now that it's summer, and I have a functional computer with a real screen, I can blog much more easily! Thanks for sticking around. :)

Let's start off with a travel recap!

I. Tokyo
In April, I took a short vacation to Tokyo with J! We really just wanted to go to Disneyland and Disney Sea, but spent a day in Tokyo proper while we were at it. I had so much fun just spending time with J. It was the most time we've spent together, and neither of us wanted to die or commit murder at the end! Good sign! Here's some pictures:
Ready for Day 1: Tokyo Disney Sea!

The weather was less than ideal, but we still had a great time..

Really, we did. I swear.

One of my favorite things about Tokyo Disney Sea is the gondala rides. This ain't your average Disney park.

Day 2: Tokyo Disneyland!

The weather was much better, so we actually got to see some characters.

Javier is a natural model. :)

We stayed aaaaaaall day and saw the parade at the end. So fun!

Day 3: Tokyo! Here is Javier posing at the temple in Asaskusa

It was his first time in Tokyo, so I dragged him around to all the major sights. Thank goodness for the Yamanote line!
II. Ishigaki and Iriomote Islands  
 Two weeks later, I packed my bags again for a Golden Week (kind of a Spring Break situation) trip to Ishigaki Island! Ishigaki is a far southern island of Okinawa Prefecture. It's about an hour away by plane so this is the first opportunity I've had to visit. It was an amazing five-day adventure with my two best gal pals and our fellow JET and local guide, Sean. Take a look:

Neave shows off her modeling AND kanji skills!

Our first morning was spent on the beach, interacting with the local wildlife. ;)

We also took a quick swim in a small waterfall. So refreshing!

After lunch, we went to a cultural park, but all we really wanted to do was play with the  monkeys.

They usually have food to attract the monkeys, but they ran out, so the monkeys didn't stick around very long.

This is the last picture I snapped before my camera started acting really, really funky.

I managed to get it to take this picture at Kabira Bay before it seized up again. Pretty spot, huh?

The next day we went out to the remote and largely uninhabited island, Iriomote.

We took a jungle river cruise up to a hiking trail...

And hiked further along the river for about 45 minutes

Neave looked right at home.

Our destination was a series of waterfalls. We stopped at the falls further up and took a long, peaceful swim.

That night we camped above Hoshizuna(star sand) Beach and I woke up early to see the sunrise. Then my camera died for the rest of the trip. :P You will just have to take my word for it: it was awesome.

 III. Miyako Island
The last trip was just a weekend hop over to another island, Miyako. It's also almost an hour away, but only costs about $60 RT so this was my second time visiting. I also went there with my two best gal pals, and we met up with our local friend MB and some other main-island JETs for a big music convention. Here are some snapshots:

First night: Izakaya with a HUGE group of JETs and friends.

The next day: We arrived at the music festival early to claim our spot in the grass.

Sarra looking so cute and cheesy :)

During some of the less interesting performances, I gave Neave a poster-inspired manicure. Including the thumbs, it says "Live as One"

As you can see, it's been quite a whirlwind. I can hardly believe how much I was able to do in just two months. Of course, I am utterly broke now and have been trying to recover ever since, but at least I have a lot of photos to look at while I am home alone eating top ramen every weekend. ;)

Thanks for reading! I promise the next post won't be so far in the future!

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