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2 Search Results for ""traditional japanese dress""

  • Tokyo Girls in the Rain Tokyo Girls in the Rain

    • From: dlj668
    • Description:

      While living on Jeju Island in South Korea, I had the opportunity to spend a very short weekend in Tokyo. I wish that I could have stayed much longer, but I was able to pack a lot into the 3 days I was there. While out on the town on a very rainy Tokyo night, I saw these young Japanese girls in traditional dress walking though the streets. They were quite far in front of me so I started into a slow run to try to catch up to them and get a photo. I loved the look of their colorful outfits with matching umbrellas against the wet streets of Tokyo. After weaving my way through the throngs of people, I finally got close enough to get this shot. It was worth the run!

    • 5 years ago
    • Views: 679
  • Northern Califonia: Very Small Northern Califonia: Very Small & Very Large Trees

    • From: oldfashiongirl
    • Description:

      We just spent the last 10 days on a road trip through Northern California, driving over 1,600 miles in our poor little Mini Cooper, who isn’t used to such treatment. An oil change and carwash is in order early this next week. Meanwhile, please enjoy a recap of our journey:

      Days 1 & 2: Wildfires, Boring I-5, & Frida Kahlo
      We left Wednesday evening after work and quickly dropped off the dogs at my parents house. We hit the road and made it as far as Grants Pass before checking into a motel for the night. The next day we began the long, very boring and straight journey down the I-5 corridor. The smoke from all of the California wildfires made the air around the Mount Shasta area very hazy.


      We survived the crazy drivers of California and made it in to San Francisco at about 4pm Thursday. We stayed at an old Victorian hotel, the San Remo, in the North Beach neighborhood near Fisherman’s Warf. For the first two nights, we were lucky enough to have reservations for the penthouse suite. The room was featured in an episode of Globe Trekker and even when I booked the reservation six months ago, I was only able to reserve two of the four nights we were staying. After climbing three flights of stairs to the hotel’s rooftop, there is a little cabin just big enough for the bed and a bathroom with a very small clawfoot tub. There was also a nice outdoor area with lounge chairs and a table for dining alfresco with a wonderful view of the Coit Tower. It felt like our own private oasis in the middle of the city and was very quiet except for the seagulls and wind gusts.



      We resisted the urge to just lounge around the room all night and headed downtown to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which is open until 10pm on Thursdays and was featuring a Freda Kahlo exhibit. Matt’s past experience delivering pizzas in Northwest Portland was a benefit as we drove downtown during rush hour traffic, dodging taxis, buses, pedestrians and zigzagging through the one-way, two-way, and no-way streets trying to find parking. We eventually found a spot, a free one no less. The Kahlo exhibit was awesome and moving and I was very happy to have seen it.

      Day 3: More Free Parking, Golden Gate Park, & Haight/Ashbury
      Our parking luck continued with a free overnight parking spot half a block from the hotel. To appropriately appreciate this, you have to understand that everywhere we read, there were warnings not to attempt to drive in San Francisco. Furthermore, the advice was to park your car in a lot, pay the $25/day for parking, and use public transit. Not only is the driving stressful (not to mention the hills…….), but finding a legal parking space is said to be virtually impossible. We had been lucky so far. We ventured out early and drove over to Golden Gate Park and the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood. Low and behold, we found one of the few all day, free parking spots in the entire city. Matt made a sudden, illegal U-turn in the middle of a busy street and dove in.

      Golden Gate Park was fantastic and the weather was cooperating as well. Foggy clouds would roll in, but would blow out just as quickly to be replaced with clear blue sky and temperatures in the mid 60’s. Our first stop in the Park was the Flower Conservatory which is a huge, white Victorian glass greenhouse that holds different gardens and a butterfly exhibit. Our second stop was the De Young Museum to have a bite to eat and get an aerial view of the Park from the observatory deck (unfortunately, the fog had rolled in at that time), and our third stop was the gorgeous Japanese Tea Garden, which proved to be a fantastic place to take photos.



      We had walked quite a bit of the Park by mid-afternoon and headed over to Haight Street for some vintage clothing shopping. Matt was very patient and enjoyed stores the most that had a bench or chair for him to sit at. I found a very cool 1950’s party dress that still has the original belt. We headed back to the hotel and took a walk around Fisherman’s Warf during sunset and had some dinner (I had the traditional clam chowder in a bread bowl).


      Day 4: The Farmers Market, Two H&M’s, & a China Town
      We finally succumbed and parked our car in a garage since we were planning on doing most of the day’s exploring by foot. We headed down to the Ferry Building for the massive farmers market that happens on Saturday mornings, but for some reason we ate breakfast first so we weren’t all that hungry and the best part of a farmers market is sampling all of the foods, so we didn’t stay too long. Plus the crowds were simply overwhelming.

      Ferry Building Farmers Market

      Millions of Peaches......Peaches for Me.......

      Grow-your-own-mushroom Kit

      We headed over to the Union Square area to hit the two H&M’s, where we both found some cool new clothes. Then it was off to hike up the huge hills to China Town. We shared an appetizer plate and had a few drinks in one of the old Chinese restaurants that was very opulently decorated. Unfortunately, the two rum and cokes I had hit me harder than expected and I started shopping at the Chinese junk shops while tipsy. While I was unpacking my souvenirs today, I came across a few of those purchases, among them a Chinese silk dog dress for Missy! Poor Matt, I feel bad for him having to tolerate me in that state of mind in a place as chaotic as China Town.

      San Francisco's China Town

      Day 5: Half Naked Europeans, the Alameda Point Flea Market, & a Burning Clutch
      Unfortunately, we had to move out of our penthouse room to one of the normal hotel rooms, which was more like a hostel situation since there was virtually nothing in the room besides a bed and a sink and you have to share a total of 4 bathrooms with about 30-40 other rooms. The hotel seemed to be filled to the brim with groups of young Europeans traveling together and taking advantage of the weak US dollar. In the morning, we waited in line for about 20 minutes with a bunch of European guys dressed in only their boxer shorts, all of us waiting to get one of the showers. I did not particularly enjoy sharing a shower, especially when the showers were unisex. We all know that boys have different standards of cleanliness than girls do when it comes to how clean to leave a bathroom you just used.

      We spent most of Sunday at the Alameda Point Flea market outside of Oakland. It is a huge antiques market with about 800 booths set up in a shipping yard. It took us about 5-6 hours to walk through it and I came away with a few cool purchases, as well as a very bad sunburn. I usually wear sunscreen every day but for some reason I didn’t because it was overcast and I didn’t think it would be a problem, but I was wrong. I’m still pealing and it’s a week later.

      Alameda Point Flea Market

      On the way back to the hotel, we tried to climb a very steep hill in order to drive down the windiest street in the world. Unfortunately, with so many other cars in line and stops and starts on the hill, we soon smelled our clutch burning. We abandoned that plan and coasted down the hill to put the poor car to rest for the night in the parking garage.

      Mini Cooper & Alcatraz

      Day 6: Football Players, Wineries, & a Very Muddy Situation
      We left San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge and made the two hour drive out to the Napa Valley wine region. It was a very beautiful drive and the weather was much hotter than in the bay area. I was very excited about a lunch reservation that I was able to get at Bouchon, a sought after French restaurant in the little town of Yountville. When we pulled into town and got out of the car, we saw a large number of motorcycle cops clearing the only street through town to make way for four large tour buses coming through. We were wondering what all of the fuss was about and who were in the buses. It happened to be the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders football teams who were having lunch in town. So, this little winery town with fancy restaurants was being swarmed by these huge football players – it was a very funny site. We were seated at Bouchon and shortly afterwards a football player and an agent were seated by us. We had to listen to the agent drone on and on through the entire meal, purely egotistical babble, while the football player just sat there looking like he was questioning whether the free meal was worth listening to that guy. When the agent got up to use the restroom, the player turned to us and apologized for his “loud dining companion”. We didn’t mind too much, it made for some interesting eavesdropping and the food was absolutely fantastic.

      A Typical View in the Napa Valley Wine Region

      Me & My Menu at Bouchon

      After lunch, we drove through the beautiful scenery, took some back roads just for the heck of it, and stopped to do some olive oil tasting (no wine tasting through – there is just something wrong about tasting wine and then driving a whole bunch. Olive oil tasting however was just fine with us!). We stayed at the Calistoga Inn in the small town of Calistoga, which had a fantastic outdoor restaurant and bar area overlooking a quiet little creek with live music and delicious food. After dinner we went to a spa in town that featured the famous Calistoga mud baths. It was a very strange experience taking a mud bath. It’s basically like sitting in a big bowl of warm chocolate pudding with tapioca in it. You have to force yourself down into it and it was very hot and smelly. Then we showered and had a mineral bath, followed by a 30-minute massage.

      Day 7: Firefighters, a Swimming Pool, & a Japanese Soaking Tub
      Our first stop of the morning was California's old faithful geiser, one of three old faithful geisers in the world. But, more importantly, they also had Tennessee Fainting Goats. These goats are said to have a genetic disorder that makes their muscles freeze when frightened, making them an easy meal for wolves and such. Unfortunately, none fainted while we were there, which was very disappointing.

      Matt & Jessica Witnessing California's Old Faithful

      After the geiser, we drove two hours through winding hills and orchards from Calistoga to the Clear Lake area for our stay in the very small town of Upper Lake. We stayed at the Tallman Hotel which was by far the best hotel we have stayed at in ages. It is an old 1896, two story building that looks like it belongs in the Deep South with its white columns, ceiling fans and elegant decor. We stayed in one of the buildings separate from the main hotel that featured a private patio area and Japanese soaking tub. After we checked in, we took a dip in the pool as it was about 95 degrees out and we had been driving all day. Then we had dinner at the very cute Blue Wing Saloon next door, along with about 30 volunteer firefighters stationed in the area for all of the wildfires happening. Matt was beginning to wonder what was up: European men in boxers, football teams, firefighters – where was the Swedish bikini team or a cheerleading competition? It wasn’t fair……

      The Beautiful Tallman Hotel

      The Small Town of Upper Lake, CA

      After dinner, we had a dip in the Japanese soaking tub and loved it so much that we are brainstorming how we could put one in our back yard. It is kind of like a hot tub, but without the jets and more aesthetically pleasing. We slept so well that night as it was so quiet out in the country with only the sound of the crickets chirping away. Even the rooster next door waited until late morning to begin crowing.

      Our Japanese Soaking Tub!

      Day 8: A Pygmy Forest, Hippies, & the Homeless
      We reluctantly checked out of the Tallman Hotel and headed towards the coast through more winding and hilly roads. We stopped by the picturesque coastal town of Mendocino that we had heard so much about, but were not all that impressed. It seemed to be where old hippies who had destroyed their minds on drugs in the 60’s had moved to live out their days, mixed with new hippies who were in the process of destroying their minds, and a huge homeless population in comparison to the small size of the town itself. This all came with a vibe of tourists and outsiders not being very welcome. So, we didn’t stay there long and instead headed for the Pygmy Forest. Basically, it is an area about three miles off the main highway where the soil is so poor that 100 year old trees that should be hundreds of feet tall have only grown to a height of four feet or so.

      A Pygmy Forest

      We stayed at the Country Inn in the town of Fort Bragg, which was the first time we had ever stayed at a B&B. It was nice though and we were pretty much left alone. My fear of B&B’s is a dreaded long conversation with the owner about what you do for a living, how your trip has been going, etc. and then repeating that conversation with the other guests over breakfast in the morning. We ate dinner at the North Coast Brewery about two blocks away, which had some great beer, and were able to use the hot tub back at the Inn.

      Day 9: Glass Beach, More Hippies, & Drive-Through Trees
      In the morning, a yummy breakfast of quiche and orange juice was brought up to our room and then we were off to see Glass Beach. In the 1960’s or so, the town of Fort Bragg had their dump right on the beach. Some decades lately it was cleaned up, but the glass from all of the garbage remained and became smooth over time from the ocean and created an entire beach of sea glass. It was so fun to pick through the rocks and glass and try to figure out what it might have been. It was a gorgeous area and we had a brief moment of sun to enjoy. This part of California’s coast reminded us a lot of our own Oregon coast, including the weather which, even in August, was cloudy and cold.

      The Gorgeous

      The Beautiful Mendocino Coast

      We headed down Highway 1 which took absolutely forever to traverse due to the hairpin turns and hills. Fortunately there were not many other cars on the road. We finally got to Highway 101 and were smack dab in the middle of the redwoods. Our first stop was a drive-through tree to snap a photo of the Mini and a stop at the gift shop run by, of course, more old hippies who were sent into a panic when I informed them that the machine that turns your penny into a souvenir wasn’t working. I didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus, I just wanted to let them know. But apparently that was the most exciting thing that had happened to them in a while.

      Our Mini Cooper inside a Redwood!

      Then we drove “The Avenue of the Giants” which is a small road that winds alongside Highway 101 through the redwoods that you can drive at a slower pace and stop at the roadside attractions, such as a house made out of a single redwood tree and more drive-through trees. Unfortunately, many of these roadside attractions had gone out of business due to the initial generation retiring and a lack of a new generation willing to take on the businesses. Nonetheless, it was a gorgeous area and the trees are truly amazing. It is hard to get an idea of how large they are through photos.

      Me inside a Redwood!

      We stayed the night in the dumpy town of Eureka, which we will definitely skip next time, although we did have a good dinner at the Lost Coast Brewery. Our motel, the Bayview Inn, had a view of the bay technically, but mostly a view of a very large mill spewing brown smoke day and night.

      Day 10: Roosevelt Elk, Trees of Mystery, & More Boring I-5
      We checked out pretty early to start the long drive home. We drove up the coast through more redwoods and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Roosevelt Elk herd that lives in the area. The big guy below was relaxing in someone’s yard in a trailer park along the highway. How would you like to have him in your yard?

      Roosevelt Elk in a Trailer Park

      Then we stopped by the Trees of Mystery which is a kitschy roadside attraction that within the last few years has installed a sky tram with gondolas. I am scared of heights but would have gone up in it if it was a clear day out and I could have gotten some good pictures (yeah, right….). Instead I settled for a picture with Paul Bunion and Babe the Blue Ox. The rest of the day consisted of the long, boring drive up I-5, with a quick stop for lunch in Grants Pass.

      Me & The Big Guy

      We had a really great time on our trip and would most definitely like to visit the wine region again, as well as San Francisco. Even though this is around my fifth time visiting the city, there is always something new to see and great shopping. We’re trying to figure out how we could easily stay at the Tallman Hotel again since we loved it there so much, but we’ll probably have to wait until our next road trip to the area.

    • Blog post
    • 6 years ago
    • Views: 2604
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