Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
The first time I encountered a squat toilet was the early-mid 1990s, when I went to Japan with a friend of mine named Teri. It was a very different experience for a Westerner to visit back then…the internet wasn’t as all-encompassing as it is now, so you had less opportunity to learn the ins and outs as a visitor. There weren’t nearly as many “English subtitles” to help you with street signs, transportation, etc. (I spoke about 100 words of Japanese at the time [including the furniture one would find in a living room, because you NEED that as a tourist], Teri could only say “thank-you” in the language, and neither of us could read or write in hiragana, katakana or kanji. Teri and I would sit with a map and compare characters to figure out where we were and where we wanted to go). And there were many less Western-style toilets than there are nowadays.
We were in a public park and I had to go. I had little idea of how to use a squat toilet the right way, and although I didn’t make a mess, (thank goodness), it was NOT a comfortable position for me to be in.
If you’re traveling from one city to another in Japan, the Shinkansen bullet train is the way to go. Fast, clean, easy and efficient, it’ll get you from Kyoto to Yokohama, Tokyo to Sapporo, Nara to Hiroshima, and just about anywhere else.
The operator of the Shinkansen, JR (Japan Railways) occasionally adds a little bit of fun to its bullet trains by giving them an overlay of popular Japanese animated series. In past years there have been Shinkansens adorned with Evangelion and Hello Kitty…
…but the next bullet train will be decorated in homage to the beloved Mickey Mouse…
I recently started to reminisce about the most memorable hotels where I’ve stayed. They aren’t necessarily the best hotels, the fanciest hotels or the most expensive ones I’ve ever stayed in. Instead, these are the places that left the most distinct memories. I haven’t stayed at some of these places for decades and we just recently visited others. The reasons they’re memorable vary. They could be places where I stayed during a “once in a lifetime” trip or somewhere that was so unique that it was unforgettable. I think you get the picture. It’s not always the fanciest or most expensive or most popular hotel that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Any place could end up being on the list. You just have to find out for yourself what places are special to you.
Here are, in no particular order, eleven of my most memorable hotels: Continue reading “My Top Eleven Most Memorable Hotels”
I’ve written plenty about how I earn credit card points and airline miles, but gathering all those points and miles is meaningless unless you do something with them. We saved points for several years and managed to take a once in a lifetime trip. We could have taken this trip by flying in coach on the cheapest tickets available but why would you want an amazing trip to be ordinary?
….and no, I didn’t actually pay $25,000 for the trip.
Here are the details of the best trip I ever planned (with some help). Prices in miles are from when we took the trip. Many of these flights now cost more miles than before.