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Old 01-06-2011, 01:55 AM   #46
Vallie
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Hi All!

Sorry I've been M.I.A... been super busy with the holidays and getting some planning done for our upcoming NZ Cruise and our trip to Sydney to meet Craig's family who is coming to visit us in Australia!

I've also been looking into getting a teaching job in London this upcoming September (which is looking like it may or may not be a possibility depending on money situations after this next semester of school!)

I hope all of you had a wonderful christmas and new years!

Oh and in other exciting news, Craig met Kate + 8 (+ a few other family members) when they came into his resturant the other day! What are the chances of that!! He was pretty excited about it and is convinced that 2011 is gunna be a good year lol

But anyways I haven't forgotten about my TR and here is the next installment!

The Great Camera Disaster!
We woke up at 8am, excited to start our Tokyo Adventure. We quickly got ready to go, armed with our camera, guide map, guide book and all the other touristy things you can think of (minus the fanny pack). We were excited, yet terrified. What were we so terrified of? Well... this...


What you’re looking at right here is a picture of the Tokyo Subway system.

The Tokyo subway system looked daunting, but Craig is pretty travel savvy and was convinced we’d be ok. I told him to take the lead and we headed off downstairs, where we walked out the door, only to realise that we had no idea where the closest subway system was (the closest one being the Hanzomon Station) so we walked right back into the hotel and asked the front desk. I have to say I was really pleasantly surprised to find that pretty much every staff person we spoke to at the hotel was able to speak pretty good English. They were able to direct us to the station (which was a 5 minute walk) and off we went.

Our first stop was to get ourselves a PASMO card, which is a card you can use to tap on and off all stations. You have to pay 500Y deposit to get the card, which you can get returned to you later on and then you can put how ever much you want on the card. The subway will cost you about 160Y – 300Y per line that you take. It can get pretty expensive fast, but thats Tokyo; Expensive!

Our first stop on our agenda was Harajuku. This was the first stop because it was a Sunday, and apparently on Sundays all the Harajuku girls come out to play! For all the fears we had about the subway system, it actually ended up being pretty easy. All the stops are labelled and announced in English and there are maps and signs everywhere. We were able to navigate our way to Harajuku with no problems.



Once we got off the train we stepped out and looked around in awe, we were actually in Tokyo. We took a couple pictures and then found an information map to take a look at where we should go and what there was to do in the area. We decided since it was still pretty early (about 9am) we decided to hit up the Mejjii Shrine.


The Harajuku Subway Station



Meijii Shrine Pics:
















The Mejjii Shrine was really nice, although I was kinda disappointed that there were not very many English signs around, not that I expect it but it would have been nice to be able to read about what we were seeing. While we were there a wedding came by and the bride and ceremony was soo pretty, everyone was taking pictures of this so I decided to sneak a couple shots too.







On the way back out of the shrine I was snapping away with Craig’s camera when all of a sudden it made this really weird noise. Now Craig has a pretty expensive camera so this noise made us both very nervous. We quickly turned it off and on again only to have it make the same noise again. This is when Craig started to get mad. Last week his hard drive on his Mac gave out and now this. We kept trying to get the camera working to no avail.

Craig was really upset and we sat down and we both agreed that no matter what we weren’t gunna let this ruin our trip, and we’d just go down to Electric Town (a huge electronics store) and see if he could get it fixed there, or at the very least to buy a new camera because as of this point we were in Japan... with no camera! And that is not acceptable to a picture freak like me! (My camera was broken about a month before in the Gold Coast when it fell out of my pocket and hit the floor at the wrong angle (of course!).

So we left Harajuku and headed off to Electric Town with our hearts full of hope.
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Last edited by Vallie; 01-06-2011 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:24 AM   #47
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Yeah a post!

Man have I been there before. in 2009 I bought a NEW laptop and had taken it on a two week road trip of Colorado with my mom. Well every night I had been dumping my pic on my computer because I was doing a blog for all my friends back home and thought hey why am I keeping the pictures on the card I can delete them since they are on my laptop. Well around day 12 my brand new, less than 3 weeks old hard-drive took a severe crash . I quickly rushed it to the closest "dosctor" the next day to fidn out it was completely fried and I coudl not get my pictures back . Life sucked at that point for you see I am a professional photographer and well had a national geographic shot of a Bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, ALL GONE... ALL GONE. I feel your pain, hope things turn out well, but looking at your siggy you must have gotta it fixed or replaced which is a relief.
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #48
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Glad you are back! I hope you get the job in London, that would be an amazing experience. That subway system seems way too intense. But I am sure that you made it around after a while with no problems. If my camera broke in a foreign country I think I would cry. I am glad that you had some alternatives and I can't wait to hear what happens.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:19 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISNEYaddict4evr View Post
Man have I been there before. in 2009 I bought a NEW laptop and had taken it on a two week road trip of Colorado with my mom. Well every night I had been dumping my pic on my computer because I was doing a blog for all my friends back home and thought hey why am I keeping the pictures on the card I can delete them since they are on my laptop. Well around day 12 my brand new, less than 3 weeks old hard-drive took a severe crash . I quickly rushed it to the closest "dosctor" the next day to fidn out it was completely fried and I coudl not get my pictures back . Life sucked at that point for you see I am a professional photographer and well had a national geographic shot of a Bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, ALL GONE... ALL GONE. I feel your pain, hope things turn out well, but looking at your siggy you must have gotta it fixed or replaced which is a relief.
Aw that really sucks! As someone who loves photography I can definitly feel your pain in that story

The camera was not able to be fixed but we did get a replacement for me Thank goodness!

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Originally Posted by Aburns8 View Post
Glad you are back! I hope you get the job in London, that would be an amazing experience. That subway system seems way too intense. But I am sure that you made it around after a while with no problems. If my camera broke in a foreign country I think I would cry. I am glad that you had some alternatives and I can't wait to hear what happens.
Thank you! I hope I'm able to move there too, I'd love to travel and live in Europe for a bit. It was pretty intense but it was a lot easier then it looked!! And the rest of the day is coming right up
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:45 AM   #50
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Subbing! What an interesting trip you've had so far! Japan looks fantastic! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:03 AM   #51
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Subbing! What an interesting trip you've had so far! Japan looks fantastic! Can't wait to read more!
Welcome! It was fantastic and hope you enjoy the rest
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #52
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Dogs Wearing Sunnies!

We jumped back on the subway and quickly navigated our way through the city and arrived at Electric Town... which wasn’t actually a town (like I pictured), it was a huge 10 story (or maybe more?) store filled with every kind of electronic you could think of. We looked around for some signs and figured out which floor the cameras were on. We ran up the escalator and started looking for someone who spoke English. We found a very nice man who didn’t speak English but quickly went to find someone who did. We explained our problem and let him listen to the awful noise coming from the camera and the man every so kindly explained to us that we could DEFINITLY get it fixed there... and we could pick it up in about a month!!!

Well that obviously was not going to work for us, so we decided we would just buy another camera for me to use for Japan (since my nice Canon one was broken) and we would send Craig’s camera back to Canada when we got home to get it fixed under warranty (which no one can find! Grr!) So anyways I went over to the Canon section and low and behold, there was my same camera that broke a month before.... for $300 LESS then what I paid for it back home just 6 months ago! I quickly decided to buy the camera and the nice man gave me an extra 10% off. I paid just over $100 for a brand new Canon camera and I was a happy lady!

Craig on the other hand was bummed about his camera, but being the fantastic guy that he was he decided he wasn’t going to let it bring him down and decided to go take a look at some cool Wii and iPhone gadgets!

After playing with all the cool toys we headed out to find some lunch. On our way out, we ran into this awesome guy who I stopped and took a photo with!


We walked around the area of Electric Town and decided we would be very adventurous and try some Japanese... Burger King! We walked into BK and were a bit apprehensive about ordering, but luckily they had nice picture menus for us to order from so it was no problem!

After our lunch we decided to head on back to Harajuku and actually enjoy the area this time, so back on the subway we went!

Our first stop was KiddyLand! KiddyLand is a gigantic toy store and being the huge geeks that we are we were super excited to check it out! Everything was just so cute I could barely handle it! But again I resisted the urge to buy anything because I knew we’d be back.












My favourite was the Minnie Couture line. They were sooo cute but so expensive (a Minnie dressed came out to almost $100! – which I tried to justify but then I thought of all the clothes and shoes I wanted to buy)


After KiddyLand we checked out Take****a Street (oh yes, it’s actually called that!) which consists of all these cool small shops and scary alleyways. I really enjoyed it because I love small boutiques and strange quirky things, but I was sad because I saw no Harajuku girls (and I really wanted to bust out the Gwen Stefani song!)










These creepy mannequins were everywhere!


Octopus balls mmmm!

We exited the other end of the street and were greeted by huge versions of all my favourite stores! From designer Prada and Dior to Forever 21 and H&M I was in heaven!











For some reason this random store we went into had statues of the where the wild things are monsters


We wandered from store to store and window shopped. I didn’t buy anything this day because our other friends were meeting us in a couple days and I knew I’d much rather shop with my gal pal while Craig grabbed a beer then torture him with my shopping (I’m a crazy shopaholic btw).

We were getting tired so we decided we’d eat some dinner and then head home, we started wandering looking for something to eat when we ran into two awesome things.....real live harujuku girls!


And....these dogs!


Dressed like the doggy version of a 90’s boyband complete with SUNNIES (aka sunglasses!)!! I just fell in love when I saw these pooches and I knew I had to take a pic so I was trying to be sneaky about it and the owner saw me, so he sat the dogs down in a row for me! So cute!

After wandering around a bit more and looking at all the weird unappetizing, yet extremely helpful plastic food displays to figure out what we wanted,


We decided on TGI Fridays for dinner which was pretty yummy! I was hoping for some sushi but Craig hates Seafood so that wasn’t happening today.


Craig was stoked we got the star wars table



After dinner we decided it was time to go home and relax so we’d be nice and refreshed for our next adventure!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:47 AM   #53
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Wow! What a day. I think I would have had a blast at Kiddyland. It looked fun. I am glad that you got a new camera, but sorry to hear about the other camera. I don't understand why it would take a month to fix a camera. It is also good to know that there is enough "American" choices for food there. I am picky and I don't know if I would eat Sushi.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #54
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WOW! That would be my worst nightmare.....having something go wrong with a camera on vacay!
Glad you got a nice new one out of it.

The Harajuka looks great! I'm starting to scheme about heading to Japan....someday.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:37 PM   #55
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OT: Hi, just checking in to see if where you live is ok with all the flooding. Not sure if you know to listen to your local ABC radio station for updates.
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:51 PM   #56
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Wow, Craig doesn't like Seafood? How did he survive!?!?
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:38 AM   #57
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Wow! What a day. I think I would have had a blast at Kiddyland. It looked fun. I am glad that you got a new camera, but sorry to hear about the other camera. I don't understand why it would take a month to fix a camera. It is also good to know that there is enough "American" choices for food there. I am picky and I don't know if I would eat Sushi.
It was really awsome but very very crowded! It is too bad about the camera, especially because we asked Craig's mum to take a look for the warrenty for him back home and she cant find it! Hes hoping for a new lens for christmas!

There are SO many American Food choices there! And all of the food we ate was delish! I LOVE love love sushi but as I found out there's no (americanized) sushi rolls in Japan, they mostly just have sashimi (I'm sure I spelt that wrong).

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WOW! That would be my worst nightmare.....having something go wrong with a camera on vacay!
Glad you got a nice new one out of it.

The Harajuka looks great! I'm starting to scheme about heading to Japan....someday.
I was glad too, and I'm happy of all the places for it to happen, we were in Japan where the camera are cheap and plentiful!

and DO IT!!! go to JAPAN!!!!

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OT: Hi, just checking in to see if where you live is ok with all the flooding. Not sure if you know to listen to your local ABC radio station for updates.
Thanks so much for thinking of us.... we are OK here but it's a little scary. We invited all our friends over at our apartment as it's on the 6th floor (we have the highest place) We had some wine, pizza, played some board games and watched some movies and the news. I think (hope) we will be ok in our area, we are right on the ocean so I guess in this case its the best place to be. We'll have to see how it is tomorrow, but how horrible all this flooding is it's a bit scary as we're all alone out here with no family and have never had to encounter anything like it before, so we're trying to keep spirits up and nerves calm.

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Wow, Craig doesn't like Seafood? How did he survive!?!?
haha he survived fine so many yummy non-seafood options in Japan!
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:02 AM   #58
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Wow! Sounda like a huge day! How amazing are the harajuku girls? Did you see many at disney too? Kiddlyand looks like an amAzing shop! Did you go to Tokyo hands at all?
Hope all remains ok with the floods. Seems pretty scary ATM. Is your area under at all?

I'll be in surfers from the 26th feb to 1st march If you wanted to meat up? I'm doing sea world and wet and wild. No epcot or blizzard beach but it's the closest I'll be getting for a while.

Can't wait to hear all about the Girly shopping day!
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:18 PM   #59
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I am REALLY looking forward to June even more now!
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:38 AM   #60
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Can't wait to hear about TDL!!
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