was just looking at some of the blogs i read and they have beautiful travel photos of women all dressed in gorgeous summer dresses and cute outfits. how i wish i could travel like that instead of my practical workout gear that is beginning to smell a little ripe after multiple wears. oh well, you know those girls in the pictures don't have to haul their own gear and don't stay in hostels.

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On Her Way

On Her Way

One of the Geishas we saw wandering around the Gion District last night.
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Kyoto Day 2

Today was a grand improvement from yesterday. We purposely got a slow start and didn't leave the hostel until 10ish. Gave us time to try out our new Sham-Wow like towels and play around on the internet and plan our day before setting out.

We decided to hit the Toji temple first. It is the location of the tallest pagoda in Japan (5 whopping stories) We didn't spring for the whole admission, but got to enter the temple, the main hall and the lecture hall. Each had tons of golden buddhas, that almost tried to outdo each other. The grounds of the temple were really pretty as well, there was a large pond and tons of flowers. We had a nice relaxing late breakfast there people watching of green tea ice cream and rice cakes.

We then hiked back to Kyoto station with the hope of finding the sushi resturant that was recommended on Wikitravel and by our hostel. It was somewhere in Kyoto station's 12 floors, and we had a picture and name...should be easy right?! Well the hostel gave us somewhat backward directions so we were wandering all over the lower mall and then back through the JR terminal before we found someone who knew where we were trying to go. We had been on the verge of throwing in the towel, and were so glad we didn't! The place was so much fun as we sat at the counter and just picked out what we wanted as it cruised by on the conveyor belt. They charge you by what color plate you pick up and just total your plates at the end. We got to try some new things and left with only a $8 and some tab, hard to beat! Guess sushi is growing on me.

Then it was off to the bamboo forest of Arashimaya. They aren't kidding that Kyoto's landmarks are all spread out, we had to take the JR almost 30 minutes to get to the Arashimaya area. From there we had a decent walk to the bamboo forest. Each side had tons of bamboo growing and it was dark, quiet, and cool there. Really glad we went.

From there we took the JR to Enmachi area. We thought we would be sneaky and avoid getting the city bus pass (after we found out we couldn't get the all day passes in Enmachi) and just take the JR buses through town. The downside to our plan...JR buses are not very frequent and do not run to every bus stop. Ended up missing our bus, and had to wait out about 30 more mins for the next one to take us just a little farther from where we wanted to go, but it really saved out feet. Kinkaku-ji was well worth the effort! The pavilion is covered in gold leaf and sits on a beautiful pond. The gardens surrounding it were very pretty as well. There were a ton of people there though all clamouring for pictures of the pavilion. We went at high sun, so was hard to get pictures that were up to Charlton's standards (oh well!) Then it was back to the station, this time catching the JR bus quickly (we didn't have to wait) and off we went back to Kyoto.

Kiyomizu-dera was our last temple on our to-do list. However, our plan of taking the JR buses everywhere today was foiled when there were no lines out to the temple. We knew there was no way we were going to walk it, and the subway was not a reliable option as we had seen from yesterday so we bit the bullet and bought an all day bus pass. We took it straight to where we needed to go, with only a small uphill hike past more shops (more goodies for us to sample). When we got to the temple, it was absolutely gorgeous! It is nestled in the trees and almost looks like it is suspended. Totally Swiss Family Robinson like...had they built a multi level temple, with two pagodas in Japan (ha!) After hustling some more samples we headed to the geisha district of Gion.

We didn't have a set walk planned for Gion, but just hoped to wander through the old buildings and see us a geisha. We weren't there for more than 10 minutes when we turn a corner and it looks like the paparazzi are there for Britney Spears. We hung around for a little with all the other gawkers and were treated to a couple geisha sightings. We then walked the rest of the neighborhood and then caught the bus back through the major designer shopping district before coming back to the hostel.

After a quick break we headed out for Yakitori for dinner at a restaurant recommended by the hostel. It fit all of our criteria - good and cheap! It was the tiniest little place just around the corner from our hostel and we shared the counter with only one other person. Gave us the chance to watch our chef at work as he grilled out chicken livers, stomach and mushroom skewers. Everything was really good, and Charlton was happy I tried some new things. We then hit the Circle K on the way home for dessert before watching our slingboxed American Idol and Dhani tackles the Globe. We both have gotten cleaned up for tomorrow as we have a tour of the Imperial Palace at 10, and have to check out here and drop our bags at the station before then. After that we make our way on to Osaka with a stop in Nara for the afternoon.

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Runing Around Kyoto

Almost to the Golden Temple!
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Kyoto Day 1

So yesterday we got up as early as our bodies would allow given the freezing condition of our room in Takayama. Got to the JR station just in time for our 6:50 train to Kyoto. The transfer in Nagoya was painless and we actually had very little time to wander around.

We got to Kyoto around noonish and booked it for our hostel. Our luck once again had us coming out on the wrong side of the station and having to walk way out of the way to get back to where we should have come out (with backpacks not fun) finally got to our place and the room wasn't ready so we took off in search of food and some sights.

We headed back to the station for some grub as the Kyoto station is 12 stories of department store, station and food court. Charlton got some Dashimaki Tamago, which are like little egg balls cooked in special pans. I tried my luck at a noodle shop where I had to use a vending machine to place my order. The food was really good, and both our places seemed really popular (always a plus). Then we headed off to the Info Center in the mall and picked up some walking tour information and get some much needed internet time. Then before we left we headed to Mr. Donut for a snack.

We picked up a Subway pass having no idea the coverage in Kyoto. We assumed the city was like Tokyo that you never had to go far unitl a subway. We bought our passes and skipped the bus connection service and headed off. We figured we could wing it and hit the 1st walking tour in our handout. We visited the Heian shrine and then went to the Kyoto Folk Crafts center (basically a giant duty free shop disguised as a museum...no wonder it was free) then we headed up the philosopher's walk and walked along the stream under sakura blossoms. We got to the end of the walk at Ginkaku-ji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion). We decided to skip the admittance since it was going to be 5 bucks a piece and the whole thing was being renonvated anyway. We then decided it was time to head back so we could rest and get some dinner. Good plan right?! Well without having bus coverage we had to walk pracitcally across all of Kyoto to get back to the subway. Our walk through town was longer than the philosopher's walk! Finally got back to the hostel HOURS later, and had to carry our lovely backpacks up the stairs (ugh!) to our room. Hooray for wi-fi, private bathroom and a bed!

We didn't stay stationary for long and used the hotel recommendations for cheap eats to find a little noodle/curry place just down the street. Got to use the vending machines again and had our curry, which after all the walking was like the best meal ever. We then headed to the grocery store for dessert and came back here to watch some slingboxed shows. We both passed out with the lights on and only woke up when the other hostelers were getting loud. Lucky for Charlton he had packed ear plugs. I was woken up quite a bit last night having to listen to their drunken banter. Oh well, beats freezing in Takayama on a tatami mat.

It's about time for us to start getting ready for day two. We are going to make sure we get bus coverage today and try to hit the rest of the major sites. We have an Imperial Palace tour scheduled for tomorrow so other than that today is our last day of touring here, hope the feet can handle it.

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The First of Many...

Kyoto Temple

One of the many temples in Kyoto. More to follow.
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Tuckered out in Takayama

From yesterday...

As I type this Charlton and I are hanging out in our Yakutas provided by our little budget Minshuku, ours is more like a b&b. We got to Takayama late yesterday afternoon as the JR was delayed in the hills of Japan for three hours. So when we got to Takayama the town had rolled up its sidewalks. We trekked out to our place which is like three doors down from a gorgeous shrine. Once we dropped off our bags we headed out to find some grub, and had a hard time finding anything. We finally found a little hole in the wall noodle shop where the locals had packed. We both got huge bowls of yakisoba and some pot stickers to split, because you know being on a train all day can make you hungry. We got back to our place and were freezing! We settled in early hoping to get a jump on the city today since we had missed precious time sitting on the train.

We tackled the city bright and early today. There is a morning market not too far from where we are staying so we went straight there to get some breakfast and to see some of the local handicrafts. Charlton couldn’t pass up the region’s delicacy of Hida beef, and got a beef and dumpling skewer and a marshmallow like thing for breakfast, while I got an apple from a local vendor and supplemented with a pastry from the convenience store.

We then made our way to the other side of town, getting a little lost along the way (a common theme of our today) and went to the Hida Folk Village, basically a Williamsburg for old time Japan. They didn’t have the people dressed up in costume, but it was interesting to see the old buildings and such. Then we made our way back to the main part of town and got lunch at Ebisu (recommended by the tourist info guy), a soba restaurant that has been in business since 1890s (yum!) Then we went on the Higashiyama shrine walking trail. We got to see some beautiful shrines, and had some great views of the city. However, toward the end we went a little off course and ended up in the middle of some farms and had to ask for directions (again!) All we had left of the walk was to see Takayama castle, and we really had to work for it! It was at the top of a huge hill and took us forever to get there. Was definitely worth it though, and we celebrated with green tea ice creams at the bottom. From there we went and walked down the streets of old private houses and then went to a park on the other side of town (up another huge hill!) We were both pretty exhausted at this point so we came back to our place and took a little nap before heading to the convenience store to pick up some dinner.

Finished off the long day by using the public bath downstairs from our room, was really nice to relax there and come back to our warm room (swear it’s the only heated room in the house!) We are all packed up for tomorrow as our train for Kyoto leaves at 6:50, and we are about a 30 minute walk to the station. Hopefully we will have better luck with the trains tomorrow. We have really liked it here, but I think we are happy to get to a little bigger city for a bit.
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Blown Away in Hakone

From a few days ago...

Today was the day that Kristen and I left the safe confines of Tokyo and ventured deeper into Japan. Our destination was the resort town of Hakone, pronounced Hah-cone-ay. We got a bit of a later start since we decided the night before we were going to take it somewhat easier so that we don’t burn ourselves out after one week. We had an enjoyable train ride with highlights of asking for directions from a nice lady and husband who spoke very little English and me finding a comic book on the train only to discover it was a nudie one.

Once we got to Hakone we picked up a Hakone Free Pass which basically entitles you to take what ever transportation you wish in Hakone. This can include, a bus, train, cable car, rope car and pirate ship. Great deal right? Well, we thought so.

The first step to getting to Hakone is taking a train ride from Odawara station to Hakone-Yumoto. We ended up doing this by sneaking on to the “Romance Car” which was supposed to have a surcharge. We were trying to get out so we could get on the correct train but the door closed, so free fancy ride for us. At the end though, Hakone ended up winning the battle.

Basically while today was very nice and sunny, it was also extremely windy. This wind took the pirate ship and rope car off our plans. However with the free pass, if a ride or attraction is closed, you get a refund. This lead to a day of many bus rides down windy roads, which can get old after a while (which it did). We ended up returning to our hotel around 5:30pm which gave a nice time to relax. After Kristen fell asleep at 7:30 (seriously), I decided to step out and try to take some picture of the city after dark. It was quite amusing getting some good pictures as well as seeing Japanese men and women in their Yakutas heading out for a night on the town.

Tomorrow takes us (or took depending on when this gets posted) to Takayama. Also, no word yet if I’ve gotten brave enough to try an onsen. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try. Maybe (I tried an onsen in the morning. It was very nice, a little awkward but the view was unbeatable).

Kristen note: Yes, I did fall asleep at 7:30, but a day of riding a bus down mountain roads can wear a girl out. But seriously, the best thing about Hakone since we had to miss so much of our planned trip is 3 words….RED BEAN CAKES! I ate my weight in free samples from every shop I could, did cave and finally bought one because it was black and it was delish!
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In Takayama!

Hello from Takayama (Houmeitaigumi Preservation Area).
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In Tokyo

Well we made it. And what a view! I'm sure we'll see more tomorrow!
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Off to Hakone

We gotta pack up and head to the JR to get there this afternoon. We will have little internet access for the next couple days but I will be sure to write posts and upload them when we can.

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rain rain go away

Yesterday was pretty miserable. When I posted last, we thought that we would be fine with our North Face jackets (which have gotten mistaken for Canadians by some of the subway riders here) but we were wrong.

We took the subway over to Kokuritsu-Kyogijo so we could try to hit a flea market. People have flea markets in the rain right!? um no. At least our walking wasn't a total loss as we were able to see the national gymnasium and future Olympic venue if Tokyo wins the 2016 bid. We then hopped back on the subway to get on a nice warm car to Asakusa.

Asakusa is a little enclave of the old Tokyo. The main draw is the Sensoji temple that was built in the 7th century. Even in the pouring rain it was packed with tourists and Japanese alike. We took very few pictures as there was so much water and we didn't want to ruin the cameras. While the temple is beautiful, the food there is awesome! Leading up to the temple there is a main shopping street (and there are side street shops as far as the eye can see) that are selling trinkets and snacks. We stopped for some red bean cakes that were pressed into various shapes. It reminded me of the donuts my family gets at the Del Mar Fair as they were still warm right out of the press. yum! We walked a little farther and went to a booth that Charlton had visited last time to get some fried mochis. We picked up a green tea and an apricot one. They were both tasty too. So after seeing the temple and having enough snacks was time to get some real lunch. We wandered the side streets for what seemed like forever looking for a cheap well-like noodle shop. And we couldn't find anything! Think it must have been because it was in the touristy part and the fact that we didn't want to head to a bar. So we went back to the main drag and found a Yoshinoya and got a bento and a rice bowl. Delicious! It was there that we found out that most of the contents of my purse had got wet...Sony reader, camera, baseball tickets etc. Not cool. However, I did make a little Japanese friend who instructed me on the fine art of eating my rice bowl. He was so cute and reminded me of my grandpa. Now I will know what spices to put on my pork next time!

After lunch we headed to the subway to go back to Ginza and hit the Sony Building that we had neglected on our last trip. Saw 4 floors of new products, but I was expecting a little more wow factor. Although the movie room playing Final Fantasy was pretty cool.

Then it was back to Ikebukuro to visit the Toyota Auto Salon which was a huge showroom of all their Japanese cars. We had a blast running around in there seeing the Wish, Crown and Bb. And it was nice to be dry! Then it was back to the hotel to gear up for the Giants v. Dragons game.

We went to the Tokyo Dome for our 6 o'clock game (borrowed umbrella in hand) and was greeted by throngs of cheering fans. I have never seen such a scene at a baseball game! They had chants memorized and they were all in sync. The beer girls were a scene as well, with beer buckets on their backs. So much fun. However, we were both pooped and left after the 5th inning or so and headed back to the am/pm to get some more grub and crash here and try to get warm. We both fell asleep watching the Office, missing the end, that's how exhausted we were.

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Shibuya and Roppongi Recap

So after we finished at the Meiji shrine we headed to Shibuya. There are so many cool shops and stores and let alone the crazy Shibuya crossing, the one most of you have seen with all the lit up ads on television. It was a blast to walk around and see, but totally packed to the gills with people. We also made a stop at the Hachiko statue. I know Addie would not have waited for us to come home for as long as Hachiko waited for his master.

We hightailed it over to Roppongi and got a view of the city at dusk. Not as stunning as the pictures of it at night, but gorgeous still the same. By this time we were pooped and headed home. We got a quick dinner at the Family Mart down the street of some various sandwiches and some yogurt. Then we both crashed watching our Slingboxed episode of American Idol (thanks Nathan!) all to do it again today!

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Meiji Shrine Recap

After cruising around the Shiodome area we headed to the Meiji shrine. It is housed in a gorgeous park like setting making it hard to believe that you are in the middle of such a busy metropolis. The path is lined by Japanese maples and is so lush. We sprung for the inner garden walk and it allowed us to ditch the crowds. Was absolutely gorgeous! Then we headed to the shrine and made an offering and checking out all the gift shop trinkets.

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Ginza and beyond

Shortly after visiting the palace, Charlton and I busted out the guidebook to see if there was anything nearby that was worthy of seeing. He had already planned to take me to Ginza and a little farther south was ADMT in the Shiodome district. With me going into Marketing, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the museum. So we walked though the posh streets of Ginza, passing by the designer stores. We were both starving but everything was too rich for our tastes and we needed to get something considerably cheaper than our breakfast since we had splurged a little. We kept walking and finally found a little noodle shop on a side street and both had a huge bowl of noodles. It was delicious and totally gave us the boost we needed to head to Shiodome.

ADMT was such a cool experience. It really is really interesting to see how they had incoporated print ads and television to create the exhibits. They had some of the oldest print ads I had ever seen right next to ads we practically saw on the plane over. The whole thing is housed right next door to the Dentsu ad agency, and really cool.

We then headed across the courtyard and checked out the Panasonic Living Showroom. We got to walkthrough a ton of modern kitchens and bathrooms, and play with all the home gadgets. Was pretty neat, wish they carried some of the stuff we saw in the states, I would be totally remodeling our place with the overhead cabinets they had.

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Imperial Palace Recap

So after leaving Tsukiji we headed toward the Imperial Palace. Charlton had arranged for a free tour and it was really cool to be able to go inside. It was about an hour and a half walking tour, I think we missed out on a lot as we only had the English audio guides, but the sites were still pretty impressive. We were part of a large school tour group, and teenagers are exactly the same no matter what coutry they are from. We spent most of the tour laughing at the kids and teasing that we were the same height as they were and should just follow them for the rest of the day.

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Raining in Tokyo

It's pouring outside as we are getting ready to head out for the day. We ventured out already when it was sprinkling so we could get something to eat as I gobbled up all the Pocky from last night. We hit the am/pm and got some pastries and came back to have them with some tea in the hotel lobby. Really hit the spot. We made our list of things we still wanted to do and hopefully it will be a much more relaxed pace as I think we overdid it yesterday.

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Tsukiji Recap

I am sorry for our disappointing blog post from yesterday. We were beat! We got up super early (like 4:30) to get ready for Tsukiji. We decided to fogoe to the tuna auctions that start around 5ish to avoid having to pay $60 for a cab and took the subway instead. Charlton went to the market the last time he was hear but was a little disoriented when he got off the subway. Made it nice that we could follow a little old man with a wicker basket and wellies to the market. Charlton had warned me that the market was CRAZY! and he wanted me to pay very close attention to my surroundings. And that was an understatement! There are men in electric carts, men pushing carts, cars, bicycles everywhere you turn. And not to mention the fish! They are everywhere, I was so close to getting eel all over me when a man on a scooter drove by with them flopping around in bloody water. But it was so much fun! I have never seen so many kinds of fish in one place.

Next I dragged Charlton to another outpost where there was the fruit and veggie market of Tsukiji. They had some of the most beautiful produce I have ever seen. There were scallions as long as my arm! Was really neat and a lot less crazy than the fish market side.

Then after Charlton and I went to the little sushi bar he found on his trip last time and had breakfast! And as most of you know I am not a huge fan of sushi, and here I am having it for breakfast. But I figure when in Tokyo you gotta. It was delicious and something I will never have the opporunity to do again. After our meal I dragged Charlton to the fruit market again and bought some of the most expensive cherries (doh!) but they were really tasty too. Made for an enjoyable morning, but it totally thre off our time clocks as we thought it was so much later the rest of the day.

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Plugging Along in Tokyo

Kristen and I just got back to our hotel room. What a long day. I'm pretty tired so I'll just do bullet points. Thrilling, I know.

- Tsukiji Fish Market
- Some sort of veggie market
- Ryogoku (Sumo town)
- Tour of Imperial Palace
- Got train reservations for rest of trip at Tokyo Station
- Went to a fancy Japanese Advertising museum
- Meiji Gardens
- Shibuya Crossing
- Ginza
- Roppongi

That was a lot and we are tired!

Time for bed!


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Off to the Fish Market!

Tuna Auction

It's 4am and we're getting ready to head off to the Tsukiji Fish Market, which is one of the world's largest fish markets. If it weren't for jet lag there is no way I could ever get up this early back home. However, we will use our lack of sleep to our advantage! I can't wait to get my hands on some good fish!

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We're here!

Just got into Tokyo a few hours ago. Took the JR from Narita out to our hotel in Ikebukuro and have basically been trying to get settled. Our room is really nice (small but nice) and is super quiet. Hard to believe there is so much hustle and bustle a few blocks from us. Both of us were drawn in by all the flashing lights, pachinko parlors and restaurants. But we wanted to try to turn in a little early so we can get ready for Tuskiji tomorrow morning. We still haven't planned all of our activities for tomorrow, but I have me a date with a big tuna!

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From thelejo: WORLD
See you in Japan!
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And We're Off!

Kristen and I are currently sitting here in the commuter terminal here in San Diego. We are attempting to get an earlier flight to LAX so we can get our new boarding passes up there in LA. We'll see if that happens or not.

From LA we are flying to Narita (Tokyo) on Singapore Airlines. I've never been on Singapore Air, but have only hear remarkably good things about the airline.

Right now it hardly feels like the trip is here. In a way I still expect to go back to work in the next few days though that will not be the case. Anyhow, we'll try to post as much as we can so that way we can document our journey and anyone who wants to "cyberstalk" us, can.

Will write more in LA or Tokyo! 

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And It Begins

The bags are getting packed and we are getting ready to go!
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Japan via Indiana

In one week, I will be aboard a plane making my way to Tokyo. But tonight, Charlton and I are hopping on plane to Indianapolis to go to IU's MBA Experience Weekend. We will be meeting current students, professors and our incoming classmates. Also we have a ton of apartments to look at, so we can secure housing for the fall. There is the added pressure with our trip as we will not be able to sign leasing documents (if they wont accept scanned copies) after this weekend.

Both of us have a lot of nervous energy right now, still feel like we need to tie up some things here and there is trip ideas we still want to research. We have been trying to see all of our family and friends, because we wont have much more time here. I said goodbye to my Brownie troop I help this afternoon (so sad!) And they are such good little Girl Scouts and gave me some of their cookie money as a congratulation present. I was so touched, gets me teary just thinking of about it.

So the start of this crazy journey begins

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You just got into the 15th ranked MBA program, now what are you going to do?

We're going to Disneyland!

Disneyland has always been a special place for my family to celebrate birthdays and life events. Can't think of a better way to celebrate us getting into IU and leaving for our trip. So we are heading up to Anaheim to spend tomorrow with Mickey and Minnie, with a little lunch at Club 33 (you know you are jealous) My sister's friend Robbin hooked us up, and it is just the cherry to top it all off. And my folks are totally spoiling us, because tonight we are staying at the Grand Californian. Going to so much fun!

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my life in boxes

Welcome to my so-called life:

We have so much coming up: Disneyland, trip to Bloomington, 3 months traveling, and then our move to Bloomington in August. So as of this morning most of our things are stacked like this in the garage and even more stacked in our old guest room that has now become our room, as my brother has moved into our master bedroom since that's how we pamper our pet-sitter *wink wink* You really figure out what you need when you have to pack things away for such a long time. Will be packing for the probably rainy trip to Bloomington soon and then after that...for our amazing race and then we will downgrade to living out of one of these:

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gobble gobble

I am definitely having to play a lot of catch up. That's what happens when the two of us are running at 1,000 mph trying to plan, pack and pack some more. Leaves very little time to reflect where we are. But anyways...I found searched for hours in trying to acquire a room rental in Istanbul but to no avail. Most places were way out of our price range, or ended up out of our range when you factored in the agency fees. Having never been to Turkey we both opted to have the modern conveniences of an established hotel versus sharing a bathroom with a tenet who may or not speak English. So I had to scrap that idea, expecially after discovering a Trip Advisor article that did not recommend any of the places that were in our range. Still think I did all right.

We will be staying at the Hotel Pensisula, which is centrally located in Istanbul. A lot of the hotels have beautiful views of the mosques and Pensinsula is no exception! We will be enjoying our breakfast from a chair here:

and at 55 euros...practically a steal!

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fez accomodation

I know I promised more details on Fez, and in the whirlwind that was last weekend I ended up booking a lovely riad-like accommodation. I found the Pension Sekaya on Fez Riads, and at less than 70 euros a night in the heart of the medina, how can you go wrong with this:

I love the architecture, its absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait for some mint tea while lounging in these cafe chairs...or better yet while having some tagine!

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traveling in style

I had no grand illusions that I was going to be a fashion plate during our trip. We are not the type of people to stay at 5 star resorts and have vacations like the ones in Abercrombie & Kent. But with the going away gift from my coworkers today will help me make a step in the right direction with my new travel bag!

Isn't it gorgeous, go ahead and be jealous!

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Where Are You Going?

So tomorrow is a big day. It is the last day of work for Kristen and I. For me it will be a big change. I have been at my current company for exactly three years so I've naturally developed friendships which I will miss. However, all good things have to come to an end and new journeys have to start. 
For Kristen and I our journey is twofold. First, this Fall will we be in Bloomington, Indiana attending graduate business school. Second, and the reason we are keeping this online journal, is we are embarking on huge world trip.
As you can see above, we have big plans for the next three months. We will try our best to provide somewhat up to date information of what we are doing and seeing here.
Where in the World are you going?
So our trip starts on April 22, 2009 and can be broken up in four major sections:
Japan - Two Weeks
Thailand - Three Weeks
India - Ten Days
Europe - Six Weeks
On July 27, 2009 we will be returning to San Diego.
In the next four days I will take some time to put some more detailed notes down regarding where we are going exactly. Feel free to leave some comments or send an email to me at cclemens31@gmail.com.


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About thelejo: The Leadenhall Journal

About thelejo.com

Welcome to The Leadenhall Journal or thelejo.com. Starting off, I'll answer where the name thelejo came from. Back in 2007 I decided I wanted to start a blog to put some of my ideas, photos, observations etc... Rather than using a website with just my name, I tried to find a title which I was comfortable as using as my site name. What I found was the Leadenhall Market which is a covered market in London. I liked the name "leadenhall" and rather call this a blog, I called it a journal. Hence, the leadenhall journal : thelejo.com.

About Charlton

Hi, I'm Charlton, the author of this journal. I started off in Cleveland, Ohio in 1981 and spent the first eighteen years of my life there. After my time in the Midwest I moved to San Diego to go to San Diego State University where I majored in Finance. After graduation in 2004, I worked in consulting and finance before taking time off in April 2009 to travel and go to graduate business school. In my spare time I work on my photography, travel, and watch Cleveland Indians baseball and Chargers and Browns football.

Where You Can Find Me


My Trip Sub-Sites

April to July 2009

November to December 2009


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Where in the World is...

Charlton and Kristen? Right now we are still in San Diego, but not for much longer. We have just two more weeks before we head to Tokyo!

It doesn't seem real, I am sure it will hit me when we are wandering around the Tsukiji fish market at 4am in the morning (note from Charlton, read about my last trip to Tsukiji here).

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we've got a golden ticket!

It's days like today that I love having a work from home day. I was reading some emails when I heard a loud knock on the door, which sent Addie into a frenzy. I ran to the door and a small UPS envelope was waiting for me, and guess what was inside!?

Our EURAIL Passes! Woohoo! These little beauties will be getting us all through Europe. Going to be guarding them with my life

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Goodbye Marrakesh...Hello Fez!

The flight we thought we could get to Marrakesh, was no longer available (queue sad trombone!) Although the fact that we were trying to firm up our iternary for Europe at 12:30 at night may have been the problem. So after hours of researching Marrakesh...we are now going to Fez!
Flights are booked as well as a newly renovated pension (although it looks like a riad, so we're still good)
Details to come!

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Paris Booked!

I don't try to hide it, but I lovelovelove Paris. I have dreaming of us spending a leisure stay for a few days since the last time we went. Last time we hit all the major tourist attractions (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, Louvre, etc) so we can just stroll through the 6e and have picnics in the Jardin du Luxembourg...since its across the street from our pension! I orginally dreamed of staying in a hotel so we could re-create the butter & ham sandwich we had last time. But with agency fees running about 30% its not cost effective and how can you say no to a place that is so affordable and just a mere .7 km from Pierre Hermes?

Residence du Palais here we come!

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They're taking me to Marrakesh...

This is the fun part of planning, discovering new things and learning about a culture...and then soon experiencing it first hand. While I always knew that we would go to India (on my must list) I was not that familiar with Morocco. Don't get me wrong, I love tagine! But I didn't know much more about the country. I started trying to plan a crazy ferry ride to Fez a few months back but that didn't pan out. Marrakesh made the list of destinations, and I was so excited that I could use the Fodor's Morocco Guide I won on Wedding Bee. Marrakesh is what Fodor's calls the heartbeat of Morocco *swoon* After only reading a few pages I knew that we had to stay in a riad, which is like a large house with an interior garden, because they are goregous.

I narrowed down a list of some I found and Riad 107 is sticking out to me, I am going to try to sway Charlton on it tonight, but with pictures like this how is he not going to love it?!

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hello my name is kristen, and yes i still blog

make your own path.
Originally uploaded by rachel best

Yes, I know I have been MIA lately. Bad Kristen! But getting all of our ducks in a row to plan our trip, prepare for grad school and our upcoming move has been taxing. Then throw in my breaking my arm on Friday the 13th, it has been a little much.

I went from obsessing about the trip and future apartments, to obsessing about doctor's appointments and health coverage. But with the trip being only 19 days away, sort of need to get our tails in gear.

Most of the big stuff is done, so then we can get to the fun what are we going to do when we get there stuff. We are huge fans of lastminute.com and typically don't give ourselves too much notice before a trip. Normally we just wander and will have a few must see's that we have to hit. Kind of hard to operate this way when you are going to so many places, but we will have to try. There is no Phil Keoghan to guide us.

From now on I promise to be more active posting! (I know I know you have heard it before) With everything pretty much set up should be a little easier to focus on writing about the planning process and not overwhelmed by everything else.

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