The Hiatus Is Over Pt. 1

An alternate title for this post: Mom, you can stop bugging me now.

The good news is that my hiatus from this blog is over. The bad news is that I really slacked on blogging about some pretty cool places and—because I’m trying to be realistic here—am unlikely to go back and catch up now with very much detail. In fact, I don’t even have it in me to catch you all up in one single post, so this will be a multi-parter.

So, here is your quick recap from early June to now—late September. (Wow, that’s a lot of months I missed. Oops. So sorry. I’m sort of terrible at this apparently. Anyways, here goes …)

 A crappy photo that shows barely a third of the room containing our unlimited, delicious, free food.

A crappy photo that shows barely a third of the room containing our unlimited, delicious, free food.

India

After trekking in Nepal, we did some massive loads of laundry and jumped on over to India. We flew into New Delhi and stayed in the JW Marriott with Andrew’s last remaining hotel points from his few years spent as a consultant. As a very fancy Platinum Member, Andrew got us into the Executive Lounge daily for free breakfast and happy hour. After weeks in the mountains living off mostly bread and corn, we had a lot of catch-up eating to do.

Needless to say, it was hard to pull ourselves away from the comfortably luxury of this hotel. We were tired. We were hungry. We craved the pool instead of walking through the hot streets. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, we stayed in Delhi nearly a week and only spent two, maybe two and a half days exploring the area.

One of those days we explored the Red Fort in Delhi and got absolutely bombarded with selfie requests from locals.

I always agree to selfie with cute kids.

And the second day, we took a tour out to the Taj Mahal. Even committing to the full day tour was oddly difficult for us. But it was amazing. Our guide was our age and hilarious and the Taj itself blew us away. We loved all the cool facts we learned (which I’ve long since forgotten) and were impressed with the enormity of the property.

Not bad, right??

Our other half day was spent at an air conditioned mall where we re-supplied with boring things like face wash and razors.

After our week was up, Andrew and I actually planned to separate for a month so I could take a month-long yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. So we said goodbye as I took a flight to Rishikesh and Andrew took a long haul to Taiwan. However, I quickly realized things were not right with the program and happily met up with Andrew two days later in Japan. I PROMISE to elaborate more on that later because those two days were a doozy.

Japan

As soon as we landed in Japan, we were out of our lazy funk. We spent two weeks doing as much as we possibly could and we basically killed it—and spent lots of monies—but mostly just crushed it.

First, we went to Osaka. Highlights included the food market right outside our hotel where Andrew bought fresh cooked crab legs at least three times a day, the local proximity to some hiking, ALL THE SUSHI, and the magnificent air quality. It felt so good to run outside again after so many months in smog-filled cities.

Next, we went to Kyoto with an old skating student of my grandparents (the figure skating coaching ones) who showed us around a temple and fed us loads of sushi. It was awesome to meet her and hear stories about my late grandfather. While in Kyoto, we also rented bikes to explore and enjoyed a capsule hotel with free beer!

At the end of nearly a week there, we stayed in a Ryokan—a traditional Japanese BnB. We bathed in public hot bathes, wore cool robes to dinner, ate tons of mysterious, tiny courses for dinner, and slept on straw mats. It was our one splurge in Japan and it was awesome.

Lastly, we rounded out our Japan trip with a few days in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a ton of photos during those five-ish days so memories are vague. But we did have some unforgettable moments—a drunken Japanese baseball game, a visit with our great friend from Portland, multiple runs around the royal palace, and some delicious ramen and sushi-filled meals.

Ramen from our favorite show—Somebody Feed Phil!

Me, Mark, and Andrew!

Somewhere in a somewhat famous part of Tokyo.

Before the baseball game became a drunken good time.

Next up, I’ll cover Hong Kong, China, and those couple of months where Andrew and I took a vacation from our vacation. Because that’s a really necessary thing sometimes.