Showing posts from November, 2019

Hiroshima Highlights

Back again today with the next stop on our trip, which was Hiroshima!  This was a little different than other places we've visited, because this was just a stop to get to our next destination (Miyajima, coming in the next post).  Our train from Kyoto took us into Hiroshima, where we had to change to a local train to the Miyajimaguchi station and finally get a ferry over to the island.  But, since we were stopping in Hiroshima anyway, we spent a few hours exploring. The good thing about most train stations we were in was that there were cubbies for your luggage so you could stow and walk around without lugging around a bunch of bags!  We took advantage of that, then set off for the city. I had a vague idea of the significance of Hiroshima, but definitely learned a lot more while we were there.  This was the first city that was targeted by a nuclear weapon, back in 1945 during World War II.  You could still see remnants of the damage, most notably the Atomic Bomb Dome.  Thi

3 Days in Kyoto - Experiences

Welcome back to part two of my Kyoto diaries!  Today I'll be sharing what we actually did (if you want to see a sampling of what and where we ate, see this post!).  We definitely packed in a lot in the three days that we were there, and some of our experiences are my favorites of any trip I've ever been on.  I would highly suggest putting Kyoto at the top of your travel wish list! Hotel We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, which was another amazing hotel (like I mentioned before, we used all of the hotel points that we earned for the past few years, so it was definitely a splurge).  Every night, we were invited to see a maiko (apprentise geisha) perform and were served champagne.  It was a great way to relax after walking around all day, and the maiko were always so beautiful with their performances and just looked absolutely perfect.  After the performance, they would walk around and interact with the guests and take pictures.  The geisha lifestyle was always int

3 Days in Kyoto - The Food

Next stop on the Japan tour is Kyoto!  This was probably my favorite city that we visited (although I said that about every city while we were there).  It was such a beautiful place filled with a ton of history, and every corner that you turned was even more amazing than the last. Since it was such a great portion of the trip, I have to break it into two posts.  First up I'll be talking about the food and drinks that we had, and then I'll talk about the experiences! Conveyor Belt Sushi  Even though this is probably a super touristy thing to do (and most people in the restaurant were definitely tourists), one thing I wanted to experience in Japan was conveyor belt sushi!  If you've never heard of it or tried it yourself, it's basically a conveyor belt that wraps around a restaurant with seats and a counter.  As the sushi goes around (either on a train or boat), you just grab what ever kind you want and are charged by the plate.  There are different levels of p

24 Hours in Indy (and Monumental Marathon Recap)

What a whirlwind this weekend was!  Even though I was only in Indianapolis for 24 hours, it seemed like days , and I had a really great trip.  Nothing really went as I planned it (most notably the race), but I had such a fun time and I'll be recapping everything today. Dan and I drove up to Indy on Friday morning.  It was a pretty easy 6 hour drive, and as soon as we got in and checked in to the hotel (we stayed at the Hyatt Place downtown, which I highly recommend), we headed to the City Market for some food.  There was a vegan restaurant called Three Carrots , so we got sandwiches- mine was a seitan BLT that hit the spot, while Dan got a pulled BBQ wrap.  We also stopped by the tap room for some local beers! After stopping by the Convention Center to pick up my packet and meet up with Jess to make plans for the morning, we stopped by the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which was across the street from our hotel, to see how much tickets were for that night's Pacers game! 

Favorite Travel Products

I remember the first time that I traveled on my own- I was so nervous about forgetting something.  I didn't even know what  I needed!  Now that I've gone on a few international and domestic trips, I pretty much have the necessities nailed down.  A major piece of advice that I always tell myself is that as long as I have anything that can't be easily replaced with me, like a passport, wallet, cell phone- I can just repurchase anything I'm forgetting in the place that I'm visiting.  Remembering that really helped calm my nerves! Besides the necessities, there are a few things that I've acquired in the past few years that help make travel easier, and even help with packing!  Since most of these items are travel-specific, I even keep them in my luggage all the time so that I never have to worry about packing them.  Keep reading for my favorite products, and make sure you let me know what I'm missing in the comments! Battery Pack Is there any feeling m

November Goals

Happy November everyone!  The temperature has suddenly dropped, the days are getting shorter, and I'm switching my summer clothes out for my warmer gear.  Winter is coming! In honor of a new month and my renewed interest in blogging, I'm going to be sharing some goals for the month.  It's going to be very busy with a trip to Indianapolis for a race and our international trip of the year, so hopefully these will help me keep on track for November! Finish two races I'm signed up for two November races- my favorite Pittsburgh 10 Miler (which is tomorrow from the day I'm writing this, but already passed by the time I post it), and the Indy Monumental Marathon.  I don't really have any goals for the races other than finishing them- training got a bit derailed after my amazing 20 mile run during the Towpath Half Marathon.  I've been having some issues with my left leg, so instead of a time goal I just want to enjoy my races and get that finish medal. De

2 Days in Hakone

Hi everyone!  I'm still in the midst of recapping last year's trip to Japan, and today we're visiting Hakone!  I normally wouldn't bother recapping a trip this late after we went, but this truly was my favorite one I've ever been on, and each city was completely unique and unbelievable.  So- even though it might the anniversary of the trip by the time I talk about everything, I WILL finish this series!  (To recap, you can also read my posts about the basics , Tokyo , and Nikko ). Like I mentioned, this post will cover Hakone.  After visiting the big city of Tokyo, it was great to get off the beaten path and relax a bit in this resort town.  Known for the amazing onsen (hot springs) and views of Mt. Fuji, this is the  place to visit!  We were here for two great days, filled with lots of sight seeing and relaxing.  If you're visiting Tokyo, this is perfect for a day trip (just take the Shinkasen to Odawara and catch a taxi or train to town). Here's what w