Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Traveling Half Way around the World

We made it to Manila! We flew over the US and the Pacific Ocean to get here. Our total travel time was 55 hours. It was long but surprisingly not bad at all. Cosette was an angel and the Haneda Airport in Tokyo was like a hotel. If those two things had been any different attitude in writing would not be so positive.
This odessy of a journey begun way before our first flight. Packing up our apartment for our subletters took a lot longer than we supposed it would. So instead of being refreshed and ready for the long trip over we were tried and I did not want to get out of bed. We got enough sleep to keep on going till our flight from NYC to San Fransicso where we tried to rest. That flight for me was the worst. Cosette did sleep but was up for a lot of it. The plane was cramped and Lyndon and I were seperated by the aile. Thankgoodness for kind and patient people who sat next to us.

Playing at the San Fransico airport.

 Our flight to Japan was awesome. We had a whole front row of a section to ourselves so lots of comfy leg room and a baby bassinet attached to the wall for Coco. She slept most of the time on that flight (yay!). By the time we got to the Haneda airport all teh public transportation was down for the evening and no hotels were available, at least that is what the girl at the information booth told us. So we spent the night in the Haneda airport. There are the shower rooms(refresh rooms as the Japanese call them) there so we were able to take showers!!! It felt great to be clean after a long day of traveling. We slept on some benches which was not to bad. Once again Coco was great. She slept for a large portion of that time too. We headed out at 5:30 to get to Narita airport which is all the way across Tokyo. We made it there with out too many problems. The signs to get to Narita airport were a little off but there was a nice gentle man who pointed us in the right direction. I really enjoyed traveling through Tokyo. My Japanese did come in handy. I tried to practice. I am so bad at it. Ireally need to practice before August.

Cosette in her baby bassinet on the plane.

Playing with an origami dove I made on our way to Japan.

Inside the Haneda airport in Tokyo.

Our next flight was from Tokyo to Seoul. There we had a 7 hour layover so we ventured out to see the city. The airport we flew into was way out so it took us over an hour to get into the city so basically we only had about an hour and a half to see Seoul. We went to one temple. It was beautiful. We got a chance to see the "changing of the guard". The Temple is huge. The decoration on and inside the buildings were very complicated. It was beautiful. Seoul definitally made an impression. I want to go back. On our way back to the airport we ran into the Elders on the subway. They started talking to us by saying "you look like members of the church". I think it is only because we are young with a baby.

Welcome to Seoul.

View of Seoul and random citizens exiting their vehicle.

We spent our time visiting the Guyeongbokgung temple. The architecture was beautiful. We really enjoyed looking around the grounds. 

While we were at the temple we got to see them do the changing of the guard. Pretty cool.

Here is a video we took of part of it. My camera work is pretty shotty so I am sorry if you get dizzy. Enjoy the sneak peak of Korean culture.

Our next flight took us to our final destination: Manila. I think I was asleep before the plane even took off. It was only 3 and a half hours. Once we got to Manila it took forever to get throug security. There were about 200 people crammed into this room waiting inline. This Korean asked me if I was Russian. Anyway we made it through and Lyndon's boss was waiting for us.

Ovwerall the trip was not bad. It was actually quite enjoyable. We survived with energy to spare. Now we just have to conqur jetlag.
We should be getting faster internet soon so when we do I will post more pictures.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Last Hurrah

Things have been pretty busy around here. Cosette is very very mobile. She is crawling everywhere and holding on to things and getting around. She can stand by herself for moments at a time! As I am typing she has pulled all her books out of the book shelf. Like mother like daughter. My Momma will tell you I pulled many a book out as a baby. Lyndon has been busy with finals. We have not seen much of each other these last couple of weeks. I have been busy with trying to get us ready to leave for the summer (we leave in three days!!!). My parents came to visit for a few days giving us the opportunity to have one last hurrah before we leave.

 Momma came up a few days before Dad. She was very happy to have Cosette all to herself.

Coco gave Grandma her tour of NYC wchich was taking Grandma to play at the park. 

I had to take Mom to visit the Cake Boss. She is an exceptional cake maker herself. 

Coco was not as excited as we were to see Carlo's Bake Shop again. The lobster tails were worth it though. 

So the deal at the Cake Boss bakery is that you wait in a line if there are a lot of people tyring to get in. So we waited and waited. While we were waiting Cosette's nap time cam upon us. She was so tired and so Mom and I took turns walking around with her. It was my turn and I took her into the CVS or Rite Aid to distract her and try to get her closer to sleep. When I came out I thought the line had moved up and Mom was in the bakery. So I went up and told the guy mananging the door that I thought my Mom had gone inside and I just needed to check and see if she was in there. He was cool and let me in! When I realized that Mom was not in the bakery I went back outside and right as I walked out the door the line had moved up and Mom was next to be let into the bakery. She was really surprised to see me walk out the door. 

There was a fair right in front of Columbia when we got back with a petting zoo. Coco loved petting the animals, excpet for the alpaca. It was making a weird noise. 

Dad joined us on Sunday night. He braved the drive from Tennessee to New York all by himself. Brave man. 

We went down to Battery Park to take a ferry to Elis Island but skipped out because the line was way to long. We visited Castle Clinton instead.  Castle Clinton is a fort  that was built prior to the war of 1812 to defend the city. However it was never used to defend the city. Above is Dad with one of the cannons that was never used. 

Mom inside Casle Clinton with the downtown skyline in the background. 

We took a trip over to Madison Garden where the Flat Iron building is located. It is one of my favorite buildings. The idea behind the architecture is that it is a column that has been streched out. 

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Shake Shack located in Madison Garden. I had been wanting to try it out for a while and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. 

We went to the main branch of the NYC Public Library and found the original Whinie the Pooh bear and friends in the childrens section. 

We stopped by the Empire State building but did not go up. Not worth the cost.

We did go inside. 

The Toys R' Us in Times Square is pretty much the coolest store ever! Dad had not been yet so we had to 
take him and let get intouch with his inner child. 

Giant Hulk mad compelety out of legos.

I love this store! Huge replica of a T-Rex from Jurassic Park. It roars, moves, and makes you so happy that dinosaurs no longer roam the earth. 

They have a lot of the famous buildings made out of legos on display and switch them out every so often. I was really excited to see that the Woolsworth building had been put out on display. The Woolsworth building  is the first true skyscraper. Lyndon and I love this building! 

Cosetter enjoyed having Grandma and Grandpa come visit. She even let them hold her sometimes. 
When it was time for them to leave she was sad to see them go, 
as was I. 
Now ready to move on to our next adventure. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Another post about a different garden, but hey it is spring and everything is blooming. This time we visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with some of the ladies from our church. The Bluebells are in full bloom at this time and absolutly lovely. 

 The bluebell garden is set up so there is a path that runs through the garden so you can stand on it and get a picture looking as if you were standing in a fied of Bluebells. It is enchanting! If you look closely at the top photo Coco and I are standing in the middle of the bluebells.

Lyndon was not able to come on this adventure with us. Finals have commence and he is hunkered down in the library till they are over. He is very knowledgeable about trees. When he was in Cambridge he developed a facination about trees because there were so many. So I took the picture below of the Chinese Chestnut for him

Cosette enjoyed the trip to the graden even though it was freezing. She wore her little bear suit. I thought I was done with it since May is tomorrow.

I found a piece of Tennessee in the garden. Below is the Nashville shurb (introduced 2001; that is what it said on the plaque). 

We were a late for the Cherry blossoms. Still they were beautiful.

There was a trellace with beautiful Wisteria growing off it. 

I want to say this was a French style garden since it is not as well structured or as well manicured as an Italian garden.  

View of the whole French garden.

 The azalea shrubs were bursting with blooms.

The graden had some Irisis which happens to be my favorite flower.

As we were starting to walk back to the gate we passed a clump of Japanese Tree Peonies. The flowers were giantic and so beautiful. The colors were so rich. I loved the the pink hue so I snapped more pictures of the pink ones but there were also purple, white, and deep red colored ones.  

Our last stop on the way out of the park was by there Japanese garden. Looking at it made me really excited to go to Japan and see a real Japanese garden. Only 15 days left till we leave!

I wanted to visit more of the garden but it was so cold and windy. The sun was decieving. It was out bright and shining making it look like such a nice warm day, but no. I guess next time I should bring a jacket.
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