meandmywonton

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Posts Tagged ‘mineral springs

TOKYO & HAKONE – Travelogue

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We lost ourselves in Tokyo, and in exchange found so much….from ramen heaven tucked away in Roppongi basements, to hidden gems that line the side streets of  Shibuya and Shinjuku.  We logged miles on foot, by train, up the subway, down the subway, and on repeat. A quick stop for a beanie, scarf, life-saving gloves and a matcha green tea latte at Mos Burger (to rest our weary toes and hack into some wifi), and we were off again…

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I hear Disneyland is surreal. I suppose being in Disneyland Tokyo with cultural differences makes it even more surreal. Kids didn’t scream and shout, they politely waved and smiled. There were orderly long lines as I waited and rode my first spaceship ride. Whoop whoop! That place was dope, with the exception of the twenty minutes I spent looking for Marc.

My first time to the happiest place on earth – Tokyo edition, was preceded by an earthquake…a soft lullaby that gently swayed all sixty floors of our Tokyo Bay hotel. But apparently, 5.0 is nothing for the locals.

A Haiku for my last post on Japan feels appropriate, but I lack the motivation. Instead, I’ll pretend to wake up again in a ryokan swathed in five layers of comforters (ahhhhh) on a tatami mat, while mineral spring baths and a most wonderful kaiseki dinner and breakfast await. And yes, that is a syphon in the hotel bar.

Ahhh, Ginza. It’s a little slice of snack heaven on earth. Smile-inducing Belgian waffles followed by a dash across the busy intersection to Wako, where I passed the luxury goods as if I had tunnel vision, up to Ladurée for a macaroon, then back down towards (insert choir music) food mecca. Everything my greedy little heart and eyes desired…I could find here. With our tummies satiated, I slowed down long enough to pet a Celine bag on our way out.

I left Japan with a mad crush on fur-hooded shearling-lined green parkas – it was the choice coat for every other girl here, and they all wore it well. Upon returning to Japan, I’ll be sure to make a reservation at Inakaya, lest we be turned away again by the friendly sumo-like doorman. Silly us to think we could just show up.

I do really miss being able to get over-priced bottled hot green tea from the vending machines everywhere.

Sayonara Japan!

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PISMO & AVILA BEACH

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You feel like a kid again! That’s the consensus from people who have gone ATVing. I whole-kid-heartedly agree. The beauty of coasting over the seemingly undisturbed dunes of Pismo Beach, while looking ahead into the cascading ocean, overrode the hum of the powerful motor that catapulted (in the case of Marc) off his ATV.

My man, doing manly things, like pulling my overturned ATV out of the sand.

Thank you Anthony Bourdain. Having seen the episode where his ATV rolls over him, I knew exactly what to do when mine started to tip, which was to jump ship and take a flying leap to safety while my five-tons of gas and metal toppled down the dune like a kid’s Tonka Truck.  Thank YOU adrenaline.

Despite taking a header, ATVing was awesome. And it only got better as we wrapped it up with a quiet snow-cone moment, followed by a scenic drive to nearby Avila Beach where we chilled out over deliciousness at Custom House while people watching the farmer’s market and listening to a live band.

This was the most amazing fish sandwich. I’m so glad we got to have lunch with some locals the day before who pointed us to Custom House.

The R&R continued with a hot springs stop at Sycamore, where the mineral tubs were nestled on the hillside.

An hour there left us feeling like new people, ready for the next stop on our road trip…

SOME ATV TIPS:  Yelp reviews have great background info on what to expect, but if you want to cut to the chase…

1. We rented ours  from Arnie’s.
2. Go in the morning! (Take our guide’s word for it.) It gets windier as the day goes on and can kick up a bit of sand lowering visibility (which also means the afternoon is free for lunch and mineral springs!)
3. Gloves?  Eh. We did ok without them for two hours. Slight blisters, but nothing major. Man up.
4. Goggles? Again, eh. Sturdy sunglasses are fine. Goggles fog up (so said our guide.) Just like skiing.
5. Ladies, sports bras…(read that on Yelp!!!)
6. Long pants! Not optional. Your leg lays flat on the side of the bike, so protect them.  Socks, optional. No sandals, duh.
7. Drive safe. Don’t pull a Marc. The dunes look innocent enough but you can’t see the drop-offs until you’re flying (in or out-of-control) over them.
8. Have fun. xoxo