Mochi Monday: Blanket Walk

6 May

This is the closest that Mochi will get to wearing garments of any kind.

mochi robe circle

moch blanket cave

They Draw & Travel

30 Apr

Here’s a cool website for some travel related artwork- it’s called They Draw & Travel. It features artwork from artists all over the world. The website makes it easy to narrow down to what you’d like- you can search by destination, art style, and vibe. Below are some that have caught my eye (click on the images for a larger version). Happy browsing!

TDAT- Buenos Aires

TDAT- New York

TDAT- Los Angeles

TDAT- Greece

TDAT- Tanzania

TDAT- Kyoto

And if you are food minded- here’s the original site called They Draw & Cook which TDAT was spun off from. Enjoy!

Mochi Mondays: Digger Digger

29 Apr

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One of the great things about Mochi is his dogged (pun not intended) concentration when he’s got his mind set on something, for better or for worse. As a puppy we were able to mold him to develop good habits and respect the rules of the house — he’s not allowed on furniture or  to take things off shelves or tables, for instance. Some actions are ingrained in his DNA however- digging is one of them! Now he randomly digs holes to the motherland in our backyard — not to escape (we hope), but just for the fun of it. The picture above is one of his epic holes, measuring a foot deep! Now you have to be careful when walking in our backyard, as there are quite a few holes that could twist your ankle easily.

I’m always being challenged by him in ways like this. To thwart him, I was able to cut a piece of wire mesh and fold it flat with edges sticking into the ground. This allows me to fill in the hole, grow new grass, and mow the lawn without him disturbing the area.

Life with a Shiba…always interesting!

Hakone Open-Air Museum

24 Apr

Besides hot springs and water parks, the Hakone Open-Air Museum is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. The various pieces of art are unique, interactive, and fun. Composed of over a hundred sculptures by  modern and contemporary sculptors, exhibition halls including the Picasso Pavilion, and pieces that encourage play, it’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill museum!

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Don’t forget to check out the website for a printable coupon!hakone museum9

hakone museumOf course it wouldn’t be Hakone without a little dip in the perfectly toasty water!

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We read the sign AFTER- only kids under the age of 12 are allowed to climb inside. Oops!

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This was probably my favorite piece- here’s an article that highlights the artist behind this amazing work. 
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Japanese kids are such cutie-patooties! Speaking of which, check out this youtube channel of this Japanese kiddo- she tries various foods around the world that her mom makes.

Photo Tip: Amsterdam

23 Apr

Amsterdam Letter Sign

You can’t go to Amsterdam and not visit this iconic city symbol. It’s located in the Museumplein city square in front of the Rijksmuseum. At any given time there will be tons of people in your shot, which adds character to the photo if that’s your sort of thing.

However, if you want a less cluttered shot, here’s a tip- walk to the back side, snap your photo, and then “flip” your image. Example:

One: take your photo.

Amsterdam Backwards

Two: with a program of your choosing, use the flip option to flip your picture. If you have a smartphone or iPad, a variety of apps will do this including Diptic, Pic Jointer, Pic Stitch, etc. Usually it is a symbol that looks like a mirror image of 2 triangles or rectangles with a line in between. I am using the Pic Stitch app in the example below. If you’re on your desktop, there a few options: Picasa (Control-Shift-H), Preview for Mac go to Tools -> Flip Horizontal, or you can even do it within WordPress and of course Photoshop.

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Three: Save to your camera roll, add filters, post process, etc, and you’re all done!

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Hope this little tip helps! Someone with a sharp eye will certainly do a double-take, but as a non-purist I really don’t mind!

Mochi Monday: Waking Up

22 Apr

We’re looking forward to regularly posting again! In addition to our travels, we’ll try to post tidbits of our daily life (including Mochi!) here and there.

First up- we have Mochi here at 8.5 weeks. One of his favorite sleeping spots was under the couch.

mochi under couch

I’m glad I have these moments on video. He grew so fast! (PS- click on the cog-like icon next to the clock and change to 720p for the best quality)

Happy Holidays!

25 Dec

ImageHello everyone!

Thank you for being patient during the radio silence on our blog. The past 5 months have gone by faster than we realized! We are now happily settled in the Bay Area in our new home surrounded by friends and family, and we have added a member of the 4 legged variety to our family- a Shiba Inu named Mochi.

Rest assured, we will jump start our blog in the new year. We’ve got tons of content to share- from the rest of our travels to our new adventures with Mochi the Shiba Inu. Below is a video of Mochi and his litter mates at 6 weeks! (change to HD for the best quality!)


Again, from our family to yours, happy holidays!

jung 2012 holiday pic

We’re Back. For Reals.

25 Jul

Even though we technically flew back to the states last Wednesday, we were still “traveling” in the last week. Less than 2 days after we got to SFO, we jumped into our car and headed towards LA for a family/friends reunion. After enduring many transit connections over the course of our trip, the 6 hour drive down I-5 seemed like a breeze!  We spent a long and fun filled weekend in LA and now we’re back in the bay area, ready for more reunions galore. Here are some things we are embracing about being home:

Having personal space. It’s nice to not be surrounded by people wherever we go!

Getting free water with ice in restaurants.

Non-confusing weather. July in the northern hemisphere should be no rain jackets or umbrellas.  We’re talking to you, Europe!

Consistent internet.

Driving…from one end of the parking lot to another.  Hey, the Gilroy Outlet is very big.

Our laptops. It’s glorious to be blogging with a real keyboard!

And the most important thing:

Spending time with our families and friends in person.

We are so happy to be home!

LHR-SFO

17 Jul

Once we land in San Francisco tomorrow from London Heathrow, our time on this RTW trip will have finally come to an end. We’ve been in a relaxed mood ever since arriving in Europe, and our last few stops in Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, and London have certainly been just that. When we get home we will continue to blog on our experiences (it’ll be easier to type on a real computer for once instead of an iPad!). Reflecting back, we feel that it’s been a fantastic journey and we certainly have enough stories for a lifetime.

We’ll leave you with a few stats from our trip around the world:
17 countries
39 cities
26 flights
30,000+ miles
13 train rides (1 overnight)
3 boat rides (1 overnight)
2 rental cars
7 wonders of the natural and manmade world visited

More to come as we settle into life in the Bay Area…and sort through roughly 96 GB SD cards worth of memories!

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Germany Memories

10 Jul

We’ve been to quite a few wonders of the world, more World Heritage sites than we can count, and have seen many things which we had previously dreamed of (and some of which we know we’ll never see again *ahem* North Korea). But as our time on this RTW comes to a close, we look back on the highlights and realize that the highlights weren’t just what we saw or experienced around the world. Rather, the highlights included those that we interacted with.

Jeannie has extended family in many parts of the world (we previously blog about her Vietnam family here). It was Jerry’s first time visiting the cousins in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Sandhausen, and Jeannie’s first time seeing her younger cousins that hadn’t been born yet when she last visited in 2001. Yes, Germany and more specifically Berlin has a whole lot of historical relevance and much of its history has been written by America in the 20th century. We made our touristy rounds of those as well. However, we found that some of the memories that will stay with us forever are the ones where we simply played with the kids in the park, rode bikes together to the garden, and watched Deutschland in the Euro Cup. Although we don’t speak any German and the kids don’t speak much English, we somehow found a way to communicate and truly form a bond.

Here are some pictures for now. Stay tuned for a video in which the cousins take us to an “adventure park” and Jeannie ends up nearly in tears when she’s forced out of her comfort zone. It’s actually pretty funny now that it’s over, but Jeannie didn’t think it was so funny at the time!

We can only hope to reciprocate the love and hospitality someday when they find a time to visit the US. Hint hint Deutschland family!

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