Friday, July 21, 2006

Land at Last

I'm not sure when this will actually make it onto the blog because I haven't been able to get an internet connection yet, but I figured I'd better start writing or I won't remember anything.

The flight was supposed to take off at 10:15am. I think it took off after 12:30. There was a thingamabob that wasn't working properly. Not knowing exactly what it was, I was pleased that the flight crew wanted everything working properly before we took off.

Once we were in the air everything was fine. Torturously long, but fine. I only slept for about 2 hours, after that it was catnap city. Business class was quite lovely. Unfortunetly I had to look like an idiot because I couldn't figure out anything. How to get the stupid lunch tray out, how to work the 5 count them 5 different controls for the chair. Luckily, across the aisle sat a very nice man, Brock, who was an engineer type, (Fran, I thought of you) working for TI who has made enough trips to be able to explain what needed explainin.

The plane landed in Toyko about 2 hours late. Lucky for me MaryBeth was still waiting when I finally emerged. Immediately made a b-line for the potty. So began my adventures in Japan of searching for the "western" potty. Please see the usual potty. I've managed so far to avoid the Japanese potty. I'm sure I'll be using one before all is said and done.

Took a while to get to the hotel. We had to take a train for 71 minutes, change to a subway for another 30 minute ride, and then walk freaking forever to get to the hotel. I was ready to fall over by the time we got there. It is a cool hotel though. It is for military personnel and family only. We grabbed dinner in the hotel, and I was asleep by 9pm.

I popped awake, and I do mean popped at about 3am. Luckily, we had already planned to workout in the morning, so I didn't have to be awake in the dark for more than 2 hours . . . I may have taken poor MB by surprise. It's not often she comes across someone quite so cheerful at 5am. Heck, I had a two hour head start on greeting the day. After working out, we had breakfast in the hotel, then we went on an all day tour of Toyko.

The tour was a great way to see Toyko in a day. Our first or second stop was Tokyo Tower. Because there was rain and bad weather, the tour guide had to hold up a photo of Mount Fuji to show us where it would be and the approximate size. It was almost exactly like the real thing.

For lunch, we ate a Japanese tempora lunch. Scratch that. Ate the rice from the Japanese tempora lunch. We also saw how pearls are made. It's hard to tell, but this is a photo of the lunch. I got a photo of the couple that ate with us, but it was decidely not good, so I'll just tell you about them. They live in Washington DC, and stopped in Tokyo on their way to visit family in China.

MaryBeth had the lucky number and got the pearl that was in the demonstration oyster. I didn't get close enough, but the photo below is of the oyster, and the pearl in a baggie that she won.

The Buddist temple had prayer candles. I figured what the heck, bought one to light for Pam, might as well get the Buddists praying for her too.

The photo of MB and I was taken at the other shrine we went to.

Interstingly enough, other than Toyko Disney, I think we saw everything worth seeing in Tokyo. It has a lot of tall buildings, and shopping I can't afford, so we were done!

In the afternoon we went on a river cruise that turned out to be the homeless people tour. I don't think it started out that way, but as we cruised along, it was a long line of these tarp tents that the homeless people build along the river. Mary Beth has a weak stomach and had to take a pill to not get motion sickness. The pill worked, and there was no barfing what so ever.

By the end of the day, I was once again totally zonked. At the end of the tour, we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Back at the hotel by 7pm, and, quite frankly, I am ready to pass out.

Up at 3am again. Did go back to sleep eventually. Good thing, 3 weeks of no sleep, things could get ugly here.

Please see the post regarding fashion in Tokyo to appreciate how dang surprised I was by a nation of skinny people dressing shockingly badly.

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