Tag Archives: fun

Samurai and Shidax in Kanazawa, 2016

As my daughter’s choice of activity, we went to a Japanese phenomenon- Shidax karaoke. As we sang along to Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and my pick Iggy Azalea, I thought, these people really know how to have fun. Singing, dressing up and playing games for beer. Why not?

The next day we had planned to go to Takeyama, but all the trains were booked out. So we booked for the following day and headed to the Nagamachi Samurai quarter instead.

Narrow, quiet, cobblestoned streets and long walls hid amazing tall wooden slat houses, some of which were open to the public. We found one with stables and a pretty garden.

The best one was the family of Nomura Samurai House. Samurai armour greeted us at the doorway to the house, which had two levels. The bottom level had detailed walls and a prayer room all set up. There was a translated thank you letter written during war and wooden carvings near the celling.

A winding stone staircase led to a teahouse on the top level, which had a view over the beautiful garden with water features, lanterns and koi.

Outside, we couldn’t find the Murakami candy tree mentioned in the guidebook, though we did find a lolly shop with lollies made in the shape of mushrooms. There was also a local eating a gold leaf ice cream. They are expensive, but lucky.

For lunch we had honten and Japanese curry at Full of Beans– a very funky café. Then we wandered around the shops including The Loft which had strange appliances.

It occurred to me that the best things about Kanazawa had been the unplanned parts where we slowed down, like the teahouse in the gardens, just wandering around town finding local restaurants and people watching. How does everyone stay so thin here with so much yummy food to eat?

Related posts: Seeking Geisha and Gardens in Kanazawa, 2016Kanazawa, 2016Tokyo, 2016: MiraikanTokyo, 2016: Shinjuku, Tsukiji Market and YanakaTokyo, 2016: Imperial Palace and ShibuyaTokyo, 2016: Ueno and HarajukuJapan, 2016

Holidays are…

Preparing and researching

Booking and planning

Packing

Excitement

Waiting impatiently

Airports and QANTAS club

Arriving in your new temporary home

Unpacking

New places and new things to see

First experiences

Navigating a new city

Temples and churches

Old towns

Landmarks and lookout points

Road trips

Landscapes

Having fun

Swimming

Walking

Enjoying the sunshine

Not letting the rain stop you

Watching shows

New food to try

Markets

Bars and restaurants

Having the time to enjoy a meal

Not cooking or washing up

Meeting new people

Sitting and people watching

Quality time with the little one

Catching up with friends

Cocktail hour

Uninterrupted conversations

Laughing

Pampering

Having the time to shop

New clothes from your new favorite shop

Souvenirs to take home

Photos and memories to keep

Not worrying

Thinking

Having the time to notice rainbows

Watching old movies

Card games

Finishing a book

Sitting and doing nothing

Napping

Drifting

Not wanting it to end

Booking the next holiday.

Related posts: Happy Holidays, Random Public Holiday Ramblings,  Kid at Heart

Destination Thailand, 2010

In 2010, my husband-to-be (HTB) and I returned to Kaw Kwang Beach where he had proposed one year earlier, to get married.

The idea had been planted by the Cha Da Beach Resort & Spa manager as we had left post engagement in 2009. We didn’t want a big wedding, but we love to travel; and so the decision to have a destination wedding was made.

The resort were quite happy to accommodate our request and provide their first Western wedding ceremony (and third wedding ever), including accommodation upgrade to a Diamond Villa with private plunge pool.

We politely declined the offer of a Thai celebrity to perform the ceremony or a local band to play at the reception and proceeded to invite as many people as we wanted, thinking that we would be lucky to have family and a few friends there.

I am fortunate enough to have both a photographer and hair/make-up artist as friends so that was easily taken care of; and we purchased last minute table gifts of carved wooden candle holders from a local artisan in Ban Saladan.

Having our wedding Thailand was awesome as the people are so friendly and they added little cultural quirks that unintentionally made us smile, like writing “Welcom Black” in flower petals on our bed for our arrival.

As it was off-season, the only other people at the resort was a German family so we mostly had the place to ourselves. In fact, the day after the wedding the monsoon kicked in it poured rain at the exact same time we got married on the beach the previous day.

In the end, we had 50 guests attend from all over the world. It truly felt like an international wedding with guests from Europe, America, Asia and Australia. I was lucky enough to have a few of my besties and a couple of cousins in attendance which was fantastic.

Most people arrived the week before, so by the time the wedding day arrived everyone had gotten the chance to know one another as they had bumped into each other at the pool bar in the day, attended a large group dinner in town or a late night drinking session in our plunge pool. Some of guests even chose to explore the area by going on day trips with newly made friends they had met at the resort.

The ceremony was held at sunset on the beach and the little extras that I didn’t know about that the resort provided were very touching. They threw flower petals on us as we walked along the beach and all the lovely staff came to watch the wedding.

The reception was an amazing Thai seafood BBQ buffet dinner, it was hot and everyone was drinking. By the end of the night people were dancing crazily, had the food labels from the buffet on their sweaty heads and ended up jumping in the pool once we had left for the night. People are still talking about how much fun it was years later.

I would do it all again in a second and am looking forward to returning to Cha Da for one of our wedding anniversaries soon. Hopefully with a few of our wedding guests in tow.

Photography by Richard Miller.

Related posts: Thailand, 2009, Thailand, 2002

Good vs Evil

In the fight between good and evil, good always wins right?

But who has more fun?

Sure good is good, right, moral and proper and all that.

But evil is devilish, wrong in all the right ways and fun.

Otherwise why would tempted by and drawn to the evil?

In fairy tales, good always wins. The evil witch is defeated and the princess bags her prince.

But real life isn’t a fairy tale. Sometimes the bad guys do win, the evil witch never gets her comeuppance and you never find your prince.

So what are you going to do about it?

Believe in karma and that the bad guys will eventually lose?

Try to ignore the evil witch, forget about finding your prince and get on with life?

Or keep believing in fairy tales and hoping and searching until good prevails?

Obviously, I have posed more questions than answers in the fight between good and evil, but I guess that the whole point.

Nothing and nobody is inherently good or evil. We all have both in us and can change at any time depending on mood.

So, next time the bad guys win, think about the fact that perhaps their point of view is not really bad- just different.

And next time that witch is evil, just remember that she is still a person with some sort of heart that probably just got up on the wrong side of the bed (not that that gives them the right to treat you badly- but that’s just the way it is).

Finally, if you don’t find your prince, enjoy all that life has to offer as a single princess, after all Elizabeth the first never married and she ruled!

Related posts: Emotion vs Logic, Pride vs The Fall, Dreams vs Reality

It’s a Spanish thing

I love Spain.

I love the colour, the life and the fact that people mistake me for being Spanish.

Flamenco dancing spectaculars, drinking Sangria and late night starts.

Tasty tapas, seafood paella and crème Catalan.

Nobody worries too much about owning property- why buy when you can rent right in the middle of the city where you want to live.

Parc de la Citadella where the cool kids hang out, Otto Zutz nightclub where the tourists go to party and Zara for all your fashionable needs.

The iconic La Rambla, the smells and sounds of La Boqueria and the friendly waitress in our local bar.

I love Barcelona, especially Parc Guell, and every time I go back I discover a new side to the city.

The brilliance of Gaudi, the deck chairs on the curving beaches and the famous 4 Cats bar.

The Moorish delights of the Alhambra, so many fountains and gypsies living in cave houses.

I am fortunate enough to have some Spanish friends who have shown me parts of Spain that I would not have otherwise explored.

The views from Mount Tibidabo, the sad story of Punta De Sau and the tradition of Plaza de Torres de la Maestanza.

Busy Madrid, beautiful Granada and cultural Seville.

I like the streets and alleyways of the cities and the gothic architecture of the churches.

A summer retreat in Xabia, white washed Spanish style villa’s and tall cliffs crashing into deep blue sea.

The lovely language, the good looking ladies and the passionate people.

It’s not just a country, it’s a way of life.

Endless fun, long summers in the cold climate of Europe and a no worries attitude that suits my Australian ethos.

I look forward to returning to Espana and discovering more about this wonderful country.

Related posts: It’s a water thing, People vs Place, It’s a French thing, Europe, 2003, Spain, 1997, Part 2: Beyond Barcelona, Spain, 1997, Part 1: Barcelona

Nostalgia

Being an adult, I sometimes feel a sort of nostalgia for my youth- those heady days of no responsibilities and no consequences.

When you are a kid the most stressful thing you have to deal with is where your next chocolate bar is coming from and if you will get that toy you desperately want for your birthday.

Everything is done for you- the cooking, the cleaning, the bills and the social organisation of your life. But then you begin to resent it and want to do things for yourself and make your own decisions.

Until you realise that there are so many choices and so many decisions that it’s almost easier never have to make any at all.

In high school, all I wanted to do was get out. Then at university, all I wanted to do was graduate and start working. But now that I face another 30 odd years of working life ahead of me, I wonder what all the rush was.

I really didn’t appreciate the freedom and search for fun that I had in my 20’s until it was gone.

But then I think, in my 20’s I really did not know what was going on. At times, I drifted a bit aimlessly, searching for direction and wondering what it was all about.

Now, I know what I enjoy, what I want and who I want to share my lifetime experiences with.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have our 30 something brain put into out 20 something body? Who knows where life would have taken us and where we would all be now?

For now, I might just have to settle for putting my 20 something brain in my 30 something body every now and then- a much more achievable aim and hopefully one that will lead to a bit of fun without the consequences.

Related post: Emotion vs Logic, Toys, Discovery, Kid at Heart, Dreams vs Reality, It’s the simple things, All things Disney, You spin me right round, What’s in a number?, Cocktail Hour in Sydneytown, Get your groove on

Emotion vs Logic

Also known as being impulsive vs think first.

We are taught to use the logical part of our brain to make decisions. Take the emotion out of it, write a for and against list and make the right choice according to the numbers.

This is especially true in the business world. Emotion and the work place definitely do not mix, especially when it involves an emotive email that you send in the heat of the moment without thinking and regret later.

Being impulsive at work often means poor planning and bad preparation which may ultimately lead to a lackluster delivery. Thinking first with a creative approach will almost always lead to better results and then you can just leave the being impulsive decisions for the last minute hiccups- this is called thinking on your feet.

But does this theory work in the real world and in your personal life?

Whenever I try to write a for and against list for a personal problem, I always figure out that I have already made the decision in my heart anyway. And what’s so wrong with that?

I find that trusting your inner intuition is always a good idea, especially when it involves whether to walk down that dark alley or not. And wouldn’t our personal life be boring if we made all our decisions logically?

We’d never date that bad boy, go to that rave party or jump out of that plane.

I think adrenaline junkies must always make impulsive emotional decisions and never think first! (Unless it’s about safety first perhaps).

Thinking first means coming up with all those reasons that you can’t try something new or step out of your comfort zone.

Being impulsive in life often leads to much fun that you may have not had otherwise or travel to a place that you may not have been planning to go to.

And I for one am always up for that (as long as finances and responsibilities are in order of course).

Related posts: Pride vs The Fall, Discovery, People vs Place, Dreams vs Reality, Adventurous vs Risk taker, Kicking goals