QVB BUILDING

I’ve always been told nothing in life is free. And that is still technically true for the “I’m Free” tours. However, it is a pretty neat concept, in my opinion. The way it works is there is no set price, you just show up at the time the tour starts, and it lasts for about 3 hours. At the end of the tour you decide how much it was worth and then pay your tour guide accordingly. Pretty neat, right?… Read more »

sydney skywalk

Let me start this post off by saying, I am deathly afraid of heights and was pretty much in panic mode in every photo you see of me in this post. Haha. Obviously, I survived…so, there was no need to freak out. But I really hadn’t realized what Sydney Tower’s “Skywalk” all entailed when I signed up to do it with my husband. Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest free-standing structure. It offers amazing views of Sydney (obviously) and is one… Read more »

Sydney opera house

The Sydney Opera House is one of the first images that comes to mind when I think of Sydney… or even Australia. It’s an iconic building that is recognized worldwide (and is even a World Heritage site, now). So, needless to say, this was one of the first things we wanted to see when we arrived in Sydney…and we did check it out, but just the outside views. This past weekend was the first time we actually went to a… Read more »

manly beach

Manly Beach is a beach in Sydney that is best known for its surfing. However, I have zero interest to try surfing, thanks to having less than stellar coordination. Haha. But the surrounding area has some wonderful walking/hiking trails that offer outstanding views of the ocean and city…and the northern beaches are a bit calmer. (Right up my alley!) Side note: Manly Beach actually got its name because the guy who discovered it hundreds of years ago, thought the indengous… Read more »

Featherdale Wildlife Park

When I think of Australia, kangaroos, wallabies and gorgeous, natural scenery is what comes to mind. And don’t get me wrong, I love Sydney, but I’ve been dying to get close to a kangaroo and see some new views of the outdoors since I arrived here. So, thanks to our recent holiday weekend, my husband and I finally took some time to get out of the city center and get some fresh air! We took a bus tour from Sydney’s… Read more »

WE ARE KINDRED

My first Fashion Weekend Sydney is in the books! It’s an event filled with runway shows, designer sample sales, the latest makeup/hair trends and champagne. It’s pretty hard not to have a good time! Fashion Weekend Sydney is different than Sydney’s Fashion Week, though. Fashion Weekend is a fun shopping event that has runway shows…but the runway shows include ready-to-wear pieces…so, if you saw a dress you liked on the runway, you can walk out to the sales floor and… Read more »

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Iceland is a country that has risen very high on my list of countries I would like to see one day…thanks to one of my best friends, Shannon of “A Blonde and a Brew,” having visited this astonishing country. Her tales of magical lagoons, gorgeous national parks and sampling puffin have undoubtedly piqued my curiosity for this country. It also doesn’t hurt that this where Jon Snow lives…or at least where is home is filmed. (For all you A Song… Read more »

Dinner with a Geisha

“What was your favorite experience in Japan?” I’ve been getting this question quite frequently recently. Which really isn’t very easy to answer. There are a million things I loved about Japan…so, I figured it would be a bit easier to break it down into tours and places I visited. I also can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that readers are reaching out to tell me my blog has inspired them to visit Japan! And some are… Read more »

Chicago travel

In the midst of all the moving from Tokyo to Sydney craziness, I also was in Chicago for a weekend! Chicago is one of those places that I have never actually visited just for the sake of visiting (except for a family trip a million years ago when I was in my early teens). There has always been something, whether it was a conference, a marathon, an interview, etc. it’s always been some sort of event that brought me to… Read more »

22 Things That Surprised Me About Japan (as an American)

I know I’ve said this a million times, but Japan is an absolutely amazing country. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, DO NOT hesitate. Living in Tokyo has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I would move back in a heartbeat and stay there forever. It is my absolute favorite place I have been to, hands down. (And my husband seconds this!) I know there are many preconceived notions about what Japan is like,… Read more »

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

My last weekend in Tokyo didn’t end with a bang…it was more of a quiet goodbye. I wanted to remember how at peace I felt here, and not cram a bunch of activities into my last few days. But I did make an effort to finally head over to Shinjuku Gyoen National Gardens (Gorgeous!)…and then topped off the day with one heck of an experience at Ichiran Ramen! I’ll first tell/show my experience at Ichiran Ramen, and then I’ll end… Read more »

DMM PLanets

Whether you fancy a stroll through a “Crystal Universe” made up of millions of LED lights, or frolicking through a cushy “Black Hole”…or maybe swimming with some Koi? DMM.Planets Art has a little something for everyone…and it’s all amazing! It’s also user interactive. So, even if you don’t think you enjoy viewing art, I do believe everyone of all ages will find this exhibit to be an incredible experience! Tokyo-based artists, teamLab, are the geniuses behind this fun and unique… Read more »

Tokyo National Museum

*If you like this post, it is now available on iTunes as a self-guided walking tour! Click here to download it. From samurai swords to beautiful kimonos and ancient Buddhist scrolls to interactive displays and much more…the museums in Tokyo have a lot to offer. I know I may be in the minority here, but I really enjoy visiting museums (especially art museums) and recapping them on my blog. I know these generally aren’t the most popular posts I create,… Read more »

Sensō-ji

Asakusa is a district in Tokyo that has a lot going on…and I, personally, loved it. I thought it had a similar feeling to Kyoto. This is probably because Asakusa has more buildings from the 1950s and 1960s than the rest of Tokyo…giving it a much older feeling. (There aren’t many buildings over 50 years old in Tokyo because of the World War II bombings.) It’s also an area in Tokyo that still has working Geishas. And you can also… Read more »

Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha)

Out of all the things to see in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine was by far the most recommended sight to me in Kyoto. Everyone said to I had to see it…and I mean everyone! From random folks I met at the gym in Tokyo, to the person whose apartment I was renting through Airbnb..there were a wide variety of people saying it was a must-see. And Fushimi Inari Shrine did not disappoint! Fushimi Inari has more than 10,000 torii gates… Read more »

mount fuji

Holy smokes! Three weeks in a row I’ve had a blog post selected by Independent Fashion Bloggers for Links à la Mode! I’m honored! And I’m very excited that the post selected this week was my travel post, “Climbing Mount Fuji.” This would be the first time Independent Fashion Bloggers selected a travel post of mine to feature! And I wasn’t the only blogger with a travel post featured this week! From Barcelona to Austin, Texas, this week’s roundup is… Read more »

The Gold Pavilion Kyoto

Did you know there is a temple in Kyoto covered in pure, gold leaf? (Well, the first two floors of the temple, that is.) Or that there’s a castle with floors that squeak and creak every time someone walks on them…so, no one could ever sneak in? Pretty cool stuff, in my opinion! This post will be sharing a bit about these historic buildings in Kyoto. The photos above and below are of Kinkakuji, a.k.a. The Gold Pavilion. Kinkakuji’s was… Read more »

Kimono

I’ve always wanted to try wearing a kimono and was very excited to have the opportunity to wear one when we were in Kyoto. I felt like a real-life princess wearing it! I’m not going to lie, though, I don’t think wearing a kimono on a regular basis is something I would want to do. It wasn’t the most comfortable garment in the world (mainly because the obi was pretty tight around my midsection, I’ll blame that on all the… Read more »

Shein black dress

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime…but I think it just might be Japan’s favorite pastime too! I went to my first Japanese baseball game yesterday, and it was unlike anything I had experienced at home. The level of excitement and fan participation was incredible! The only sporting event I’ve experienced that has even come close to this was a Badger Game on Halloween. (A reference for my fellow Wisconsinites, sorry everyone else!). However, I’ll talk about the cheering and my deep… Read more »

View from Tokyo Tower

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Today is actually a national holiday in Japan (Marine Day), so instead of working, we went to watch our first Japanese baseball game! It was a blast! But I’ll share more about it later because today…I’m hosting another giveaway with GPSmyCity! This time, I will be giving away 2 of my articles about Tokyo: “The Views of Tokyo” and “Visiting Tokyo’s Owl Cafe: Fukuro no Mise” (pictured below). And a reminder of how… Read more »

getaways in India - Mumbai

This month’s guest travel post is taking us to the bustling city of Mumbai! Nirav Dave is the co-founder of ZaraHutke, in Mumbai, that specializes in offbeat stays & weekend getaways. He is an avid traveler, a dedicated husband, and father and loves Numismatics. Check out his list of 55 amazing getaways from Mumbai, below! 55 Amazing Getaways From Mumbai That Need To Be Explored On Your Next Trip To India A trip to India is almost incomplete without experiencing… Read more »

baby snow monkey

Iwatayama Monkey Park If you’re not a fan of monkeys, this is not the post for you. Haha. And just a warning: this post isn’t going to have many words, but there are certainly a lot of funny monkey photos! (I also have a few photos from the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove if you get tired of the monkeys.) Arashiyama is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, and it is where the bamboo grove and monkeys are. The monkey… Read more »

A Geisha at Gion Hatanaka

I’m still a bit in shock that I was not only able to meet a Geisha, who has trained for more than 10 years, but I was able to spend an evening being entertained by her and an apprentice Geisha! It was incredible and a dream come true. They performed traditional songs and dances, and we were able to talk with them and ask questions (via a translator), and I even played a drinking game with them! Haha. But before… Read more »

snoopy museum tokyo

Are there any Peanuts fans out there? I’m a big fan! Who doesn’t love Snoopy? Haha. And apparently, there are a lot of Peanuts fans in Tokyo as well. I had absolutely no idea there was a Snoopy Museum just minutes from where I am staying. I took a different route home from the gym and just happened to stumble on this museum! I had to go in! The wall pictured above is just as you enter the museum. It’s… Read more »

Mount Fuji

I am very proud to say, that this past weekend, my husband and I successfully climbed Mount Fuji! It was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience! But holy smokes, I am here to tell you, I was a bit underprepared for this adventure. Everything I had read about Mount Fuji, prior to climbing it, said it was a very easy mountain to climb. And it was great for beginners. You could easily get away without using a guide to climb it. My… Read more »

hippo getting his teeth cleaned

I promised to show off my panda photos today, and I’m going to keep that promise! Haha. And, of course, the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo doesn’t just have giant pandas. They also have hippos, okapis, rhinos and even tapirs! It was pretty awesome to see tapirs or okapis in real life! And the hippos were even getting their teeth cleaned out when we saw them – it was crazy! But before I show some of the other animals, let’s marvel… Read more »

The Liberty Bell

Happy 4th of July! It’s weird not being in the United States to watch the fireworks and parades with my friends and family this year. I spent my 4th of July weekend this year climbing Mount Fuji! And I’m very happy to report – I survived! Haha. I’ll be sharing photos of that experience this week.   But anywho, last year, I did get to celebrate America’s Independence Day like no other in Philadelphia. So, this post is taking a… Read more »