Thursday, September 7, 2017

One Full Day in Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market, Shibuya, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shinjuku Garden

Last October, we got chance to travel to Japan on our way back to Indonesia for family reunion. We spent 4 nights in Tokyo but only got 1 full day when we got to explore Tokyo Metropolitan. The other days we took a day trip to Mount Fuji Area and traveled to and from other parts of Japan: Kyoto and Osaka.
We requested a Japanese volunteer guide a few months before and made appointment with him to meet us at the hotel and guide us around Tokyo that day. We chose which places to visit; he just help us to navigate around Tokyo and answer our questions. If you don't have a lot of time, we highly recommend this service. They are volunteer so they don't charge anything but we do have to cover his cost of transportation and food.
Places we visit in Tokyo:
1. Tsukiji Fish Port
It would take us a long time if we don't have our Japanese friend helping us the navigate the complex Tokyo metro system and how to get in the fish market.
 Inside the fish market:
 Fresh Seafood every where we look:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Family Reunion and lessons I learned from my grandma

I am slowly catching up with our traveling/ exploring pictures. Don't know if or when I would be able to catch up but at least I try. Last November our family went back to Indonesia for family reunion. It has been five years since our grandma went to be with the Lord so we gather together for a day of fellowship and giving thanks.

Above: Chubby 5 months old Wesley and great grandma.
Below: 5 years old Wes and my nephew throwing flowers at grandma's grave.

Lessons I learned from my grandma:
a. Value people over things. When she passed away, her life saving total was only $1,800. She left a letter telling her kids to give divide it among her 16 grandchildren with a message: my children don't fight over money and never let it destroy your relationship. Her 8 children remain close to these days. 

a. Who you are at home is who you really are. Be kind, smile to your love ones. Looking around the room that day there's one thing I see in common: smile. The same sweet smile that I often found on grandma's face. It hasn't always been that way. My aunt told me grandma used to get angry easily until she accepted the Lord when she was in her sixties. She got the joy, love, and peace in her heart and it shines through.
b. Serve. If grandma was there, she would be doing what my lovely aunt was doing. Cutting fruits or serving food for others to enjoy. She doesn't like to be the center of attention but her joy, listening ears, and serving heart draw many people close to her.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Big Island Day 7: Going home, Staying in a rental home, and One week in Big Island Itinerary

 Big Island with kids
Our family prefer to stay at rental home instead of hotel whenever we travel that way we can do laundry and pack lifht. In addition, we can save money by cooking/ preparing food at home instead of eating out all the time. 

At the East side of the Big Island, we stayed in a rental home nearby Kapoho Tide pools. At the West side our friends recommended us to stay in Captain Cook area so we stayed at this vrbo (very clean and the owners let us use their kayak/ paddle board for free). They also have other unit/ cabin if you travel with more than 4 people. 
 Kayaking to Captain Cook Monument
The 600 square feet unit we rent:
 Staying in Big Island rental home
 Rental home in Captain Cook Big Island
 Staying in vacation home in Big Island
 nice rental place in big island

Monday, July 24, 2017

Big Island Day 6: Pu'uhonua O Honaunau, Two Step Beach, and Ali'i Drive

Continuing my previous posts on our visit Big Island, we began the 6th day by visiting a historical park: Pu'uhonua Honaunau.  Pu'uhonua means a place of refuge for those who broke the law. Very interesting place definitely worth a visit.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Riding Hot Air Baloon at Napa Valley and Some Tips

The real reason we went to Napa this time was for this: Hot Air Balloon Ride. After reading online reviews, we decided to go with Napa Valley Aloft; the only company allowed to fly on Pope Valley so we got to see the beautiful vineyards. We booked through their online website and got a reminder call the day before we flew along with the e-mail explaining where to go and what time we have to be there.

We woke up early that day to get there at 5:30 a.m. and were greeted by those colorful gigantic balloon.

Disclaimer:  Some of the pictures below we took with our camera and some were taken by the photographer at Napa Valley Loft, which we opted to pay in order to get our pictures when were inside the basket. Ready or not here we go.
Napa Hot Air Balloon

Napa Aloft
hot air balloon ride in Napa 
Aren't those balloons so pretty? I can't take my eyes out of them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Visiting Gardens at Napa Valley: Farmstead and French Laundry Garden

The lovely Napa Valley is only 1.5 hours away from Bay Area so it always been our top option whenever we need to go for couple getaway. We first went there for our first anniversary. We went for the wine train ride and lunch followed with a mud bath. It was an interesting experience. The second time was a few year ago when we went for a day biking trip. This time we went to celebrate our 15 anniversary, our first time leaving the kids overnight without either one of us.

I wanted to get some garden inspiration for our front yard, which is currently filled with weeds. So first stop of the day was: Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Farmstead Napa
We went straight to their garden
Farmstead gardenrow and row of veggies and herbs, which they use at their restaurant:Farmstead napa produce and pretty flowers to attract the bees:Visiting Farmstead garden

Friday, May 19, 2017

How to make homemade foaming hand soap

I have been trying to make homemade foaming handsoap for a while but couldn't the recipe I like until this one. Let's save some money by making our own foaming hand soap.

Homemade Foaming Hand Soap 
1 cup water
2 tablespoon Dr. Bronner Castille Soap (I use Lavender one found at Target)
1 teaspoon Vegetable Glycerine (found at CVS Pharmacy)

Fill a measurement cup with water Add the Castille soap and glycerine
Stir well then pour it inside a foaming soap dispenser (I reused the bottle of foaming hand soap I bought from Trader Joe's)
Close and use it as regular foaming hand soap

Friday, April 14, 2017

Visiting Sequoia on March

We visited Sequoia National Park in 2010 when Max was 2 years old and Wes had not been born yet. His 6th birthday was coming up and when he asked him where should we go on his birthday his answer was to see the biggest tree in the world so off we go to Sequoia National Park.
We went early in the morning then stopped by at Bravo Farm for lunch.  
 Traveling to Sequoia National Park

The North entrance from Fresno was still closed on March due to snow so we have to go through South entrance and stayed the night at a hotel in Three River. Check out the National Park's website for the update on road conditions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bravo Farm at Traver, California

We decided to stop by at this place for lunch on our way to Sequoia last month: Bravo Farm  

There were antiques stuffs for sale at the front.
There were not many animals though. I wonder why they call it farm because we only see donkeys and goats but we didn't come there for the animals;
We came to see this: The Seven Stories Tree House