Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You the Very Best

It's been a while since I made gingerbread people for Christmas last time. For one thing, I didn't have time. But more than anything, I totally lost motivation.

But obachan is back now, and here's my little tree for the Christmas 2011.

Gingerbread people without ginger and molasses

Thank you for your support and friendship this year, when I was so lost, exhausted and feeling used. Now I have this feeling that the worst part is over and I have some practical idea for making my year 2012 somewhat better.

Hope you keep visiting this blog :)

** Have a wonderful holiday season.
May 2012 bring you lots of joy, happiness and success!! **

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Kinmedai Ankake Donburi

Kinmedai Ankake Donburi (Deep-fried Alfonsino on Rice with Starchy Sauce)
at Jibaumaya restaurant, Cape Muroto

About two weeks ago, one of my facebook friends and I talked about this fish, Kinmedai. Its English translation is probably "alfonsino," but the friend gave me a much more descriptive translation: "the splendid golden eyed red snapper." I love it.

Today I had this Donburi (rice bowl) dish for lunch. Alfonsino is my favorite fish. But we don't see it very often in our kitchen, because it is expensive.

The fish was OK, but the starchy sauce was not too great. Mmmmm... :(


Oh, I almost forgot.
On the night of the 10th, we saw a total eclipse of the moon here in Japan. These are the shots I took that night.


Not bad, huh? ;)
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Coffee Break

This photo was taken about a month ago, when I needed something sweet after giving a couple of tours. I remember that the lady who brought me this cake and coffee said, "Oh, my! You look so tired."

It is already December and we are still busy here giving tours to visitors. (For those who are interested, I've been blogging about it here. )
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Sunday, November 06, 2011

Next Time I Have to Take a Photo of the Sunset Here

Homemade Custard Pudding

In a town which is about an hour drive from our town, there is a coffee shop built very close to the shore. (See the photo on the left.) From a local's point of view, building a shop here is a very brave thing to do. This is the Pacific Ocean for God's sake -- not some inland sea -- and this area is known for being hit by typhoons frequently. Actually, several years ago, this shop closed for a while because its windows were broken by terrible typhoon wind.

But when the sea is calm, the sunset you can see from this coffee shop is nothing but gorgeous. And the top photo is my favorite: their homemade custard pudding. :)
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Pizza and GingerAle

Pizza Margherita

I've been quite active as a volunteer tour guide recently as posted here. Sometimes I give two tours (or even more) a day and get so tired afterward. Today was one of those days. Usually when I am exhausted, I go for something sweet with a cup of hot coffee. But for some reason, after giving two tours today, I craved for cheese. So these are what I had: Pizza Margherita and ginger ale.

Yes, I spent a nice, relaxing time at the restaurant. :)
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Montana!

tSee this beautiful scenery? I was in Montana from 4th to 7th, October, 2011. The details of my stay there are posted here and here, if you are interested.
This is the local beer I tried there. It was flavorful, but to tell you the truth, it gave me a little headache afterwords.




Monday, October 03, 2011

Guess Where I am Now!

View from the plane widow today

I'm in the U.S. right now. More specifically, in LA now. I'm flying to Missoula, MT tomorrow, via Salt Lake City. For those who may be interested,I no longer work for the geopark promotion committee. But I am still related to the geopark activities and now I am on my way to a workshop in Montana. Will tell you more about it soon.

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I love American airports. Good Wi-fi coverage. Many desks and chairs to sit down and enjoy the internet or get some work done. I especially enjoyed being at the Salt Lake City International Airport. See the Cinnabon in the photo?


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Norway 3


The second day of our two-day field trip after a geopark-related conference in Norway. To be perfectly honest, the trip was not as good as the first day. Mostly it was because of the disappointing weather. It was cold and rainy, though the rain stopped once in a while.

In the morning, we visited a production site of Larvikite, the national rock of Norway. The rock itself was interesting. But what was more fun to me was seeing geologists being excited like small kids.

We saw children's performance near the beach and loved it very much. Each of them had a role as a rock and told us what it was made of and how it was made.

It was very lucky that the rain stopped for a while for our lunch outside of the bus.

After that, we visited a place known for traditional salmon fishing. See the river?






These are the people who made the wonderful salmon dishes for us. THANK YOU!! xxx

Our last stop was at a herb farm.

The traditional farm house reminded me of "Ann of green gables."

This last photo was taken at the airport, either Sandefijord or Copenhagen. (I cannot remember which it was...)


I enjoyed almost everything I ate during my stay in Norway. But I have to confess that a craving for rice and miso soup started a few days before our departure. Hahaha... Those were the first thing I had when I came home on the night of the 22nd, September.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Norway - 2

At a meat shop in Kragerø

This is a photo I took at a local meat shop in Norway. In our"geotour" we stopped by at this shop and tasted their sausage. It was so good.

But before I tell you about the meat shop, let me start from the beginning of the field trip we were in on that day.
The houses in Norway look so lovely, being painted in pretty colors. You take a photo at anywhere and it will make a nice postcard. We had an hour boat tour to Jomfruland.

Jomfruland was a long island made of glacial deposits. (Is this correct? If I'm not mistaken, the deposits there are called end moraine.) I truly loved this scenery of cows relaxing on the beach, so close to the sea. The scenery of cows and seaweed being so close together looked so unusual to me.


We have traditional stone walls like these in our hometown, which block windows very well but look kind of plain. The stone walls here looked, again, so pretty in different colors and I loved them.

The stroll on the island was just lovely. We had fish cake sandwiches for lunch. You know Japan is surrounded by the sea and we eat a lot of fish. We have wide variety of fish products, including various kinds of fish cakes. But I would say that the fish cake I had that day was better than any Japanese one I had had before. Honestly.

After coming back to Kragerø, our tour visited an old mine (in the middle of the town!) and some shops in town.
See? Kitty-chan is all over the world!

We stopped at a meat shop. There each of us was given a piece of sausage to taste, which I thought a nice idea.


The sausage was very good, though a little too salty. It made me want to drink something -- like wine. (Maybe that was the reason for the saltiness?)

It was truly a nice one-day trip.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm in Norway Now, And We Did It!!!!


I'm in Norway now, attending a geopark conference. And last night, we -- the project I've been working for -- were accredited as a member of the Global Geoparks Network!
I'm not going to give a long explanation about what the Network is about. But we have worked SOOO hard for the member status of this network, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life to hear the announcement of our accreditation last night at the conference dinner.

The work required for this project almost ruined my life. You know that made me too busy to blog, and also made me totally dependent on my relatives for driving my dad and mom to the hospital. But this great feeling of accomplishment ... !

Maybe it was not such a bad idea that I worked for this project.
















Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vietnam - Ha Long Bay and Symposium

Ha Long Bay

I came back to Japan yesterday (July 23). Now I'm writing this post in my hometown, feeling that part of me is still left in Vietnam.
These photos are from July 17th. Me and my colleagues went to Ha Long Bay for 1 day trip.
I'll write more about the trip soon.




Party Food at the Symposium Gala Dinner 1

Party Food at the Symposium Gala Dinner 2


Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am in Vietnam Now!!!!!

Hi! You thought I gave up on this blog? No no! I had been just terribly, extremely busy to prepare for the on-site evaluation by the people from the Global Geoparks Network. And now IT`S OVER!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OVER!!! And on the last day of the evaluation, the delegates from our Geopark including myself flew to Vietnam to attend an International symposium. So that is why I`m in Hanoi now. I will post some photos soon. Stay tuned!



Loved the meal. ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just to Let You Know

Hi! Sorry about not posting for a long time. I'm OK, though I'm in a real, real crazy month right now. Why so crazy? Because the evaluation of our geopark is taking place next month, almost 1 month earlier than we all had expected. We were truly shocked and speechless when the evaluation dates were officially announced. But now, we are just doing our best, because that's the only thing we can do, after all.

I'll let you know more about it in a few days. Sorry, no food photo today.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ice Plant

Ice Plant with Cottage Cheese
This is an interesting plant called "ice plant," which contains salt in these beads-like things called bladder cells. Here, this ice plant seems to be gaining popularity as a vegetable rather than an ornamental plant. I just love the crispiness of these leaves. :)
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