2016: A Review

We started our around the world adventure!

–Traveled through Central America

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–Went to Disneyworld (first time!) for my milestone birthday and it was magical

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–Lived in Japan for a month during Spring sakura season which was on my bucket list (plus owl cafes and bunny island!)

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–Did a road trip throughout America to see the great national parks and natural wonders

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–Took my most successful star pictures in these remote dark spots

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–Finally made it to Canada, Banff is amazingly pristine

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–Ate some of the most diverse and best food ever in Chicago

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–Hiked and camped in Norway

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–Lived in Finland when the sun never set

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–Spent the perfect summer in Denmark and met my Bf’s family there

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–Got to experience my first Yayoi Kusama light installation

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–Had my preconceived notions about China altered

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–Went to our first Michelin star restaurant for dim sum and it was great, of course
(there will be a separate blog post about this with pictures)

–Traveled around SE Asia and finally got to visit Vietnam with my longtime friend

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–Temples, food, and shopping in Thailand, finalllly

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–Spent our first Christmas together!

Hit up 16 countries in 2016 and really got to experience life in each one

Lot’s of big things planned for 2017 – Can’t wait πŸ™‚

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Birthday Week at WDW

It’s been a crazy week!

We (encouraged by my sweet bf) decided to catch the next flight out of Guatemala to…

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DISNEYWORLD!

Yes!! I had never been to any Disney theme parks before… and didn’t actually think I would be going to one anytime soon as we are currently embarked on a RTW trip. Did not foresee coming back into the United States anytime soon, but it was such a lovely thought!

Kenny got us a taxi ASAP, it was almost 9 pm and our taxi left Antigua for La Aurora Airport at 10 pm. Our flight was at 2 — AM! Wow, I’ve had flown a red-eye but this is the latest one for sure. Either way we were both so excited, a short flight later we’d be in Houston with all the American amenities we’d been missing the past month (clean tap water, hot water, water pressure, bathrooms with operational plumbing, real toilet paper provided, etc)! Another short flight from there we’d be in Orlando relaxing at a Disney resort.

Once we got to our hotel we set off to explore although I was already in awe from the moment we got to Pop Century. Massive figures decorated each set of hotel rooms based on decade. We were located in the 1990s– Pretty perfect. I was also enamored by all the different fireworks shows at each park that went on nightly! I read that Disney spends $50,000 on one night of fireworks for the Wishes show at Magic Kingdom but that one park makes about $3.5 million a day so I see how it’s afforded!

I ate a lot of great food, tried many different things and will be doing reviews on the Flower and Garden Festival and Epcot in general! For now I’ve uploaded the majority of my favorite pictures, and you can check them out below!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nabtravel/albums/72157665183020741

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Kung Fu Hustle

As I already mentioned in my previous post, I feel like this year has been a whirlwind! It doesn’t help that there are so many things to plan and look forward to that make time seem to scurry along.

Exciting things:

1. Didn’t realize I was going to see Anthony Bourdain next Tuesday!
— He came to town a few years ago and I wasn’t able to attend… this time I will get to see the man, myth and legend in the flesh!

2. Going home to Hawaii this October
— Usually visit home once a year, take a break, catch up with the fam and eat too much local grinds. Also receive at least one good sunburn. I just hope we don’t bring the rain with us this time around πŸ˜›

3. Planning to travel the world for an extended amount of time starting early next year
— Lots to do here, but my favorite part is figuring out how to pack efficiently and as minimally as possible. Considering this will be international travel across multiple climates and across different seasons this will be a real treat to research. I will be posting my findings here of course!

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Parts Unknown

Dear Anthony Bourdain,

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I was intensely curious to watch this episode once I found out you were returning to Hawaii, specifically Maui.

I was horrified at your only commercial stop on my island:

Tasty Crust.

If I had been eating while watching I would have spit. Instead I was sitting there with my mouth gaping–
then after the shock wore off, laughing hysterically… Why? It’s in a slightly run down part of town (which I love actually) and happened to be my grandpa’s favorite spot. Chatting with him about where he wanted to eat or where he had gone for the day,

“Tasty Cruss” would come the reply, (in his Japanese broken English accent).

“TAAAAAAAAAASTY CRUST?!?!?,” all of us always exclaimed. Seriously?!

I’ve eaten there a handful of times. I’m not trying to blasphemy a local hangout, it holds great memories.
Do those memories make the noodles special? Not really. I recall them being extra curly, and yes fun to eat as a kid but a well done bowl of ramen? I think not– pretty basic stuff here!

I will be visiting home soon and sure enough am planning a trip back to Tasty Crust–
One, to see if things have changed or improved. Secondly, to remember my grandfather and continue on his
Tasty Cruss pancake eating legacy.

Thank you.

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Q

“Cassis tutissima virtus”
Virtue is the safest helmet — family crest quote

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for –John A. Shedd

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.
— Mexican Proverb

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it –Aristotle

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” –Dr. Seuss

At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go in the same box. –Italian Proverb

There are only two tragedies in life– one is not getting what you want, and the other is getting it. –Oscar Wilde

β€œEngage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment β€” that which they cannot anticipate.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. —

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. –Henry Scott Holland

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance –Aristotle

The day people stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them –Colin Powell

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