12 beautiful Japanese train stations by the sea | SoraNews24

Photo info: Canon EOS Kiss X2, 18mm, f/13, 1/400 sec, ISO200
Source: 12 beautiful Japanese train stations by the sea | SoraNews24

I’d love to visit these someday. I have a little bit of “Tetsudou Otaku” in my blood, I think. 😁

Sweet Paris Crêperie

"Lemony" Houston, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Lemony” Houston, 2018

こんばんは。Today Mariko drove down to Houston to pick up her new passport from the Japanese consulate. The drive there was long (almost 3 hours) but it only took 15 minutes at the consulate to receive the passport, so we had a couple hours of free time in the big city. Woohoo!

One of the places we visited was Sweet Paris Crêperie and Café, which served… Crepes! And coffee! I was actually kind of full from lunch, so I had one of their lighter items, a lemon and butter crepe. It was yummy but maybe a little too sour towards the end. Mariko got a crepe with dulce de leche, banana, and berries. It was pretty sweet, and since I’m not a huge fan of crepes in the first place, I wasn’t too impressed. But it was nice to sit down and relax for a little while before hitting the road again for the long drive back to Austin.

"Sweet Stuffing" Houston, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Sweet Stuffing” Houston, 2018

またね~

VIews from the Trail

"Wobbly Cairn" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/250 sec, ISO200
“Wobbly Cairn” Leander, 2018

I went on a short hike today on a nearby trail. Here are some of the photos I took. I hope you had a nice day!

"Tiny Flowers" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/170 sec, ISO200
“Tiny Flowers” Leander, 2018
"Hiking Boots" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO500
“Hiking Boots” Leander, 2018
"Spring Growth" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/900 sec, ISO200
“Spring Growth” Leander, 2018
"On the Trail" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/240 sec, ISO200
“On the Trail” Leander, 2018
"Mossy" Leander, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/1000 sec, ISO200
“Mossy” Leander, 2018

Lives On the Road

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of people who have been traveling in their cars and vans all around the world, and actually living out of them full-time. It’s an interesting concept and something I’ve actually been interested in for a long time. Maybe it started because growing up, one of my best friend’s family owned a VW van which had comfy bench seating, a sink and cabinets, and curtains. It was really cool!

Here are a few of the channels I follow:

  • Live, Work, Wander – These two are a lot of fun to watch. They travel around the US in their VW 4WD “Ripley”, camping, wheeling, and just having a good time. A bit over-the-top with the bathroom humor at times, and their van seems to spend a lot of time in mechanics’ garages, but the production value of their videos is excellent and it’s a neat perspective of an alternative lifestyle. Fun!
  • The Galavan – If you want a real feel-good and relaxing channel to watch, this one fits the bill. She is traveling mostly in the Western US in a large van (or is it a small RV?) and enjoying life. Her gentle way of speaking is refreshing.
  • Hobo Ahle – She’s been living out of her car and now van for a while now, and seems more like a newbie to the nomad life, but it’s nice to see how she lives and has fun on a seemingly limited budget. Her vehicle isn’t yet as built-out as others on this list so the evolution is interesting. And she has a great positive attitude!
  • CamperVanCulture.com – This family from the UK has some amazing overland travel videos in Europe and Northern Africa. The drone footage is excellent in their Arctic series too! I really enjoy their camping adventures, especially because they have a lot of footage of the scenery and no over-the-top dialog. Very laid back and enjoyable.
  • Phil and Vanessa Chan – This couple has been living out of their Honda Element in California for over a year, but just recently sold it so they could begin their European adventures in a van. Lots of great tips about daily life in an extremely small space. I can’t wait to see their next chapter in Europe!

There are many good YouTube channels like these to find and watch and it’s cool and inspiring to see people living lives outside of the “normal” rat-race. The life of a modern-day nomad is pretty intriguing, isn’t it?

On a side note, there’s been a lot of criticism lately about YouTubers and YouTube itself, but there’s a lot of great, original, independent content of all kinds to be watched. I think it’s so much better than watching corporate network television.

またね~

Back to Texas

"Airport Life" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Airport Life” Los Angeles, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Well, today we flew back home to Texas. It was a wonderful trip, and we miss California and our family, but it’s nice to see our kitties again. 🐱❤️

Until next time, California! 😎🌴☀️

"California" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
“California” Los Angeles, 2017

UCLA, Bowling, and Curry

"UCLA" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/750 sec, ISO200
“UCLA” Los Angeles, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today we took the high school kids (Bay and his two cousins) to the UCLA campus to check it out. There were actually quite a few people there visiting, unlike the ghost town that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was, so that was cool. Unfortunately, almost all the buildings were closed for Winter break. Still, it was fun to walk around one of the top schools in the country.

"UCLA" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/1250 sec, ISO200
“UCLA” Los Angeles, 2017

For myself, it was very 懐かしい (nostalgic) because I used to work at UCLA for a couple years in the mid 90s. There were quite a few changes, but for the most part, it felt the same. Lots of memories came floating back to me, especially remembering places we used to rollerblade, the route we used to take when we went running, and the places we used to get lunch. Good memories for sure!

"Let's Bowl" Torrance, 2017
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/30 sec, ISO400
“Let’s Bowl” Torrance, 2017

In the afternoon we hit the bowling alley, then it was time for dinner at one of our Torrance mainstays: CoCo Ichibanya. When you order curry there, you can specify the level of spiciness, with 1 being the mildest and 10 the hottest. I usually get 10, and today was no different. I’d have to say it was the mildest 10 I’ve had there so far, but it was still satisfying and yummy. 🍛

"Level 10" Torrance, 2017
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO500
“Level 10” Torrance, 2017

I hope you had a nice day!

おやすみ!

Stadium Tour

"Stadium Tour" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO1600
“Stadium Tour” Los Angeles, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today we made a pilgrimage of sorts to the home of our favorite baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. We’ve done the tour before, by it was my nephew’s first time so we decided to all take it again. I’m glad we did, because the tour has been improved since we took it a few years ago, with more interesting historical facts, a tour of the press box, and generally more time to spend in each location, including the dugout.

It was a great little highlight of the vacation! I definitely recommend the Dodger Stadium Tour to any baseball fan. ⚾️

"Historic Logos" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/10 sec, ISO6400
“Historic Logos” Los Angeles, 2017
"Cool Car" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/13 sec, ISO6400
“Cool Car” Los Angeles, 2017
"Dugout Family" Los Angeles, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/125 sec, ISO500
“Dugout Family” Los Angeles, 2017