Back in Japan

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

I am back in Japan, and back at work. One of the most depressing part about taking vacations is coming back.

I wound up staying in the LA area for a day, which was fun. I wanted to ring up some friends but I wound hanging out with some old friends who live in the area. We all went to Disneyland (again), which was a lot of fun. Disneyland changed a bit since I was there in 1999. One disappointing thing was that the Prirates Of the Caribbean was closed. I really wanted to go on the POC, but oh well….

Before I left Atlanta, I set up this little device called a “Slingbox” to my mom’s Dish (cable-TV) box. It streams whatever that’s on cable over the internet to any PC that is set up to receive the picture. Hence, now I am able to watch any channel on cable-TV in the States that my mom receives. It works great; I am addicted to TV-Land (which I can’t get in Japan) so I am able to watch really old TV shows like I Love Lucy and Leave it Beaver (not that I like those shows).

I am going to buy another Slingbox and set it up in my house so that my mom can watch Japanese TV. Right now, she can only watch NHK on her Dish so I’m sure she’ll be pleased to be able to watch other things other than the crappy stuff on NHK.

I took a ton of pictures while I was in the States so I will upload them tonight if I have time.

Hello from Atlanta

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Travel Blog

This is my last night in Atlanta.  I’m actually kind of sad, because I really had a nice stay here.  Actually, it consisted of my mother trying to convince me to move here.  She nearly succeeded.  And admittedly, it’s still not completely out of the question.


This has been mostly a pleasure trip, but there were some business reasons as well.  I actually came out here to look into investing into some property.  My mom bought a house here a few years ago, and its absolutely HUGE compared to Japanese standards.  I really like this house a lot, and my mom has been taking me around to look at some real estate.



My mom’s house



The neighborhood


I couldn’t believe the sizes of the houses out in this area. 4000sq.ft. is like average.  We looked at a few places.  Here is one of the houses I was shown.



This is not a one room apartment, although it’s huge enough to be one.  This is actually the master bedroom of one of the houses shown to me.



This is bedroom from the opposite angle.  I could probably live in this room alone.


On the way home, we drove by Evander Holyfield’s (former heavyweight boxer) mansion.  It was enourmous!



Evander Holyfield’s mansion. His front lawn is big enough to hold the world cup (quite literally). 


We stopped off and had some icecream on the way home too.



Looks yummy eh?


Anyways, its off to LA tomorrow and then back to Tokyo.  **sigh**


 

Singapore Airlines Business Class Rocks!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Travel Blog

The flight from Tokyo to LA was pretty good.  I was able to sleep well, so I am not as jet lagged as I usually am when I go to the States.  The flight was good as well as the food.  Here are some photos I took during transit.


A snapshot of the Landmark Tower from the bus as we leave Yohohama.



A shot of the boarding area at Narita Airport.



A bit hungry after my long 90 minute trip to the airport, so I ate some chashumen. 



Long lines at customs at Narita airport.


The plane was a bit delayed so I went into the first class lounge and watched TV there.  The first class lounge wasn’t as great as I imaged it to be.  I was hoping for free internet and massage chairs like they have at JFK airport in New York.



Entrance to the first class lounge.



The first class lounge.



After a short delay, we finally boarded the plane.  Here is a shot of the business class.



The GPS always told us where we were.



The power reclining seats were awesome!



Champage and orange juice was served before we even left the gates.


The food was great.  Here are some of the stuff that was available on the menu:


White wine and shrimp for an appetizer



Cajun chicken for the main dish.



Here is the Japanese dish as the alternative.



Rum raison icecream with chocolate sprinkles for dessert.



Assorted fruits as a snack



Omlette for breakfast.  I was stuffed at this point so I didn’t finish my omlette.


The GPS let us know that we were close to our destination.


 


Once we arrived in LA, there was less than 2 hours until the flight to Atlanta departed.  Normally, this would be plenty of time to get to the gates, but being a former tour guide, I knew that I would need to make a sprint for my next flight or I would miss it.


The line through customs was pretty short so that went smoothly, but the line to check-in at the Delta Airlines counter was hell!!   The check-in was so slow and there was a lady who didn’t even looked to be working.  I wasn’t the only person who noticed this.  The people behind me were also upset to see the people at the Delta Airline check-in counter working so slowly. 


I checked my watch frequently, and found that the 2 hour buffer I had ticking away quite quickly which was making me very nervous.


After waiting in line for about 35 minutes, I eventually made it to the counter, checked in my bags and made a made dash to the gates, only find another enormously line at the security checkpoint. Geez!


The line took about another 30 minutes to get through.  By the time I got through the security I had only ten minutes to get onto the plan.  Luckily, the plane was delayed or I would have never made it.

Internet@35,000ft.

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Travel Blog

Alright, I was going to tell a long and drawn out story about the crap that’s been going down at work, but I am officially on vacation now and I am trying to keep my mind off of work. So for the next couple of weeks, I am going to dedicate this blog to my time in the States.

Believe it or not, I am actually writing this entry while on board the plane!! This flight offers wireless internet connection for like $26.00. Yeah, I know I’m pretty pathetic for buying it, but it beats watching movies throughout my entire trip. Although I must say, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was quite nice.

I had actually saved up enough mileage to upgrade from economy to business, but stupid All Nippon Airways told me that they no longer had anymore seats for “upgrade passengers” in business class. I was so pissed off, because it took me a lot of airtime and purchasing with my gold card to get the damn 50,000 points needed to get th freakin’ upgrade. And they were about expire so I needed to use them ASAP or all that effort would have been for nothing.

I waited until last possible moment for a cancellation in the hopes that they’d honor my frequent flyer points, but unfortunately they never did. I eventually had to trade by points in for gift certificates, but I could use them towards buying another airline ticket, so I will probably use them to fly to LA later this year.

In protest, I decided to fly with Singapore Airlines. And yes, I actually bought a business class ticket. Business class on Singapore is almost as good as first class on any other airlines. The service is so good and the seats or so confortable; they even fold out into beds. But the one best feature is the internet conection. Being able to connect up from 35,000 feet totally rocks the house!

Anyways, I am taking photos of my hole entire trip with my digicam, so I will upload them once I arrive in Atlanta. I should have brought my web cam or my Britney Spears Skype headset so I could talk to some people but that would have been insane. This is already insane!