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Fruits Picking.

What do you do when the global economy slows down, interest rates rise and bonds fall? Big corporations are scrambling to negotiate terms of their credit to stay afloat, banks are skeptical to lend in a volatile market and budgets are sliced to curb spending?

You write a bucket list fruits picking list in the Gunma prefecture and read about onsens (hot springs).

Japan is still one of R’s favourite destination.


My Trip.

Fate really has its twists and turns. Guess no one really knows what is coming through that door. Going on this trip cleared a huge part of something I couldn’t let go for the longest. Am glad it did.

R’s apartment is tastefully decorated. She’s actually quite good with colors and she’s a planner. Maybe not a structured and organized one but she knows what she’s doing. Thankful for her invitation and generosity. I’d saved a week of lodging. All I’d purchased was an open ticket. Been 2 years? since the last.

Carlton is a nice suburb and Milk the Cow cheese bar is at Lygon Street.

Wine and Cheese Tasting:

Day tour to Yarra Valley. The guide brought us to Coldstream Hills, Rochford, Domaine Chandon, an Australia’s subsidiary of Moet et Chandon, Yering Station and De Bortoli. The winery is famous for Black Noble and Noble One Botrytis Semillon.

Moment of Eureka:
Botrytis is a fungus that grow on the skin of the grapes.
Semillon is a type of grape used to make dry and sweet wine.

Sampled a variety of pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and sparkling wine. My type of sampling is 2 sips. R’s type of sampling is 1/4 glass per label.

As for cheese and chocolates, they were so good I’d finished half a platter.

Strawberries Picking:

R wanted to be a farmer when she was probably 8 years old and I wanted to be an archaeologist / ice cream street vendor. We laughed at our childhood dreams.

The strawberries season had just started and we had a great day out to Silvan. Picked and ate as we wandered around and checked out with a lot more.

Had a good break.


Happiest Moments Pt 2.

Had always wanted to show her Leeds University, my alma mater. The days where I would spend most of my time either in the hostel or library and the long walk down Woodhouse Lane to buy groceries at Morrisons. We had saved 8 months for this road trip and in Sept 2014, we packed our bags and flew to the UK. We drove from London to Edinburgh.

We visited, Trowbridge, Lacock, Amebury, Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds, Nottingham, Leeds, Lake District, York, Yorkshire Dales, Malham Cove, Edinburgh and took a train back to London.

The gorgeous English countryside, from the beautiful refine South to the charming scenic North.

We would have spent more time in Lake District and explored Keswick, Windermere and Cumbria as well as Edinburgh & The Lothians.

Her favorite city was Edinburgh. We joined a 1 hour guided tour to visit Mary King’s Close, one of the many underground streets built over during the modernization of the old town. It is buried beneath the Royal Mile and frozen in time since the 17th Century.

The Real Mary King’s Close.

One of my happiest moments. Memories.

UK Oct 2014 For Blog2 020715 Revised

Happiest Moments Pt 1.

I sat on this for 2.5 years? I think. This blog was started because I’d wanted to keep a log of our mini explorations, adventures and travels. We had many road trips, short getaways and 2 to the UK and Europe.

These were my happiest moments.

Have limited snapshots on my desktop. Most of them were either posted on her instagram or her Facebook. The last I saw, most were deleted on her instagram. Not sure about those uploaded on her Facebook.

Nevertheless. These were taken on our trip to Barcelona back in Sept 2012. We explored Barcelona and Tarragona before boarding the Norwegian Epic on a 8 days Western Mediterranean round trip cruise. Lastly, we transited at Istanbul and explored the ancient city rich in history.

Port of Calls included Naples (Pompeii), Livorno (Cinque Terre), Civitavecchia (Rome), Cannes, Nice and Florence.

Our favorite was having visited 3 of the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. It is in the Liguria region of Italy and the charm of the steep landscape with cliffs overlooking the sea was unforgettable.


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If I could travel the world with you again, the next shortlisted destination will be to Takayama, Japan. I’d liked to hold your hand and walk through the well preserved old town lined with shops, houses and sake breweries from the Edo period, taking in the sights and sounds. We should go in fall where the day is short and the night is long, where every leaf speaks bliss, fluttering from the autumn trees. The Hachiman festival, the festive boats and Karakuri performances, I want to experience them all with you. Let’s stay in an onsen ryokan and go for a pleasant walk, the Higashiyama Yuhodo, passing through temples and shrines.

I will walk as far as my legs can take me to see the spectacular mountain scenery and the alpine flora at Kamikochi with you.


Fall leaves fall,
The autumn foliage hue,
Shortened day, lengthened night,
Withered weeds resonates for you.
Dry leaves sweep the ground,
A lonesome rustling sound,
The robins sing and I may smile,
A wreath of snow, coming winter’s mile.