New York City…this Thanksgiving eve saw the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation on the upper west side!
Tomorrow they will come to life as they float their way downtown to Macy’s flagship!
New York…I am settling back in after my long trip. I am not big on souvenirs, but I did bring back some items from my travels that I would like to incorporate into my home!
First, my distant relative in Poland gave me a handmade linen and then I bought some South Pacific mud cloths…I decided to frame these memories and make them part of my NYC loft decor!
Now I can remember my trip everyday when I see these cool DIY decorations!
New York City…I have travelled the world, but I am a proud American…Getting home to vote was important to me!
I didn’t want an absentee ballot…I wanted to be part of the history of this day…electing the next president of the USA!
Some countries don’t have this right and I value that I can voice my position through my vote!
The lines were crazy long! Over an hour and then once inside it was chaos! It is hard to believe in this time of technology that voting is such a pre- historic process! Manual ballots, printed books, and clueless volunteers are embarrassing for a country as advanced as ours! But what matters is that I exercised my ability and right to vote!
I was happy to see so many of my fellow NY’ers braving the long waits to do the same!
I have experienced a world of cultures and I know our democracy is a great thing to celebrate and respect!
New York City, NY…I AM HOME!
After 4 1/2 months I have returned to New York post Hurricane “Sandy”…luckily all at my apartment in Chelsea is ok! My roof deck garden didn’t fare as well, but it’s far from a disaster!
I departed on this journey June 26 and covered 25 countries:
One of my saving graces and best investments was my unlocked IPhone I picked up in Hong Kong used! This unlocked phone allowed me to buy prepaid SIM cards in each country so I could always be connected and utilize lifesaving travel apps and tools like GPS as I walked around unknown cities! Doing this also saved me thousands of dollars in roaming charges that Verizon or AT&T charge travelers!
Jet lag has taken hold, but I still adjusting to being back home…Where to next??
Tokyo, Japan…we finished our visit to Japan with a real “score”!
Vintage Kimono shopping on the corner of Meiji-Dori in the bustling Harajuku district! This open air market had thousands of vintage kimonos and obi to choose from!
My friend Shelly got into it and walked away with some amazing finds…a summery kimono as a robe for the beach, an evening black kimono to dress up, and a rugged denim worker style kimono to make a fashion statement!
A little background on the kimono:
The kimono (着物) is a Japanese traditional garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono”, which literally means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”), has come to denote these full-length robes.
Kimono are T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial.), and secured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back.
Tokyo, Japan…Today Japan awed and inspired me at the Meiji Shrine (明治神宮 Meiji Jingū), located in Shibuya. This is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
A peaceful oasis in the heart of modern Tokyo, Meiji Shrine is sheltered by a 700,000 square-meter forest of 120,000 evergreen trees, donated from all parts of Japan when the shrine was established.
The shrine grounds are entered through two of Japan’s largest torii (shrine gates), made of beautiful cypress wood more than 1,700 years old.
The shrine was rebuilt in the 1950’s after being destroyed in World War II…this is the most visited shrine in Tokyo.
In part of the compound, you can write a wish and place at the altar and shake a cylinder of thin sticks till one pops out revealing a wisdom or poem relating to your life! Mine was great!
This was an amazing yet solemn place that just evokes a true sense of Japan’s long history and proud people! The design is a hallmark of Japanese beauty!
Tokyo, Japan…a short walk from the hotel in Shinjuku and a world away we found the Meiji Shrine.
Tucked away in a wooded and peaceful park, this sight is the spot for traditional Shinto weddings!
As we walked around, one wedding procession after another made their way through the grounds…a dull drum beat and the slow walk of the bridal party was shaded by traditional red Japanese umbrellas!
Each bride was resplendent in different kimonos and unique by wearing different styles of tsunokakushi (head piece).
Absolutely beautiful, this ancient tradition and ceremony was so cool to witness!