Aug 27, 2012

Fruitful Weekend with Hero

Hero on Tiger Style V7*
 A climber friend from Japan visited us during his business trip to Detroit.  Not being able to go anywhere without a car, he decided to fly over for the weekend to see us!
 Since he wasn't able to climb during the last 2 weeks, he requested to go to the Gunks.  Although of the blank, he sent all the easy stuff in one try and even finished Tiger Style V7* in a few tries!!!
 After tons of climbing at Peter's Kill, we headed to a local climber friend's BBQ party.  We all had a great time with climber friends and meeting new climbers, but by the time we thought we had enough alcohol, it was already past 1am!!

 Next morning, I made Japanese style breakfast (grilled salmon, tamagoyaki, bacon wrapped okura, carrot kinpira and miso soup);since it is better after drinking alot!  Then headed for sightseeing in Manhattan.
First went to see the Statue of Liberty which was also my first time to see it!  It was a beautiful day for taking photos and we were all shooting like tourists! LOL
After the tour to Statue of Liberty, we went to SOHO area for some shopping and made a quick drive through Manhattan.  Too bad Hero had to take a flight back early, but we promised that we'd go on a climbing trip together!

<Random shots from New York sightseeing>
Lucky shot of seagull

Seagull wanting to go to the city oneday...

My original shot of Statue of Liberty

Ad made by 5 planes


Times Square

Late lunch/early dinner at Heartland Brewery

Aug 8, 2012

Photo Diary of My Trip to Paris & Provence

 Even though Paris is more close from NJ than Japan, the flight is still expensive so my husband kindly let me stay another week for vacation after our climbing trip in Fontainebleau.  Since I thought it would be more fun with someone than alone, I had my Mother come over from Japan!

First visited Louvre Museum, the one you must go when you're in Paris!!
Everyone photo shooting "Mona Lisa" and the famous pyramide that shows in the movie "The Da Vinci Code".

Venus Milo, gosh how much I drew her in my school days!!
And "Mona Lisa", now I know how tiny you are!

Audio guides were 3DS!!

 Yes, Paris is a place for artists. (in front of Louvre Museum)
Rain made us jump into a cafe for lunch and had omelet and sandwich.

 Orsay Museum, you can see that this used to be a station from this view.

Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur); 
we used the cable car to the top!!

Beer is soooo good after tons of walking!

To my surprise, there were some Japanese artists at the hill of Montmartre!

 Walls of Concorde Station was covered with alphabet tiles!

'Love Locks' on the Pont Des Arts Bridge;
Couples fasten padlocks and toss the keys into the Seine river below to symbolize their eternal love.

Rental bicycles; very convenient when you know where the rental stations are!

For dinner we had Salmon Tartar and Beef Stew at L'Imperial, a restaurant that was on the Japanese guide book. (Japanese guide books never fail!)

Off to Marseille! 
but need to get breakfast first!
First time getting on TGV!  So exciting!

Joined a 1.5 hour sightseeing bus tour.
Fort St-Nicolas from the bus.

You can see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea from the longest bench in the world.

Got off the bus and walked to Le Panier, an area that used to be the fisherman's residence to buy Marseille soap.

Dinner at Fon Fon, a famous Bouillabaisse restaurant that a good friend introduced to me.  Lucky to have a seat cause it was packed with reservations!

Heading to Aix-en-Provence.  Nearly missed the train because of the heavy traffic and rude drivers. (the movie "Taxi" was taken in Marseille and it can be true!!)

Starting the cross-Luberon guide tour from Gordes.
Houses and fences are made of limestone.  The limestones are only piled up but within years, they start holding together.
Cobblestone lane

Senanque Abbey.  Too bad that it wasn't the lavender season, but it smelled so good in the shop!

Roussillon, a scenic village with colorful houses and shops.  Originally, the buildings are made with red soil.
Luckily, it was a market day and had fun looking at stuff, too!

Pont Julien, most oldest bridge in France.  Built 2000 years ago.

Had lunch at a cute restaurant in Lourmarin.  Couldn't read or speak French, so I ordered a pre-fixed dish and came with dessert!
Didn't have time to look inside the castle, but it was still beautiful from a distant.

Fountains of Aix-en-Provence
Never seen a dove taking a bath!

Avignon is a town surrounded with a castle wall.

Back to Paris!  It took 1.5 hour more because of the delay and waited more than 30 minutes in the line for a taxi at 1:30am!  Thank god, SNCF gave us a free ride!

I love how they have a theme at each Metro Stations!

Never forget to have crepe in Paris!

Found a very good wine shop!  The owners were American and Australian.  Best to have real English speakers when you need advice for wine!

Passage Cour du Commerce St-Andre; a little shopping street

Found a handmade leather shop and bought Yusuke a notebook with his initials.
This handsome gentleman is the artist of these leather goods.

Yes, this is Paris!  Playing piano in an open space!

And another round of Eiffel tower.  Can't let Mom go home without seeing this!

Tried another Alsace restaurant that was on the Japanese guidebook, but it seemed more like German food.

Even though I couldn't climb for a week, it was worth having a great mother-daughter time with good food, drinks and lots of walking!!!