Category Archives: USA
This post may be a little all over the place. I’m sick and have foggy brain and have therefore decided that spending my time blogging whilst simultaneously attempting to do some sort of festive Christmas design on my nails is a good idea. Especially given my distinct lack of artistic talent.
My mother and Step Father were in town a few weeks ago for my wedding. My father is obsessed with planes. My father-in-law is obsessed with planes. My now husband is obsessed with Space. The only logical conclusions were a family trip to Dayton or a family trip to DC to visit an air and space museum.
For my stepmother and me, the choice was easy. So we loaded up the car and we went to DC. Specifically to the National Air and Space Museum, because really, what else in DC is worth driving 7 hours each way for an overnight trip?
The museum was actually better than I expected. Much better. Probably something to do with the fact that this country is the country of NASA or something.
The entire things was a giant hanger. It looked really impressive. it was basically divided into three wings (or whatever they are known as in hangers). One wing was commercial aviation, one was military and one was space.
This was especially jarring when it was on the bombs. The cartoon character on the American bomb and the sakura on the Japanese bomb below struck me. They are both symbols I relate with being carefree – the Saturday mornings of childhood and Hanami picnics welcoming in Spring.
Kyle was happy though. He was able to stand with the space shuttle (Discovery, I believe). Apparently, when he was a child his father, who worked for NASA at the time, brought home some of the tiles used to show him and his siblings how they worked.
After we had our fill of the museum we headed into DC proper to go to our hotel. We were so tired that we ate at the hotel restaurant and fell into bed. The next morning we didn’t have a lot of time, so we went to the White House to take the obligatory photo, and then saw part of the American History Museum before heading home. I definitely want to go back in future though, The quality of the museums is amazing!
Incidentally, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza, which we got for a steal through hotwire. I hadn’t used hotwire before, but will most definitely use again.
So. I am a bit overdue with this. In fact, I have been back to Amish country twice since the original post. Whoops.
Anyway, I figure I should on occasion finish what I started…
So, on the second day I wanted to visit an Amsih house. This was an Amish styled house – we didn’t just turn up to a random person’s house. Not this time, anyway. We took a tour of the house, the barn and the school house.
This is the garden outside. I thought it was really quaint and pretty.
I believe this was the washroom.
Super glad I don’t have to try and cook every day in a kitchen like this. On the other hand, I’ll happily eat Amish food forever…
The craftsmanship of everything is amazing.
I really love Amish country. It is so peaceful and quiet and welcoming. I will find myself there a few times I suspect!
So. I have a new obsession.
I became fascinated with the Amish years ago. Watching documentaries and readng books made the Amish seem like something foreign and far away. Something I would never encounter. Therefore, I was beyond tickled pink when I found out that I now live less than an hour away from the largest Amish settlement in the world.
A couple of weeks ago, Kyle had a couple of days off, so we went to explore. We arrived in the evening and headed off to dinner. I had been told that the family dinner at Der Dutchman was not to be missed, so we decided to head there.
We then discovered one of the biggest problems one encounters whilst driving in Amish Country – getting stuck behind a wagon. As a result, we almost missed dinner. Thankfully, my giddy excitement over the fact that I was stuck behind a real Amish wagon meant that our moods were high regardless.
I had read about Amish food. It seemed like very simply country fare, and I naively assumed that it would therefore be bland.
I have never been more wrong in my life. Seriously. I am still talking about the creamed corn we had. I had previously only had it from a can. That stuff is the greatest substance known to mankind.
We finished dinner with pie. Kyle had a ground cherry pie. Ground cherries are green cherries that grow on the ground. The pie was basically everything that is good in the world.
After we were thoroughly stuffed we were forced to call it a night. Turns out Amish Country shuts down really early!
Kyle and I are in the application process for a fiance visa. It’s a long process. Too long. But on Wednesday it finally arrived. The second piece of paperwork – only 8 months after we submitted the first! That means exciting months ahead of filling out forms, having medical tests done, and a trip to Tokyo to visit the embassy. Yay!
The intention is that, if things happen in the timeframe we hope, I’ll have a short holiday in New Zealand in August, before heading off to the USA. I seem to be about equal parts excitement and nerves, which I think is normal.
Anyway, on Wednesday, 3 friends and went out to celebrate!
Blue cheese burger = best ever!
We went to the free footbath they have in Kobe. It’s just randomly in the middle of a street.
There was a man in the spa who was trained in relflexology. He gave us all free foot massages.
Baskin Robbins. 😀
This taiko game is really fun. Even if I am the worst of my friends 😉
Overall, it was a really fun night, and a good way to get excited about my future!
So. My ear started to feel better a couple of days ago. Sadly, any hope of flying was gone, but Kobe was starting to drive me insane so my neighbour and I decided to go to the most American restaurant we could find. I could escape reality for a couple of hours, and pretend that I actually was with my fiance, and not my cold shoebox apartment (actually, my apartment is perfectly adequate for one person, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic).
We looked around Kobe, and realised that the only American restaurants were takeaway, so figured we’d simply duck over to Osaka and go the the most American of American restaurants – Outback Steakhouse. So long as we ignore the theme…
Outback is located in one of the prettier parts of Osaka – Osaka isn’t exactly known for it’s prettiness in general, but this area is.
Osaka, the pretty part
We had to wait for a while to be seated, but is was super worth it. The drinks were some of the best I have had, the food was tasty (and calorific) and the portions were huge. I know I’m in Japan, and therefore have an abundance of extremely fancy food around me, but I haven’t been so excited about a meal in a long, long time.
Amanda looking amazing
I felt like I was 13 again, and eating all of my favourite things.
After we finished eating, we took the underground route back to the station. The Osaka station has been done up over the last few years and is huge and sparkly and fancy. We wandered through a few shops, before heading back to Kobe, and therefore reality.
According to Amanda, fountain of knowledge, a lot of the new station was done in the original style of the old station, from decades or even a century ago!
Happy New Year ❤
I had planned to visit Kyle (my fiance) in Ohio for two weeks. I had spent months planning the trip. I was going to visit the Rock and Roll hall of fame, was going to try on wedding gowns and was going to eat pierogies for the first time ever. I was going to eat at Lolita (saving Lola for when Dad comes for the wedding).
I’m in Japan though. Japan is not Ohio. Japan is nothing like Ohio. Ear infections and flying don’t mix. So I’m here, and deciding what to do for the next few days. I plan on gapping it somewhere. Maybe a couple of nights as a backpacker in Kyoto, or take the train up to Tokyo and go to Disneyland?
We shall see…