- - - 6/20/2016 - - -

Melina 16 Months

Filed under: — Andy @ 12:59 am

- - - 6/18/2016 - - -

Sri Lanka

Filed under: — Andy @ 6:57 am

Our first real traveling since Melina was born and we went to Sri Lanka for a week. I knew that traveling with a one year old would be very different than if it was just the two of us, but besides some small changes in the way we travel we were really able to do most of the things we wanted to do. The major differences with this vacation was instead of using public transportation we hired a car (air conditioned) and a driver, and instead of staying in cheap dormitories we stayed in low budget hotels. We still ate as much of the local foods as we could, but also tried to get some healthy and non-spicy alternatives for Melina. Here is a short overview of the trip.

For the full photo gallery visit: Sri Lanka Photo Gallery

Our route for the week:

Closest city to the airport. Our point of departure and return for this trip.

We explored the beach in the early morning before heading out.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Lots of elephants, also lots of tourists.

We stopped here on the way to Dambula to meet up with an old Sri Lankan friend I made when I first moved to Japan. We did a home-stay at his house while his relatives showed us great hospitality, and made us the best homemade Sri Lankan foods we would have all trip. He would also accompany us for the next two days of our trip.

Minneriya National Park
The place for a safari and to see wild elephants.

Like you see in the pictures, an ancient rock fortress that is not an easy climb. Still, with Melina in the carrier we made it to the top. Once at the top we were greeted with an amazing 360 view of the surroundings, as well as some wicked windy conditions. One of the highlights of the trip and a place I will not soon forget.

Dambulla Cave Temple
Ancient temple with many Buddha statues. Also Kittens.

Spice & Herbal Farm
On the way to Kandy we stopped at a Spice & Herbal Farm to get a tour of how the Sri Lankan people use a lot of the different herbs and plants Ayurvedic medicines and everyday use.

We visited a few things around the area. Kandy Lake, the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Temple of The Tooth, Kandy Market, and also saw a traditional Kandy Dance performance (Melina slept through the entire show).

Nuwara Eliya
Up in the mountains of Sri Lanka is Nuwara Eliya the place where all the Ceylon tea is grown. Compared with the rest of the country which was very hot, Nuwara Eliya was very cold. We visited a few tea plantations and got tours of the factories complete with free tea samples. Suzuna wanted to go to have High Tea at the Grand Hotel which was also very nice.

Horton Plains National Park
My personal second favorite place in our trip. We had to get up at 5am to get there early, but the scenery was breathtaking and the 9km hiking loop around the park was one of the best hikes of my life. We were able to see the plains, forest, the World’s End cliff, streams, waterfalls, and assorted animals.

Negombo, again
For the last day of the trip we made it back to Negombo where we had a nice Sri Lankan cooking class, and visited the beach again before heading back to Japan

For the full photo gallery visit: Sri Lanka Photo Gallery

- - - 6/8/2016 - - -

Emily Visit

Filed under: — Andy @ 1:04 am

Emily decided to visit Japan on her way to Borneo. Although I didn’t take many pictures while she was here, we did a lot of interesting things like seeing a fireworks show, hiking the local mountain, Kamakura, and a Tofu dinner.