Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crazy Midnight Circus Town

We will describe it, and we will show you the pictures, but none of that can do this place justice. When we exit our hotel (past the giant bums, and their giant heads), and walk down the street (of what seems to be called the "Dotonbori District") it is like entering the most insane carnival of lights and sounds that either of us have ever seen. It was mind-blowing sensory overload! Everything was flashing and blinking like an epileptic's worst nightmare. Every other shop seemed to be a restaurant, its front window lined with fake food displays of what it had to offer. We entered an arcade, where downstairs there was a group of people silently fishing in a pond. After some tense silence, one lucky girl pulled a live fish out of the pond and landed it on the ground where she unhooked it. However, when she tried to put it in her net, she dropped it back into the water.

Ordering dinner was a completely different adventure, as was figuring out our space-age hotel washroom, but the details will have to wait until later. Shortly we are being met by Nova staff, and being taken to our new home in Nagoya. If it's anything like Osaka, we'll have plenty more to report soon...

Ian enjoys his first Japanese vending machine experience with a can of Bubble Man II.

Ian: "I hear it's even better than the original Bubble Man!"

A few shots on the bright Osaka streets.

We just realized this morning that we have an internet connection in our room, that's why we're able to post some pictures on Tara's computer, and also use a more English keyboard.

Other important notes: Yes, we DID enjoy karaoke last night. It took us the first 20 minutes to figure out how to enter songs into the machine, and then where the English songs were located in the book. Our hits included Bohemian Rhapsody, Come Together, and Wonderwall, among other classics.

Stay tuned for more!
-Ian and Tara

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Well, I can`t read anything on this page....

This morning I woke up in a daze, with my stomach trembling. I packed up my belongings and Ian and I headed to the airport, where we boarded the largest plance either of us have ever been on. After 11 loooong hours, a bit of sleep, some free beer, and nothing but  white out the window, suddenly we were in another world.  One in which I apparently can‘t use the keyboards...(strange things are happening..)

We‘ll need to take a photo of this to give you the full effect, but try to imagine this for now:  the front of our hotel consists of 4 sculptures of massive heads.  Feet come out of their chins, and yes...indeed when you walk through the heads and enter the hotel, you can look back to see their finely sculpted bums guarding the exit.  Anyway, given that we just had an 11 hour flight, I Think a shower is in order.  I can garuntee you some of the most interesting pictures and bizarre sights you can imagine coming soon to this site. 

Wish us luck!!!!

Ian ANd Tara

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last Night In Vancouver (When you go your way and I go mine)

Tara and I have spent our last two days in Stanley Park, a vast site with everything you could hope for in a park. There are hiking paths, Ocean-side walkways, free trolly rides around the entire park, the aquarium, sculptures, art exhibits and artists selling their work, beaches, and innumerable places to sit and relax on a hot summer day. There are also water parks and public pools, and multiple sets of playground equipment for the kids. All ages seem to enjoy something in the park, and that makes it a very pleasant place to spend a few days. It exemplifies much of the best that Canada has to offer, in my opinion, and I've tried to absorb as much of that as possible so I can take it with me.

Tonight we were able to meet up with my good friends Mr. Aaron Wyatt and Miss Laura Krahn who were checking into Vancouver just as Tara and I were checking out. Aaron has arrived to spend his next 2-5 years of study here, and I wish him the best of luck. Laura, like Tara and I, came to see Vancouver for the first time. Comforting to see familliar faces before we head off in a few hours. Fortunately it won't be long before we can meet up with another highschool friend since Matsutaro happens to be visiting his family in Osaka right now! We will hopefully be meeting up with him tomorrow night (technically the afternoon of the 30th, Japan-time) as we will be staying in a hotel in Osaka, which Nova has covered for us. Otherwise we plan to meet up once Tara and I have settled into our new apartment in Nagoya.

Thanks to all for keeping up with us so far. I don't know when we'll next be able to make an update, but at latest it should be on Thursday August 31st. If you're looking to keep track of us by the hour, here's the plan as we know it:

Tuesday, August 29th - Fly out of Vancouver at 11:30am (local time)
*the flight lasts just under 11 hours!*

Wednesday, August 30th - Arrive in Osaka at 2:20pm (local time)
- that should be 1:20am in London, Florida, Georgetown, Sarnia, and Toronto

Thursday, August 31st - We will be discovering our Japanese apartment for the first time, and should have internet access from the apartment lobby.

In the meantime, take care of each other, and take care of Canada. We quite like it and expect to return to it in roughly the same shape we're leaving it.
You'll hear from us soon!


Capilano Suspension Bridge Video

Hello. Here's a first attempt at sharing video; this one is taken at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Brief technical note: Unfortunately we didn't get our video editing program loaded onto this computer before leaving, but there is a program on here that puts videos together for us. It's convenient for now, but it means that I don't have much control over how the video is edited and compiled.
At any rate, here's the finished product... a little too cute for my liking, but you get the idea. It's a BIG BRIDGE, and on the other side there's an Ewok Village.

Clicking the link should allow you to view the video.
I hope this works!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Saturday Part 2

With video camera in hand, and a look of near confidence on his face, our hero sets out across the great rift in the land, spanning 450 feet across. He has all good intentions of taking video footage from high up on this suspension bridge.

Approximately 25 feet into his journey, he decides that cameras belong in camera bags, and hands are much more appropriately used to clench the steel cables from which his life is suspended.

Having survived the treachery he plays it cool in the treetops, with a smug look of victory.

His girlfriend evidently experienced no such fear of the rocking bridge.

She was one of those long-haired tree-hugging hippies.

The two spent a few more hours wandering through the forest paths which wind through the forest floor amongst ancient trees (some that were 400 year old giants), and up onto a series of forts and bridges suspended high up in the trees like some kind of Ewok residential neigbourhood.

I hope you are all well. Please check back soon for the video footage of Capilano, as well as our Sunday trip to Stanley Park, and Vancouver's Aquarium.

Saturday Part 1

Our first full-day adventure in Vancouver was a highly successful one. Oh, but first I wanted to share the important details of Friday night that Tara omitted:
I had the wild pacific salmon fillet in a sweet honey cumin sauce, with a side of basmatti rice and a colourful array of grilled vegetables including big pieces of broccoli, red peppers, carrots, and crisp baby snow peas. All this, of course, accompanied beautifully with a couple of the finest local brews.

As for Saturday, we began with a trip on the seabus, which was a fun experience in itself. At the head of a long hall, a large digital clock counts down to the next departure time. Locals sprint down the escalators, and through the walkway to the port where hundreds crowd onto the seabus. Windows on all sides allow for a view of the harbour as the bus moves across the water towards a scene of skyscrapers dwarfed by a green mountain range. On the other side, there was a bustling market with nearly anything you could want. We had a breakfast of a mango and coconut crepe (made from scratch before our eyes) with a ham & cheddar quiche with salad. Both were fresh, delicious, and enjoyed very much while we sat at a table on the dock with a brilliant view of the harbour and city. So Saturday was off to a great start, and at this point in the day we had only spent $15 total!

Next stop was Capilano Suspension bridge which I couldn't possibly do justice by describing to you. Fortunately we had our little digital friends along for the trip. The straight facts are that it is a bridge suspended 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River. Also, it gets reeeeeal shakey when you have hundreds of people walking across it at once.

This park also happens to be home to the world's largest private totem pole collection, and the the world's only totem pole containing Ian Matheson.

*more pictures to follow shortly!*


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Over the hills and far away

Greetings from out west!
Even though flying is terrifying, getting to see the mountains from that view was pretty freaking awesome.
I guess we will just give you a quick run down of Vancouver so far:
-Our hostel is tiny and probably the size of our house in Japan
-I found the coolest hat EVER

-We took my Dad's advice and checked out Steamworks which was amazing
-After an hour of wandering after dinner looking for a convienience store, I went to bed earlier than I think I have since I was 13

Please ignore this horrible set up of pictures. We are still trying to figure out how to work this site. But soon we will be pro's!

Anyways, we miss everyone and hope you are all doing good. Talk to you again soon.

With Love


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Almost on our way

I think we finally have the bugs worked out so everyone can ignore the first couple of posts. Things are slowly starting to sink in, as I had to say good bye to a majority of you this evening. But don't fret; what better to bring a smile to your face that a friendly clown:

I love you all!!!

(Bai Dylan! Thats what you get for not coming out tonight)

Love From Tara

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Still Working the Blugs Out

This is just a test to see if we've set up the profiles correctly.


We are going to Japan