Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some more photos from Beijing

Here are some more photos from Kyoto and Beijing that were on my phone and didn't make it into the last post.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beijing, China

There have been several times in my life when I've had the experience of traveling to a place that loomed a bit notorious in my imagination. In 1993 I spent some time in the former East Germany, just a few years after the wall came down and reunification occurred. My 1980s childhood years were filled with Reagan-era propaganda about how horrible communist states were, and of course, at the age of 21, I didn't yet understand enough about the complexities of such things to even begin to question the things I'd been taught. The reality of being there and talking to the people was incredibly eye-opening, and it was a lesson I didn't forget.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kyoto, Japan

We're currently in Beijing, China, and I had to use a VPN to get to this blog. I don't know if China blocks all Blogspot blogs or if there's something about ours in particular that tripped the censors. Interesting...

We spent the second half of our time in Japan in the city of Kyoto, which is a beautiful place full of shrines and temples and history. I've been there once before about eight years ago, and was eager to come back again on this trip.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LA to Tokyo

One of the things we decided to do on this trip was to visit all of the Disney parks in the world during the year.  The next continent after South America and Antarctica is Asia, and we knew that the trip from Buenos Aires to Tokyo – cities which are basically on the opposite side of the planet from each other – would be far too much to try to do all at once. So we first flew from BA to Miami, where we spent the night, and then the next day we made our way to LA.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Falklands to Montevideo

After the days we spent in Antarctica, the rest of the cruise was fairly anti-climatic. One highlight, though, was our brief visit to the town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

I first heard of the Falklands when Argentina invaded back in the early 80s. I remember seeing the war footage on TV, with the British troops fighting back, and it seemed like a very strange place for two countries to fight over. Every time we've been to Argentina, I've seen graffiti and murals proclaiming that the Malvinas (the Falklands) belong to Argentina, and I suppose I had the impression that there was still controversy about it. I thought that perhaps, in the Falklands, the people were divided about their nationality, that it was still a subject of great debate.

And then we went to Stanley.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


We've been incredibly fortunate in our lives to have the opportunity to do things that few people get to do: riding in a boat up a channel of the Amazon River, and watching lions just a few feet away from us in an open-top vehicle in Africa, for example. And this experience is definitely one to add to that list.

As the ship grew closer and closer to the Antarctic peninsula, we wondered what to expect. We honestly thought we'd be a bit disappointed, that the experience of finally visiting the seventh continent would be somehow anti-climatic. We spent the morning hanging out in the cabin and waiting. Every now and then Doug would go out on the balcony to see if he could see anything. At last, he ran into the room and said, "I see land!" 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ushuaia, Argentina, and Cape Horn

Tierra del Fuego is a place I've always wanted to go, and so watching the ship's GPS display show us getting closer and closer to the bottom of South America was really exciting. Early in the morning we navigated through the Beagle Channel (named after the famous exploring ship on which Charles Darwin sailed through these waters) towards the town of Ushuaia.