The Treasures of West Texas

In the Summer of 2015, Melinda and I began a long-planned downsizing of our life in Portland by selling our house on Langworthy Terrace.  It was a great house and home to many good memories.  There were Christmas mornings, celebrations for birthdays, proms and graduations, and many nights watching movies in our home theater room.  It had a big deck, where we cooked out and hosted neighborhood parties and on occasion Melinda’s book group.

With part of the proceeds from our sale, we bought a townhouse closer to downtown and a motor home.  We loved the motor home; it was just the right size for two people and a dog.  Continue reading

Tsukiji Fish Market

I am back in Tucson now, adjusting to normal life.  My trip around the world was indeed a grand journey.  I traveled 35,115 air miles.  Here is the breakdown.

Miles
Tucson Dallas 810
Dallas Ft Myers 1020
Ft Myers Dubai 8269
Dubai Hong Kong 3682
Hong Kong Auckland 5680
Auckland Queenstown 636
Queenstown Wellington 398
Auckland Melbourne 1640
Melbourne Adelaide 398
Adelaide Singapore 3359
Singapore Tokyo 3293
Tokyo Portland 4810
Portland Tucson 1120
35115

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Isana Sushi

When I was in Adelaide, I met an American woman from Sydney who worked for Google and managed the YouTube operations for Southeast Asia.  She often traveled to Tokyo on business, and she recommended that I try a sushi restaurant called Isana Sushi in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo.  The restaurant is a 7-seat sushi bar with only one chef named Junich Onuki.  There is no menu, you simply get what the chef has selected at the Tokyo fish market that day.  Junich spent ten years working as a sushi chef in London, so he speaks excellent English.  Four years ago, he returned to Tokyo to pursue his dream of opening his own sushi bar.

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Tokyo

I am now safely home in Portland, but still feeling the warm glow of Tokyo.  This may have been the best stop of the entire trip.  It is the dead of winter in Tokyo, and the weather can be miserable, but I stumbled on to two glorious days with blue skies and temperatures in the mid-50s.

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Singapore

Singapore is an island nation strategically located at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, immediately north of the equator.  Records show that it was already a thriving trading port as early as 1400.  In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Singapore was controlled first by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch.  In 1819, Sir William Raffles arrived and set up a British trading port for the East India Company.  Singapore became a Crown colony in 1867.

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Ketut Liyer

Memory is a mysterious and powerful thing.  To digress a bit, here is the string of memories that Australia conjured up for me.  Melinda and I were married in Las Vegas on July 5, 1999.  The next day we went to St. George, Utah and spent a few days touring the national parks in Southern Utah.  I got sick, and it was really hot.  We did not have the greatest time.  Fortunately, we had planned to take a trip a few months later to Australia for our real honeymoon.

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Australia – The Last Post

I finished up my week in Australia with a visit to Adelaide.  I have always had a theory that the great wine regions of the world make good travel destinations.  This led Melinda and I to places like the Russian River Valley, Walla, and Paso Robles in the US, as well as Mendoza in Argentina, Stellenbosch in South Africa, and the Rioja in Spain.

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The Great Ocean Road

On Australia Day (sort of like the 4th of July), I took a tour of the Great Ocean Road.  The Great Ocean Road runs along the Southern tip of Australia.  It was built by Australian soldiers returning from WW1 to open road access to an area previously served by ships that had to navigate an area known as the Shipwreck Coast.  Continue reading

St. Kilda Pier

I am at St. Kilda Pier on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, Australia.  It’s warm and sunny, the first day of the trip that I can comfortably wear shorts.  The view back toward Melbourne is filled with brightly colored kite surfers, soaring through the air.  At the end of the pier, I have just discovered two penguins hiding in the rocks.  It is great to be alive.

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