PHEBESS's SparkPeople Blog PHEBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Deepavali Continues This is a great time to be in Malaysia! Color everywhere, music and drums, and random firework shows at night! (Only one set of firecrackers that woke us at 4 AM this morning.) <BR> <BR> And monsoon season? Well, we get great thunderstorms in the afternoon, several times a week - not every day, nor all day rain. Just enough to make the thunder and lightening shows pretty spectacular. We get out each day, and often spend our evenings closer to home, in our spacious deluxe hotel room. (A... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:21:55 EST Happy Deepavali!!! We arrived in Malaysia, safe and sound, in the middle of monsoon season so we had rain and wonderful thunder and lightening! <BR> <BR> Turns out the Hindu festival of Diwali has just started - but for some reason, here it is called Deepavali. <BR> <BR> With fabulous floor designs in colored sand or gravel! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/happy-deepavali.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <im... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 00:03:38 EST Leaving Japan We leave Japan tomorrow morning, so we're mostly packed and ready to leave quite early. The airport here in Osaka, Kansai Airport, is on an extended island out in the sea! Okay, not too far out to sea, just a bridge connecting it - but still! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/21-october-2014-this-is-our-last-day-<BR>in.html </link> <BR> <BR> So you won't hear much from me tomorrow, but I'll try to sign on in the evening, when we're settle at our usual hotel in K... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:47:21 EST Osaka food, tombs, and temples I finally caught up with the blogs - we've been busy with our time in Osaka! Found an area full of cafes and food shopping, though my favorite part was the giant food statues used to advertize the food! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/osaka-1-home-of-big-food.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then we visited a 1500 year old tomb that is larger than the footprint of the pyramids!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/osaka-2-ancient-tomb-of-nint... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:46:05 EST Introduction to Osaka We took the subway and local trains from Kyoto to Osaka - 35 miles or so, for about $8!!! Not a bad deal at all! We have a funny hotel, great manhole covers, and gorgeous flowers! All survived the typhoon that was down-graded to a tropical storm, and autumn continues in Japan. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/we-came-to-osaka-to-meet-typhoon.html </link> <BR> <BR> The flowers were gorgeous today! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:55:32 EST My favorite spot in Kyoto We went to a museum, did more walking all over the city, and I finally made it to Kinkaku-ji, my favorite spot in this gorgeous city of temples and castles. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/kimonos-at-kinkaku-ji.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And yes, it really and truly looks like that! <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:28:53 EST Colors of Kyoto More Kyoto, please! Great city, lots of walking. Beautiful fabrics, flowers, trees, plants, and more shrines and temples. Incredible beauty everywhere! And even a few cute kitties at the mother temple! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/the-colors-of-kyoto.html </link> <BR> <BR> I LOVE Kyoto! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 00:02:18 EST Kyoto - I love Kyoto!!! We're having a great time exploring Kyoto, mostly on foot so getting in tons of walking. <BR> <BR> Typhoon Phanfone gave us a bit of wind and rain, but nothing major - not like Okinawa or Tokyo. In fact, I spent the afternoon it passed by outdoors, enjoying the banners and flags going crazy in the wind! <BR> <BR> Tons of temples and shrines, people in traditional dress, a crazy food market, and all the gorgeous Japanese arts and crafts - so beautiful!!! <BR> <BR> <link>rollingluggager... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 03:02:57 EST We ran away from the typhoon and found a temple We took the train from Tokyo a day early, so we could avoid travelling during Typhoon Phanfone. Arrived in Kyoto, settled in, had today for a bit of sightseeing as well as time to buy some food to wait out the storm. <BR> <BR> Our train trip: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/outrunning-typhoon-on-shinkansen.html </link> <BR> <BR> Our first day in Kyoto, and the lovely temple: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/5-october-2014-part-2-sunda... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 10:57:12 EST Autumn in Tokyo Not as exciting as fire walking, or even the parade. But we're still enjoying Japan, and walking around exploring. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/autumn-in-tokyo.html </link> <BR> <BR> The flowers are still gorgeous - who knew there were so many autumn flowers? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 2 Oct 2014 12:21:44 EST Wow - Walking on Fire!! Samurai!! Geishas!! Warriors! Archers! All from the Edo period of Japan, about 1600-1860 something. In a parade, and then monks walking on fire. And average people walking on fire!!!!! LITERALLY ON FIRE!!!!!! <BR> <BR> The sedate blog: <BR> <link><BR>/weekend-part-1-impressionists-and-jap<BR>an.html </link> <BR> <BR> The wild and crazy blog: <BR> <link><BR>/weekend-part-2-samurai-geishas-fire.html </link> <BR> <BR> And one ... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:35:19 EST Buddhist temples, fox shrines, cat banners We walked around our town and I visited a Buddhist temple, plus a shrine to foxes. Of foxes? Little fox statues. <BR> <BR> Had a great time! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/shinagawa-shrines-and-people.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:17:20 EST Bento boxes, pea pod lights, children's art We'll spend a third week in Tokyo - and I had a bento box takeaway lunch that was delightful! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/experiencing-japan-slowly.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 11:00:14 EST French Impressionist Painting in Japan - Really! We had a great day at Ueno Park, going to art museums, people watching, enjoying some time in nature. The flowers were gorgeous! Well, so was the art!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/hokusai-and-french-impressionists.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I finally got a photo of a young woman in a kimono, even if only from the back: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:41:57 EST Imperial Palace of Tokyo - and lost on the trains We walked around the Imperial Palace today - very beautiful, classically Japanese. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/the-imperial-palace-tokyo.html </link> <BR> <BR> And we got lost on the trains, but made our way back. We had a great time, despite all of it. <BR> <BR> And walked over 6 miles. For the second day in a row. Don't you love travel exercise?? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:18:01 EST An earthquake, the Ginza, and Tokyo trains Yes, we experienced a small earthquake in Tokyo today. We also took the trains, walked some 6 or 7 miles, found out about attending a kabuki performance, and generally had a good time. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/a-little-earthquake-at-ginza-how.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I had my usual fun finding exciting things like cool manhole covers, interesting flowers, and things that are quintessentially Japanese. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:18:13 EST Fishing, little kid style <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was SOOOOO funny - I felt bad for the fish, but couldn't stop laughing at the kids! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/travelling-can-be-roller-coaster-ride<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:03:16 EST Japan - giant grapes, sushi, kimonos, and more We haven't been in Japan a full week yet, and we've had a great first few days. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/shinagawa-thousand-year-old-port.html </link> <BR> <BR> Things are beautiful, we're nowhere near a tourist area, and we're doing our usual muddling our way through a new country, new culture, new language. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 12 Sep 2014 23:48:51 EST Art Museum; Gorgeous Gardens; Rock Concert; BUSY! We've had a fabulous last week of our visit in the US, and I've been madly catching up on blogs as well as doing things and having fun. <BR> <BR> Here are the links: <BR> <BR> Philadelphia art museum visit: <link><BR>9/family-friends-and-art-museum.html </link> <BR> <BR> The gorgeous Longwood Gardens: <link><BR>9/longwood-gardens-flower-fairlyand.html </link> <BR> <BR> Our visit to Lancaster County, PA - not... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 02:48:52 EST Philadelphia We're having a good time in Philadelphia, seeing family as well as all kinds of interesting places. Today we spent time at the Japanese House - so beautiful, so peaceful! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>8/philadelphia-old-and-new.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:21:53 EST I'm a featured interview on a travel blog! There's this website, Travel Fashion Girl ( <link> </link> ) that is wonderful, full of all kinds of ideas and advice on minimalizing your travel wardrobe, multi-wear items, all that stuff. <BR> <BR> I did her online interview, was accepted, and I'm this month's interview!!!! I feel famous!!! <BR> <BR> Here's the link: <link><BR>ld-like-a-rolling-luggager/ </link> <BR> <BR> Check her out!!!! Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:18:37 EST Just a day in the park - or two parks - with two carousels. Had a great day, even though it was our last day in New York. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>8/it-was-two-carousel-day.html </link> <BR> <BR> With views of the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building at night, and the classic carousel in Central Park! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 21:46:00 EST More New York! We're having so much fun in New York, we decided to stay two extra days! Having a great time - and I even met up with a Sparkie! Not only did we spend four hours talking, we both took away part of our meal - now THAT is a good Spark meeting, LOL!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>8/we-need-more-time-in-new-york.html </link> <BR> <BR> So this is the view from our hotel room: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <B... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:40:36 EST We're enjoying New York Having a wonderful time as well as new adventures in New York - we both grew up nearby, so it always feels kind of like home. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>8/new-york-city.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few artistic rendings (not mine) of the city: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:25:58 EST Wonderful time in Quebec Finally got the blog to post - it's full of photos so I won't post anything here. (We're on the train from Quebec to Montreal and then on to New York City - how wonderful to have wifi while on the train!) <BR> <BR> Anyway, we had a fabulous time in Quebec - I exercised my brain by dredging up my 40+ yr old French, we exercised our bodies by walking somewhere between 3 and 6 miles every day, and we both had fun trying various new French foods. <BR> <BR> Quebec is probably gorgeous any tim... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 07:18:57 EST Lessons from the glacier in my dad's freezer Really, the ice was turning into a glacier in there - but there's a lesson to be learned when going through 8 yr old tiny bits of leftovers. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/lessons-from-glacier.html </link> <BR> <BR> Then we took the train across Canada, from Vancouver to Toronto - we're actually on the train right now, heading to Montreal and then Quebec for a few days: <BR> <BR> Part 1: <link><BR>/the-great-northern-trai... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:01:55 EST Back in the USA Clearing out my dad's house, helping my brothers get it ready to be put on the market. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/cleaning-house.html </link> <BR> <BR> I'm counting packing and moving as my cardio this week. Well, that plus pruning back the vines outside, doing some yardwork. Sat, 19 Jul 2014 09:31:01 EST Leaving Korea Tomorrow We leave Seoul tomorrow - we've had a great time, but it's time to move on and do something else. <BR> <BR> And while we've been busy with laundry and packing and downsizing as usual, we fit in a palace visit, and found a great artist! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/last-post-from-seoul.html </link> <BR> <BR> Best photos from the day: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:19:19 EST French Art in South Korea The French Impressionist museum, Musée d'Orsay, has a special exhibit in Seoul, and that's where I spent my afternoon. It was lovely, especially since it turned into a HOT day (100 or so F, 35 C) - and staying indoors was a better option that running around outside in the heat. <BR> <BR> So I enjoyed gorgeous paintings, kept rather cool, and walked about 5 miles. It was a wonderful afternoon! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/the-musee-dorsay-comes-to-seoul.html ... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:06:00 EST Finally tried a bingsu! I finally had my bingsu! Sort of good, sort of weird, and hard to explain. <BR> <BR> And no, I didn't eat the whole thing. <BR> <BR> But hey, part of travel includes trying new foods, and today it was the bingsu. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/adventures-in-bingsu-eating.html </link> <BR> <BR> I also had an arugula pizza for dinner, to offset the rather sweet snack. Just warning you, don't read the blog hungry! <BR> <BR> Here's the crazy bingsu: <BR> <BR>... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 10:05:44 EST Flower Market - So much fun!!! I went to the flower market today - oh wow, do I love flower markets! Plus I managed to get in 11,000+ steps while I was having fun! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/melons-flowers-and-subway.html </link> <BR> <BR> And of course some funny stories and the usual cultural confusion we seem to enjoy in Seoul! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="">... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 05:40:54 EST Eating and Shopping in Seoul Good thing we're walking so much in Seoul, because there is so much good food around this city! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/shopping-in-itaewon.html </link> <BR> <BR> We finally found a hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, in a size 5 for our little great niece (grand niece?) who was adopted from Korea - thought it would be a special gift for one of the happiest kidlets we know. <BR> <BR> And just one food shot, post Fourth of July and all that. <BR> <BR>... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 19:15:53 EST Fourth of July in Seoul, Korea We had a great day - spent the afternoon in a lovely park, walked around and got in plenty of steps, played with deer from Taiwan, and then had a traditional burger dinner at a restaurant. Looked for fireworks, saw a little bit of the display from the military base here. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/seoul-forest-and-fourth-of-july.html </link> <BR> <BR> Yes, it was just a little crazy. <BR> <BR> Would have been more fun if we'd have jumped into the splash f... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 11:07:12 EST Bawled out for eating with chopsticks instead of a spoon We are having our continuing funny adventures all over Seoul - we have our passports, I was told I was eating my sulgogi all wrong, and we've gotten used to the rainy season. Except one toe, which continues to protest. (I'm still managing 3 to 5 miles a day, despite the toe.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/another-day-another-toe.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 08:34:49 EST Orange flowers, orange mosaic We're enjoying Seoul so much, we think we're going to stay here a bit longer. (And the prices of rental cars are insane. We could take the train around, but, well, we found so much more to do in this area.) <BR> <BR> So, more Seoul. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/art-music-and-bingsus.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I found great flowers, and another mural in the subway station. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ... Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:38:21 EST A hidden stream - how cool is that? There's this semi-hidden stream that runs below street level through the middle of Seoul - it makes a lovely long park, and a great place to walk around on a nice day. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/seoul-y-underground.html </link> <BR> <BR> And in the posh supermarket, melons come with ribbons! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:25:37 EST Public Art and City Spaces We're having fun in our new neighbourhood - random sculpture scattered around, lots of cafés and restaurants, some gardens, and just lots to see and explore. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/random-acts-of-art-in-seoul.html </link> <BR> <BR> And which caffeinated, cold drink would you buy? The pink blonde, or the brunette in blue? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 08:04:12 EST Weird adventure walking in the park! We found a few fun parks in our neighbourhood, and were having a good time. <BR> <BR> And then some sleazy old man offered DH $5 for me!!!! <BR> <BR> Yes, I'd have smacked the old perv upside the head. Fortunately, I was trying out the exercise machines in the park at the time, and DH told the old guy NO in a very forceful way. <BR> <BR> What is it with old men?? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/do-i-really-look-that-inexpensive.html </link> <BR> <BR> The kid... Sat, 21 Jun 2014 05:43:48 EST Made it to the Michelangelo exhibit as well as the US Embassy, and the War Memorial, and walked 14,600+ steps - that's about 7 miles for the day. <BR> <BR> So the fried pork and vegs in a honey sauce for lunch was hopefully burned up. (It truly was about the only thing they served in this tiny café. That and gyozas - fried dumplings - potstickers.) <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/17-june-2014-went-to-us-embassy-no.html </link> <BR> <BR> And the children posing with a Michelangelo photo opp were... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:49:01 EST Travel and toe update I swear, my toe bandage makes it look like my toe is flipping off everyone! Too funny! <BR> <BR> Not much exciting, but still enjoying Seoul. Weather has been delightful the past few days, definitely summer without being horrendously hot. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/toe-woes-toe-wars.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here's the toe with attitude! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:03:27 EST Adventures in Subway Riding We're having fun in Seoul, and have finally managed the subway system, despite the lack of reading a word of Korean. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/13-june-2014-dont-you-love-entrance-t<BR>o.html </link> <BR> <BR> And we went to an exciting art exhibit, by a Spanish-born-Dutch-trained artist named Lita Cabellut - amazing artist! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 13 Jun 2014 09:33:11 EST Korean Barbeque - quite an adventure! We've been exploring the area our hotel is in, and experimenting with food. Always fun when we can't read the menus, LOL! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/10-june-2014-yes-this-is-flag-of-sout<BR>h.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few photos of our adventurous eating: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 10:27:51 EST The midnight plane to Seoul We had a great few last days in KL, and caught our flight to South Korea. The trip, of course, was not without our usual kinds of predicaments, including accidentally overstaying our visa. No, we did not go to jail. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/midnight-plane-to-seoul.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I love the mama and baby manhole covers, LOL! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sp... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 10:02:21 EST Monkeys and Fireflies!!! I went on an actual tour, and visited a bunch of monkeys. One jumped on me from a fence, quite unexpectedly! I swear he gave me whiplash! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/dont-turn-your-back-on-monkey.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 5 Jun 2014 09:37:57 EST Our report from Ipoh - LOTS of rocks!!! We had fun wandering around the town of Ipoh, and taking photos of the cave temples - how cool, a temple (or mosque) half in a cave!!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/31-may-2014-were-back-in-kl-after-th<BR>ree.html </link> <BR> <BR> My dad's hat loved it! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeo... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 10:31:53 EST Monkeys and Lions! I had a great afternoon walking in the Botanical Gardens, where I saw two different kinds of monkeys as well as the giant black squirrel (and logged several miles!). <BR> <BR> Then we went to the Lion Dancing on Stilts international competition - and wow, was that exciting! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/good-bye-penang-1-taman-botani-and.html </link> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/good-bye-penang-2-lion-dancing-on-st<BR>ilts.html... Mon, 26 May 2014 06:45:44 EST Kek Lok Si Temple I went to the big temple in the middle of the island, which was exceptionally beautiful and interesting. As well as universal, in a Buddhist kind of way. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/kek-lok-si-temple.html </link> <BR> <BR> And the photos - wow, this place was photogenic!!! A photographer's dream. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Fri, 23 May 2014 10:31:37 EST Still having fun in George Town We're exploring, eating well, having fun, and waiting to see if we're needed for the TV show. <BR> <BR> And you'll never guess who is in this program!!!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/20-may-2014-well-were-still-waiting-<BR>to.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 20 May 2014 09:40:03 EST One hundred one kitties, and a lion or two We're back in George Town, having our usual fun - found a mural I was looking for, and encountered an amazing acrobatic lion dance at a street fair! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/excitement-in-george-town.html </link> <BR> <BR> THIS is why we love travelling!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 18 May 2014 05:48:34 EST Geopark We drove up to the geopark - actually, the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park. Didn't get to walk around much since it started raining as we arrived, but we did get to see some of the ancient rock formations. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/langkawi-geopark-langkawi-4.html </link> <BR> <BR> And all the photos are in the blog. They're kind of redundant. Rocks, right? Fri, 16 May 2014 10:13:53 EST