“Overcome By Events” (Oregon – August 19, 2009 to August 22, 2009)

But when his wife came over, she said, “You should’ve seen him. He was pouting all trip long because his tripod was too big to fit in a carry-on and I wouldn’t let him bring it…”

“Mozzie Mayhem” (Big Pine Creek Backpack – July 16, 2009 to July 19, 2009)

I couldn’t figure out what was causing the stomach discomfort, whether it was ingesting too much DEET, or from the filtered water, or what. In any case, my bowels were telling me it was time to go…

“As Wild As Japan Gets” (Hokkaido, Japan – June 5, 2009 to June 12, 2009)

We couldn’t read the Japanese script by this closure sign, but a sign further up the path showed a picture of a menacing bear. “I don’t need to read Japanese to understand that sign,” said Julie…

“From The Alps To Old School Japan” (Japan Alps and Kansai, Japan – May 28, 2009 to June 4, 2009)

For an hour-long train ride, there’s no way there could be nine more stops so my doubts that kept nagging at me finally became action. Julie asked some employee on the train, “Toyama?”…

“Completely On Our Own” (Tokyo, Akiu Onsen, and Nikko, Japan – May 21, 2009 to May 27, 2009)

The train was about to move and both Julie and I were separated! Julie panicked and my heart started to race. So both of us tried real hard to force the doors open before the train moved…

“The North Capital” (Beijing, China – May 18, 2009 to May 20, 2009)

No one seemed terribly happy in the car from the driver to Donald to Julie who could understand the complaints made between Donald and the driver in Chinese. I could sense the momentary tension…

“Too Soon In The Northeast” (Manchurian China – May 12, 2009 to May 18, 2009)

So we disembarked to a chorus of “Meiguoren (American)” or “Laowai (Old Foreigner; not exactly a kind thing to say)” by some of the more intoxicated guys also wielding cigarettes…

“Belly Of The Rooster” (Shanghai and Suzhou, China – May 9, 2009 to May 11, 2009)

There, we paid our 20 yuan per person admission charge and walked about checking out some of the indoor exhibits and having fun with looking at some of the larger statues, especially the first one…

“Getting The Sell On” (Zhangjiajie, Hunan, China – May 6, 2009 to May 8, 2009)

He straight away asked whether we’ll pay in cash or credit. But we already hesitated. And upon further inspection of the box, I had read that this stuff was Bear Bile Powder…

“Emperor Qin’s Legacy” (Xi’an, China – May 3, 2009 to May 6, 2009)

He said he had never been out this far before and the longest he had driven in any one stretch of time in his 25 years on the job was 1.5 hours. So the 6 hours or so of straight…

“The Home Away From Home” (Sichuan, China – April 28, 2009 to May 3, 2009)

Once uncle got home from work, we conversed for a bit. Unfortunately, he had a pretty thick Sichuan accent or dialect going and we really couldn’t understand a word he was saying…

“The Yellow Fruit Tree Surprise” (Guizhou, China – April 25, 2009 to April 27, 2009)

At that point, we embarked on what would turn out to be one of the more dangerous slow boat cruises I’ve taken part of as this boat (as well as others) would routinely crash into the walls while…

“Not Quite The Detian We Hoped For” (Nanning and Detian Waterfall – April 22, 2009 to April 24, 2009)

Now, it was time to get to sleep, but one thing we learned that was kind of a downer was that this place didn’t have mosquito nets. This was disconcerting considering that malaria and yellow fever…

“Krazy Karst” (Guilin, China – April 19, 2009 to April 22, 2009)

That relative peace and tranquility was quickly dashed on our way out as large Chinese tour groups with tour guides speaking through bullhorns once again invaded the premises. And it got worse…

“Losing Ourselves in Hong Kong” (Hong Kong, China – April 15, 2009 to April 19, 2009)

The clouds looked dark and threatening, but they hadn’t delivered any precipitation. However, the winds were howling and that made the cable car ride a bit scary as we were swaying in it…

“No Easter Eggs” (Monrovia Canyon Falls – April 12, 2009)

Like many of the hikes we had done in the Southern California area this year, the one we intended to do today was a repeat of what we did a long time ago when we were still…

“On The Waterlogged Oregon Trail” (Oregon – March 27, 2009 to April 4, 2009)

Before we got deep into the white stuff (without chains), we decided to turn around and call it a defeat. So we wouldn’t see neither Koosah nor Sahalie Falls as I had feared…

“Lukewarm” (Sedona, AZ – March 12, 2009 to March 15, 2009)

…this trip seemed like it wasn’t meant to be because there was predicted bad weather (funny how the forecast gets worse after you make the booking last week) and Julie wasn’t feeling well…

“Unrecognizably Different” (Switzer Falls – March 7, 2009)

It has been about six years since our last trip to Switzer Falls. Back then, it was during a disappointingly dry winter so the falls itself was disappointing despite it being February…

“Failure To Be The Early Bird” (Sturtevant Falls – March 1, 2009)

It was a little before 9am when Mom, Julie, and I left the parents’ place for Sturtevant Falls. In my heart, I wanted to leave earlier, but with a combination of a long week of work…