Archive for the 'Vacation' Category

Japan trip, part 0

November 9th, 2014 by Cat

I’m back from my break! What I didn’t mention before was that I was spending my break in Japan :) It was an amazing trip, and I loved it there. The people were nice and polite. The public transportation was great. The food was delicious. The cities were clean. There were so many things to see, and many things are more orderly and efficient there. I’m going to miss being there!


I have a lot to say about my trip, especially since I was there for 12 days, and I also have a lot of photos to go through. While I get those ready, I wanted to spend this entry rambling about useful things to know as a foreigner visiting Japan.

Culture / Etiquette

I think this is true of any trip you take abroad, but it’s good to know about the country’s culture and etiquette, so you don’t accidentally do something rude or offensive. I thought it was useful to know train, restaurant, and paying etiquette in Japan. For example:

  1. People tend to line up for the subway/trains before they come (it’s marked where the doors will line up). When the train does arrive, they stand to the sides of the door to let people out before they go in. Even in the busiest Tokyo stations, I saw nice and neat lines.
  2. It’s considered rude to be loud on the trains, and there’s always PSAs telling people to silence their phones and not talk on them. (You can still use them, which they do a lot, but don’t be loud on them.)
  3. You don’t tip, and you typically bring your restaurant bill to the front to pay (instead of at the table). Some places do meal tickets instead where you pay first.
  4. There is usually a tray by the cashiers, which is where you put your money or credit card, instead of handing it directly to the person. They then return your change or card in the same tray.

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Summer recap

September 6th, 2014 by Cat

It’s nearing the end of summer, and as someone living in Texas, I cannot wait for the temperatures to drop. I’ve had a pretty eventful summer so far though, so I thought I’d look back on how I spent the past few months :)

Unexpected Trip

I originally had no big trips planned for the summer. Since my husband and I don’t have kids and we’re both software developers, we don’t have to follow the school schedule for vacation time. We tend to pick off seasons to travel instead.

But well, if your work wants you to go to London, and they’ll cover expenses… it’s hard to refuse ;) So, I went to London for a week in June. I only had to work 3 days there, so my husband tagged along to sight-see during the rest of the time. Read about it here or view photos here.


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London recap

July 3rd, 2014 by Cat

Alright, here’s the entry about my London trip that I mentioned last time! If you’ve been following me for a while, you might remember my business trip to Las Vegas a couple years ago where I was an exhibiter for Interop. There’s one in London this time, so I was sent again. Like last time, my husband and I decided to make a trip out of it and stay a couple extra days.


This is going to be a long post with a ton of photos since I didn’t feel like splitting it up. Instead of writing about each day, I’m grouping them into categories. They’re not necessarily the order that I visited/viewed them in, and I only visited a couple things per day.

My brief thoughts on London

London is probably the most multicultural city I’ve visited. I haven’t heard so many different accents and languages in one place before. It felt kind of odd because it didn’t feel like I left the country. Everything is still in English of course, but it was mostly because many parts reminded me of New York City. The tube system was also very similar to the NYC subway system.

Compared to where I live (Austin), London was a very expensive city. I’m pretty sure everything I saw was more expensive than what I would pay in Austin. The exchange rate and foreign transaction fees didn’t help either.

Overall though, I thought London was a pleasant city with great public transportation and a lot of interesting architecture.

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