Mequon Nature Preserve

When I was searching for places to check out using Google maps, I was honestly a bit wary about Mequon Nature Preserve because it was all brown in the satellite images. I mean, wth Google?! I was more interested in going to Kohl Park (long story short, after three attempts of finding it I never did), so I went to Mequon Nature Preserve anyway. And oh, how glad I was that I did, for three weekends in fact.

Situated along W County Line Rd., there are signs leading to Mequon Nature Preserve (thank God for that haha^^;)  and the entrance is easy to find. The land was repurposed to restore nature and attract wildlife and the trail is open to the public. It’s a great place to unwind, connect with people and reconnect with nature. Here are some of my favorite shots from my visits:

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Journey to the Midwest: Out of an Exodus and Into a New Season

Hi there! I’ve finally found time to write.

The middle of the year has been a whirlwind for me. My grand vacation/futile job hunt finally came to an end, but that required me to haul myself out of our family’s nest and move to the other side of the country.  It was exciting, stressful, lonely and draining all at once. My last three nights in California were literally sleepless.

I almost backed out because I had no one to drive with me, but at the right timing, my dad offered to take me there and unprepared I was, off we went.

Here’s our journey in pictures.

 

The trip was very meaningful for me for a lot of reasons: it’s a dad-and me quality time; my dad got to travel and see the rest of the US which he always wanted; and before he went back home, he left me with quiet but sure confidence that I’ll be able to handle myself. It felt appropriate that he was the one who brought me here to the US, and he was the one who brought me to my new place.

Almost two months in, I’ve come to handle homesickness better and grow ever more  grateful by the day for this season God put me in.

A Quick Stroll around Yokohama

I flew to Japan twice in April of last year. My first trip was to keep my friends company on a weeklong trip around Tokyo, and the next one was me taking side trips near Tokyo plus a day in Hokkaido.

Yokohama was my first stop. I wanted to watch ONE OK ROCK play at Yokohama Stadium. I’ve always wanted to explore Yokohama, too, so for my third time in Tokyo I decided to finally head there. Sadly, I wasn’t able to buy a concert ticket so to spare myself further heartache I just avoided Yokohama stadium.

I loved Yokohama’s vibe; it’s cosmopolitan yet laidback and it’s artsy too. It’s a great trip to take when you’re in the Tokyo area since it’s just 1 – 2 hours away, depending on where in Tokyo you’re staying. Without further ado, here’s a bit of Yokohama in pictures:

Tokyo Spring Day 6

Day 6 of our weeklong stay in Tokyo was spent going around Tokyo Tower (although we didn’t go up), dropping by Odaiba, and then passing by Shibuya. The rest of the time was spent packing up and buying last-minute souvenirs since we would be flying home the following day. But anyway, here’s the day in pictures:

Tokyo Spring Day 5

After our Disney weekend was a trip to Shinjuku Gyoen and Asakusa. But first was a stop at Shinjuku Bus Terminal to inquire about tickets going to Oshino Hakkai.

We ought to have reserved beforehand because the schedule we wanted was no longer available. So no trip to see Mt. Fuji up close + a chance to see a world heritage site.

Anyway, we pushed on to Shinjuku Gyoen which was more or less nearby. My friends wanted to go back to the apartment and rest (because we averaged about 20,000 steps a day for the past four days haha^^; ) but when we finally got to the garden, it was just breathtaking and worth it:

From Shinjuku Gyoen, we headed on to Asakusa by cab. The ride took about half an hour long but the time went somewhat smoothly because it was a good way to go sightseeing still and I had occasional conversations with the driver. I think I used up my Japanese by the time we arrived at Asakusa but nevertheless the cab ride let us have a much-needed rest. Btw, most of the cab drivers in Tokyo are grandpas but this one was a Daniel Wu look-alike in his early 50s.

I’ve been to Asakusa before, but here are my spring edition photos:

My friends were able to buy souvenirs in Nakamise Doori and we enjoyed street food for dinner. Instead of ketchup, there’s lemon extract to pair with fried chicken.

Just two stops for day 5 but certainly satisfying.

Tokyo Spring Day 4

Day 4 of our 7day trip was a return to Disney Resort, but this time, at Disneysea. I was really looking forward to it because I’ve heard how better Disneysea was and all. And for me, Disneysea isn’t overrated at all.

Instead of a castle, Disneysea has a volcano at the center of the park, and it “erupts” at scheduled times. Be sure to hang around long enough to catch one. There were several people too who camped around the lake to save a good spot for the parade.

If you’re not after any of the rides, a good whole day is enough to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park.

Tokyo Spring Day 3

he third day of our weeklong trip didn’t feel like I thought spring was supposed to be. It was rainy and really windy. It wouldn’t stop us though from taking on Disneyland.

Getting lost in Tokyo Sky Tree almost did though, tbh. I just couldn’t find where the bus stop was. Eventually we did and on to Disneyland we went.

We stayed at the souvenir shop near the entrance while waiting for the bus. The trip would take us back to Tokyo Sky Tree, and dinner was at a Mosburger we saw down the road.

 

We saved time by buying entrance tickets online. You can buy about two months before your intended schedule. As for transportation, the buses going to and from Tokyo Sky Tree were really convenient and not crowded at all.

Day 4 would be another trip to the resort, this time at Disney Sea.

Tokyo Spring Day 2

So, Day 1 is a quick stop at Ueno Park; in the second day of our week-long trip, we went to Tsukiji Fish Market, Imperial Palace gardens, and had dinner at Akihabara.

We got to the fish market shortly before lunch. We did have lunch and coffee, but no, we did not have sushi. I failed to find the line of stalls selling sweets, too. Of course, Tsukiji Fish Market does smell like fish (duh!), but it’s still a lot cleaner than how I remember the wet markets we used to frequent when I was a kid.

 

Next stop is the Imperial Palace gardens. Whatever we had at Tsukiji we definitely burned on the way haha. Good thing we had a bag of strawberries to keep us fueled.

 

Our final stop was somewhere in Akihabara to meet our former officemates who also happened to be around the area. No pictures here because we were too hungry and we kinda looked haggard^^;

 

There was a lot of walking on this day but experiencing the places and feasting on the sights and sounds made all the walking worth it. Onwards to Day 3!

 

Tokyo Spring, Day 1

I joined my friends on their adventure to Tokyo April of last year because it would be their first time to travel DIY, and I tried getting a ticket for the 25th L’Anniversary, the weekend of which fell right smack in the middle of the schedule. I figured too that it would be my last chance to join them since I would migrate late last year. So, joining the party last, I made our itinerary and became the unofficial guide.

We landed at Narita Airport around lunch time so we had a meal first and then checked in to our house.

I had my friends go through an ordeal, and I really felt bad about it–the station we alighted from only had stairs on the exit we were supposed to take. We eventually made it to the house and after getting some much-needed rest, we headed to Ueno Park.

We didn’t really sit on the park and have a picnic; we couldn’t even if we wanted to; but the brief time there was fun nonetheless.