How is it possible to summarize our trip to New Zealand other than to say it was a dream! We spent nine days RVing through the North Island over the Christmas holiday and it was incredible. Between the food, wine and the weather (winter in Japan means summer in NZ!), I think I could have stayed forever! And even though Barrett will never remember this trip, I am so grateful that we always will. He was such a sweet traveler! Is it too soon to start planning our trip back to see the South Island?
Experiencing a Dutch Christmas village in Southern Japan was certainly not something I was expecting but a welcome surprise! Huis Ten Bosch is a full scale replica of a city in the Netherlands, with brick for brick copies of hotels, castles, shops along the canals, and even windmills. It is a sight to see at Christmas – with over 13 million lights in their illumination display! We spent the day sipping mulled wine, listening to Christmas music, and exploring. It was the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit so far away from home!
Saturday, we hopped on the train for a quick day trip to Miyajima Island. Miyajima is home to the floating torii gate, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the most famous spots in Japan. It’s difficult to even tell how massive this shrine is in person! The island is also home to tons of wild deer, which freely roam the streets and are believed to be sacred. Of course, a trip to Miyajima would not be complete without a few local fresh oysters and some momiji manju – a maple leaf shaped pastry stuffed with everything from chocolate and custard to green tea and the local favorite: sweet bean paste. Our favorite? The sweet custard filled!
|With temperatures reaching into the 90s, we might have picked the hottest day of summer so far to walk around. Thank goodness for this adorable mojito stand…including a virgin grapefruit one for this mama-to-be!|
Can I just give a big hug to the person who thought of the idea of a “babymoon”?! Best idea! We spent five days in Okinawa at the Ritz-Carlton and had such a relaxing trip. While the rainy season definitely got the best of the weather, it was so wonderful to be able to just spend some uninterrupted time together…especially after two months apart!
|Afternoon tea in the lobby is pretty hard to beat!