EppsNet Archive: Travel

Passenger Sucked Out of Plane Window: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

Southwest passenger died after broken plane window nearly sucked her out — CNN You are now free to move about the country! Thanks, but I’d prefer to move about the country from inside the plane . . . Read more →

Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

A passenger jet skidded off a runway and got stuck in the mud on the edge of a cliff in northern Turkey. — MSN Read more →

Why Do We Need the Sign?

I saw this in the men’s room of Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon . . . Why is that sign necessary? Were people complaining, “The toilet water in the men’s room tastes a little off“? “Yes, that’s because it’s sewage. Man, we gotta put up a sign.” Granted, there’s no bottled water sold in the national park (because of the plastic) but there are other options available before you resort to drinking toilet water. Read more →

They’re Looking for the Ottoman Empire?

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Killer Elephants: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

It occurs to me that elephants are wild animals, not supposed to be ridden, and should just be left alone, although my wife, who is from Thailand, says that people have been riding elephants there since 1800-something and that the victim must have been doing something weird to wind up on the business end of a tusk. Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Before You Die

50 Books You Must Read Before You Die, 100 Things You Need to Eat Before You Die, 1000 Places You Must See Before You Die, etc., etc., et goddamn cetera. Why not simply say 50 Books You Must Read, 100 Things You Need to Eat or 1000 Places You Must See? We all understand that we won’t be reading, eating or seeing things AFTER we die. Why do you have to introduce death into the equation? Read more →

Flight Crews Shutting Off Working Engines: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

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Tropical Spiders That Burrow Into Your Torso: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

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Ebola Outbreaks: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

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Horrific Ziplining Accidents: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

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How I Identified the Impostor

Capgras Syndrome – The patient believes that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member has been replaced by an identical-looking impostor. We’re going on an overnight trip out of town. Whenever we do that, my wife packs a bag the size of a steamer trunk full of clothes and god-knows-what for all eventualities. This morning, when I went to carry the giant bag downstairs, I realized it was only half full. It was too light. And that is how I identified the impostor. Read more →

Japan, Day 8: Walking in Tokyo

Things you notice when walking in Tokyo . . . 1) There are lots and lots of people . . . 2) Most of them are not very tall . . . 3) Because there are a lot of people in a small amount of space (even though they are small people), Tokyo is built to take advantage of vertical space. For example, I’ve never seen a two- or three-story fast food restaurant in the U.S. but they’re common in Tokyo. Businesses that usually are two or three stories in the U.S., like department stores, in Tokyo are eight or ten stories. Flying back home tomorrow . . . sayonara! Read more →

Japan, Day 7: Ginza

Ginza Ginza is one of the best-known shopping districts in the world, with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses. One of our favorite stores was the 12-floor UNIQLO. They’re coming to Orange County this fall! Read more →

Japan, Day 6: Matusmoto Castle, Travel Day

Matsumoto Castle Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto-jo) is one of Japan‘s premier historic castles. The building is also known as the “Crow Castle” (Karasu-jo) due to its black exterior. It was the seat of the Matsumoto domain. It is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Tokyo by road or rail. The keep (tenshukaku), which was completed in the late sixteenth century, maintains its original wooden interiors and external stonework. It is listed as a National Treasure of Japan. The second floor of the main keep features a gun museum, Teppo Gura, with a collection of guns, armor, and other weapons. — Wikipedia Today was mostly a travel day, driving back to Tokyo from the lair of the snow monkeys. On the way back, we stopped at Matsumoto Castle, an impressive edifice built back in the late 1500s . . . Read more →

Japan, Day 5: Snow Monkeys, Yudanaka

Snow Monkeys Jigokudani Monkey Park (Jigokudani Yaen Koen) is in Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park (locally known as Shigakogen), and is located in the valley of the Yokoyu-River, in the northern part of the prefecture. The name Jigokudani, meaning “Hell’s Valley”, is due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold and hostile forests. The heavy snowfalls (snow covers the ground for 4 months a year), an elevation of 850 metres, and being only accessible via a narrow two kilometre footpath through the forest, keep it uncrowded despite being relatively well-known. It is famous for its large population of wild Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), more commonly referred to as Snow Monkeys, that go to the valley during the winter, foraging elsewhere in the national park… Read more →

Japan, Day 4: Tsukiji Fish Market, Asakusa, Imperial Palace, Odaiba, Christmas

Tsukiji Fish Market The Tsukiji Market (Tsukiji shijo), supervised by the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market (Tokyo-to Chuo Oroshiuri Shijo) of the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs, is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The market is located in Tsukiji in central Tokyo. There are two distinct sections of the market as a whole. The “inner market” (jonai-shijo) is the licensed wholesale market, where the auctions and most of the processing of the fish take place, and where licensed wholesale dealers (approximately 900 of them) operate small stalls. The “outer market” (jogai-shijo) is a mixture of wholesale and retail shops that sell Japanese kitchen tools, restaurant supplies, groceries, and seafood, and many restaurants, especially sushi restaurants. — Wikipedia There’s a temple near the market. We met these girls, who spoke a… Read more →

Japan, Day 3: Atami, Lake Ashi, Owakudani, Mount Fuji, Shinjuku

Atami Our hotel in Atami was on the eastern coast. Where we live in California, you can watch the sun set over the ocean every day if you want to, but here the sun rises over the ocean, which is a little bit different. These photos are from the balcony of our room. If you look closely, you can see the United States in the background. It looks very small from this far away. Lake Ashi We started the day on a sightseeing boat at Lake Ashi: Owakudani Owakudani (lit. “Great Boiling Valley”) is a volcanic valley with active sulphur vents and hot springs in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. It is a popular tourist site for its scenic views, volcanic activity, and especially, Kuro-tamago (lit. “black egg”) — a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot springs. The boiled eggs turn black and smell slightly sulphuric; consuming the eggs… Read more →

Japan, Day 2: Kinkakuji Temple, Nishijin Textile Center, Tea Ceremony, Bullet Train, Atami

Kinkakuji Temple Kinkaku-ji (lit. “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (lit. “Deer Garden Temple”), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The site of Kinkaku-ji was originally a villa called Kitayama-dai, belonging to a powerful statesman, Saionji Kintsune. Kinkaku-ji’s history dates to 1397, when the villa was purchased from the Saionji family by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and transformed into the Kinkaku-ji complex. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son, according to his wishes. During the Onin war, all of the buildings in the complex aside from the pavilion were burned down. On July 2, 1950, at 2:30 am, the pavilion was burned down by a 22-year-old novice monk, Hayashi Yoken, who then attempted suicide on the Daimon-ji hill behind the building. He survived, and was subsequently taken into custody. The monk was sentenced to seven years in prison, but was… Read more →

Japan, Day 1: Osaka Castle, Todai-ji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple

Osaka Castle The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers. The Castle grounds, which cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres) contain thirteen structures which have been designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikko-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. The basic plan was modeled after Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirrored Oda’s, but surpassed it in every way: the plan featured a five-story main… Read more →

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