I know you all thought I had abandoned you forever, but here we are! Almost a year after my last update (when things were starting to look up after the disaster of 2014), I'm back and ready to lavish attention on my blog and you, my dear readers.
So what prompted this return to form? A big trip, of course! If you've read my blog over the years, then you know that I generally use it as a travel journal of sorts, chronicling my adventures all over the world. In just a few short days I'll be departing for a jam-packed tour of Asia with stops in Japan, China, and Taiwan! Many people have asked me about my itinerary and all the places we're visiting so I thought a blog post was in order.
But first, let me tell you the story of how this trip came about. Three years ago, in April 2013, Chris, Kent, and Monique and I went on a cruise to Hawaii (you can find the posts about that trip here, here, here, and here). Most cruise companies will offer substantial benefits and/or discounts if you book a future cruise while on a current cruise. We took a look at the offerings and since none of us had ever been to Asia....we decided to go for it! Fall of 2016 seemed nice and far in the future so we booked a cruise and never looked back.
(My friends and I have a habit of booking vacations waaaaaay in the future and then when they actually arrive, we're like, "OMG this snuck up on me, I'm not ready!")
And here we are! We've had a couple changes along the way--we ended up switching itineraries somewhere back in 2015 and Kent decided to stay home to cuddle with his adorable pup, so Bayard, my boyfriend, was able to sneak right in to the group. He's a lover of all things Japanese and speaks the language so everyone is happy to have him along.
Here's the plan:
On Thursday, October 13th, Bay and I will fly to Tokyo (switching plans in Toronto) arriving on Friday, October 14th around 4PM. We'll spend the next few days sampling the pleasures of Tokyo until the afternoon of Sunday, October 16th when we board the Celebrity Millennium for a 14 night cruise that will take us to three countries!
Check it out:
|Day 1||Sun, Oct 16||Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan||7:00PM||Show now|
|Day 2||Mon, Oct 17||Mt Fuji (Shimizu), Japan||7:00AM||3:00PM||Show now|
|Day 3||Tue, Oct 18||Kobe, Japan||11:00AM||Show now|
|Day 4||Wed, Oct 19||Kobe, Japan||10:00PM||Show now|
|Day 5||Thu, Oct 20||At Sea|
|Day 6||Fri, Oct 21||Nagasaki, Japan||10:00AM||8:00PM||Show now|
|Day 7||Sat, Oct 22||At Sea|
|Day 8||Sun, Oct 23||Shanghai (Baoshan), China||6:00AM||10:00PM||Show now|
|Day 9||Mon, Oct 24||At Sea|
|Day 10||Tue, Oct 25||Okinawa, Japan||7:00AM||3:00PM||Show now|
|Day 11||Wed, Oct 26||Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan||1:00PM||Show now|
|Day 12||Thu, Oct 27||Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan||6:00PM||Show now|
|Day 13||Fri, Oct 28||At Sea|
|Day 14||Sat, Oct 29||Hong Kong, China||7:00AM||Show now|
|Day 15||Sun, Oct 30||Hong Kong, China||Show now|
Whew! Good thing we have some days at sea worked into the cruise itinerary so we can have some time to actually relax!
The prep work for this trip has been a lot more intense than the international travel I've had in the past. Because of the way our itinerary is structured, we need a visa to get into China on the Shanghai leg of the tour and that required multiple trips to the Chinese Embassy visa office. And giving them my passport for four days. That part was a little sketchy, not gonna lie.
But the hard work is over and now it's time to just pack, double check the "to do" list, and try not to think of 1,000 things that could go wrong. Eeeeeek!
I'm hoping this will be more Lost in Translation than Brokedown Palace....