Monday, August 17, 2009

I'll be home shortly!

I'm leaving Misawa in T-minus 7 hours. Woohoo! My bag (singular- that's right, AND it's a carry-on. Am I an awesome packer or what?) is packed and my tickets are in hand. Can't wait to start a super fun visit.

See ya soon!

P.S. I'm also stoked to ride the bullet train for the first time tomorrow to get down to Tokyo!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Stupid Maryland!

It stole my husband! I feel like the little pouty girl above. I dropped Corey off at the train station early this morning so he could begin his long journey to the other side of the world for his work trip, and now I'm all by my lonesome. Luckily in a week and a half, I'll be home in CA having loads of fun visiting friends and family, and in 3 and a half weeks I'll be in Maryland myself seeing my hubby again and celebrating our first anniversary!

I'm going to be one bored chick while he's gone. I'm planning to spend a great deal of time at the gym. Other than that, it's a good thing I'm easily entertained by jigsaw puzzles and reruns of Gilmore Girls and Friends. I'm toying with the idea of jetting down to Tokyo for a couple days before my trip for some fun on my own. We'll see if I can find a cheap hotel...

I think I need some ice cream. That always helps a pouty mood.

Monday, August 3, 2009


In addition to climbing Mt. Fuji, we spent the rest of our long weekend in Tokyo. I looooove that city! So fun, so exciting, so clean and pretty, so easy to get around. 

We traveled down from Misawa to Tokyo by bus, which ended up being about an 8 hour ride. It was pleasant enough as far as bus rides go- kind of nice to see the countryside on the drive, and the bus makes stops every 2 hours at big roadside rest stops full of shops and restaurants where you can get yummy treats (and since it's peach season, most of the treats on this trip were peach-themed, like our peach-flavored soft serve!):
Since we spent a full day climbing Fuji, we didn't have a huge amount of time left for Tokyo (and we were pretty busted up after the hike, so we had to take it somewhat easy), but we managed to explore a bit. We walked around the crazy teen Harujuku fashion district:
We visited the beautiful Meiji shrine where we saw a traditional Japanese wedding taking place:We went to Tokyo Tower where we were able to take in some awesome views of the city from the observatory towers:We ate a few meals (including some to-die-for sushi) in the party/nightlife district of Roppongi. 
Overall we had SUCH a great time. Corey and I were sad to leave. I guess that just means we'll have to go back soon and see all the things we couldn't get to this time!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

We did it!!

We made it to the top of Mt. Fuji!! It was essentially a horrendous experience (in a good way, if that's possible) that Corey and I will never, EVER repeat. At the same time, it was quite a memorable event, and we both consider it the biggest physical accomplishment of our lives so far (and Corey's been through military basic training!).
We had a nice early start to our day (the bus taking us to Fuji left at 3:30am), and after arriving at the base climbing station and purchasing our hiking sticks, we hit the trail around 6:30am. It was foggy (and would remain so all day long), but otherwise we had great climbing conditions- no wind, no rain, and fairly mild temperatures.

Within the first 15 minutes of the climb, as we were hiking straight uphill with no relief while I started to huff and puff, the following thoughts began going through my head:
- "This is INSANE."
- "There is no way I can do this."
- "Oh god, what have I gotten myself into?!"

We knew it was going to be a tough climb, but wow. It was TOUGH

I kept climbing, wondering when I would be able to bow out of this hike without looking too lame. I stuck with it for a while, and after we had been at it for 45 minutes or so, I got into the zone that kept me alive until we reached the top. It went something like this: turn brain off, take baby steps, one foot in front of the other, don't look up, don't look down, don't think, don't do anything but stare at the ground and your feet as you continue to move forward and up, nice and slow. This is how we felt for 90% of the day:
We stopped at each rest station for 5 minutes or so to catch our breath in the thin atmosphere, drink some water, eat a snack, and get a stamp burned onto our hiking sticks to have proof of our progress up the mountain. Then it was back to climbing. It seemed unending!

Somehow, miraculously, we reached the top 5 and a half hours later (30 mins faster than the average climbing time)! We climbed bear style on all fours up rocky cliff-sides, maneuvered piles of loose rocks, and avoided slipping and sliding to our deaths on the steep mountainside, all while being so exhausted we weren't totally sure our legs would continue to hold up the rest of our bodies. I managed to avoid altitude sickness (we climbed up to 3776 meters/12,388ft), although Corey was a bit affected by it and had to power through. There were times when we almost decided to say "screw it" and head back down, but something somewhere deep down inside made us keep going. We were so utterly, deeply exhausted to our very bones by the time we got to the summit that we hardly even enjoyed the accomplishment at the time (not to mention, there was no rewarding view to speak of thanks to the fog). It took literally everything we had to make it up there, and dread set in when we realized we still had to make it back DOWN the darn thing. Crap.

Again, we put one foot in front of the other and managed to get down. My knees gave out on me halfway through, and it was all I could do to keep myself together for the last couple hours, but we made it. I'm still not quite sure how, but we did. 

In total, about half of our tour group of 50 or so people made it to the top. NOBODY was happy when we got back to the bus. It was a seriously rough day, producing dozens of half-dead people by the end of it.

All that being said, we freaking climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji! We did it! As awful as the actual event was, we'll always have the memories and the pride of knowing that we were able to do it. 

Just don't ask us to do it again. 'Cause we won't.  :)
Us at the summit of Mt. Fuji!