My blog is primarily a travel blog, but as my time in Japan is on the downward slope to its end, I am curious to see what The Journey of My Feet morphs into. If I am lucky, I will continue to be a world traveler, but I’m guessing that I’ll probably settle down in the States and work at chiseling away some school debt while accruing more (Grad school may be on my horizon). I have been incredibly fortunate to have traveled all over the world and see many amazing things! Here are a few of my favs!
Most people will have no idea what Chandalar South is or that it is even a place. For those of you who have lived in the Alabaster/Helena/Pelham, Alabama area, you probably know it. I was fortunate enough to grow up in the little suburb of Birmingham called Pelham, specifically in the neighborhood of Chandalar South. The neighborhood was named after the architect’s daughter (Chanda? Chadalar?) and each of the homes in the Chandalar South portion have unique designs. We lived in our home on Chandafern Drive for about 10 years and we had many ups and downs there but the thing that stands out the most is that this was the home that we began to witness my brother Bill’s need for a wheelchair. Bill had Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle degenerating disease. His ability to walk became more prevalent in this house, so my parents began modifying it, and they started by installing an elevator. Most people thought this was the coolest thing they had ever seen and that we must be RICH! Well, for my family, it was just how we lived and it was something we most definitely needed.
Howard County Fair Feet
Fairs are some of my favorite places to take pictures. The colors! The lights! The happiness! I just love it! The Howard County Fair was no different. My base (when not in Japan) is in Howard County Maryland, right between Washington D.C. and Baltimore. This particular picture was taken while riding the swings at the HoCo Fair. I had gotten my DSLR camera a couple of months before and I was starting to experiment!
Glen Echo Park Feet
I’m an explorer even when I’m in my own city/state. I love wandering around places and taking pictures. Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, MD offered just that opportunity. GE Park is a park that offers classes and events but more appealing to me was that the buildings are all art deco. I loved photographing the different buildings with kitschy titles like ‘Cuddle Up.’ The photo of my feet is on the old dance hall that GE Park still holds dances at!
Madison Square Garden Phish Feet
While this may not be the best picture, it sure is one of my favorites! I love Phish, the band, and have travelled to see them many times! New Year’s Day of 2011 was no different! I accompanied some friends to NYC to see Phish perform at Madison Square Garden. I loved visiting the city but more so I loved seeing the show!
Abandoned Building Feet
Because I’m a fan of photography and exploring, abandoned buildings are never off limits! This picture was taken in an old house in historic Ellicott City. Old Ellicott City has an abundance of shops and restaurants along its main drag, but once you follow the side roads into the woods there are dilapidated houses and buildings just waiting to be traversed!
Polar Bear Plunge Feet
A couple of winters ago I participated in the Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park. A group of us raised money and then jumped in freezing water in the middle of January. For those of you who know me, you know how much I detest being cold, so you may ask yourselves why I did this? Well, its to benefit the Maryland Special Olympics. One of my good friends has a son with CP and given that my brother had MD the Special Olympics is a worthy enough cause to jump in some freezing water!
While I’m at it, I might as well post about another crazy event I participated in: The Warrior Dash. The Warrior Dash is a 5k obstacle course race benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals. I was not really ready for this race and walked most of it… but it was totally worth it! I was covered in mud and bruises but it was so fun! How many excuses do you get as an adult to roll around in the mud?!
When I am living in the States, I still play soccer. Now, I am in my 30s and don’t exercise regularly outside of soccer, so the soccer I play is a very tamed down version. I play with other women around my age in both indoor and outdoor leagues. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up again when I get home, we’ll see!
Westboro Baptist Protest Feet
I have an upcoming post about protesting the Westboro Baptist Church in Annapolis, so I won’t spoil it with posting details here but I do have to say this was one of my favorite ‘feet’ pics!
Corolla, OBX Feet
I love the diamond cut-out background in this photo! I think it gives it such character!
I’ve been to the OBX a couple of times and this is a goodbye photo from my latest trip to Corolla, NC. Oh how I love the wild horses yet calm beaches in OBX!
Haight Ashbury Feet
I’ve been to San Francisco several times – it is my FAVORITE city in all of America and I would love to live there someday. This photo is of the visit I took to San Fran in 2011. I made a quick stop in the Haight district my last day there – no trip to San Fran would be complete without it! I love Haight-Ashbury. I am a huge fan of Classic Rock music from the 60s-70s and I followed the Grateful Dead (without Jerry, just The Dead) up the east coast of the States from Tennessee to New York. Making a visit to the Grateful Dead house in H-A a requisite to any San Fran trip.
Niagara Falls Feet
As you can see this is a group feet shot of a trip I took to Niagara Falls with some of my favorite ladies for a bachelorette weekend. I wrote a complete post about it here.
Breaking News Feet
This was such a historic event to stumble upon during one of my NYC trips. I have an upcoming post dedicated to it, so keep an eye out.
Spain is such a magical country and I would give anything to live there! During my tour of this amazing land I visited Arcos de la Frontera, a white town perched on a mountain top in Andalusia. The streets were said by locals to have stones as old as Jesus!
Arashiyama Monkey Park Feet
Visiting a monkey park was something I’d never get to do in the States. No petting zoo in America would have monkeys… but monkeys are indigenous to Japan and so not so wild or different than squirrels or raccoons. There aren’t any monkeys where I live in Nishiakashi, but there was a whole park full in Kyoto, so I decided to visit the Arashiyama Monkey Park.
Even though I was not a big fan of Tottori, this is a pretty cool picture. Here I am high above the ocean on a giant sand dune. (What you can’t see is that I’m as red as a lobster and dripping with sweat!)
My most favorite place in all of Japan is Koya in Wakayama prefecture. I devoted an entire post to the magic of this temple town and I’d suggest you take a moment to check it out. If there is one place I will always tell people to visit in Japan, it is definitely Koya.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery Feet
Even though Hong Kong did not really feel like China, I can check it off my list of countries I’ve visited. The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery was one of the few places in Hong Kong that felt like it stayed true to its culture and not acclimated to the west.
Kung Fu Corner Feet
My other favorite experience in Hong Kong was at Kung Fu Corner in Kowloon Park. It was here I got to see people perform Kung Fu and I even got to participate in some Tai Chi!
San Fran Feet
You may wonder why I would post two different photos of my feet in San Francisco. The first one was about being in San Fran; this one is about being in AMERICA! I had a 6 hour lay-over in San Francisco during my flight back to Baltimore in April of this year. It was my first visit home in a year. I was smack dab in the middle of one of my favorite cities in the world and I was have an intense case of culture shock. Read about my entire experience here.
I’ve only written one post about Kamakura, Japan, but it really is an awesome city. Its historically significant, spiritually alive and visually beautiful. What drew me to Kamakura was pictures of a giant Buddha I kept seeing on the internet. The Daibutsu, giant Buddha, is at the Kotokuin Temple. It is one of the most famous Buddha statues in all of Japan, yet I found it to be more touristy than the rest of Kamakura. I was glad I visited, but it was not the highlight of my visit.
Do you like pirates, shrines, crashing waves and climbing on rocks? Than Sandenbeki is the place for you!
Wakayama prefecture is one of the more scenically beautiful prefectures in Japan. I have already featured several places there in this post. Sanjojiki is one more to add to the list. Its also known as 1,000 Tatami Mats due to its sprawling rock formations meeting the beach.
Toriiso Hut Feet
This photo is one of my most beloved for several reasons: its during sunset on Mt. Fuji which I had been hiking (alone) for 4 hours by the time this photo was taken, I’m wearing toe socks which were a present from a love-bug at home in the States, and I’m wearing slippers provided by Toriiso which are (obviously) too small for my feet (just like everything in Japan: too small).
Mt. Fuji Sunrise Feet
I’m still basking in the afterglow of hiking Mt. Fuji. Its something I am most proud of completing. I managed to make it up Fuji in time to see the beautiful sunrise. If you ever get the opportunity to witness it, its a site to see!
So that’s it! This post has turned out to be like one of those Friends episodes where the gang gets together and reminisces in Rachel and Monica’s living room and they show flashback scenes. Sometimes those are fun and sometimes they’re not… if you made it to the end of this post I hope you enjoyed the ride!