Category Archives: Travel

Like I Said

Kais Favorite

Kai's Favorite

Here are the pictures that I promised, a little before schedule even. There are a lot of pics in here, taken from Nov. 18th till recently. Yes that date does sound familiar: It was Kai’s birthday.

Besides the B-day photos, there are pictures from Thanksgiving Vacation back in the Hamptons and also a trip we recently took to Boston.

Enjoy the show!

Shink Ride

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Tokyo Slideshow (56 pics)

Come take a ride with me, on the shinkansen (aka the bullet train).  This is what it is like to be moving at 200mph on the ground.  For a more smooth ride let the video load up first, and/or play it twice.

Two more videos after the break.

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The World Wide Wood Wedding

WWWW was probably the best wedding I have ever been to. I just wanted to say thanks to the beautiful Bride & Groom for putting it all together, and making it one of my best trips to America.

For those of you who didn’t go to the wedding, which is probably not many of you cause she was huge, it was in Davidson, N.C., on the beautiful historical campus there.

There was a brick yard, some peeps hit up and also a pretty church where the ceremony was held. But the reception was probably the best part of the wedding, when first Connor gave the best speech of his life, and then George and Eileen danced to Journey bringing the whole place to a roar, when everyone flooded the dance floor.

Thanks to my man, Fotorecord, some beautiful shots were captured. I was only in the States for about 4 nights, but in that time I manged to squeeze a lot of partying in there. I am pretty sure I can count the hours of sleep on both hands, yup, 10. It was a long trip back, that is all I am going to say, but definitely worth the surprised look on George’s face when he saw me walk through the door at his Rehearsal dinner Party.

George and Steph, I hope you are enjoying your honeymoon and getting some sun. Take some pictures of P.R. and we will see you guys soon in AUG! I can not wait to get back home to see everyone again. Miss you guys, thanks again.

If you are on facebook, you should hit these pics up. Other wise, check out the dude who did the wedding. There are some nice shots there.

Life in Hawaii

Well just a quick update from HI for you all.

Life is good, the sun is hot, and the beaches are still beautiful. We got here on Friday morning and we meet by Uncle Al, Mom, and Dad. It had been the first time we had all seen each other since the summer so we did some good hugs to make up for lost time. After that we tried to nap a little because the plane ride kinda left us with no rest.

The next day was a little more active. We went out to the beach, went in the ocean and went out to dinner later that night to a local Italian restaurant “Bona Serra.” Kai still had some troubles adjusting to the sleep times, but Nanny 911 was called in today to make things right with a nice 50 min cry session to tire the little guy out.

Kai has seemed to have found his favorite toy at the house: the poolside shower. We actually have to fight a little to get him out of it after about 30 mins of play time. It’s great for him though because he is so happy playing in the water. Even in the ocean Kai didn’t want to get out when his lips were purple and he was shivering from head to toe. I guess he really lives up to his name: the small sea.

Aya, Al, and I went snorkeling today at “Tracks Beach” (Maria I do this for you, show some love) where we had a little bit of trouble getting into the ocean. I made a bone head decesion to stand on a rock while getting in and a huge wave appeared outta no where to smash into me and Aya. Everyone was okay, but I kinda banged up my ankle a little: nothing that a little sea water couldn’t fix though. After getting in and the inital scariness had worn off (for Aya), we ended up seeing some nice little reef and Aya really had a good time. Yokata (thank goodness)!

Tomorrow we meet Aya’s best friend coming in from Japan, and do a little shopping in Waikiki. I will have to watch the spending because we all know how girls can get when spending foreign currencies; I will just have to remind them that 100 yen ($1) does not equal 100 dollars. I have put up some pictures and promise a video or two later of us hanging out doing something interesting, what that is I am not sure. But how about we sing happy birthday to Aya. It is not everyday you get to celebrate your B-day in Hawaii. I think I might have been a little off key in this version; I may or may not need voice training.

Slideshow (19 pics)

Hawaii 5-0

Okay it is time for us to get up otta here, and board that flight to Honolulu.  We are doing the last minute packing, and getting everything ready for departure.  We have been looking forward to this vacation for sometime now, and it will be great to kick back and have the rents watch Kai-zilla.

I should be able to give some updates while I am embedded in the beach.  I know how much you guys love the pictures/videos so I will try to post some while we are out there.

One funny thing about our trip has to do with the time changes.  See if you can wrap your brain around this one.  We depart from Nagoya @ 8:15pm on Friday and arrive in Hawaii @ 7:15am on Friday.  The reason is because of the international date-line; I’ve always loved time travel.

Hello Again

Yokohama

Well its been to long since I have given you all a formal Kai-chan/Aya-chan/Tony-Chan update, so here goes nothing. I do apologize that I haven’t posted in a long time. Things have been busy, and I have been trying to find a job, update the resume, clean out old closets, and prepare Aya’s Green Card petition.

Last week was a very busy, yet very productive time in the Monticello family house. I’ll try to break it down in easy to follow steps, just make sure you have a glass of water by, we don’t want you getting thirsty reading long winded sentences out loud to Sparky.

Sunday: Aya’s family moves from upstairs to a new city (Tajimi). This was not so much physically tough, as emotional difficult. Recently Aya has been able to spend more time with her sister and she was coming over everyday for about a month to help out with the Kai-zilla. Of course it was tough to say goodbye but the silver-lining is that it makes for a good first step towards moving to the U.S.. Now I just need to find out how to ship home this rice cooker and samurai sword?

Monday: I depart for Yokohama (just South of Tokyo) for a Returning JETs Conference, which is hosted by the CLAIR foundation. CLAIR assists all JETs in their stay in Japan and life after JET as well. This conference was a wonderful help for me personally, giving me new ideas for career paths. After seeing some of the people talk, and considering my own unique skill sets, Stephen (best friend here) and I concluded that something in the areas of advertising, HR, or media agent would be ideal for me. I am personally leaning towards advertising or agent, but I think the former is a lot easier to start of doing with little field experience. Not to post my resume here or anything, but my Majors in Psychology and Philosophy, along with my ability to read people and create new ideas, should entice a few companies to look at little ‘ol Tony. I love blogging, as all of you know, and I think the presentation of this site, is in one way a great ad for my family. Anyway I am gonna start looking into jobs and will let you guys know if anything turns up. I would love if you did the same for me!

Tuesday: Conference continues and I gather my thoughts about how I want to approach this new career field. I meet the Senior Marketing Coordinator for American Express International Japan after her insightful talk, and even managed to steal a business card. She also happens to be a JET, so it was extremely encouraging to hear how her career developed after JET.

Wednesday: Conference ends and I meet Aya in Tokyo where we rush to the American Embassy for our 2 o’clock appointment for her Green Card petition. This was just the initial step of the green card process, but I think we had all of the (3000) necessary documents to get the ball rolling. We did luck out though, I have to admit. When we got there, there was this huge line of people waiting for travel visas to the US, so we thought since its the “American” Embassy they would let me hop right ahead. They did, but I think they thought I worked there or something. At any rate we were first in line and the guy we meet at the window was an ex-JET who gave a presentation at the JET conference! I said he what’s up, nice talk yesterday and he was like, “Okay, well now that I know you are JET that takes care of about half of the questions I needed to ask you.” The process was quick, but I think I learned how important it is to always make contacts. You never know when they will be back to help you, but it always seems like you couldn’t have planned it better when they do.

Thursday (today): Came back to school and went to the 8th graders graduation ceremony. It was a nice little service, and there were lots of teary eyes in the room. I even teared up in the beginning when everyone started to sing the National Song. We were all facing the flag at the center of the stage, when it hit me that Japan has taught, given, and instilled a lot of wonderful qualities in me and she never asked for anything in return. I feel very privileged to be taught and assisted by the wonderful people I have meet here, and one thing I will always adore is the generosity of strangers. Any one who has lived here for more than a month has a random story about how some stranger took 20+ minutes out of their day, just to make sure you found what you were looking for.

Now that I think about it, Monday night in Yokohama Stephen and I were unable to find the local pub (due to the fact that it shut down, but not even the cabbies seem to know that). We asked these two guys where a “foreigner bar” was and they proceeded to walk us 30 minutes across town right to the entrance, even though it was getting late and they had to catch a train. It is experiences like this, transcending language and cultural barriers, that I have come to love about Japan.

Tsushima

The Procession
Just a quick post today, nothing to serious.

I had some great pics from the festival we went to last weekend and just wanted to throw them up for everyone to peep. This festival was located in Tsushima, which means “Island Bay,” and actually was one of the more fun parades I have been too. We had a good time watching all the drunk Japanese men carry the floats and dance around like oompa-loompas. They put on a good show, but remember never to play the carnie games; they are all rigged (even in Japan).

(Make sure you click the little “i” that pops up in the center at first. This will give you the “information” or descriptions that I wrote for all the pictures. Some things needed explaining.) Slideshow HERE