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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Memories of Winter Break

 During my winter break, I went to Philadelphia and New York City. The primary reason I chose two these places because I wanted to visit both historical and modern sites of the United States. In Philadelphia there are brick built-houses and stone-paved road. It was pretty. I felt like I had stepped back in time. I like Philadelphia because the time flows slowly in there. I visited the Liberty Bell, City Hall and Love Park. 
Since it was season of christmas, there was a gigantic tree in the City Hall. And christmas market took place in Love Park. It was the first time for me to visit christmas market, so I was really excited. The market had various stores and they sold christmas ornaments made of wood or glass. There was also ice skate rink and many people enjoyed skating.

 After that, however, an unexpected problem happened suddenly. Initially I was going to ride a bus which goes to New York City on next morning so that I had to confirm the location of the bus stop. I visited the tourist information center to ask about it. I had known that the bus stop are located in the area named Cherry Hill. So I just wanted to know how to get there. I asked a female staff but she answered 'I don't know'. 
I could not accept her answer. Because I was sure that when I searched about Cherry Hill on Google, I found the results of "Cherry Hill Philadelphia". Though I asked again with showing the map, she answered 'No...', and she continued that 'it is New jersey, not here'. In short, I had bought the ticket which departs from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. I was depressed because I thought I couldn't go to New York and I didn't know how many seats are still available. I almost hate the sound of Cherry Hill. But I had no choice but to find another ticket immediately. Luckily, I could use my phone and find new ticket from Philadelphia to New York. It could have been worse.

 Although something unexpected had happened, I enjoyed exploring New York City from morning till night. New York is completely different place from Philadelphia and Fort Smith, of course. There are tons of people and cars and they move so busily. I got tired easily in there. Sometimes I wondered where I was. It was hard for me to walk without city map seriously.

First I visited the modern museum called MoMA which I had wanted to visit. It was valuable experience for me to visit there. In the afternoon I went to broadway and watched Cinderella. Since I had known the story of Cinderella, it was not so difficult to follow their English and understand the story of the show. At the same time I remembered that I had watched broadway show in London. At the time, I could hardly understand the story and fell asleep in the end.  
 Through the trip I could see the both traditional and modern places in America. It was great time. After the trip, I stayed in my home. I have spent the rest of my winter break watching Japanese comedy program or movies and hanging out with other Japanese students. I could enjoyed my winter break, and I want to go to New Orleans next time!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My winter vacation

My winter vacation

My winter vacation was great thanks to my friend, Haruka. I went to traveled in Montreal, Quebec City, and New York City. Haruka is now studying abroad in Vancouver in Canada. Also, we have known each other since we entered our university in Japan and we belong to the same volunteer group. So, she always gives me a stimulus. Anyway, I’ve been very looking forward to seeing her. My trip was awesome. I will show some pictures with a short description.

The first picture is what I took in Notre-Dame Basilica. It is a famous for sightseeing place to go. In 1994, Céline Dion held a wedding ceremony here. The stained glass windows are also very beautiful, the sun shining. If you have a chance to go to Montreal, I want to recommend you to visit there.

 When we went to Quebec City from Montreal, we took a train. I was very excited because it has been a long time since I took it last in Japan. The most interesting thing in Montreal and Quebec city was that people speak French as a first language. So most of billboards were written in French and I couldn’t understand what they said. I thought as if I was in Europe because it is the first time to experience like that. In Quebec city, it was more like Europe because it is a small city and many shops stand side by side. The scenery from the hell was very beautiful.

In Quebec city, we can enjoy “Quebec” dish. As examples of it, there are meat pie or meatball. Actually, I ate meat pie and maple pie as a dessert. The lunch in the Quebec restaurant was one of my best memories in this trip.

After five days since we met again, I flied to a busy city, New York. It was the second time to go there for me, so I used to take subway better than the last time. We went to a lot of places anyway in New York. In MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), I could see famous arts and enjoy knowing the background of production. And also, we watched a Broadway musical “PIPIN”. The show was definitely amazing. I liked the songs too.

On Christmas day, you know, most of shops are close. we went to St. Patrick's Cathedral for a mass in the morning. And then, we took pictures in front of Rockefeller Center. If I say about my regret during this trip, we forgot about taking pictures of the tree in front of Rockefeller Center at night... But instead of that, we could see the night view in Brooklyn Bridge. It was so amazing!! I loved that.

In this trip, I compared the taste of croissant. So I will put the picture.

The trip with her was very precious for me. It was lucky for me to see my closest friend in the places where we study abroad. The time with her became my energy for the rest of the day on my studying abroad. I really thank to my friend and my family.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Winter Vacation

During this winter vacation, I traveled in Nevada, Arizona and Florida. As soon as I was done for my final exam, I went to Las Vegas to see my parents. When arrived there at night, I was overwhelmed by the city filled with a bunch of glaring lights. Since came in U.S., I had not ever seen such a crowd and lively atmosphere. At second day, we went out from hotel to take a walk in the morning, but the city looks totally different from the last day’s one. Only a few people are there and many shops are still closed even just before noon. At that day, we watched some interesting shows hotels held and eat too much at a Buffet restaurant. At third day, we woke up at 7 a.m. to get to the Grand Canyon in a tour package. While it took more than four and a half hours to get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas by a van, I was not falling asleep because the road from Nevada to Arizona was interesting to me. As we had been drove from Las Vegas for just the past 15 minutes, the view was totally changed. When we passed by a residential area of about 1 kilometer length, we could see a huge arid area I had not ever seen before. There are no factory, no train and even no housing. I thought Nevada State is literally made up of casino and tourism. After kept going through arid region about 2 hours, we could reach at one small village. There is a gift shop with a barber shop a person who save “Route 66” runs.  Staffs in there are unique and can speak Japanese a little bit. We enjoyed talking with them and taking lots pictures of the historical village and gift shop. After leaving there, a view had been changed gradually. Arid zone came to vast ravines towering. As we drove more, we were surrounded with forests and finally reached the Ground Canyon National Park. We headed to near the Grand Canyon on our feet. When I reached to the top of the canyon at last, I was really impressive for magnificent view. It was so huge that I felt like it absorbed me into the canyon. And luckily, we could see the Ground Canyon with a little snow, which does not happen too much. It was quite beautiful. We got a bus to see the sunset with the canyon and were waiting for the time of sunset more than 30 minutes during minus centigrade. Unfortunately because of plenty of clouds, we could not see the sunset clearly. I want to make it again to see it.  As well as the view of the canyon, I was surprised that I can watch wild animals closer than zoo. When we are waiting for a bus at bus stop, I saw a very big deer of more than 150 centimeters long standing almost next to me. It was exciting for me because there are nothing such as cages in the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon came to one of my favorite places in U.S.