Been in the top paddock a little long

Sunday May 23, 2016

So, tomorrow has me starting a 10 week plan “Gut-Reducto” (TM). ¬†It’s a name I just made up then, and is as lame as my current overall fitness. ¬†I have slowly grazed myself back to a point of not being very happy at all, and scales hit rock bottom recently. So time to make some changes…

I now have a bet on with KMac (don’t know if I can publish his name) for $100 for the fastest of us pair at the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon in August. ¬†This will keep me focused on the goal of dropping almost 10kegs. ¬†He is faster, and in better shape, so it won’t be an easy task.

I will post updates from time to time. I ran a half marathon distance this morning to benchmark my progress. Got through it, the body a little stressed at the end.

I will miss you chocolate, ice cream and beer,  not completely, just some strong moderation apllied..

Wish me luck!


Final days in Tokyo

Our final days in Tokyo were revisiting some places we enjoyed on our first leg, as well as visiting some new places.  I am posting this several months after we arrived back home, and on reflection Sue enjoyed the trip more, the linger she is back home.  The boys certainly enjoyed it more than the girls, and your truly cannot wait until going back for a photo tour, just so many opportunities for great shots!


Sue pointing out a koi or playing ‘pull my finger’3W9A4013


No luck winning this guy…
3W9A4025 3W9A4036 3W9A4040 3W9A4046 3W9A4047 3W9A4048


We headed up the skytree on new year’s day, and it was star wars themed! ¬†It was insanely busy! ¬†You lined up, to get allocated a time (several hours later) that you could then head up to the viewing level.



Thanks to Raul, I have come away with a love of all things stormtrooper!IMG_3739 IMG_3747

3W9A4063 3W9A4076 3W9A4079 3W9A4086 3W9A4091 3W9A4141 3W9A4158 3W9A4175 3W9A4178-2 IMG_3698


One of the winnings for Tegan IMG_3715 IMG_3730 IMG_3731



IMG_3760 IMG_3761


The kids won me a prize!  It now sits proudly on my monitor to remind me.



Sue and I watched this fake horse racing / gambling centre, and it was just over the top.  Lots of punters reading up on the form of fake horses before they jump.



Absolutely loved the Yamazaki 12 years, and disappointed in myself that I didn’t buy it at this shop, assuming it would be available at the airport, which it wasn’t or anywhere in Australia since coming back…



Last meal before getting on the plane.  We needed to activate the buzzer by placing it on a specific spot on the table, then the meals were brought out.




Travel day to Tokyo, nothing much to report

Wednesday December 30, 2015

Check out from Nozawa Onsen day, sad faces all round.  We packed, said our goodbyes to Mark and Kerri, who were fantastic hosts, and a very helpful brother and sister team.

One thing we learned and made use of, was the ability to send on 2 of our bags straight to Narita airport to put up on our departure via the ‘black cat’ service. We had overheard some people talking about the service, and we got the low down from Kerri, and sorted what we needed in Tokyo, to that we don’t. ¬†Having 2 less large bags will make a world of difference for us with dragging them on the buses, trains and the Tokyo metro, storing them in small accom, plus on our final day, after checkout, storing them and battling the Tokyo crowds to get to the airport later in the day.

The bus from the village to the JR station was filled to the brim.  I thought we were standing, but extra seats fold out.


My legendary direction fails and shortcuts caught us again, with one wrong turn, I took us on a extended journey to our apartment.

We got in, the girls decided to dig in for the night, so I grabbed them some supplies and Ryan and I then found a great place close by, that you ordered your meals via a ticket machine and took them then to the counter.


IMG_3690 IMG_3691

The crew are exuding a feeling of ready to go home. ¬†Whilst we are not heading off until Sunday night, I think we are ready to get back to the comforts of home. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, we will still be enjoying our days here in Tokyo

Today’s song of the day is¬†Whole Wide World – Sister Jane

Three days on the snow

Sunday – Tuesday, Dec 27-29, 2015

I am combining the days for the last post from Nozawa, as it is fairly much the same routine each day, which is still super fun for us, but you my one reader may not like me coming up with yet another way of saying the word ‘white’ when describing the snow!

The village sure looks prettier as the snow falls!

IMG_3635 IMG_3632

looking out our windowIMG_3636 IMG_3598 IMG_3596 IMG_3597

Time to hit the slopes!IMG_3613

Tegan and I heading to the slopes before our 3rd mountain member can make it out the door.

IMG_3638 IMG_3603

Getting suited up at the ski locker

With not all of the mountain open as yet, there were some queues at times for chairlifts and gondolas.


IMG_3605 IMG_3609 IMG_3630


coming out from popeye’s on the slopes

We stopped to make a snowman along a trail were were skiing, and it is a lot harder than we thought to make one from very powdery snow, but the kids did a great job.




Coming back into the base station

IMG_3662This shot was taken roughly in the same spot as Christmas day photos, one attached below.



Some shots of some of the food we inhaled.


nozawana IMG_3625

I wondered why we weren’t getting served until Ryan spotted thisIMG_3621 IMG_3619
We bought a bag of bacon whilst we were here, but we think whilst it may be bacon’ish, it is pork. ¬†I have no idea of the difference, but it smelt and tasted of a roast:)

brown bacon and snow, worst video ever!

Some shots from around town.

3W9A3982 3W9A3980 3W9A3979


IMG_3669 IMG_3670 IMG_3671

getting colder

The onsen / hot springs water flowing through town is where you put your build up of snow.

Today’s song of the day is¬†Alex Lloyd – Snow

Boxing Day Snow Monkeys

Saturday 26 December, 2015

Well this wasn’t our typical boxing day of eating Christmas left overs, watching the cricket and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, for yours truly, whilst Sue hits the sales at Carindale with Tegan and any sisters wanting to head.

Though, today we had slated to see the snow monkeys!

First though, we just to see white outside the apartment window, which was a very welcome sight!
3W9A3887 3W9A3886
When we got to the monkey area, a ranger (I am guessing) started to blow a whilst and sprinkling seed around a stream, and hundreds of monkeys came streaming down a steam mountain, it was quite a site to see, as we were told, sometime no monkeys come at the time of tour. 3W9A3888 3W9A3891 3W9A3894 3W9A3897
3W9A3956 3W9A3928 3W9A3920 3W9A3919 3W9A3912 3W9A3910 3W9A3908 3W9A3902 3W9A3899
Sue in red jacket checking out the monkeys
popular place!
We dropped into another onsen town on the way home, and it must have been bath time as there was much clopping of wooden thongs, as they were mostly dressed in traditional wear.
3W9A3970 3W9A3967 3W9A3966
old school arcade parlour3W9A3964
We found some good ramen for the boys, and suitable options for the girls for dinner.

We were a bit tuckered out, so we had a cruisy evening watching anime on netflix at our apartment, whilst I caught up somewhat with this blog. Whilst I love that we have a historical record of our travels, it does tend to take time to get them done!

Song of the day is Peter Gabriel РShock The Monkey

Green to White Christmas

Friday December 25, 2015


We woke to clear snow, rather than the fluffy white stuff, but there were some gifts for the kids under Terry.

3W9A3885We had a relaxing morning, and decided to walk through town to the other gondola station to check it out and grab some lunch.  Whilst we were there, it started to snow!


temperature starting to drop


These steamed buns were delicious!


Not much snow when we arrived


It started snowing!

Sue found a great option for dinner with the help of Kerri at our accomodation, Haus St Anton’s degustation menu, and it was so good! 7 courses of joy!

DSCF5139 DSCF5140 DSCF5143

IMG_3564 IMG_3570 IMG_3572 IMG_3578 IMG_3579

It then snowed for us on the way home, which a fantastic finish to our Christmas!



Today’s song of the day¬†Paul Kelly ‚ÄėHow To Make Gravy‚Äô

Christmas eve

Thursday December 24, 2015

Today was our first day up the hill and getting a Skiing lesson at 1:00, so it was off to get some runs in to remind the legs what this skiing is about. Sue was set to get the lay of town.
no snow yet in the village
heading up on the gondola
getting in some runs
pastries and views 
We had a 2 hour lesson with Tom, which went well and gave us all tips on what to concentrate on. We then headed back to hear about Sue’s day.


We had the last couple of presents to grab for the kids, whilst we are having a minimal gifts year, there were a couple spotted to grab.  Once that was sorted, Sue and I decided to go into a bar for a Christmas eve drink, and met a lovely couple from Liverpool, and enjoyed a few drinks and talked music, tv shows and travel.

My yamazaki whisky, which is a new favourite to sip on.

It was then back to the unit to wrap up the gifts and get ready for our Christmas.

Today’s song of the day is LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends