Japan: Becoming a Geisha / Maiko for a day!

I was transported back to my childhood days when I read Josy’s post, “Maiko Makeover – Dress up like a Maiko in Kyoto.

As my parents traveled the world when I was child, my mother started bringing me dolls from each country where she traveled. I had two favorites. The first was a Japanese Geisha doll in a beautiful glass container. The second was a pair of dancing dolls from Thailand. While I don’t have the dolls anymore, I was able to find a good representation on http://www.pixabay.com, see photos.

F0A4B597-AC57-48E5-A734-E4C20BB16EA1The geisha doll was absolutely beautiful. As you can see in the photo, the doll’s face was painted white, stunning kimono, the sash at the waste, her white socks with black sandles and incredible hair piece. Oh, and the cute umbrella was fascinating to me. Certainly in Indiana we did not see this type of dress. It was a treasure.

So, when I came across Josy’s post, I smiled and had to look twice at the photos. WAS THAT REALLY JOSY dressed as a geisha? Yes, indeed it was! Josy was in Kyoto, Japan and in her post she explains in detail how she went for a Maiko Makeover. By the way, a maiko is an apprentice to a geisha. Josy takes us step by step through the stages of getting the makeover, which is fascinating. She includes location and price as well… all we need is a plane ticket over to Kyoto!

I learned something new. I didn’t realize that going for a makeover in Japan is a big touristy thing to do. If you are an avid hiker, you’ll enjoy Josy’s Blog, “A Walk And A Lark,” you’ll see spectacular photos from her different hiking adventures.

Thanks, Josy, for bringing back such nice childhood memories for me!

Visit Atlas Obscura -> An adventure guide to hidden wonders in the world.

Travel the worldLast week I was going through my Junk folder on Outlook. As expected most of it was junk; however, I came across an email from, “Atlas Obscura.” Normally, I would not open an unknown email, but the subject header said, “You can spend the night in this formerly abandoned Scottish village.”  This piqued my interest, I want to visit Scotland one day.

Before opening the email, I decided to research “Atlas Obscura.” Turns out it is an online magazine created in 2009 by Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras. They wanted to create an atlas / guidebook for people to learn about and explore obscure places around the world. They certainly have done that.

If you sign up for their weekly newsletter, you’ll be amazed at the different places you can explore. On their website, you can choose a country (Germany, for example) and you’ll be brought to a map of Germany where they have pointers you can click on with stories for that particular area, i.e. the world’s largest cuckoo clock, the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Worms, the “floating railway” to name a few.

On Eventbrite, I noticed they have Atlas Obscura Society Chicago. For the remainder of February and into March, they have some interesting events going on, i.e. learning about volcanoes and the birth of the most precious stones, interactive history of comics, murder mystery soiree, scavenger hunt, roller skating in the movies, immigrant stories and connections. I wrote to one of the field reps to see what the age range was for people attending. Have not heard back yet.

If you enjoy traveling and you’re getting bored with the normal tourist attractions, I highly recommend visiting “Atlas Obscura’s” website. You’ll definitely find obscure things to explore on your next adventure.

Happy New Year 2019: If one wish could be granted…

I’m excited to start a new year. Each year, we all wonder what lies ahead of us. Would be great if we had a crystal ball to give us direction, but we don’t.

Which made me think, as we set our goals for 2019….

What if we had ONE WISH that could be granted each year, WHAT would that be?

I’m thinking about that. What is the BIG accomplishment, miracle or surprise that I would like to happen this year. Right now, I feel like I am sitting by the ocean and the water is so vast, I can’t see any islands in site AND that is what I need, to be able to see at least “one island,” and then I will know my direction.

So, I am OFF to contemplate my BIG WISH!

AND YOU… What is YOUR big wish?  Say it out loud, write it on a paper, or just think of it.  We ALL have different ways of putting out to the Universe what we would like. Do what works for you, but DO IT and let’s see what happens!

When you need writing inspiration, take a walk in the Zoo!

1666711D-6630-40D2-8E8E-8C0F71F8D979I love Fall, it’s such a great time of year. Yesterday, I went for a walk and I ended up at the zoo. It was a blustery day as Pooh Bear would say. I needed inspiration for my writing and taking a walk always helps clear the mind and offers new ideas.

I found this lion photo amusing. So, the male is sleeping while the female watches out for danger. From time to time, the male lion did lift his head to ROAR, and boy was it loud. I was in the gift shop when I heard him. He went on a few times. I rushed to the door thinking I would see him on top of the rock where the lioness was sitting. You know, letting the entire zoo know he was in charge. No such luck.

As I continued my walk I got a good shot of the zebra.

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I think you might enjoy this quick video of the Japanese Macaque.

Would love to hear where you go walking for inspiration.

Chicago: Take the Untouchable Tours, learn about Al Capone in the 1920s/30s

Untouchable Tour BusI was on a street corner one night when this “Untouchable Tours” bus went by. I whipped out my camera to get a picture. Clearly this was a gangster tour bus. You can see they have pictures of some of the gangsters in the windows.

Visiting the website, “Gangster Tour,” it sounds like this tour makes learning about Chicago in the 1920s and 1930s (Prohibition Era) entertaining, because the tour guides are actors that dress the part of a gangster. They say this tour has been going on for 30 years, I had no idea. This was not a nice time in Chicago history. It was the Italians in the South (Jonny Torrio/Al Capone) against the Irish in the North (Dion O’Bannion, Hymie Weiess, and Bugs Moran) fighting to control illegal vice in the city.

On their website, you’ll see a great picture of the actors! Their tour sounds like the Irish tours, where the tour guide has you sing a song too. Trip Advisor has excellent reviews on the tour, so I guess I’ll be booking my tour very soon.

Wouldn’t it be amusing if I dress the part?!! That would throw the tour guides off. I might just get a front row seat!

Who has played “The Escape Game?”

The Escape GameI’ve been hearing a lot about, “The Escape Game.” Yesterday, I read an article about a family (mother, father, children, grandparents) that wanted something fun to do in Las Vegas, so they signed up. They were raving about how fun it was. Of course, they made it out in time.

I wonder what happens if you don’t make it out of your cell.

Do RED lights start flashing, are you sky rocketed into space… what?

Has anyone played the game?

Fill us in… looking at the website, it does look like FUN!