Tuesday, January 29, 2019

From Here to Home Again.

Our Japan group at the Golden Pavilion.

11am Phoenix time feels like somewhere in the middle of the night and I am moving slowly, quite frankly!

I know that is to be expected, and I am just going with it - whatever comes, at the comfort and quiet of my dad's house in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

It feels worlds and days away of where we were before loading up on the bus that would take us from the Toyko Dome Hotel to Narita airport - boarding our flight to Los Angeles before we scattered like a bag of dropped marbles to head to our separate destinations.

When you spend this much time with a group, it feels surreal that we could be hugging and heading off to our own domestic airlines and gates not knowing if we will see each other again.

"But wait!  I didn't say goodbye to [fill in the blank!]"

We shared so much over the past 10 days - I just KNOW we will stay in touch and see each other again.  Perhaps on another adventure?  I know a handful of folks who are joining me for Kenya in October, or Bavaria/Austria in December so that is good.  We've also got quite a bit of interest in a reunion trip to Vietnam in 2021.  Won't THAT be something to look forward to?

But we will never forget Japan.

Sometimes you've gotta go UP to come DOWN!

The last morning at breakfast time, we met up with fellow Australian quilter friend Julie Clarke who was herding her own group of travelers on tour.  We lamented the fact that to get from the 11th floor to the breakfast buffet on 2 you had to wait for at least 4 elevator cars to pass you by on the way down just too full to the gills to let you in.

"Catch one going UP!" she said.  "And stay on to go down."  Well, if that wasn't an interesting concept I hadn't considered.  And a great way to get a better view in the process.

This was my going UP to the 25th floor before the "going up" person got off and enabled me to go back down.  Thanks, Julie!

One last walkabout!

Julie joined us as we made our last pilgrimage to a beautiful garden not far from the hotel - we knew it would be a long travel day with loads of plane sitting, and we were bound and determined to make good of the last few hours in Tokyo.

Beautiful quiet spaces - tall high rises as backdrop.

The texture of pathways - where they lead I must follow!

All over Japan we saw trees wrapped like this.  It's not just decoration, it is natural bug control!

The burlap bands are tighter at the bottom than they are at the top enabling the bugs to crawl in and set up housekeeping within the burlap.  Then the ties are simply cut loose and the whole band is burned getting rid of pests and all.  Fascinating!

Replica Sake House.

So grateful to find English interpretations!  This didn't happen very often.  The Edo period was between 1603 and 1868. So sad to think of those original structures being lost to air raids. 

*Edited to add*  It is my personal belief that governments make decisions unknown to the average citizen, and it is the citizens that pay on BOTH SIDES of any war when action is taken against ANY country.  

Average citizens like you, like me, like our grandparents and parents - just people who want to live life, raise families as normally as possible. Men, women and children become collateral damage on BOTH SIDES.

I am closing the comments to this post after deleting many who said that I should consider what happened in Pearl Harbor before I post how sad it is that we bombed such a beautiful country.

Governments did that.  Maybe with good reason.  But it is the people who didn't have any hand in those decisions who pay the price.  On both sides.  Thank you.

Daffodils in January!

Pink and white blossoms - in January!

Yellow makes me smile!!

Hope for spring!

Such a gift for the eyes!

Peek-a-boo Jill!

Careful stepping down the path.


Texture of the path - doesn't it just draw your eye?

Step carefully to the opposite side.

Fabulous last moments in Tokyo!

Reflection completes the circle - can you see it?

Hexie Stars on the long flight home.

I arrived in Phoenix close to 6pm.  I picked up my luggage, boarded the shuttle the rental car place, picked up the car and headed through Phoenix rush hour to meet up with my dad for dinner, and then on to his place to crash.

Side note - I use the WAZE app for GPS from my phone - and when you stop at a light it will flip up an advertisement keeping it a free app.  I stopped at the light, and instantly came up an ad for a SUSHI PLACE. A SUSHI PLACE?!? No no no no no no n o no! LOL!

Once at dads, it was a bit of visiting, and a long peaceful 11 hour sleep.

I'm still running on empty.  Laundry has happened.  Emails have been answered, future teaching elements have been handled.

There will likely be a nap.

I have a couple of days to rest up and rejuvenate before teaching in Phoenix Friday & Saturday.  I'm getting excited.

And that catches me up to now!

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Quilt shared by Kevin the Quilter -

However your own day goes, remember to care for yourself in the process!


  1. Pink, yellow, white and green. Now that would make a beautiful Mystery quilt.

    1. And browns! I saw lots and lots of browns and greens, neutrals in those photos!

  2. Your last hike was full of beauty. Rest and enjoy AZ. Lucky quilters to teach this week. Having Good Fortune withdrawals. My quilt is ready for the last Link-up. Can hardly wait to show it at the upcoming Quilt Show.

  3. What a wonderful time and so much beauty. Thank you.

  4. Just a quick thank you for sharing Bonnie. I feel as if I've been to Japan. It's good.

  5. Welcome home, rest well! 😁

  6. Thankful you all made it home safely. Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey. Rest up, you deserve it!

  7. Thanks for sharing the trip, enjoyed reading and seeing them. Welcome home.

  8. Such beautiful pics and the group shot is lovely to see all those happy smiling friends. Our daffodils here in Guernsey are flowering too even though it feels far too cold to be thinking of spring yet.
    Rest up and enjoy the peaceful time with your dad before life gets going again.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  9. Welcome to Sun Lakes, Bonnie. Keeping fingers crossed we won't get rain for your visit..I am in your class on Friday and will be driving. from Sun Lakes Let me know if you would like a ride to and from 35th. Janie

  10. Excessive travel really wears me out anymore. We just can't cut the mustard like we use to...

  11. You make me want to visit Japan. Such fun and exploration. Love your hand piecing projects to travel with. Are you using templates for you cutting or a die?

  12. Hi, Bonnie. I will be packing my stuff for class and heading to Phoenix in the morning (tomorrow for the Quilt Show, then Friday and Saturday for class). I'm sew looking forward to meeting you in person!

  13. Wonderful pictures Bonnie!! Thank you for sharing them and describing your fun adventures!! My DH and I had the fortunate opportunity to visit Japan for two weeks many years ago and we found it spectacular! We visited many of the places that you did and thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and stories! Brought back many fond memories. We would go back in a heartbeat if we could!

  14. Love the pics & the snapshot of history in your posts!

  15. With every post of pictures I was wondering, will this be the picture that surrounds a future Mystery Quilt lol.

  16. Such a lovely trip. Thank you so much for sharing Japan with us.

  17. Thank you for your beautiful pictures of Japan. It makes me homesick. It is our families second home after having the privilege to live there for seven wonderful years. It is a special place rich in culture and the most amazing people we have ever met.


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