Happy New Year ’14

January 8th, 2014 trec No comments

It’s been exactly 1 year since my last post, shocking. I haven’t got much to write about at all. So all I’ve got for this post is, Happy New Year all. Let’s make it a good one.

Tracey xx

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Happy New Year ’13

January 8th, 2013 trec No comments

I can’t believe it’s already 2013! 2012 flew by so quickly. But then again, that always happens doesn’t it? It’s been a pretty awesome start to the year so far. I finally have a new car with air conditioning!! That’s the most important thing to get through the scorching temperatures of the Australian summer. I shall now recap my wee holiday in Melb and Syd.

24th Dec Flew into Melb at night. Stayed with Remi. She made me Yakisoba! I’ve missed Japanese food!
25th Dec Christmas Day! I met up with Gordon for breakfast as we exchange gifts. Followed by dinner at one of Remi’s friend’s place. It was supposed to be a small party with 7 people or so, but the rest didn’t turn up so it was only the 3 of us and loads of food. Since she was Japanese as well, we had a lot of Japanese based dishes like delicious karaage! Mmm! It was a really chilled out Xmas, we had some drinks and watched Home Alone on the tellie!
26th Dec Remi and I met up with Gordon and his mate Dave in the CBD. We had lunch there followed by cakes in Lygon st. That night we watched Les Miserables… and it was disappointing! It was like 98% singing, and wasn’t that great at all.
27th Dec Had lunch with Remi by Windsor station. We walked down Chapel st in Prahran. Then I was heading off to the airport! I arrived in Sydney in the late arvo. My uncle picked me up and drove me to their place in Cecil Hills. I experienced the weirdest first 10 minutes when I arrived at his place! He started massaging my back with his foot in this new technique he developed… So fricking bizarre! After that the fam and I had dinner at Holy Basil, a thai resturant. It was off the chain. Sooo good! William drove me back to his place in Camperdown that night.
28th Dec I wondered about the Circular Quay alone and hung out outside of the Opera hose as I waited for Willy to finish work. We had drinks with him and his housemate Marco a the Opera Bar. It was really great to drink by the water. A real nice setting!

29th Dec A bunch of us drove up to the Hunter Valley for wine tasting bright and early. Since Willy decided to take the ‘scenic path’ we were late for the tour we were booked in, so we ended up at random vineyards in Woolombi. It turned out to be a really awesome anyway! We got to 4 vineyards before they started closing. That night when we got back to their apartment we had more drinks, but I was out before 11pm, but they kept drinking and went pretty wild until 6am or something!

wine tasting at the hunter valley

30th Dec We started our day off with Yum Cha at Zilver. It was so good! We did some shopping in the CBD then headed off to Rose Bay were some of William’s mates were Kayaking. We would’ve too, if we had the energy to. Everyone seemed a bit wrecked from the night prior. Afterwards I finally managed to meet up with some Adelaide family who were in Syd at Darling Harbour. It was great seeing the Badawi’s and Denise who flew in from France for the festive season!
31st Dec New Year’s Eve! We started off the day at Bronte beach with some fish and chips. Later that night we watched the fireworks from the Opera House. It was an amazing display! I loved the seeing the fireworks exploding from the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I don’t think I want to see it there again since there were so many people! Just around the harbour alone there were 1.5 million people!! Anyway, after the fireworks we ended up walking for about 2 hours trying to get into this bar or that club, but some of us (me included) didn’t have appropriate attire, so we ended up catching the bus back to Camperdown to Will and Nick’s. It was quite a riot. There were about 10 of us. I think the party went on till 6 am again, but I was in bed by 4!

1st Jan 2013 New Year’s Day! I boarded my flight back to Adelaide!!

I think that sums everything up nicely. I was back at work on Wednesday. The rest of the work week was super quiet. No one was even around, and thus I didn’t end up doing much work at all. After work on Friday Gordon and I went to watch Cirque du Soleil – Ovo. It was excellent!! Loved it! On the weekend we went to look at some cars and I decided on a silver 2001 Lancer – which I now proudly own! Mel came back on Sunday night, so now the house is full again! :)

In the big blue and yellow tent!

I’m not sure when the next post will be, but till next time.
XOXO
Tracey

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End of Year Wrap Up 2012

December 24th, 2012 trec No comments

This will be the last post of the year. I haven’t posted much this year at all, but at least the blog is still up and running. I totally blame Bou for changing servers and not telling me, so I couldn’t change my nameservers over, and even when I did, there was an issue with his new server. Therefore in the end, I bought my own DNS hosting and got it forwarded to his host. At least that’s all fixed now! I’m pretty sure this site has been down for over 2 months because of that! Anyway, I’m going to jump straight into recapping this year from where I last left off!

August
I honestly don’t remember much from August at all. I know we a two day student workshop at Roseworthy Campus, which took a fair bit of preparation with other students that we normally wouldn’t have mingled with. I found the whole experience very rewarding, well except for most of the second day where we had NFI on what the main purpose of the exercise was. But in the end, we got to present a lot, brainstorm a lot, and mingle.

September
Remi visited Adelaide. We went to the Royal Adelaide Show together. Then it was City to Bay Fun Run 2012! I spent a lot of time training for this year’s race, but I only managed to beat my time from last year by under a minute! How shameful. Haha I am definitely not a runner ey? I went to Cleland Wildlife park with Siobhan, I’m pretty sure it was my first time there! I drove up to McLaren Vale with Brendan and Siobhan, another first time. We visited a couple of wineries before driving back to Adelaide. It was awesome!

October
McLaren Vale Half Marathon 2012 – combining running with wine drinking! I signed up for 10K with Celine and Gordon, whilst Siobhan and Roey signed up for a half marathon! We stayed in McLaren Vale the night prior to the race and on race night. Reflecting back, I don’t think it was a very wise idea to drink so much the night before the race. But what was to be expected when we were staying in a wine region?! Here are just some pictures from the ‘trip’.

And it was only two weeks later that Siobhan’s Dad paid Adelaide a visit, which led us on another wine tour, but this time it was at the Barossa Valley. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but I remember clearly being hungover from a pretty big night before the tour. And I’m pretty sure I had so much to drink because I was so stressed out for a whole week before due to my final student seminar presentation which went… okay, I guess. It could be A LOT better, but I shall worry about that next year!

November
Brian and Frieda’s Wedding! The ceremony was held at the Botanic Gardens followed by the reception in Hindmarsh. It was a beautiful event, and I am so happy for the two of them! It was also really great to catch up with old friends, and get up to no good with them whilst trying to steal alcohol from other tables after we finished ours. Good times!

It was my turn to visit Remi in Melbourne. Siobhan and I flew in to Melb for the weekend. It just so happened that Gordon was also there for the weekend, so I booked dinner for us at Nobu. The food was absolutely amazing, and it set us back almost $200 each for dinner and the delicious sake. What a night! The following day Remi had dinner with us at Movida Next Door, and that was almost as amazing! We even had a chance to check out the climbing gym in Melbourne CBD called Hard Rock. The walls were higher than what we were used to and there were so many different climbs, unlike what we have back in Adel!

awesome rock climbing gym in the CBD

December
Since it’s December now, I can now slow down and add more details in this recap. I started Taekwondo with Gordon! I’ve been meaning to start some kind of martial arts ever since I moved back to Australia, but I never got around to it. I’m so glad that I have, because I really enjoy it! It’s been 10 years or so since I last did any taekwondo, and I still love it just as much! Before winding down for the end of the year, I did loads of experiments in preparation for yet another Synchrotron trip. Ugh. Again, I was working ridiculous hours like a zombie at the facility in Melbourne to pump out some data. We got some pretty good results, but it kills me every time! Not to mentioned that I’ve been told that I will be going back again in April… I am not looking forward to it one bit! We were a lot smarter this time though! Celine and I took a day off after we finished up with our beam time to spend time in Melbourne. We got to have dinner at Movida, lunch the following day at Hardware Societie followed by some rockclimbing before flying back to Adelaide. I didn’t do that much really after I got back from the Synchrotron. I ran experiments for others, trained someone on an instrument, got some training and that was about it. I was also trying hard to write sections of my manuscript, but it was difficult, the motivation to work slowly left me. Uni was like a ghost town by the last work week of the year, barely anyone was around, and I just got plain lazy!

I’ve been to two Christmas dinners already. The first was with the usual guys at Bou’s, even though I haven’t been hanging with them for months, once I arrived to the party it felt like I just saw them the week before. Nothing felt out of place at all. There was quite a big announcement at dinner, but I’ve been told I shouldn’t speak of it until a bit later, but damn am I happy and excited about it!! The second dinner was at Harry & Yen Ha’s with the other guys. We had secret santa, and I ended up with earphones which wasn’t too bad at all! The gift I bought was a Moshi pocket speaker, which I wouldn’t have mind for myself. Although, Brian got something pretty cool, it was a pen that had a 4 GB sd card with video and voice recording! Besides the Christmas dinners, I had some Xmas time with my family yesterday. My mum wanted to go to Henley Square to watch the carols. She prepared some food for us, but when we arrived the square was completely packed so we ended up on the beach, which in my opinion was a lot better than being squashed on the grass. I didn’t care much for watching the singing, but we got to hear the carols and watch the waves. We stayed until the end of the event and got an awesome view of the fireworks from our relaxed position on the sand. Pretty fricking awesome!

And that’s about all I have. Sure, I’ve missed out a lot of things, and some of the stuff I’ve written about are pretty mundane, but that’s the essence of this blog! Haha. I’m flying out to Melbourne later in the arvo, so I should really pack! I’ll be spending Christmas in Melbourne, then on the 27th I fly out to Sydney to spend NYE there. I really had nothing planned, I just wanted to be out of Adelaide, but William told me that he got us access wristbands to watch the fireworks at the Opera House on NYE! And apart from that, I found out that Denise is back in Australia for this festive season, so we’ll get to see each other in Sydney. And, the Badawi’s also flew in from Paris! I haven’t seen them since Xmas 2010!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
xoxoxo
Tracey

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Summer in Japan 2012

August 6th, 2012 trec No comments

Just spent a jam-packed unforgettable 2 week holiday in Japan. It was so great seeing everyone again and to have the opportunity to use a heaps of nihongo. As per usual, I’ll just briefly run through my trip.

18th Jul Boarded flight to Sydney with Lily. Then from Sydney to Tokyo. Flying is a bitch.

19th Jul Arrived at the Narita airport around 6 am. Then discovered that Thien was at Haneda. We were supposed to meet up at shinjuku station at 9 or so. But Lily and I didn’t get there until 10. Couldn’t call him because he didn’t have international roaming on. Thank god there was wifi just outside of the station and thru facebook we realised he was already at our hotel. We got slightly lost on the way to the hotel in the hot humid weather in our slightly warm wintry clothes whilst dragging our luggages along. We finally met up. We headed to Yokohama to have all you can eat yumcha. We chose a really bad place. The food was shit. The har gao wasn’t even fully defrosted when they served it to us. We weren’t so happy. We headed back to Shinjuku. Lily and I went to a massage parlour on the way back to the hotel. It was so effin good. But damn expensive. We napped then went out for yakiniku for dinner. That was good.

20th July Disney sea. So much fun! I really enjoyed Indiana jones, Journey to the centre of the earth and the tower of terror. The weather just turned. It got cold and rained slightly. We were forced to buy jackets. And that is how I now own a cute Mickey Mouse zip-up hoody. Got back to our hotel. Had some awesome ramen from a shop nearby that I found on tabelog with good ratings.

21st July We started our day at Asakusa Sensoji temple. I fricking love the kibidango there. That’s one of the main reasons I keep going back. We did the omikuji and both Lily and I got daikichi whereas Thien only had kichi. But that’s still good! We then headed to Harajuku for shopping. Did the usual down Takeshita dori bought a lot of things at the Daiso there. By that time we were starving. Found and awesome ramen restuarant and had some tsukemen. First time I’ve ever had tsukemen. Then spent a lot of time at forever 21 and h&m. We were pretty knackered by then and headed back to our hotel. Napped. Then ate at a pretty funky izakaya. Their katsuo tataki was pretty good but nothing compared to the ones in kochi!

22nd July Checked out of our hotel and boarded the shinkansen to shin fuji. We dropped off our luggage in the lockers. Got our return bus tickets to fifth station mt fuji. Then hopped back on the train to Shizuoka. Met up with Hang. Had food at a cute western style joint. Had burgers. Then saw some high school students dancing for blood donation awareness. Then went to Starbucks for some matcha frappacino. Jumped back on the shink and headed back to shinfuji. The bus ride took 2 hours. We got to the fifth station at about 8. There was a German group who were on the bus with us. They were the cabin crew of a flight that flew directly into Nagoya that same morning. Their plan was to climb up, then head straight back and fly out that night. Pretty insane. They were really nice and friendly. We actually started the climb together. We only lost them at the 8th station when the 3 of us decided to huddle by a hut and sleep for a bit since we were about 2 hours ahead of schedule. It would’ve been colder the further up we went, but it was still damn cold as we cooled down.

birthday present from hang -- it saved me from hunger on the top of mt fuji. thanks! xx

23rd July My birthday – Yay. The day started as we continued our accent up mt fuji. It was my bday and seriously was the best way I’ve spent it yet. What an achievement on my special day. I actually found it relatively easy, which meant my health was in tip top condition. All my physical activity really paid off. The descend was a diffrent story. It wasn’t so difficult. Except it was painful to stop from slipping on all the rocks. There were times where it felt like I was just snowboarding down. Then when the rocks were more stable. It was fun guessing the safest and quickest way down the mountain. Water was enough. 2 packet of sweets like sour candy was enough. But 1 onigiri and a little cake was not. I was starving on the way down. Standing on top of my fuji felt so good. Since the others were feeling so drained we didn’t walk around the crater. At least we saw part of the sun rise. Since it was slightly blocked off from a higher point in the west. Better than nothing. It was another 2 hour bus ride back to shinfuji. The German group was also on the bus and they all wished me a happy birthday with a handshake. I found that strange but it was nice. Shinfuji to shinosaka took almost 3 hours. Kept falling in and out of sleep. By the time we got to our hotel we were exhausted to max. We all took our long needed showers. Then just got food from the konbini. I really needed protein to repair my sore muscles so I bought heaps or deep fried chicken — because that was all that was available and some zaru soba cos I was so sick of rice. After eating we were gonna nap then possibly meet up with Dani, but she couldn’t meet so my nap from like 6pm turned into a full deep sleep until 7am. Haha that was how I spent my birthday. Best sleep ever though.

24th July Lily quit the trip and headed back to Tokyo to fly home. Met up with Dani, Ryan and Taylor. Then with Julian and went to a Japanese style restaurant for some awesome don buri and zarusoba.
Thien and left the group and hopped on the sakura Shinkansen to hiroshima. We went to the peace park and saw the museum. It’s just as depressing as ever. We hoped back on the Shinkansen and headed back to himeji for beer garden time with dani and all. We went to coconuts beer garden and it had such an awesome ambience. Met 2 others along with dani and Taylor. One of the them were from Adelaide. But that’s to be expected, as most of the Aussie teachers in himeji are from adelaide due to the sister city exchange. It was good fun exchanging colloquial slang. Words like ranga, feral, bluging, wagging and skulling came out. After the beer garden was closed we hopped back on the Shinkansen again and head back to osaka. Without our jr passes, we would’ve blown almost 23000 yen on that day alone each for transport!

beer garden in himeji

25th July We went to Kyoto for a day trip. I finally made my way to Fukushima Inari Shrine to see all the toori. I didn’t do the whole walk up the mountain, since I had to get back to Osaka for a haircut appointment. I love getting haircuts in Japan. I feel so pampered, like a princess haha. It took almost 3 hours in total, but it was well worth it. I had a lot of fun talking to the hairdresser in Japanese. But after the first hour, my head started to hurt – from all the thinking. So I guiltily pulled out my iPhone and began reading ‘The Life of Pi’.

26th July Headed straight to universal city bright and early. Had loads of fun at USJ. 3rd time but still love it more than ever. Ate so much that I couldn’t have dinner. 1 turkey leg and a massive chicken leg that’s like $25 bucks a pop.
After USJ we went back to shinsai bashi. walked along it and dotombori before we crashed back at the hotel.

27th July Finally set off to Niihama! So excited <3 We arrived at Niihama and was greeted by Yuko. We had lunch at one of my favourite places – Cooks. Tricia joined us, it was nice to see her again. Afterwards we went to the mall – another fav of mine. Haha. Then around 6 or so we went to the hanabi taikai. The fireworks this year was just as awesome as I remembered it. The finale was still as cool as ever. Since we had a lot of yatai food we didn’t really need to go have a proper dinner. So we pretty much went straight to yuko’s mums snack bar for a bit. They were so sweet. It was really fun, we even sang a few karaoke songs.
Then we finally went to Wakamusha – definitely another favourite places of mine. It was so good to see Seiji and the other Wakamusha staff. Angelina and Gavin came then Daisuke finally showed up like a million years afterwards. I had so much fun!! It felt like I never left, of course it was different without Matt but the place never changes – although Seiji told me he might be closing the Niihama store down soon to travel the world. Seiji opened two bottles of chardonnay for us, but after all the beers I had prior to that, I was feeling pretty drunk. So I asked for some food and of course he popped out to the kitchen and brought out some awesome chicken he made for us. You just gotta love that guy. Oh yeah, and he gave a 2 litre Wakamusha branded sake bottle to Thien!! Sure they jankenned for it, but we all know he lost so Thien could have it for free. Anyway, we left around 4 am probably, and were even going to go to karaoke but decided not to after having some food at a conbini pitstop.

lunch at cooks

drinks at yuko's mum's snack bar

drinks at wakamusha

28th July I woke up with a mild hangover. Yuko drove Thien, Daisuke and me to panas onsen. I fricking love that place. It was so great to go back even in the crazy heat. The only difference was that I had to stick a few bandages on the side to hide my tattoo.
Thien and I left then left for Matsuyama. Abz came to pick us up… It was really unnecessary since their apartment was only like a few minutes walk away from JR.
There was a street market event on in Okaido. Sara donned her yukata and Abz was in his jinbei. We walked up and down the stretch through okaido to gintengai and back. Had some street food then headed back to their apartment to get changed. I wanted to do the usual bar hop I’ve always done in Matsuyama. We started off at flankies and I saw a lot of familiar faces. A couple of people were pretty surprised to see me there haha. After flankies we went to 14-1. Which was new to me. There we had a few drinks. Played some darts and pool. I got my ass kicked in darts but I managed to own Grant at pool. Then finally we made out way to sala sol – per our usual ritual. I finally got to see Sachie which was fricking awesome, except for the fact that whilst we hugged she missed me so much that she decided to bite my ear!!! It fricking hurt!!
Grant was kind enough to walk Thien and I back to the apartment. It was nice to walk around on an early summer morning through the park tipsy lol.

29th July I had lunch with Dave at an Italian restaurant followed by some refreshing drinks at a cafe. I had a pretty good yuzu drink. I went back to Abzs apartment but no one was home – I knew Abz and sara were out on gogoshima and Thien must’ve still been out scouting the area on one of their road bikes. Instead of just waiting around I caught the train to takahama port to make my way to gogoshima. However just as I got off Abz and sara was going to board, so I jumped back on and we just went home. Haha. Only half an hour was wasted.
Thien was back by the time we reached the apartment so the two of us rode their bikes to dogo onsen for some omiyage shopping. Both Abz and Sara are a lot taller than us, so obviously their bikes were a lot bigger than what we were used to. Both of us had a painfully sore ass ride up to dogo. At dogo we enjoyed the hot footbath and watched the clock show- it has to be my 3rd time seeing that or something!
The ride back wasn’t too bad. We basically stood on the pedals and let the decline take us home. That night, the four of us went for all you can eat yakiniku. It was only 2400 yen per person and it was pretty damn good!!

2400 yen all you can eat yakiniku. umaiiii

30th July We left Matsuyama at around 1.30 pm. Had a pit stop at Niihama to meet up with Yuko. Thien left the massive bottle he got from Seiji at her house, so she kindly brought it to the station for us. We bought some supermarket sashimi and sushi then caught the following train to Okayama. Then changed to the shinkansen to go directly to Tokyo. The notable thing was that the person in a Niihama actually reserved us seats for the nozomi – but the jr pass shouldn’t be able to work for it. The ticket checker person (conductor?) told us they’ve made a mistake but we were still allowed to remain in our seats. So that’s pretty sweet. We saved about an hour of travel time, even though it’s just a bit over 5 hours from Okayama to Tokyo! This time we stayed in Oimachi in Shinagawa-ku to be a little buit closer to the airport.

31st July Went to Shinjuku in search for a store that stocks baseball caps. But it was so hard to find a new era hanshin tigers hat! Still couldn’t find it. Thien won a thousand sunny go model from a gaysen. Got some things from uniqlo. Ate at a cheap izakaya. Went to Tokyo Dome city for the roller coaster but it was closed and Thien wanted to do a ghost house but couldn’t find the one he wanted. So we went to yurakucho for some yakitori. It was good but I still wanted ponzu with it. Then home, packed and slept

1st August We both went to narita together since we had to check out and I didn’t want to wonder around the city with my luggage and all. Thien flew at 1 but my flight wasn’t till 8.30pm! I was just trying to sleep on and off at the airport and it was fkn horrible, the plane ride that followed was worse. It was completely full due to loads of students on a trip with school or something. But what was worst was next to me the girl took so much room. She wasn’t even that big either, and she decided to take all the arm rest space. Fkn bitch. Haha.

2nd August Finally arrived at Sydney at 7am or so. I called my Mum up to tell her I was back in Australia and she told me that Jessica flew to Sydney that morning to go to an Ed Sheeran concert. And as good timing as it was, Jessica and her friend met up with me only a few minutes before I flew back to Adelaide.

And that sums it up nicely. :)

Now it’s back to work …boo. But on other news. I’ve finally moved out – even though it’s to my childhood house, I’m still living away from family. lol. It’s been good so far, although on my second night there, the lighting power fuse blew and burnt the wires behind it, and so we didn’t have any lights over the weekend. That surely was fun… haha

Till next time.
xoxo
Tracey

PS. This is Sara and Abz’s cat, Banzai. Cho-kawai.
thinking banzai

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Just a regular update

July 1st, 2012 trec No comments

Finally, a new post! I don’t even know where to start. It’s been so many months since my last post. Gees. I guess it’s only appropriate that I highlight some of the major events in the months that have passed.

February
The first would have to be Peaa and Lynna’s engagement in February. It was such an eventful day. Most of us had to be up and at Lynna’s place at 8 or so for the morning ceremony. We were there well into the night, although we were there intermittently. Since Lynna’s house is so close to mine, a lot of us kept coming back to my house to nap. Lol. Here’s a lovely group photo:
Peaa and Lynna's Engagement

The end of February was great. The Adelaide Fringe was on, so it was a good chance to catch some interesting cool shows. Thien and I went to a show at the Adelaide Gaol and it was pretty fricking amazing – Chants des Catacombes. Highly recommended, I just hope they come back for another show next year ay.

March
In early March Matt came and visited me for a few days. It was so great to see him again, and hang out just like the good old days – in my home town though. We did some fringe activities and also did a wine tour at the Barossa. Good times and blue stone! Blue stone everywhere!

April
The most notable thing for me in April would have to be my trip to Melbourne for our experiments at the Australian Synchrotron. It was a good 5 day worth of 16-18 hour shifts in the facility. The line between day and night was blurred, I was mostly on the night shift though. It’s fking tough stuff, but such is life of a researcher. I’m pretty sure I have to go again soon… if not sometime this year, it’d be early next year! We need data, and someone needs to be there to collect it!

May
I volunteered for the Kodomo no Hi event at Cowandilla primary school with Siobhan. We both wore yukatas and collected donations and greeted people at one of the entrances. It was fun using Japanese and eating Japanese food. But besides that… I don’t remember much else. I’ve started going Indoor Rock climbing though, that’s something! :)

June
Ah, the month that has just passed. It’s much easier to remember although nothing too extreme happened. There were a lot of parties, thus a lot of boozing and regretting the choices involved in the quantities of alcohol consumed followed by more alcohol consumption and regret. Then the cycle repeats itself. Here’s an image from Siobhan’s animal themed house warming party:

Sheep and Bat

And sometime within the last few months I actually managed to finish and submit my research proposal, so that makes me a real PhD candidate now. :) I’ve also been planning my trip back to Japan as well. I really can’t wait to go back, and to tackle Mt Fuji! I fly out in 2.5 weeks.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this post. Now for some D3…. :D

XOXO
Tracey

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