The planning for the trip has stalled due to me needing to do some intensive thinking about scheduling for the other 2 months. How long do we need in Tokyo? Do we want to trek into the mountains to see the snow monkeys soaking in the hot springs (onsen)? There aren't any trains to Okinawa, so will have to fly there, and then take the few buses that traverse that island. Unless TH gets mega brave and decides to DRIVE!!!!
So. Many. Variables. And. Decisions!
We will be doing our travel on trains, buses and a very few taxis, so we need to keep the luggage to a minimum. What is causing me to trip however is the wet/damp chilly temps, especially if we explore the snowy areas of Japan. Winter gear is bulky, even the newer stuff. Factor in the long johns, flannel jammies and sweaters and the suitcases are full to bursting. Since the Tsunami of 2011 the price of electricity has climbed to the point of many homes and business turning the heat to a low level. People are now buying hot water bottles to heat their futons again, which is where the flannel jammies come into play.
Last weekend TH and I traveled to Benson, Arizona and Deming New Mexico to visit two long time friends. Southern Arizona and New Mexico are rife with amazing geography. The extreme southern part of both states are fairly economically depressed, with many business and houses standing empty.
In Deming we saw a machine in Pepper's Grocery that makes tortillas. TH said they were the best ever, silky and nothing at all like the national brands found in the grocery stores. The town is also the proud owners to an amazing museum considering the tiny size of the town, just under 15,000. In 1977 the town banded together to buy the old Armory building, and have been working to improve it ever since.
Here are a few of the pictures we took, is it just me, or can you see Clint Eastwood on a horse riding hell for leather across the scrubby landscape?