The Freyder Five

Life is an Adventure
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Highlights In Japan

Leaving Our Comfort Zone

Travel Glamour

Thursday, June 13, 2019 Originally, I had birthday dinner plans to celebrate a childhood friend.  But when she started feeling ill we postponed till a later date and my evening opened up.  Around 1pm I got a message.  “I have an extra ticket for the TravelAge West Wave Awards tonight.  It’s a black tie event.  Do you want to go?  Leaving in three hours.”  Uh, yes I want to go.  But could I arrange it on my end?  The message was from Betsy who runs the Uniglobe Travel Center (UTC) office, my travel host agency.  She and Rose, my mentor at Uniglobe, go to this event at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey every year.  This year they had…

Norwegian JOY ride

JOY.  EnJOY.  JOYful.  Recently I went on a JOYride aboard the Norwegian JOY cruise ship on its inaugural US run, up and down the west coast, from Vancouver to Mexico and back again.  For my part of the ride, I got to sail for a quick 24 hours from the Port of Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico and back to LA. JOY is a beautiful ship.  As I’ve chronicled here in previous blog posts, until three months ago, I’d never even set foot on a big cruise ship.  (I’m not counting the Nile River or Ha Long Bay which were both teeny cruise “boats.”)  In just three months I’ve been on a MSC Cruise ship, a Princess Cruise ship, I’ve…

Uniglobe Travel Conference

It’s Sunday, March 31 and I am exhausted. I’ve just been to my first ever work conference and it was activity and information overload. My husband John went to conferences and conventions way back when. Lots of my friends travel around for conferences. But in my former life in the trenches in politics and press I never had a conference to go to. So it’s been an exciting last few days. I’m so lucky because this year’s conference was held at the Long Beach Hilton, only 45 minutes from my house. Woo-hoo! My travel partnership is with Uniglobe Travel Center (UTC) and first off this is not only a conference but an official family reunion. It’s the best scenario. They’re…

My First Foot on a Cruise

Not a real cruise.  But a docked cruise ship.  I’d actually never ever been on a big, tux and ballgowns, bells and whistles, floating city cruise ship before last Thursday, February 7.  I’ve only been on small ships on the Nile River in Egypt and Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.  I’ve seen the Love Boat about a thousand times so I was just sure I knew exactly what to expect.  But I figured it’s high time I get out there in person and see what the cruise ship craze is all about.  I really prefer cruising on a sailboat or floating on a SUP,  but they are a lot more work.  It’s never too late to become a convert to…

52 Places To Go from NYT

The New York Times just came out with their list of 52 places to visit for 2019. Since I’m starting a new travel business, all these travel lists that everyone loves are now catching my eye. There’s a top 5 and top 10 list for everything. I usually just ignore them because it’s all just some stranger’s ideas. But the New York Times claims to put in a lot of time and research into making their lists. So I figure what they’ve come up with is worth posting here. Of the top 10 destinations here, I haven’t been to very many. Just #3, Santa Barbara and #4 Panama. I’d better get my bags packed and get on it. My featured…

Yale Bound

Now that we’re back in the US, it seems “my adventure abroad” is a reverse perspective.  We’re living abroad in the US and missing our life in Japan.  So for now, my adventure abroad turns out to be living and traveling in the US again.  My first adventure abroad in California is getting everything out of storage, buying 2 cars, fixing up our house, finding or buying furniture and just a general cleaning of everything inside and out repeatedly and re-connecting with friends. Next adventure is taking Kaiyo to the east coast.  Kaiyo’s team from Osaka International School (OIS) made it to the final round of the international academic competition called World Scholar’s Cup.  They call it the Tournament of Champions…

Re-Entry & Fun Photos

We’re back at home in California.  We were away in Osaka, Japan for two years, nearly to the day.  Is re-entry hard?  Yeah.  It is.  The kids miss their friends in Japan.  John is feeling some pressure to find a new job.  I am trying to unpack everything that was in storage and figure out where it all goes.  Even the cats are skittish.  We sold a bunch of our furniture so at the moment there’s only one La-Z-Boy recliner that we are all fighting over, and usually the cat is already curled up there. John is mad at rude drivers in California.  Driving here means you’ll be run over or run off the road if you don’t keep up…

Sayonara Japan!

The Crazy Last Day I woke up at 6am on Wednesday, August 1.  Today is departure day.  First thing is to feed the cats and hope they use the kitty litter box before we leave the house.  They get to fly in the cabin with us again so puh-leeeze kitties, no mess on the airplane!   Other last things on today’s to do list: Osaka Gas will come to shut off the gas and give us our final bill – between 9-10 am.  It’s a relief to close our account before we leave.   Our friend Chiharu will come at 9:15 am to pick up Halyard’s twin mattress so that it can be thrown away at her house – she has “big…

The Last Days

Aahhh Japan, we had so much fun.  It’s sad to leave.  My kids want to stay another year.  Avalon loves the school friends she made here.  Kaiyo loves having only 27 kids in his entire grade.  Halyard loves the freedom and independence that Japan’s safe living affords us.  And I love the ability to live without a car and instead walk, bike, bus and train everywhere.  It means the kids don’t rely on us to drive them somewhere and they don’t have to accommodate to my schedule.  I started teaching more English in the last year and I probably could have built that up more if we stayed. But here’s the thing.  I learned that the California public university system…

Okinawa Weekend

It’s the last few weeks left now.  We have one last free weekend that I’ve set aside.  Where can we go at the 11th hour on a “budget” budget? Peach Air is one of Japan’s discount airlines.  It’s like Southwest Airlines in the US.  I found flights for under $100 each way for each of us to fly to Okinawa.  Not too bad?  I booked our tickets for a Friday to Monday trip.  As I scoured the internet for a place to stay, I stumbled upon a newly built place that had not even had its grand opening yet.  It was advertising special, pre-opening rates and it came with the disclaimer that the landscaping and lobby were still under construction.  But…