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France trip!

So last year Anthony and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and he surprised me with a trip to France! (OK, the surprise was well in advance of the departure date, because having been married for 10 years, he knows that the planning part is half the fun for a type A like me.) I decided to share some snaps for DNA's competition :D

These are all from Paris; my photo-taking plans got a bit sidetracked after we left Paris because we were driving, not walking, and I kept forgetting to take shots. The rest of France is just as wonderful as Paris! We drove around basically the whole perimeter of the country - Paris-Mont Saint Michel-Angers (visiting some friends)-Sarlat-Arles-Menton-Chamonix-Dijon. That's a LONG way! When we picked up our rental car it had less than 100km on it, we returned it with around 5000km o_O

Anyway photos!

photo 1

This is the Sacre Coeur cathedral in Montmarte... as viewed from our apartment! We rented an apartment from Haven In Paris for the week. I think the one we rented is no longer managed by them, but it was a really great experience to live like a local. Our building has a TINY elevator which was just the cutest thing ever. We were on the top floor and I had planned to take the stairs all the time to burn off all of the macarons, but I couldn't resist the allure of the teeny elevator and ended up riding it a lot. And breaking it one time by closing the doors/pressing the button in the wrong order. Le oops.

Anyway back to Sacre Coeur. It's the highest point in the city, above the Butte Montmarte. The cathedral is gorgeous, and the houses behind it are really magical. If you do go, watch out for scammers and pickpockets out the front though :( It's a shame but I guess to be expected.

photo 2

This is Sainte-Chapelle on the Ile de la Cite, and if you only go to one place in Paris, I honestly recommend it be here. It is overwhelmingly, movingly beautiful. I teared up a little bit, and I'm not usually the type to do that. The lower level is nice, but the upper level is the astonishing bit. You climb up a spiral staircase to get to it, and the whole time you're there there's this ongoing chorus of people gasping as they come round the last curve in the stairs and see the magnificence. This photo in no way does it justice (in fact, the Wikipedia photo is better), but it truly does have to be experienced to be believed.

photo 3

...we saw Kiefer Sutherland. I think he was promoting 24 at the time. He is about Hollywood leading man height (5'5"-ish) and fairly slight. He is also very well dressed and a seriously nice and friendly man. We were having afternoon tea at a cafe (Les Deux Magots, only because I am a hopeless case for history, not because the coffee is good (it wasn't)) and he walked by us. This guy took a photo with him but we were too shy. I smiled and waved and he smiled back. I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.

photo 4

The famous Shakespeare and Co. bookshop! TBH I was a little underwhelmed by it; I understand they have changed owners. We ended up going to a piano concert just round the back of this in a tiny 14th century chapel. That was rad.


And now the obligatory tourist shot in front of the Tour Eiffel. This also marks the first time I have appeared on my blog, I think. There's something really nice about the atmosphere at the Eiffel Tower when the lights are on - there are so many people there and everyone is just so relaxed and happy. It's really lovely.

That's it! I took bad photos with my phone :( Next time we travel I will take a proper camera.

Hi there, LJ

I've been so remiss in not blogging here for AGES. Life has been so busy. I just got back from Japan last week after a ski holiday with some friends. It was pretty awesome - trips to Japan always are, though!! My kanji recognition (and by extension, my reading comprehension) was through the roof this time thanks to WaniKani. I leveled up to 36 while we were there, so I'm definitely in the home stretches now.

In other news... not much. I will be travelling again in just a few months so we have to lay low and save our cash for that :)

Not related to anything, but is it just me or have all the Arashi subbing communities just exploded with activity in the last few weeks?

Isogashii ne

Ugh, I have been SO busy. Not that that's a bad thing necessarily, but all internetting definitely slows down. Except WaniKani, which I check like they're paying me for it. I'm level 19 now! It is ASTONISHING how much my Japanese reading comprehension has improved in less than 6 months without what feels like very much exertion on my part. Whee!

125 days til Japan!


Just voted for this year's Arafes. I had a really hard time voting! Partly because I am a fairly new fan, so I don't know a lot of album/coupling songs, and partly because I couldn't put my favourites in order! I got around the first problem by only voting for songs I knew (ie I didn't vote for any coupling songs, and the only album songs I voted for were "虹のカケラ~no rain no rainbow~" and "5x10"), and the second problem... well, I'm still dithering over my choices even after I've submitted them. Here's my list:

1. 迷宮ラブソング
2. ワイルドアットハート
3. Endless Game
4. Monster
5. きっと大丈夫
6. Breathless
7. 風の向こうへ
8. Troublemaker
9. Happiness
10. Face Down

Happy birthday, Neen! + Gokusen

As always, hisabisa! I've been doing some travelling for work so I'm a little behind the times in terms of Arashi news. Anyway I just wanted to post a quick お誕生日おめでとう~! to everyone's favourite brat. Now only my J baby is in his 20s! These two make me feel better because I'm only a couple most younger than J haha.

Speaking of J when he was a baby (segway SWISH) I've started watching Gokusen. I really love it! It's quite quirky and fun. I'm probably the last person in the world to see it, but I recommend it anyway.

Wanikani update - level 10! I think I'll hit my goal of level 30 by my next Japan trip.


Also I just joined the Fuji TV Club and intend to ballot for VS Arashi tickets while I'm there :D Anybody have any tips? I'll just be going for a single ticket which I hear helps.


Sa~~! It's been a while since I updated, ne? I've been quite busy with work and organizing an event for my church. Then next week I have to go travelling to Canberra for work, and also I'm going to Adelaide for a few nights. I'll miss my husband :( Also I'm organizing a wedding for July! Busy busy.

Anyway, I've been persevering with my kanji. I think I'm doing quite well! I definitely know more than I did when I started. At this rate I will have finished all the N4 kanji in about 2 months. I think I'm going to shoot for N3! Well, maybe. My reading (grammar and vocab) are probably not up to scratch, so I had better work on those.

I have some exciting news! Ant and I have just booked tickets to go back to Japan in late December for another ski trip. Yay! I had better knuckle down and study hard, then!


My DVD finally arrived today after being stuck in Hong Kong for five days!


Naturally I had my own little watching party and celebrated with this popcorn:

It's Arashinception.

As far as the DVD goes - LOVE IT. I'm going to have to rewatch to even begin to pick favourite parts. I'm really happy :D

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Happy Popcorn day!

My DVD wont arrive til Friday but I'll celebrate today anyway, and ignore the fact that it's leaked all over the interwebs :/

I found this yesterday so I'm all set for my private viewing party :)

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I persevered with Bambino! and am now partway through episode 5. I don't know if I wasn't paying attention when I watched episode 1, or whether the editing buried it a little (or perhaps even that my eyes were clouded with MatsuJun sparkles) but the Previously section at the start of ep 2 made it much more clear to me that Ban could use a bit of a humility kick, which made everything much more palatable. I'm enjoying it a bit more but I still definitely don't like it as much as some of the other dramas I've watched recently.

I did enjoy some of the exterior scenes in Fukuoka a bit much, excitedly tapping my husband on the arm "look look I walked over that bridge!"