If there is one thing that Wife and I are good at. No I don't mean just good...I mean freaking totally excel, out of the park, slam it down in your face excellent at...it is shooting ourselves in the foot. I mean, we don't even have to try. It just rolls out of us like the Natural.
So yesterday we are in the lovely capital city of Kyushu Island, Fukuoka (pronounced Foo Koo Oh Kah). We had looked at some tours by one company and liked what they were offering and at the price offered. And a big plus they had a guide who is an avid photographer. So we booked an all day private walking tour of the city.
We meet up with our guide and she tells us that we are going to be doing 10 kilometers today (6 miles) and are we ready. Did I mention that it is between 45 and 50 degrees and is raining on and off. Turns out this is usually done as two tours of a half a day each. We charge off. We see many Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines. We see various crafts and do an abbreviated version of the tea ceremony. We see lots of the city. We see markets and we see ruins. We see plum and cherry trees (which we find we are really two to three weeks too early for...bang another foot gone) and gardens. We take a bizillion, maybe even two bizillion pictures. Having a guide who is as enthusiastic a photographer as those being guided is like making a drug addict a courier.
And we get wet. And we get cold. And we don't even think of stopping. When we finally get back, we decide to just pick up some food from the convenience store to heat up in the apartment. There are a number of chains here - 7-11, Lawsons, Family Mart - And they all have tons of food prepared that they will heat up for you or you can take back. Some of it is pretty good. Some not so good. We have mastered all the heating elements of our apartment so it is nice and warm when we get back. A bottle of Suntory whiskey is only 11 US dollars. Food in general (since we are not eating out fancy) is a real bargain here. In fact, prices in general for what we are using strike us as not expensive.
Today we recuperated. We have another all day tour with the same guide tomorrow but not walking all day. I think we are going to be in an open boat for part of it which will be SOOO much better in the cold weather. I don't think it is supposed to rain though.
We did laundry and worked on our pictures and blog posts. Took literally 5 hours to go through all my pictures. Doing laundry in the rental apartments is another roll of the dice. You're never sure of what is going to work and not work. In our case the alleged 'dryer' function of the combo washer/dryer doesn't really dry. We now have clothes spread all over the apartment. We did pass a laundromat yesterday not far from the apartment. If they are not done by Friday morning, we will bring them there to finish drying.
We are finding way more places here accept credit cards than we were led to believe in the guidebooks and the websites we researched. There are also a lot more places that will have an English menu than we would have thought (remember we are far from the 'international tourist central' places of Japan. People are very helpful and it is not that hard to figure out where things are. The Google Translate app making use of the phone camera has been very limited in its ability to assist. We spend all kinds of time trying to read the labels of the foods at the convenience stores without much luck. Much better is my keying in English and it translating into Japanese written text.
Wife and I have taken the attitude that these trips are each an adventure and all the things that go right and wrong are just part of the adventure. It's been a really good start to this adventure.