Archive for the ‘Trip’ Category

72 Hours in Japan

October 21, 2012

The mission was simple; fly to Kobe Japan, meet with MHI on Monday, meet with Niigata in Tokyo on Tuesday, fly home Wednesday…and that is pretty much what happened.

When you tell people you are going to Japan on business, you get a lot of, “oh, how exciting” and it is exciting but it is also a  business trip and it doesn’t matter if I am in Tyler, MN or Tokyo Japan, I am really only there to work.

“Work” in this instance means sitting in a poorly ventilated conference room arguing heat rise calculation with a man who spoke English but not every day, for 10 hours.  Okay, we only argued about heat rise for two and half hours, but the meeting did last for easily 10 hours…  then dinner and bed.

Speaking of bed, we stayed at a fairly Americanized hotel, I think, I guess I don’t really know what a typical Japaneses hotel looks like.  I do know the beds where only about 8 inches off the ground and the toilet had a lot of buttons…and there was this thing.  I think it was a air purifier.  Whatever it was when I pushed buttons it blew air, I pushed buttons until it went off and left it that way.

Tuesday we took the bullet train to Tokyo. There is a sentence I never thought I would type!  As we hurtled towards Tokyo at 300km/h I did get to see Mt. Fuji.

Tokyo was another very long meeting, this time the ventilation was better, but surprise, no one was comfortable speaking English, luckily we had a translator.

Doing business through a translator is a less than efficient process, which meant another long meeting, dinner on the train back to Kobe, and sleep…by this time my internal clock was all kinds of out of sorts.

Wednesday we were supposed to have a quick meeting in the morning, then maybe actually see a few things before getting back on the plane home.   There is not such thing as a short meeting in Japan.  Long story short, then long again, I flew back home in my suit because we didn’t have time to change.

I would love to visit Japan, it seems like a very interesting place, but what I did while I was over there wasn’t visiting, it was work.

We did end up getting both contracts, so I guess it was  worth it.

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Beautiful Smith Falls Nebraska

June 30, 2012

Freezing to Death!!

Freezing to Death!  Not the kind of words most people would like to use to describe a family camping trip, but they are the only words that accurately describe our trip to Smith Falls National Park.

It was a good plan,  Colin,  Katie, Colleen, and PJ flew into Omaha from New York on Wednesday night.  Of course the flight was delayed and they did not arrive until about midnight.  The next morning we packed into the cars with the camper in tow and headed the 7 hours to Smith Falls National Park.  In an attempt to avoid Memorial Day crowds, we were to camp Thursday night,  float down the river on Friday and come home on Saturday.

The drive up was fairly uneventful, especially considering we had  a one(nearly two), four and six(nearly seven) year old as part our Oregon Trail reenactment.  We safely ventured out into the middle of nowere without anyone getting Dysentery, though the closer we got to Smith Falls the darker the clouds got.

After making a slight “detour” down the wrong dirt road, we got to our completely empty camp site… the park staff wasn’t even there.

 It started to get dark…it started to get cold.  And to make matters worse, someone, I’m not naming names, had forgot to put the box full of sleeping bags and sweatshirts in the car.

We all made it through the night, Elena wasn’t bothered at all, I froze.  In the morning, it was 38 degrees and we could see dark clouds rolling in.  There was no way we were going to get in the river, so we packed up an went home.  We did go over and take a few pictures in front of the falls before we left. Linda went down and put her feet in because she is a crazy person and was probably having a hot flash.

All in all, the trip was such an epic fail you couldn’t help but laugh.  This will be one of those stories  tell for the next 20 years.

We have a new family rule…No Camping in May!!

Frosts in Bavaria: Old Buildings and Delicious Beer

October 22, 2011

Dunkle

So after we landed, and found Brandon and Erika, and I stopped drooling over the cars (Ok, I never stopped drooling over the cars) one thing became obvious, Germany is very old.  Dan would argue that we only saw the Bavarian part of Germany and that the rest of Germany is not like that.  I can only blog what I have seen, so I will stick with Germany is old, but that is not a bad thing.

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Frosts in Bavaria: Love the cars, hate the payphones

September 1, 2011

The plan to help us acclimate to the time change was to have Brandon and Erika tour us around Munich immediately after we got off the plan and then bring us back to their house for dinner and keep us awake until about 8 pm.  It was a good plan and as Linda, Gillian, Elena, and I stepped off the plane we were all raring to go, at least I know I was and Elena was running back and forth under the ropes leading up to customs so I know she was as well.  We got through customs surprisingly quickly, grabbed our bags and headed out to where Brandon and Erika were going to pick us up.  They funny thing about going to a foreign country is when you get there your cell phone doesn’t work and when your ride is running late they really have no way of telling you that they are stuck in a “stau“.  So I waited there with three women that were all starting to get hungry and when Gillian gets hungry she starts to get a little impatient, this was a trait she inherited from her mother and passed on to her daughter…lucky me. 

So in an attempt to do something and to get away for a group of women that would surely start yelling at me for no reason any minute, I took my laptop and wondered off to find wifi.  I had an e-mail with Brandon’s cell number, I am not sure what calling to tell him we are here was going to achieve, he knew we were here, but again this was more of a self preservation move than anything.  So after signing up with T-mobile in German and paying 6 euro for an hour of internet, which I think is like $130 US, I got Brandon’s number and made my way to the pay phone.  Now, I am not sure I could operate a pay phone in States successfully, if I could even find one, but trying to do it in German was a futile effort at best.  First off phones don’t ring in Germany they beep, so when I put my credit card in and dialed the number and pressed the button that I thought looked the most like “send”  I got a few beeps then nothing.  I also wasn’t sure how many of these numbers I had to dial since I was not calling from the States.  Anyway, after some struggling then an overly gestured conversation between Linda and a pair of shockingly attractive female police officers, I was able to get the phone to do the German version of ringing only to get the voicemail of a very husky sounding German man that was not Brandon. 

Two minutes later Brandon and Erika should up, so I had accomplished nothing but entertaining the ladies for about 30 minutes. 

At this point the plan was back on track and we made our way the parking lot to put our bags in the car, this is where I saw the true beauty of Germany…it’s cars.  Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches for as far as the eye could see and these where German spec cars, so they are just better than the ones we can get in the States. Those watching the Flickr updates may have noticed a lot of pictures of cars, some parked in garages, some on the street and some in museums, the later being the topic of another post, if you don’t understand why I was doing this then let me enlighten you.  Germany does many things well, beer, chocolate, scary sounding dialect but first and for most is das auto!  Nowhere else are they making all wheel drive, manual transmission, wagons designed to go 155mph and that 155 mph is electronically governed because any faster and the windshield wipers rip off…or something.  I will be honest I am a bit of a BMW fanboy, we bought Gillian our BMW about 5 years ago and about two years ago it became mine, thanks Elena!  Even though it is nearly 8 years old I still prefer my all wheel drive, manual transmission, German sports sedan to nearly everything new coming out of Japan, Korea, Italy and the Unites States.  In Germany though my car would be nothing, about as boring and common place as a Toyota Camry. German cars are just better, except any new Volkswagen. Hell, even the “American Cars” built in Germany are better.  Brandon rented a Ford Galaxy, no not a mid-60s sedan, it was a minivan with manual transmission and a diesel engine, and it would go at least 120mph!  Why can’t I get one of those here in the states, I mean it is a Ford.             

Okay, so this was supposed to be a post about our first day in Munich and I really only got to the parking lot of the airport and then made a hard left into a rant about cars, that never happens, so Munich will be the next post.  I’ll give you a little taste though, Munich is where I learn the word “Dunkel”…though I had a hard time remembering it.

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Frosts in Bavaria: The Art of International Flight

August 24, 2011

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My biggest concern about our trip to Germany wasn’t the cost, it wasn’t foreign language, it wasn’t even sauerkraut, I hate sauerkraut, it was the nine hour flight with a one year old that has a reputation for being “busy”.

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Family Vacation: Emerald Isle, NC

June 22, 2011

I know we have been to Omaha and Lincoln a number of times and even out to Denver once as a family, but our trip last week to The Outer Banks of North Carolina is what I am calling our first family vacation and not only a vacation but an adventure, an adventure in parenting.

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Weekend in Omaha…Zoo Time!

August 18, 2010
Last weekend was another patent pending Frost family whirlwind trip, this time to Omaha.  I actually took Friday off of work for Elena’s first trip to Omaha.  The main reason for taking off work was to take the Outback in to have a trailer hitch installed, they are not open on Saturdays.  I also used this trip to break-in our new roof cargo carrier, as I have stated a number of times already…yes, we are those people.  In all honesty we probably don’t need it but I wanted it.  I put the stroller and our suitcase up there with plenty of room to spare, I will be writing a full review of the pod as well as the trailer hitch soon, I know you are all excited.
Anyway, back to our weekend.  Friday afternoon we took our first family trip to the zoo. For those not familiar with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, it is truly a world-class zoo and if you get a chance, go, it is well worth it.  On the day we visited it was nearly 727 degrees outside.  We mostly visited the indoor, air-conditioned exhibit,obviously Elena is a little too young to do anything but stare at the top of her stroller and sleep but it was good practice for navigating through crowded spaces with a stroller…I only hit one person in the back of the leg.
On Saturday morning we went down to visit Elena’s Great-grandparents along with Granny, Aunt Jamie, and Lucas.  It was nice to see three generations in the same room.  Sunday we were all able to get on the road fairly early, it was nice to get back home after a long weekend with time to relax, before starting back to work.

May…already?

May 5, 2010

So I have not updated this thing in a while so here is a shotgun approach to what has been going on.

Gillian is final starting to look pregnant, this makes me happy.

We took a trip out to Colorado to see Chris and Kathleen and Eppley and their new house.  For the most part we just hung out and caught up, nothing to exciting, we are getting old I guess. For some reason I didn’t take many pictures.  I wanted to take a picture of the Outback in its natural habitat…the Colorado Mountains, but never did for some reason, I did take this picture of children wearing gas masks though.  It was great to see Chris and Kathleen, and their new house is beautiful, you will just have to trust me.

This last weekend was very baby focused, I mean more so than normal. Friday, a large packaged showed up, to our surprise it was a car seat and stroller from my Aunt Mary.  I want to strap Nerf guns to either side, so it looks more like ED-209.  Thank you Aunt Mary!! and for the record, yes that was a RoboCop reference.  The rest of the weekend was one of our typical whirlwind trip to Lincoln/Omaha to visit all of our friends and family.  Saturday, we drove to Lincoln, Gillian went to Sarah’s baby shower, I helped Santi pick up their new coffee table and then we had lunch and drank beer, it was good.  After the shower, Gillian and I drove to Omaha to take pictures of Lyda going to prom, go out to dinner for mt sister’s birthday and help her assemble baby stuff and test my sister’s baby carriers, oh and I installed a new ceiling fan in my mom’s house.  On Sunday Santi’s parent, who were in from Argentina, wanted to buy us “something for the baby”.  We went to Nebraska Furniture Mart and picked out a glider, it is officially the nicest piece of furniture we own…Thank You, Juan and Maria!!  We then had lunch to celebrate Mark and Lyda’s birthday.

I am sure there has been plenty more that I am forgetting, but since most the people who read this where probably there, I don’t feel that bad for leaving something out.

Denver Trip (Sorry, no clever title)

January 23, 2010
We spent last weekend in Denver, visiting Chris and Kathleen.  There wasn’t really much of a plan, just come to Denver and hang out, but we managed to have an eventful weekend.
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Then, The Wheel Didn’t Fall Off

January 22, 2010

Gillian and I spent last weekend in Denver with Chris and Kathleen, it had been just over a year since we had gone out and it was great to see them, meet their new dog and catch up.  Sadly this is not a post about the time we spent in Colorado.  This is a post about the day leading up to and the day proceeding that wonderful trip which was in contrast just awful.

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