Sugalabo

Simon and Martina, with the help of the very-talented Dan, have made an outstanding video about a chef in Tokyo, who has an incredible respect and interest in local ingredients and regional cultures.

I’d love to know how they got to join him in Ehime. Just start watching and see what you think. Would you want to try dinner at Sugalabo? I wonder how much that costs.

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Luxury You Can’t Top

Check this video on flying in the suite, known as “The Residence” on Etihad Airlines. I’d be tickled pink just to get the luxury of not standing in line forever for security (see below), never mind the champagne, though I wouldn’t pass up Dom Perignon.

If you want to see whether the service is consistent, check out the second, longer video.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Order

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Cheese, Eataly, Chicago, Illinois

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Ribs, Jinan, China

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Yi Kou Su cookies, Shanxi, China

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Chocolates, Melbourne, Australia

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”
― Tony Hillerman, Coyote Waits

Other themed photos:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Evanescent

DSCN13391. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other themed photos:

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Match

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I’ve got to get used to the new Weekly Photo Challenge starting on Wednesday. I caught it the first week, but not this. At any rate here are two rare birds that make a good match, I think.

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other Weekly Photo Challenge photos:

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Chinese Zumba?

Here’s my first stab at an iMovie. It’s less than a minute long. The guy in the orange was so joyful.

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Healesville Sanctuary

To see the wide variety of Australia’s unique wildlife, go to Healesville Sanctuary. When I was there I got to see kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, which are little mammals that lay eggs, platypusses, the other mammal that lays eggs, kookaburras, pelicans, wombats, enus, all kinds of snakes and more.

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an echidna

The sanctuary offers animals a naturalistic environment with some amenities like awnings that keep the sun off them and spray water periodically to keep them cool.

There are cafés with decent food, but you can bring your own for a picnic. Admission is $32 (Australian) and kids are free during school holidays and on the weekend and $16 .30 Monday – Friday.  There are discounts for seniors, full time students and others. You can pay with credit cards.

The Spirits of the Sky (see below), a birds of prey show, offered twice a day is not to be missed.

Healesville is near Melbourne and can get quite sunny and hot so bring water, a sun hat and sunscreen.

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Magical Sushi

I don’t even like fish, but I found Simon and Martin’s enjoyment of this Iron Chef’s sushi restaurant so absorbing that I’m tempted to break my piggy bank and go here. I can’t remember having a meal that was that amazingly good, but I’ve never been to an Iron Chef’s restaurant.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Graceful

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At the National Gallery in Melbourne, Australia

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other Weekly Photo Challenge photos:

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I’m Free Walking Tours: Sydney

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I love a good, freebie and so when I saw a write up in my Lonely Planet: Australia for I’m Free walking tours of Sydney, I starred the entry. I’m Free general walking tours are offered at 10:30 and 2:30 everyday and operate on the idea that you should experience the tour first and then pay what you feel it’s worth. When I went to the Sydney day tour, there were around 100 people who met in the plaza between Town Hall and the Episcopalian cathedral. We were divided up into groups of say 25 and got our guide. In all my 3 I’m Free tours the guides were born in the city and had a thorough understanding of their city, past and present. The Sydney day tours cover a lot of ground starting at the area near Town Hall, going to the Queen Victoria Building, pointing out the beautiful Victorian and modern buildings in the CBD (Aussie for Central Business District, i.e. “downtown” for Americans), taking in the flora and fauna in Hyde Park before winding up at the harbor where the iconic Sydney Opera House graces the scene.

I learned a lot. First of all I learned that before England sent convicts to Australia, the American colonies were used as a dumping ground. Fifty thousand convicts were sent to those colonies. Wonder why we don’t learn that. Anyhow, after the U.S. gained its independence that safety valve was shut off. So the Brits figured the new lands which James Cook explored in 1770 would suit the purpose. In 1778, over 800 convicts were shipped down under led by Governor Arthur Phillip.

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What I particularly enjoyed were the off-the-beaten-path stops. Like many 18th or 19th century cities, Sydney has a network of tiny lanes or alleyways. Cars can’t fit down them so what do you do with them? Sydney’s imaginative solution was to create art installations in them. Sadly, most installations were temporary but a couple still exist including “Forgotten Songs” which consists of numerous bird cages hanging over the walkway. These cages play recordings of native birds and depending on the time of day, you’ll hear different birds singing. On the ground there are the names of the different birds which were once (some still) around the area.

Another use of these lanes was to permit small, secret” bars to open. While these aren’t truly speakeasies, they offer a pseudo-speakeasy feel, which is entertaining.

The three hours flew by and gave me a good grounding in Sydney helping me decide where to explore in more detail. The morning tour also piqued my interest in the 90 minute evening tour of “The Rocks.”

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The Rocks is a rocky area where convicts and low income settlers lived, while the more wealthy settlers got the better land. Isn’t that always the way it goes? Small homes, tenements really, where built and colorful lives were lived out. Here we saw Miller’s Point, a neighborhood full of the government owned row houses where current residents are fighting to keep their homes as the city, hungry to cash in by selling to developers, relocates them. We saw Execution Hill where citizens would go to watch the many frequent hangings. (Seems our current low brow TV programming isn’t a new low.) We got a perspective on current development and how the activism in the 1970s known as the Green Ban, when builders cooperated with locals to stop the bulldozing of old buildings.

The guides earn a generous tip and the program allows travelers of all budgets to connect with the city.

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