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All hands meeting at Intel campus in Portland

Following recent acquisition of our company by Intel a couple of months back we got invited to come to Intel site last week for an all-hands meeting.

A very secret lab
Intel is a pretty secretive place. Great secrets lie at its campuses, but I can't get into too much details about that here ;)


Last day on Hawaii, Aulani Disney resort

On our last day we planned to go to the newly opened Disney resort Aulani.

We had a late evening flight and being afraid of being bored at the resort, we took the long road there, by running a counter-clockwise loop of entire Oahu island which took about 3 hours.

Hawaiian roads
In many places trees overhand the highway.


Visit to Hawaii in 2011, Turtle beach and Dole plantation

One of the weekend days we decided to try and visit Laniakea turtle beach again in hopes to finally see some wild sea turtles.

During our previous visit we came too late and did not see any turtles, so we departed earlier this time.

Laniakea beach
Here we have arrived.


Visit to Hawaii in 2011, first few days

As part of working through backlog of pictures we finally got to out second visit to Hawaii.

I wanted to make myself a nice birthday present, so we went to Hawaii, we chose Oahu again, since we were there already and I did not want to burn through my vacation days which was easier done when you go to a familiar place.

It so coincided that we went to Hawaii a couple of days after we returned from Paris for a nice contrast.

Landing in San Francisco
Picture of landing in San Francisco where we had to switch planes.


Christmas in Tokyo, Christmas Illuminations

Continuing the previous Christmas Tokyo report.

On December 24th, on the Christmas eve we decided to go to Tokyo Lalaport shopping complex looking for yet another VOLKS shop.

JApanese street toilet
On the way to the subway we noticed this interesting public toilet. Looks like Japanese people are not very concerned about privacy.


Our late December 2011 trip to Tokyo

Finally got some time to continue posting our (somewhat stale now) travel bits.

My company asked me to visit Tokyo to work with an important client in Tokyo just a week after we returned from our vacation in Tokyo, I touched a little bit on this in our post about Tokyo Dolpa 26.

We have arrived on Dec 16th and stayed in Kawasaki most of the time.

Sara Udon
This is our first dinner after arrival, quite late in the day when a lot of restaurants have already closed and it was hard to find a non-smoking place anyway. It's called Sara-Udon and we totally expected Udon to be a soup bowl, but it turned out to be something else, sigh.


Day 7 in Tokyo: Kodokan, Tokyo Tower

On our 15th (and last full) day in Japan at first we went to Kodokan, the Judo academy and museum. Not that we are very interested in Judo, but a friend asked to get him some stuff there and since we had nothing better to do anyway we decided to check it out.

Biycle parking
Bicycle parking in building across the street from our hotel.


Days 3-6 in Tokyo.

The plans for next day were pretty scarce, so we woke up pretty late again.

About this time I started to realize that winter in Tokyo is pretty boring. Bad weather combined with little to see.

So we decided to go to Nakano Broadway, a place where supposedly a lot of anime shops located.

Buta shogoyaki
But first, breakfast (this is Buta Shogoyaki)


Days 1 and 2 in Tokyo: Akihabara, Suntory Hall and JLUG

As you might remember, we left off the story last time with departing to Tokyo. Our hotel in Tokyo was a pretty cheap place called Horidome Villa (business hotel). The room about the same size as what we had in Osaka we were able to book for just about $65/night. We arrived quite late in the day and took what appeared to be the last available room, that also turned out to be the worst room as well: very humid, with small flies everywhere and with bad smell. Front desk acknowledged the problem and promised to provide with another room on the next day after some people check out.

So we slept for quite a bit of time in the morning and then the front desk informed us that we can move to another room at like noon, so we decided to wait until noon in hotel (and it was around 10:30 already) so that we can move our stuff to that other room.

Another problem with this hotel turned out to be that they did not have any nonsmoking floor. One of the floors had all non-smoking rooms, which just meant that all smoking guests of those rooms went to the hall for a smoke, and the smell immediately penetrate at least our room (both of the rooms we tried actually).

Window view
This is what we had for a window view.


Autumn Japan: Day 2 in Osaka and Day 2 in Kyoto: Arashiyama

Next day turned out to be rainy and so we decided to not go to Kyoto, but instead go to Nihonbashi shopping area.

But first, breakfast.

Takoyaki soup
We found some takoyaki place at the Shin-Osaka station (it was really hard to find a non-smoking place). These are Takoyaki with soup.



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