Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's hydrangea season! These are my absolute favorite flowers. One reason being that they start blooming around my birthday, but I also love the unique variations of colors, sometimes even within just one bush. They also makes me think of Japan, even though they're pretty common everywhere. They're the one beautiful thing to look forward to during the gloomy rainy season in Japan.

I definitely plan on having them in my backyard if we ever tear out the old wooden deck that's there, but for now, I have to admire the ones in other people's yards. The thing is, they tend to be hidden in corners or right next to a house, so I was having a hard time finding one to photograph. I finally found some in the garden of a local museum, so here they are...

Before I go, I have to thank my husband, without whom, I wouldn't have been able to post these pictures! I shouldn't be surprised at all that it happened, but my son tried to jam a memory card into the camera last week and bent several of the pins in the slot. I honestly thought that I would have to shell out $100+ to replace the part, but my hubby worked his magic fingers and fixed it for me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Week in Japan

Little Boy, Big City
As I mentioned earlier, we recently went to Japan for a little over a week to see my family. We had a lot of fun, especially at Tokyo Disneyland! Here are just some of the 450+ pictures I took over the week...

Disney Resort Cruiser
If you ask my son what was the best part about going to Japan, he'll probably tell you, "I rode the Mickey Bus!" And I will have to agree with him. This was just a bus that took you from the hotel to the monorail station, which, in turn took you to Disneyland, but it was the coolest, cutest bus I've ever been on. Even the interior was filled with hidden Mickeys, including red seats with 2 yellow buttons as well as hand rings (I don't know the proper way to call them, but the rings that hang overhead) with Mickey ears!

Of course, once you go inside the park, there are subtle (and not so subtle) Mickey references EVERYWHERE! We had this chicken sandwich on glove-shaped buns for lunch one day. My son also enjoyed some Mickey shaped chicken nuggets, but when my brother got a bright green "Mike Wazowski" (from Monster's Inc.) dessert, my son exclaimed, "Ewww...Yuck!" I guess somethings just should NOT be made into food :)

5:00AM Breakfast
While Disneyland was a lot of fun, it also wore my son out. He fell asleep one night without even eating dinner, and woke up the next morning at 5AM with his stomach growling. He found it quite entertaining to watch himself eat and kept making "eyes" at himself!

Need an Umbrella?
After Disneyland, we went to Odaiba, a man-made island in Tokyo Bay where you can find the coolest and the newest technologies. Our hotel, which was geared towards business travelers, had Umbrella Vending Machines at the entrances.

Tokyo Big Sight
Our hotel was across the street from Tokyo Big Sight, a huge building that's made up of 4 upside down pyramids. I went for a walk early in the morning and got a good use of my camera.

You can get around Odaiba in an elevated train called "Yurikamome." Each station was decorated with its particular classic Japanese pattern. This station had a Sakura or cherry blossom pattern on the windows. Yurikamome offers you great views of the strange and unique architectures rising up all over the island.

Ready for Take-off
After Odaiba, we got on a bullet train and went to my parents' home near Nagoya. Unfortunately, at this point, my son developed a fever and we pretty much stayed put until it was time to head home. Ah, the ups and downs of traveling with a child! You always have to be ready to adapt your plans to his own schedule. But when I look back at all the pictures and see the smiles on my parents' and my son's faces, I know it was all worth it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One Year

I'm sorry I haven't been here in a while, but I've been out of the country. We went back to Japan and visited Tokyo Disneyland! I have lots to tell you about that later, but first, I have to celebrate the one-year-anniversary of this blog!

Yup, today is my birthday, which means my blog is celebrating its birthday, too. I started this blog a year ago with the hope that it will help me "figure out who I really am instead of what other people want me to be." ... So, did it?

Well, I can't really answer that directly because my definition of "figuring out who I am" has changed during the past year. A year ago, I thought that finding out who I am meant knowing my strengths as well as my faults and being comfortable with it. For example, being able to say, "I'm not a good cook, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it."

I've stopped calling myself a bad cook in the past year, though, because I've come to realize that labels are just that. Labels. Whether I'm a good cook or a bad cook depends on who's tasting the food. I mean, think about it - even the best sushi chefs would've been looked upon as complete lunatics by the majority of the world just a few decades ago!

Now, when I try to define who I am, I think of the little baby who came into this world 31 years ago today. The human being in its purest form, with no artificial labels and all the potential to be absolutely anything. Deep down, I am still that person, and in that sense, who I am is no different than any other person living today. And every single one of us still have all the potential to be most anything we want to be.

All the rest is just what we like or dislike at the moment. I currently don't cook well because I don't enjoy cooking now. But if I ever decide that I want to be a better cook, I can always learn how. Same can be said about my photography. I enjoy taking photos right now, but I don't have to like it tomorrow. And just because I stop liking photography doesn't mean that I become any less "me".

Now that I think back, it's strange that I chose to call my business "SonoSono Studio". As I mentioned in my profile, I chose it because it helps remind me that "I am who I am." But in actuality, I didn't know the true meaning of that particular phrase at the time that I chose it. I like the name more than ever though, and I'm also glad that my given name Sono means "I am" in Italian.

So where does my blog come into all of this? Not in an obvious way. After all, I didn't mention any of these ideas on the blog during the past year. Yet, figuring out who I truly am was (is) a long and slow process, and tossing around and editing potential blog posts inside my head definitely made me test my idea of who I was.

So, even though I found most of my thought process too personal to reveal publicly on this blog, I guess I can still say that this blog was an essential part of figuring out who I am.

Thank you all for reading these ramblings during the past year, and I hope you'll continue to come back for more!