22 Feb 2014
Allyn split early this morning taking three trains and passing through two passport controls to enter Shenzhen, China in search of the legendary Hong Kong off-priced goods.
She scored well.
Meanwhile, back here by the ship, where I stayed, they are standing in line, waiting their turn to get into Hermes, Chanel, Cartier and others.
We had a lovely dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, 102 stories up at The Ritz Carlton Hotel. Tosca, the restaurant, was gorgeous, the view sensational, and the food was even good.
21 Feb 2014
Hong Kong is still my favorite port city in the world.
12 Feb 2014
All over the world people say others drive on the wrong side of the road. That is totally narcissistic.
I always thought drivers in the former British Empire drove on the left side and others on the right. So I was surprised to learn they drive on the left in Japan.
Most people are right handed.
Way back it was safer traveling on the left so the sword/sphere could be on the right to deal with bad guys. Plus it is easier for righties to mount a horse from the left.
Then we had merchants transporting wagons full of goods with a team of horses. These folks sat on the back left horse that was the ideal spot for using the whip. They drove on the right for safer passing of oncoming traffic.
In the late 1700s right hand driving becomes official in Paris and expanded as Napoleon took over much of the Continent. Others, such as Britain were always set to do opposite of France, and whatever Napoleon wanted was good enough for them to do the opposite.
And Japan? They've had a mixed driving history, but more left than right going back to Samurai days. More interesting though is that in the late 1800s, America, France, and Britain competed to help with building the Japan railroad. Britain won out. Therefore the Japanese railroad runs on the left side. It made sense that auto roads followed suit.
11 Feb 2014
It was freezing here today. They had the worst snowstorm in over a decade.
As long as we were here we decided to visit the Statue of Liberty.
Then came the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower. It is about twice as high as the Eiffel Tower.
And just walking Tokyo’s neighborhoods was a blast.
09 Feb 2014
As the ship was overnighting in Yokohama, we took the opportunity to spend the evening at the beautiful Ritz Carlton in Tokyo.
Our 20 course meal in the Tokyo Mandarin Oriental was one of the most unique I have ever had, and I have had plenty. They can accommodate two eight-person groups nightly and that is it.
Until tonight I never have heard of molecular gastronomy. In case you haven’t either, it has to do with gourmet cooking and getting involved with chemical changes in certain ingredients and food relationships.
So, for example the first course, Yuzu Sake Hot and Cold, was literally prepared to be both hot and cold. And I’m taking temperature not spice. Amazing.
The final course, a simple fruit dish, had us swishing a miracle berry in our mouths for a minute and then bit into a fresh lemon and lime. They both tasted extremely sweet as if they were loaded with sugar, which was not the case.
Good meal, good preparation, good ambiance and good dinner partners.