Smithsonian – Washington D.C.

Today’s post is a guest post by @rosesandsaffron!

Recently I took a trip to Washington D.C. and had a chance to visit some of the Smithsonian museums as well as famous landmarks. It was SO much fun!! I ended up coming back to the mall again for another day of wandering around. I’ve been to the various Smithsonian museums several times over the years actually, and yet I never get tired of them.There’s still so much more I want to see. This trip featured a brief stop in Air and Space and a much longer stop in Natural History. Naturally I brought my camera along, and I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures!

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From the air and space museum – not the actual lunar landing module but one built just like it that never made it up into space, and…a plane that I embarrassingly forgot the name of. Can anyone help me out?

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From the marine life exhibit at the Natural History museum. This exhibit featured a lot of cool things – there was also a real (preserved, not alive) giant squid. I took a picture of that too but it looked like something out the X-Files so it didn’t make it to public consumption.

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The open area right when you come in the museum. I LOVE elephants – I think they are such amazing, kind, intelligent animals. So, guess what I took a lot of time taking pictures of!

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The bones exhibit was surprisingly cool – look at the snake ribs!!

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The is a mummified bull. The info said it would have been considered sacred and taken care of very well. Who among the people and animals at that time would have ever thought it would have ended up unearthed and in a museum thousands of years later?

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The dino fossil exhibit was sadly under renovation, but I still got to see a few. I have so many more photos to dig through and post – there was an amazing exhibit on rocks, minerals, and gemstones I spent a lot of time in too! Plus other pictures from around Washington D.C. and in Virginia, so look forward to some more guests posts from me!

Xoxo,
Roses&Saffron

Oregon Country Fair – Unique Acceptance

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<ENG>
This is my third time to visit the Oregon Country Fair. This place is so unique, and nothing (that I have experienced) comes close to the experience I have in this place. This place has a unique atmosphere where you feel that anything goes. People are very kind and friendly, and they are willing to accept anything that you want to be.

<JPN>
今年はオレゴンに来て3度目のカントリーフェアに行ってきました。ここは、本当にユニークで、日本やニュージーランドで経験したどんな体験も同じようなものはない場所です。この場所の売りは、何と言っても人の温かさと、どんなことも受け入れてくれる懐の深さ。日本で育ったからかは分からないですが、周りからどのように見られるか。。ということを気にしてしまう自分にとっては、ここの雰囲気というのは正直アメリカに来るよりもカルチャーショックが強かったです。

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<ENG>As soon as you goes through the entrance, there is just beautiful nature and trails where you find a tons of booths with hand-crafted accessaries and outfits. They can be slightly pricy but it’s understandable when you think about how much time they might have spent to craft them. Each booth reminded me of the Saturday Market in downtown Eugene. It’s just bigger, and the Country Fair trails seem to be the perfect fit for the whimisical items for sale.

There is music everywhere, and many people dresss up for this event. (You might have more fun dressing up yourself to really embrace the fair atmosphere, but this is not a requirement by any means. Like I said earlier, they are very accepting.)

<JPN>ゲートをくぐると、もう完全に自分が普段過ごしている世界とは別物。四方八方から様々なジャンルの音楽が聞こえ、びっくりするようなコスチュームを着ている人(もしくは殆ど服を着ていない人)がフェアを楽しんでいます。各コスチュームに一定の決まりのようなものは全くなく、完全に自分!というものを楽しんでいる様子。また、トレールの両側には所狭しとブースが並び、各ブースでは、手作りのアクセサリーや服などが販売されています。値段は少し高いような気もしますが、作成にかかった時間などを考えるとそれなりに納得はできる値段だと思います。

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<ENG>This is a very unique place where one can truly be themselves. Do you want to dress up to be a character from DragonBall? Go for it! You’ve always wanted to be topless in public but are too self-conscious because you are not perfectly fit? Who cares! I have seen all kinds of people at this event. Everyone seems to truly enjoy the diversity, and seems to appreciate each individaul for who they are.

First time I was at this place at the age of 21, I thought I had a bigger cultural shock than when I came to the United States. However, now that I am older, I felt like there is a lot to like about this place, the atmosphere, and the general spirit. I’m already looking forwad to visiting again next year!

<JPN>この場所の一番良いと思うところは、どんな格好をしていても受け入れてくれる雰囲気です。こんなに自由な場所は先進国ではなかなかないのではないかと思います。日本人でいきなりこの雰囲気に溶け込むのは難しいと思いますが、オレゴンを経験されるのであれば、ぜひ参加されると良いと思います。チケットは結構早くに売り切れてしまうので、7月のフェアに向けて早めの準備をオススメします。

UO Ducks Begins

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<ENG>Just hopped in to watch the spring game for the Oregon Ducks. I’ve never attended this game before, however, according to people who know well about this event, this year the stadium was amazingly packed. To get in, you need to bring some canned food that they will donate to Food for Lane County. This alone is a good reason to go to this event.

<JPN>初めてダックス スプリングゲームに行ってきました。このゲームでは新しく加入したメンバーがどのようなプレーができるかを見ることができます。前回までと比べると参加人数が劇的に増えたようで、来年から参加される方は、車での入場を待つより歩く方がオススメです。入場には缶詰を持参し、入場時に渡すのですが、わたした缶詰は Food for Lane County に寄付されます。食べ物がない人の役に立てて、ゲームも観れるのであれば最高ですよね。

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<ENG>This kid knows how to rock foot ball games.

<JPN>アメフトの楽しみ方を熟知した子供。

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<ENG>If you look around, there are many events we can attend even around Eugene area. I have been trying out 4 months of “experiments” to explore the world starting with Oregon. My goal is to go around the world, and take everybody with me via this blog. Thanks for everybody’s support, and let’s make the most of our lives.

<JPN>少し探すだけで Eugene 内でも参加できるイベントはたくさんありました。今4ヶ月間の「Experiment」をしています。4ヶ月の間は、時間が許す限りオレゴン内を旅してみようと思います。(アメリカは広大なため、オレゴンだけでもかなりの範囲になります)現時点のゴールとしては、世界中を旅し、このブログを通してみんなを連れて行きたいと思っています。本当にリーダーの皆さんにはいつもサポート頂き感謝しています。一度しかない人生を思いっきり楽しみましょう!

Sunday

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<English> I love the image of going into a local bakery on Sunday. Maybe this is how I envisioned what “foreign living” would be like. Yes, it might be cliche but, TV shows like “Friends” were really my idea of what I would experience in the U.S. The reality was a little different. It was living the same life in English, and in a different culture. It’s probably the same going to Japan. You probably have an image of temples and buddism that we see in the movies. It’s a part of Japan, but you will find yourself in super busy big city. Living in the foreign country was not exactly what I thought, however, it doesn’t mean I cannot make it close to what I thought it was. (After all, life is what you make of, right?) I learned that the trick to have the lifestyle that I dreamt of is not to change the location but to change the way I live and view my lifestyle. So, here is my attempt to change my Sundays a little from what they have been, and attempt to make my life how I want to live. Life is too short to not try the best lifestyle I want to have!

<Japanese>日曜日に地元のコーヒーストアで美味しいコーヒーを飲み、地元のパン屋さんでフランスパンを買って帰ってくる – というイメージがアメリカに来る前の僕のアメリカ生活のイメージでした。残念ながら、アメリカに実際に来ると、イメージとは全く違い「日本の生活を英語と異文化の中でやる」という生活を数年間過ごしました。僕が間違えていた部分は、アメリカに来たからアメリカの生活ができるのではなく、今までの自分の生活を見直し、アメリカの生活に自分の生活を変えるから、イメージ通りの生活ができるようです。というわけで、このポストが僕の最近の日曜日です。バイクでコーヒーストアとパン屋をめぐり、自分が描いていた「アメリカ生活」を送れるよう、毎日生活の見直しをしています。人生は一度限りで思ったよりも全然短いものだと感じます。後悔しないように、毎日自分の夢見たイメージに近づけるように努力しようと思います。

First Comicon in Eugene

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Eugene had its first Comicon in November 2015! I went to enjoy the fun events and amazing cosplays (and support a new local event of course). I was so impressed with everyone’s costumes – from funny to serious, babies to adults, and low-budget to professional. Next year I’m totally dressing up! I haven’t decided what to go as, though, so if you have any ideas throw them my way!!

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Fun Activity – Motorcycle

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I got my motorcycle license this year and have been having so much fun on my bike ever since! I used to ride a motorcycle in Japan, but got into an accident and stopped for a long time. When I finally decided to get my license here in the U.S., I was surprised how easy it was. (Getting the license, not necessarily driving the motorcycle, although I remembered how eventually.) I didn’t really think I’d ride a bike again, but I decided to take a calculated risk. I wanted to enjoy riding again, even if it can be dangerous, knowing that to me the risk is worth the reward. I have been having such a great time taking my little bike all over town and out for country rides. It’s such a great way to see our beautiful state, and it feels so free! But definitely, at all times, wear a helmet!!

When choosing my biking gear, I did a lot of research on safety features. Of course, I wanted it all to be fashionable too! I got a lot of fun things online (like my helmet/goggles), and also found a great local store with nice gear and super friendly service. I’m still always on the hunt for good bike gear, so let me know if you have any suggestions!
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