うさぎ島 – Rabbit Island: Video Post

Rabbit Island Japan - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

When I was living in Japan my husband and I made the easy trek over to Ōkunoshima – also known as Rabbit Island.  It is a magical little island filled with free range rabbits.  After that I did a blog post about how to get there (so easy), the history (pretty crazy), and some of what you will see (RABBITS!!).  Take a look at it here.  I did then realize that I had never shared any of the videos, and really….who doesn’t love video of a bunch of bunnies hopping around.  If this doesn’t push Ōkunoshima to the top of your must visit list, I’m not sure what will.

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Quick Bits: Djúpalónssandur Iceland

Djupalonssandur Iceland - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Sometimes the best views aren’t on the path you always envisioned for yourself.  Take the road less traveled.  Go the long way.  Keep your eyes open.  Enjoy the life around you.

Diamond Beach: Visit Iceland’s Hidden Jewel

Visit Diamond Beach Iceland - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Last week I promised that I would share the most beautiful beach with you all…and oddly enough, it just so happens to be in Iceland.  No, I haven’t lost it (or at least not because of the Iceland beach comment at least).  In February of this year my husband and I were in Iceland and made the journey over to Jökulsárlón (read about that little gem here).  There was what frankly looked like an RV parking lot across the street, but we decided to pop over and get a closer look at the ocean.  Oh man was that the correct choice.  Welcome to Diamond Beach – hidden jewel of south-eastern Iceland.

Diamond Beach Iceland Ice - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

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Visiting Jökulsárlón in Iceland

Visiting Glacier Lagoon Iceland - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

In January my husband and I spent 10 days driving around the west and southern portions of Iceland – as an aside, move Iceland up to the top of your holiday list.  Just trust me.  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of the most impressive sights we saw was Jökulsárlón, also known as the Glacier Lagoon.  Located on the south east side of the island, this magical place is well worth the drive.

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Quick Bits: Friendship

Ueno Park Tokyo, Japan - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park – Tokyo, Japan

This is probably one of my favorite photos that I’ve ever taken.  Not that the photo itself is some masterpiece by any means, but the scene that I stumbled upon in Ueno Park during my first trip to Japan spoke to me.

No matter our lot in life, fundamentally we all need friendship.  We all need to feel the love of a another living thing.

I have a print of the original photo hanging up in my cubicle at work.  It’s a little reminder that each day we have the choice to show love, respect, and friendship to those around us.

4 Tips for Making the Most Out of Walker Stalker Con

Walker Stalker Con Tips - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Full disclosure:  for most of my life I never understood the appeal of conventions (cons, if you will).  Sure, I like comics, superheroes, and shows like The Walking Dead as much as the next person.  However, taking precious vacation time to spend several days staring and shouting at actors, writers, and artists…and the whole dressing up thing…

Then, as it goes with most things in life we think we don’t like, my husband and I actually went to a con.  Oh!  The error in my ways!  Being big Walking Dead fans, the Walker Stalker Cons are our favorites.  As we prepare for our second convention in Atlanta later this fall, I wanted to give you a little glimpse into this world.  So brave the zombie apocalypse and get ready for four tips to help you make the most of your con experience!

WSC Atlanta Entrance - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

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Here Little Pig, Little Pig – Iberian Ham Tour Madrid

Madrid Tapas Trip Tour - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

I have a confession:  I might have a small obsession with jamón ibérico – AKA Iberian ham.  Trust me though, after one bite I am pretty confident you’ll understand why.  However, given that it is virtually impossible to get your hands on the stuff in the United States, you can appreciate why I hopped at the chance to take the Madrid Wine Tasting with Iberian Ham and Tapas Tour with Madrid Tapas Trip.

Madrid Tapas Trip Ham Leg - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Be still my heart…

 

 

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Lions and Tigers and…Elk?

Elk Preserve - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

Well hello there!

As I am sure most of you have gathered, virtually 100% of my travel adventures are far from home.  However, the past 6 months have been an almost non-stop travel craze.  Since September 2015 I’ve been to Japan twice, Chile, Spain twice, Germany, Iceland, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, North Carolina…. it is pretty much a miracle that I can remember my own name at this point.

I am genuinely happy to be home for more than a 4 day stretch.  All of the travel makes me appreciate that sometimes there are amazing things right around the corner.  Right near our house are a series of forest preserves.  One of these, right off a busy street, features of all things, an elk preserve.

These guys have actually lived on the 17 acre preserve since 1925 when they were brought by train from Yellowstone National Park to Elk Grove Village, Illinois, USA.  When you walk through the tree covered trails and catch a glimpse of one of these majestic creatures, all of the hustle and bustle of the city just drops away.

Explore what’s right around you.  You might just find a new treasure.

Elk Eating - acheckedbag.wordpress.com

 

Quick Bit – Toledo, Spain

Toledo - acheckedbag.wordpress

I’m back home this weekend which means (finally) back on track for weekly Wednesday posts next week. For now just a quick share from my trip to Toledo, Spain on Sunday. I could have walked those narrow streets for days!