Toky to San Diego and back again.

jal

I’m sitting here listening do Dark Folk music, sipping black coffee, and enjoying a crisp cool afternoon in Yokosuka. The jet lag from my trip to California seems to have resolved itself.

Last week I took one of my necessary work trips to San Diego. I always luck out and get to fly on JAL, hands down my favorite airline with great attentive service. I always find traveling exciting. I love airports. Love the fact that I can walk around Tokyo Narita and listen to people speaking dozens of different languages. I like to wonder where everybody is going. Is the guy with the briefcase coming home to his family or is he going to hit the local bar and spend the night drinking by himself. Airports have so many possibilities.

I also enjoy the flight itself. 11 hours of relaxing and reading. I managed to finish 3 novels between napping on my flights. I don’t often have 11 hours of uninterrupted reading time anymore.

Between work responsibilities, I got to visit old haunts in San Diego, catch up with my brothers, and have dinner with my mother.  I really tried to eat all the food that is hard or lackluster in Japan. Mexican food, Pizza, and of course In-N-Out. Going to California without eating at In-N-Out at least once is a capital offense.

innout1

 On my way back home I looked out the window and marveled at how massive the Pacific Ocean truly is and how far we travel. Tokyo to San Diego is about 5,557m(8,979km) and takes 11 hours on a plane. This year I crossed the Pacific 5 times covering 27,785m(44,895km). For perspective, the circumference of the Earth at the Equator is 24,901m. This year I flew enough miles to circle the Earth and some. I’m not even a frequent traveler. A lot of people fly almost weekly for work and pleasure.

The fact that I can leave Tokyo on a sunny afternoon and find myself eating a fresh burrito in San Diego in less than 12 hours is amazing. In the 19th century the fastest sailing ships, the China Opium Clippers would race across the Pacific attaining world records of 33 days from Hong Kong to San Francisco. In 1521 it took Magellan about 99 days to travel from the straights to the Philippines.

chinaclipper In future centuries we might be able to travel instantaneously across the planet using wormhole technology like the Farcasters in Hyperion or Nigels tunneling wormholes in Hamiltons Commonwealth. Or our energy grids and ability to depend on fossil fuels might collapse forcing us back into a new age of sail. A new age of wind power on Oceans with new unpredictable currents and weather fueled by climate change.

All in all, I’m glad to be back home. I’m ready to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my wife. I have plenty of story ideas to write down and lots of blog posts planned for the years end.

🙂

 

A quick trip to California

FlagSanClemente

Last week I went to Narita Airport in Tokyo and took a 5,000 mile 10 hour flight to San Diego where I spent the week on Camp Pendleton getting some excellent training  and certification. The best part was that I got to shoot up to Long Beach to catch up with friends and family.

California is a beautiful place. Very different from Japan. Louder, faster, ruder, and a lot dirtier. Yet I still find it charming. Nothing beats driving 100 mph down The 5 freeway with the sun setting over the Pacific at your side.

InNOut
You can’t visit California without eating at In N Out!

On the flight back I devoured a slew of short stories and two crime novels. Don Winslow’s The Dawn Patrol and Jo Nesbo’s Nemesis. Once I kick this lingering jet lag I’m going to sit down and write reviews for both. But for now I’m catching up with Japan and working on final edits for my latest short story.

Loving the new hood.

I started this blogging adventure during a chaotic time in my life, right smack in the middle of moving. Naturally I have been somewhat occupied with exploring my new City and sampling all the fine food, coffee, and beer that my neighborhood has to offer. Now that I’m settled in, I will be updating on a regular basis, so stay tuned.

Right around the corner.
Right around the corner.

University Heights so far is leading the race as my favorite place to live. It has the urban feel I enjoyed while living in Chicago mixed with the laid back attitude of San Diego. Fantastic 24 hour coffee shops, bars filled with craft beer, restaurants, and shops all within walking distance. Most of importantly all the locals I have met have been amazingly friendly and fun to hang out with. I look forward to living here for the next few years.

In other news of interest, I have been doing a lot of research for my next short story and expect to begin the submission process sometimes next week. I will keep updating on the process as work it out for myself. Hopefully I don’t get distracted by all the awesomeness around me.