T is for Tokyo, Takarazuka, Torquay, and Toronto
Tokyo, Japan (1988-89)
Mike's friends Kazue and Katsuya, who he'd met at Oxford, lived in Tokyo, and we visited them a few times.
|Mike actually climbed Mt. Fuji the summer after we met,|
when he was traveling around Japan on his own
|With Mike, visiting Kamakura|
Now this is a fascinating place...Takarazuka is a suburb of Osaka, and in 1913, the president of Hankyu Railways wanted to lure more people to the terminus of the Hankyu line from Osaka. He founded the Takarazuka Revue, which would offer Western song and dance productions and be an alternative to old Kabuki theater. In contrast to Kabuki, in Takarazuka, all the roles would be played by women...and to this day, they still are.
|Older Takarazuka photos|
|The females playing males seem more androgynous than male...|
and maybe that is appealing to women too.
It's hard being a woman in Japan.
|They always have large production numbers|
Before living in Japan (and even much of the time while I lived there), I'd never heard of the Takarazuka revue. Have you?
Torquay, England (November 1997)
If you know my love story with Mike, you'll know that we had a Japanese omiai (matchmaker) of our own--our mutual friend Cath, who is from Glasgow, Scotland. We don't get to see Cath very often, sadly, but one of our favorite memories is visiting her in beautiful Torquay, where she lived with her husband Rob until recently. Torquay is a seaside town in Devon, not too far from where Mike went to college in Exeter. I didn't realize until just now that Torquay was the home of Agatha Christie!
|Cath with little Christopher|
|Christopher took to Cath immediately!|
|Posing in front of the water|
|Loading up the little guy|
|On our walk|
|Mike with Cath in the harbor|
We visited Toronto in 2009 primarily to visit Mike's Aunty Anne and Uncle Arthur, who lived in Hamilton. After we'd been married for 19 years by that time, I'd never met Uncle Arthur. He didn't like to travel much (although Aunty Anne and her son David and family came all the way out to Oregon for our wedding in 1990). I'm so glad we paid a visit because he died just a few years after that. He was hilarious.
We loved Toronto--in fact, our whole family loves Canada. Our adventures consisted of:
- Visiting Hamilton before heading off to Niagara Falls
- Going to the great Ontario Science Museum and a real-life castle, Casa Loma, which the kids LOVED and still talk about!
- Having dinner with my coworker and his family and spending a wonderful day on Centerville Island, which has an old-fashioned amusement park
- Walking through historic Cabbagetown, Riverdale Park, and the Old Necropolis, a historic cemetery; eating at Tim Horton's and the Pickle Barrel; and enjoying the hotel pool and hot tub
|Dinner with Mike's Aunty Anne, Uncle Arthur, and cousin David|
|Back at their house|
|At Casa Loma--listening to the audio tour|
|3-year-old Nick singing the telephone (Harvey Johnson) song from "Bye Bye Birdie"|
|Outside of Casa Loma|
|With my coworker Dave and his kids|
|Riding the ferry to Centerville Island|
|Nick in seventh heaven, on an antique fire engine! |
Click on the link above to watch the video.
He went on this ride probably 10 times!
|Amazing sunset views of C:N tower and the skyline, headed back over to Toronto--gorgeous!|
|A black squirrel in a park near Cabbagetown--I'd never seen one before!|
|Loved Toronto's recycling/garbage bins!|
|Necropolis--I love old cemeteries!|
|At Riverdale Park|
|The view from our hotel's rooftop deck!|
|Chris and Kieran on the roof|