Travel

Tokyo: The Peculiar Traveler

Alex Cornell shot 48GB (!) of footage while visiting Tokyo with his girlfriend Nikki Desuasido and somehow managed to take all that video and extract a 7-minute montage from it. Then, he added a quirky narrator voiceover.

The result is a delightful travel diary and an incredible glimpse into one of the biggest cities in the world. Now I want to visit Japan more than ever.

I particularly liked this quote:

“Unlike some cities, which are only about 40% interesting, Tokyo consistently scores at least a 94%.”

Aaaand We're Back

My family and I returned from our trip this weekend. It's always a bit weird coming back to "normal" life (whatever that means) after such vacations, especially to a house on solid ground after a week living on a floating vessel. Not to worry though, our land legs are returning gradually.

So, how was the trip? Well, I don't want to sound too cliché talking about a Disney trip like this, but in a word, it was...magical. A week without internet, but filled with awesome food and wonderful experiences we'll treasure forever, was even more restorative than I'd imagined it could be. I sound like an advertisement, but it's true.

Of course, no vacation we take would be complete without some kind of mishap, and this one was no exception.

On the day we boarded the ship, we dropped off our car at a paid parking lot, which had seemingly good reviews and offered a shuttle to the port. There were two ships leaving from the port that day — ours, the Disney Wonder, and a Carnival ship I'm forgetting the name of. Our shuttle dropped off some passengers at the Carnival ship first, then we were taken "next door" to the Disney station.

As we got off the shuttle, we found that some of our luggage (which they had loaded for us) was missing:

  • A wearable baby carrier that, for whatever reason, hadn't been put into a bag
  • A duffel bag containing our passports (!)
  • A suitcase containing my iPad/keyboard, as well as some other valuables.

The driver realized he had dropped off that stuff at the Carnival ship, and went to get it back for us. He managed to recover the baby carrier and duffel bag (including our passports, so we could board the ship), but the suitcase was still missing. We were told at this point that it's out of the parking lot's hands and we needed to personally get this taken care of with the two ships' staff.

A few angry phone calls were exchanged with the parking lot manager (who hung up on us multiple times) as we stood outside, and I ended up doing a lot of walking back and forth between the two drop-off areas to speak with Disney/Carnival managers and their luggage personnel. Eventually, the best answer anyone could come up with was to go ahead and board our ship, and if our bag was found, it would be held for us somewhere.

Several days went by with no news, and we were sure the iPad was gone with the wind. I had used the 'Find my iPhone' app on my iPhone to put the iPad into "lost" mode with a passcode and everything, but I wasn't getting my hopes up. It's a WiFi-only model and I had no way of monitoring its movements.

On Thursday, the day the Carnival ship had returned to port (and a couple days before our own return), a Disney rep contacted us in our room to let us know they had been working hard behind the scenes (communicating with the Carnival people along the way) to track down our bag. Thankfully, they did locate it – on the Carnival ship, of course, meaning it took a little cruise of its own somewhere else – and it was waiting in the Disney lost-and-found area as we disembarked.

Everything in the bag was unbroken and in working order, fortunately. What could have been a completely ruined trip was saved by some Disney reps I'd like to hug right now. We don't have extra money lying around to replace such a device, so whether the Disney people know it or not, they've been complete lifesavers to us.

So now you can see why I dubbed the vacation "magical". Cliché or not, I'm now a fan of theirs for life (not that I wasn't already, mind you).