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Three Shrines in Japan

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As a tourist visiting Japan, shrines are a must. We spent time in three large temple complexes.

Tokyo Meiji Jingu

This shinto shrine is relatively new and is somehow associated with the imperial family post WWII. The gardens and parks are in the middle of Tokyo and are a respite from traffic and crowds. Lots of people but lots of coexisting.

 

Tokyo Senso-ji

This temple seems very much more Buddhist. Also in town, it is surrounded by shops and stalls on all sides. The zen gardens are the best aspect.

 

Kyoto Fushimi Inari

This world heritage site is just incredible. Millions of arches all painted orange of different sizes create an line a long path up and around the mountain. When we walked this path it was a warm day and by the top I was soaking wet with sweat. Beautiful views from the 15 or so stations/shrines juxtapose the natural beauty of the mountain with the bustling city of Kyoto in the distance.

Art in the Open: Hakone Japan

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The Hakone Outdoor Museum is Fantastic

An outdoor sculpture garden in the mountains of Japan. What more could you want?

Submitted mostly without comment. Skip the Picasso. Go for the Moore.

Hiking Sgurr an Airgid

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Sometimes when you are in Scotland you need to hike up 2700 feet to see what you can see.

And here is how you get there.

2700 feet from sea level in 5 hours. Shew.

For more about our trip to Scotland, see the pictures from our visit to the ancestral castle Eilean Donan. And if you stay in Kintail, stay at the Kintail Lodge.

Perfect Weather Window for the 2016 Winter Solstice Party

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Cold and rainy weather was a real possibility during the winter solstice party. But a day that started with a coating of ice everywhere turned warmer and beautiful before the party started. The next day was rainy. So boy are we lucky!

Before (a fat one)

Before (a fat one)

The sunset was outstanding.

Impressionist evening

Impressionist evening

Impressionist Shenandoah

Impressionist Shenandoah

Party prep complete! Ready for the hard core solstice revelers. It’s way easier to come to the summer solstice!

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Newly resurfaced footbridge

Newly resurfaced footbridge

Tiki trail across the creek

Tiki trail across the creek

Get lit: Winter Solstice fire 2016

Get lit: Winter Solstice fire 2016

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After lighting, it was time for music. The music lasted all night, right up to 5am when the weather shifted and it started to sprinkle.

Music at the solstice

Music at the solstice

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We decided that due to rampant political disgust we would burn some flags. Real ones. This is a new thing. Thanks Trump.

Flag burning time

Flag burning time

Into the fire with you nazis!

Into the fire with you nazis!

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

And we’ve had it with racism too.

Flag two for the flames

Flag two for the flames

Down with racism

Down with racism

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Warning: exuberant potty mouth host on a mission (with a nice buzz) in this video!

Then it was back to the keg of dogfish head 90 and the fantastic potluck dinner in the barn. Super fantastic.

TURN SUN TURN.

Thanks to all who came.

After

After

Fall

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Shenandoah by Helicopter

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Today was a good day for a helicopter ride.

Morning field with amy

Morning field with amy

It was all Hollis’s idea. His helicopter too.

Control console

Control console

Sycamore Ghost

Sycamore Ghost

Beautiful day for flying

Beautiful day for flying

Visibility high

Visibility high

Shenandoah River

Shenandoah River

Fall colors from the sky

Fall colors from the sky

Incredibly fun. Now we want a helicopter again for the first time since 1993. Thanks Hollis!

Bitter Liberals Shoot Skeet

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On a beautiful Fall day, the arsenal comes down. One half of the Bitter Liberals came out to plink and shoot some clays. Aubrey was in the house.

Mr. Kitselman shoots his dad's 45 from WWII Pacific Theater

Mr. Kitselman shoots his dad’s 45 from WWII Pacific Theater

Yep.

Yep.

Pistols at 50 feet

Pistols at 50 feet

The better half of the half of the Bitter Liberals

The better half of the half of the Bitter Liberals

On a walk by the river we found a fellow creature.

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