Birthday in Cambridge MA

A month has passed since we arrived in Cambridge, MA, USA. The summer program required by my graduate school ended and I am now preparing for the fall semester. Today, we had lunch at a seafood restaurant (called No Name) in Boston with Flora’s close friends and we all enjoyed browsing at Boston Common. At night, we celebrated with a Finale’s cake (we heard it was the best cake in Cambridge…).







Last vacation while we were in France (trip to Ibiza)

In June, we went to Ibiza. Surprisingly, it was colder than Paris when we went there. My son could not enter the sea or the swimming pool. But we enjoyed walking in the town, eating Paella, checking the party scene, and relaxing at the beach.









It is already summer and we are leaving France in a few days but let me post our winter vacation pictures as a memory. Chamonix was a very cute town surrounded by beautiful mountains. We hired a babysitter and we went up to the Aiguille du Midi (3800m) to look at the Mont Blanc and enjoyed skiing.








Half-day visit to Geneva

When we were planning a trip to Chamonix, I wanted to go through Geneva just to glance at the city that I occasionally hear about at my work. During a half-day city tour, we saw buildings of international organizations and the fountain in the Lake Leman. We also had the chance to walk a bit in the old city.

We had a problem. We planned to go by taxi from the airport to the meeting place of the tour. However, the taxi driver wouldn’t take us, explaining that we didn’t have a baby seat. We had to change the plan and rushed to check the train schedule. We called the guide of the small tour but she clarified that they could not wait even a minute and would leave on time. We jumped in a train and then kept running for 15 minutes from the station to the meeting place. We experienced the strict rule application of Switzerland.

Enjoying own seat after becoming two

The U.N

Running around the city ignoring the guide


Summer vacation: Cruise trip to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea from Venice (part 2)

With Cost Fortuna, we visited 6 cities, namely Bari (Italy), Olympia, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes (Greece), Dubrovnik (Croatia). Among them, I especially enjoyed the Greek islands.


Bari (Italy):
The old town is right there after getting off from the ship. We browsed with a cone of gelato. Our son played in a park.



Olympia (Greece):
It is the original site of the Olympic games. Its spirit somehow took over our son and he wanted to lift up a huge piece of stone several times. I could not help just dashing in a straight run within the ancient arena. Although we joined the excursion, it is a choice not to go Olympia but to browse near the port.



Santorini (Greece):
We visited the town of OIA that you see often in post cards. We joined the excursion and wished we could have had more time to walk around there.




Mykonos (Greece):
The entrance to the main street is right there after getting off the boat. We walked along the street, watched the sunset from a small sandy beach near the port, and had a Greek dinner. We met the famous pelican. We could enjoy just spending a week on this island. After the trip, I heard that Haruki Murakami also liked spending time there.



Rhodes (Greece):
The beach of the Aegean Sea was beautiful. Our son loved the ocean.



Dubrovnik (Croatia):
We went up the hill by cable car (I recommend this). The view from there was worth seeing. The gelato was good in the town.


Leaving from the ship after a week.


Summer vacation: Cruise to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea from Venice (part 1)

We had a nice cruise to the Adriatic and Aegean Sea for a week. The cruise was somewhat different from any other travel style that I have experienced. We could stay comfortably in our cabin but join in a lot of events on the ship anytime, just by taking an elevator. Almost every day we could enjoy browsing different cities. The Italian food served on the ship was very tasty (probably because we live in Paris) and being served three meals a day made the trip very easy going. Our son, a year and half old, really enjoyed his first swimming pool and the ocean experiences. At night, he enjoyed watching the entertainment show and dancing with the live music on the ship.

---Venice, before boarding---

Buildings are standing from the water.



My four recommendations in Venice: Music flowing around the Piazza San Marco at night, good restaurant “IL RIDOTTO” (www.ilridotto.com), the open-atmosphere of Lido Island where you can relax along the beach, and “HOTEL CASA VERARDO”.

---Cruise ship---


Cost Fortuna. As you see in the picture, it was huge. We heard the number of passengers was about 3000 and the staff was 1000 on board.

This was at one of the formal nights. Their big baby chair helped us a lot.

Our son loved dancing with the live music after dinner. His favorite dancing was spinning like a top.

He was allowed to play in the baby pool with a diaper. He loved it (though he does not smile in the picture).

I would like to update the pictures of each city visited in Part 2.


The end and beginning of the year

I would like to finally start updating this NEWS, since we moved to France. We spent the end of 2009 calmly in our apartment with our homemade dinner. I made mussels for the first time in my life. It was very easy and also very tasty! The next day, we had our friend S and her friends over to our apartment. We enjoyed a French (or Swiss) cheese called Mont d'Or with baguette and wine. After all, it was like a cozy French style (for us) end and beginning of the years.


Bebe in a special outfit, a gift from my aunt

Group picture


Business Trip to Tokyo

I arrived Tokyo this afternoon and stay here untill 24 October!


We arrived Paris

We arrived safely to Paris on July 27th. We are fine and now looking for a long term apartment!


Tokyo, Japan

We came back from Senegal to Japan on June 25th. We stay here in Tokyo untill we move to Paris on July 27th.


Visiting Marie’s Apartment

Marie, who helps us to clean, cook, and take care of our son in our apartment, invited us to her apartment for the first time. I have visited a Senegalese family in a rural area and in downtown Dakar, however, this was the first time to visit a Senegalese home in the suburb of Dakar. It was fun to meet and talk to her family members and see another way of living. Marie told me later that lots of people saw me walking around the neighborhood out of curiosity and that she became popular among her neighbors by being asked if that foreigner (me) was her boss.

A scene in the neighborhood

Having lunch together

Group picture


One of the Pleasures of Senegal

Senegalese women often wear colorful clothes with various motifs. Shopping for this kind of cloth is one of the pleasures in Senegal. This cloth is called wax and there are many kinds. Actually we can find this cloth not only in Senegal but in other Western African countries too, thus, it is also fun to look for another style during my business trips. I choose my favorite colors and motifs and ask a tailor to make bags for myself or friends. This is really fun for me. I imagine we could name it “Senesac”(Senegal plus Sac (bag in French)) and sell it as a kind of Eco-bag. Don’t you want to have one???

The pink colored material is my favorite one from Burkina Faso, the others were found in Senegal

Shoulder bag

Small bag, my favorite too


Good Seafood Restaurant, Club de Peche Sportive

I recommend this seafood restaurant. Of course the food tastes good but especially the price and portions are great together with the open atmosphere. We enjoyed lunch there today. It is located just near the ferry port to the Goree Island.

Lunch with 4 people (including 1 baby)



Spend Sunday Afternoon at Lagon 1

In addition to walking along the coast and playing tennis, I often spend the weekend in Dakar, here, at Lagon 1. Especially when I felt stress to adjust about 3 and a half years ago, the 2 to 3 hours that I spent on the deck built over the ocean was really precious time.

Of course we go there even now. Whenever I go there, I realize how wonderful this location is. I take off my sandals on the deck, order a coffee or citron presse with peanuts and olives, then I read a book or look at the ocean. I spend a relaxing time with the sound of the waves and the ocean breeze. I am sure that I will miss there!

A sight, you see our apartment

This is how I spend time

- Lagon 1

- Lagon 1 (this might be an old sight)

- Youtube video


Visiting Ngor island

There are a couple of islands near the Dakar peninsula (its real name may be different). I have visited Goree island, which is a world heritage site, and the national park uninhabited Madeleine island, but not Ngor island, where we hear famous musicians (AKON?) have second houses. Especially since we are leaving Dakar soon, we decided to visit there this weekend.

I highly recommend this island; we should have visited earlier! If you walk on this small island, you can enjoy many cute decorations of houses and streets with colorful flowers. If you want to relax in a calm place, you can find several small peaceful beaches. You can also enjoy good seafood too. Wherever you go on the island, you feel like being surrounded by the sunlight and flowers and the sound of waves. It felt so good!

You get on a pirogue from this beach to go to Ngor island that you see in the background of this picture

You arrive on the island

Scenery 1

Scenery 2

I recommend this restaurant

The same restaurant

Beach scenery 1

Beach scenery 2

Surf lodge


New Terrou-Bi Hotel

The road called “Corniche Ouest” runs along the beautiful coast from the Dakar airport to the downtown. For that ocean view, there are lots of new, gorgeous hotels and apartments being constructed in recent years. The other day, I heard that one of the hotels is finally open and we visited there for a late lunch. The atmosphere of the new hotel, Terrou-Bi, was very stylish and it is a perfect place to go to change your mind from everyday Dakar life. I spent only a couple of hours in the afternoon and thought it would look more beautiful and modern at night.

Very beautiful private beach (I felt it was too beautiful and clean to feel relaxed, just my taste)

From its restaurant


The western most tip of the African continent

The western most tip of the African continent is in Senegal. It is at Almadies, 10 minutes away from the Dakar airport. However, the actual point of the tip is in the private land of the Club Med, so that we have to use the facility to reach the point (now the land belongs to a different company).

Almadies is known as a place for enjoying sea food. We can now eat raw oysters because several years ago Japanese volunteers helped local fishermen to sell them. By the way, my favorite food is the small shellfish in the picture.

The western most tip of the African continent (I think...)

The left point should be the western most tip. We see the Dakar airport on the right. (google)

My favorite shellfish (for 2 people)


Farewell party held by ASEAN friends

The farewell was for Mr.G from Indonesia. I very much enjoyed the outside BBQ, the fun conversation with ASEAN and Egyptian friends, although we had to leave early for our son. G-san, I hope to see you in Tokyo or Jakarta. Sampai jumpa lagi!



First business trip to Burkina Faso

My first business trip to Burkina Faso was to attend a round table meeting of WAHO. I heard Burkina Faso was a country of serious and honest people” and I encountered that serious-honesty at the airport customs. The officers at the immigration counter checked each item seriously and asked us when they did not understand. Of course that is exactly what their job is, but it is actually rare to see this at the airport and appreciated their seriousness. During my stay there, I noticed this same seriousness when people on motorbikes used hand signals when turning and when I visited a hospital which was kept very clean. I left there with a good impression.

During the meeting

Dinner at a “MAQUIS”, the taste was exactly like Japanese KARAAGE, very tasty!

The pizza was so delicious!


New Korean Restaurant in Dakar

We went to a new Korean restaurant, located a little far from the “plateau” where we live. Surprisingly they served 15 small dishes before serving our order and they were good. The pork we ordered was also very tasty and there was a lot. We had to bring some home for the next morning (it was still tasty the next morning).

Sign board

15 small dishes

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