Five Things

We're halfway through the month of September, 70% of the way into 2019, and once again finding that Sundays happen a little too frequently. Maybe if there were more days in the week, time wouldn't feel as short. Nonsense aside, it is time for another instalment of Five Things.

Vacations are something that I generally don't do very well. Accumulated vacation days at the day job generally expire1 and, when I do take time off, it's to work on other things. This is not exactly the best way to maintain one's sanity. That said, today Reiko and I booked a hotel in Tokyo for a couple of nights next month and we'll be heading up there with the boy to enjoy a nice family outing … minus the puppy2. As this will be the first time that the boy has slept in a bed that is not his own, Reiko and I are expecting some bouts of tears and tantrums. That said, there are a handful of things that we're are hoping for with this trip. Five to be precise.

Good Weather

You can take a Canadian out of Canada, but you can't take Canada out of a Canadian. The first concern that I had with the dates we chose was the weather forecast. A day in Japan in October can be incredibly hot … or very windy … or lashed by a typhoon. We're hoping that none of these outcomes interfere with our trip. If there is to be a typhoon, it will hopefully pass through the region the day before we travel. This will ensure blue skies and lovely temperatures for at least 48 hours.

No Emergencies

I will bring my work phone as well as the work tablet, but none of my notebook devices will be making the trip. The last thing I want to do at any point during our vacation is whip out a computer to solve a problem that likely shouldn't exist in the first place. The phone and tablet will allow me to do the basics if required and nothing more. These devices will also be my tether to the web while out and about, making it possible to write social posts and blog articles.

Then again, maybe I'll just disconnect completely. I haven't quite decided on that front.

Short Lines

We're going to at least one theme park in Tokyo. Tokyo's daytime population3 is the same as the entire nation of Canada all year 'round. Given that this will be the boy's first trip to Tokyo and the main park we're visiting has a $70 entrance fee, I'm hoping that the lines are minimal.

Lots of Photo Opportunities

I'm bringing four cameras with me. Two cell phones, a tablet, and a nice Canon DSLR. I plan on being present as much as possible, but I also want a bunch of great photos to share with family. More importantly, though, I want some great photos so I have an excuse to justify another picture frame or two on the wall in my home office space.

Lots of Good Memories

The boy is at an age where long-term memories should start to be encoded by his brain. If some of his earliest memories can be of this trip to Tokyo, where he'll get to ride the Shinkansen for the first time, see the nation's capital for the first time, sleep in a hotel for the first time, and see the ocean for the first time, then I'll be a happy parent. Some of my earliest memories are of happy times spent with my parents4 and I'd like the same for the boy.

All in all, this trip will be good for us all, even if the weather is sub-optimal and the boy doesn't want to go to the theme park5. We have just four weeks to wait.

  1. They've valid for a maximum of two years from the time they're allocated. Unfortunately, they are not paid out if they remain unused.

  2. Sadly, puppies are discriminated against at most places.

  3. There are about 35-million people who work in the greater Tokyo area on any given weekday. I used to be one of them.

  4. My earliest memory is from a very vivid nightmare that I can still recall with a crazy level of clarity, but most of the other ones from the ages of 3 and 4 are of happy times … except that one time I slammed the car door on my thumb at Canada's Wonderland. That was a couple of months before my parents split … I think.

  5. I've worked out a "Plan B" in the event he simply refuses to stay in the main theme park. There is a zoo and aquarium not too far from the hotel, and we know he likes these places. That said, two year old children can be quite fickle.