Category Archives: Sightseeing

kelseydo motorcycling the cascades

Last weekend Nick and I went on a trip around BC’s Okanagan and down through the Cascades. The Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler is always a beaut and the rest of the trip was also epically gorgeous. The Cascade mountain range passes through southern BC, Washington and Oregon to Northern California. We passed through the Washington section, and stayed in Winthrop, WA the night before passing through.

Winthrop is pretty much the most adorable town in the nation. For some reason the whole place is done up Old West style and I like that because it means everything is made of wood (wood is sexy). We stayed at the River’s Edge Resort. Pulled up and managed to get a cabin for $100 which included a full on kitchen and private hot tub. Hit the town for some eats at Carlos 1800 Mexican Grill and Cantina for some Conchinita Pibil- pork magic baked in a banana leaf and topped with red pickled onions. Delicious! Also mugs of Negra Modelo larger than my forearm= yikes! The onto the local Old Schoolhouse brewery for some award winning Ruud Awakening IPA. It was probably time to go home at that point but we made some lovely friends from Odessa, WA and decided to get a nightcap at Three-Fingered Jack’s Saloon. Amazing spot and fantastic bartender. Had some kind of wild and dark Deschutes brewed beer and then noticed there was a Fireball machine so obviously had to get some shots of that.

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Yeeeehaaaawww!!

A post shared by Nick Carota (@nickcarota) on

As you can imagine the next day was a pretty slow start. I managed to eat two robin sized bites of the cheese crust of my bagel and sipped a quarter of an ounce of sparkling water. Yowza. Somehow, motorcycling made me feel better? I add a question mark because we had to stop a few times for me to take vomit breaks >AHEM< take pictures (FYI I Didn’t actually vomit okay, I just felt like it might happen and I didn’t know how I was going to navigate that through my full-faced helmet). Here are some pics of the day taken by Nick Carota:

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It turned out to be an epic day, and all the sweet twisties of the Cascades somehow took my Vomitron license away. We somehow made it all the way to some outlet stores where Nick bought me some Nine West swag on sale for being such a good hungover Kelsey.

Fantastic trip overall! Next time I will drink less beers and get up earlier. Also stop at regular times to eat so you don’t get hangry. My full license motorcycle road test is on Friday and I am going to nail it. Or fail. But either way look what I can do!

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kelseydo motorcycling

Full Service

Nick started motorcycling a few years ago and from the moment he got on a bike it has been his sometimes all-consuming passion. I have sat on the back of his motorcycle many times. Sometimes holding on for dear life and sometimes barely holding on at all. I have experienced every human emotion on the back of that motorcycle, from terrifying fear to overwhelming joy. I’ve even fallen asleep on the back of that thing a couple times.

My brother Dylan also rides motorcycles. He learned from a friend of his. He now has a road bike, a dirt bike and a track bike. Yes, I would call it an obsession.

Last year Nick, Dylan and I bought motorcycles (two of them, I sat on the back of one) in Japan and went on a 21 day trip from Kyoto throughout Chugoku, Kyushuu, Shikoku and back to Kyoto again. You can see many photos from the trip on My instagram (@kelseydo) or Nick’s instagram (@nickcarota) but you are going to have to scroll back through about one year in photos. One day Nick will make the millions of hours of footage he filmed of the trip into a documentary. We all hope that one day is soon but you know- you can’t rush the artist’s process.

Nick and Dylan both have a few years experience, thousands of miles on bikes and motorcycling onesies. I will never be as cool as them. Also if you ever get a chance to watch the incredible documentary “Why We Ride” (2013) you’ll understand when I say I don’t have the ‘motorcycling seed’ but they do. All that being said I still (after being pressured by Nick) took a motorcycling course with ProRide (highly recommended) and plan to get my full licence within the next 6 months.

I am pissed cuz Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row

I am pissed in this photo because Nick is making me do u-turns 30 billion times in a row.

He makes me a better person.

Say hello to my little friend

This lil guy rode all the way from Deep Cove to Mount Seymour with me.

Your band's next album cover

This photo was taken by Nick on my first big road trip to Duffy Lake and Ashcroft, BC. Dylan joined us on the trip, so I basically had an escort the whole time- one bike in front and one behind- and Yoshino (visiting Canada for the first time from Japan) was there to take in the sights and give me moral support. I only had one meltdown on the whole trip!

My next bike- the new Honda Grom- is soooo cute!

This face says: I love/want this bike. The new Honda Grom. Isn’t it cute?

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kelseydo July Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya

I have really enjoyed watching Sumo on TV in Japan so I knew I needed to go see it live! Thankfully on Saturday I got to do just that.  It was surreal!

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Unfortunately the video just doesn’t do it justice! You have to see it to believe it of course. We had to leave early to attend a farewell party for the Study in Kyoto Program so we missed some of the more famous Osumo-sans at the end. One of our friends stayed behind and got to see an undefeated Yokozuna (the top level champion) be beaten by a non-Yokozuna. This was apparently a big deal because the crowd went wild and everyone started throwing their purple seat cushions into the ring! Sounds epic!

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kelseydo Gion Matsuri

Last week I got a chance to visit Kyoto’s biggest and oldest festival, Gion Matsuri! It is a month long event but the most popular evenings are the nights of the 15th, 16th and the day of the 17th for the parade.

This is the only event where I felt like as a foreigner I was encouraged to wear the Yukata, the light-knit cotton/linen robe that is more casual than the Kimono. It was really fun to wear out on the town. I felt like I was wearing my bathrobe outside. My friend Chika told me that a long time ago the Yukata was only for use in the home for bathing so I was right to feel this way!

Beautiful Bow

Beautiful Bow

Getting dolled up

Getting dolled up

Yukata on!

Yukata on!

Luckily we had Yuko-san to help us get our Yukatas on properly and to tie the Obi into a perfect bow!

Alex wearing my 'drinking jacket'

Alex wearing my ‘drinking jacket’

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Daniel showing off the artwork on his Happi

Alex, Haruna & I

Alex, Haruna & I

Daniel and Haruna

Daniel and Haruna

Waiting for the Randen

Waiting for the Randen

Escalator shot

Escalator shot

Faces on the subway

Faces on the subway

It was really busy once we got downtown! There were people everywhere. Apparently tens-of-thousands of people go each night. All the main streets were closed down and there were a lot of food stalls, souvenir shops and the parade floats were all lit up with music playing.

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Megumi & I at Shijo Karasuma

Food stalls

Food stalls

Dessert!

Dessert!

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Marcus enjoying some snacks

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it's an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

Haruna digging in- not too sure what this is called but it’s an egg with sauces on a giant squid cracker

As usual, the food was one of the main events for us- we had to try everything!

Streetside bar

Streetside bar

A lot of people were enjoying their beer in the street, there were even little cocktail shops set up on the side of the street like this.

We were lucky enough to get up close and personal to a few of the parade floats.

Lanterns

Lanterns

More Lanterns

More Lanterns

Giant float including full size tree

Giant float including full size tree

photo 1

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren't allowed on this one

Marcus and Daniel enjoying the view from a float- the ladies weren’t allowed on this one

photo 4We got to take a tour of this one while they were playing drums and singing inside of it but of course- no photos!

And then more food…we were on a mission for frozen bananas! It was a very hot and humid night.

Candy apple

Candy apple

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom's favorite!)

Takoyaki- fried octopus balls (Mom’s favorite!)

Lanterns everywhere!

Lanterns everywhere!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

We found the mysterious frozen banana!

Banana Kanpai!

Banana Kanpai!

Beth loves waffles...on a stick!

Beth loves waffles…on a stick!

This guy...

This guy…

The gang!

The gang!

All in all it was an amazing night! I wish I could have gone again but unfortunately it was right in the middle of all my final exams for school.

Gion Matsuri can’t be missed!

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kelseydo rockabilly dancers

Just another Sunday in front of Kyoto City Hall

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