Every year, Instagram users can view their top nine liked posts and share them via the latest iteration of (year)bestnine.com. This year, I kind of fell off of the Instagram train, failing to post anything in November and December. However, I still like the collage I generated, as it contains a lot of memories and captures the hectic nature of 2017 for me.
Top Left: California
The first picture comes from pretty early in the year, when I visited my in-laws for my mother-in-law’s birthday. We went to a nice pier restaurant right on the beach. The composition was super nice and I was very lucky to capture the shot. This was near the heights of my Instagram craze.
Top Middle: Spring Training
Literally the week before I had to move to Japan, Halee and I took some time to finally get in some baseball spring training viewing. The Phoenix metro area is famous for the Cactus League, which includes the Angels, Halee’s favorite team. We got to see them play and enjoy some slightly over-priced treats at the same time. Highly recommended!
Top Right: Nintendo Sneakers
Vans did a collaboration set of skating shoes with Nintendo. I was lucky enough to grab this groovy tie-die pair for under $20 at a Vans’ Outlet Store on fateful trip to the mall. They were my go-to sneakers for trivia night, but I haven’t had too many special occasions to bust them out in Japan… yet!
Middle Left: Pokémon Center
One of my first ventures into Tokyo found me in Ikebukuro, where I visited the local Pokémon Center. Those are special stores modeled after the Pokémon Centers in the games where you can restore your team’s health. Each one has special merchandise unique to that location, but I’m not 100% sure what they are for the one in Ikebukuro. ITs was crazy crowded!
Middle: LAX International Terminal
My last Instagram post from my old phone in America! Very emotional; that journey from Arizona to Japan was very difficult. We had to shed a lot of possessions, carry some heavy carry-ons, and sweat a lot as we wore our heaviest coats to save weight in our luggage. Easily one of the most difficult moves I’ve faced, but I had my lovely wife there to
annoy support me through it all!
Middle Right: First Mt. Fuji Sighting
From my school, on a clear day, you can see Mt. Fuji poking up on the horizon. The view still amazes me every time I see it. This first viewing was after a meeting during the sunset.
Bottom Left: Tokyo Dome
My friend and former coworker came out to visit and watch my first Japanese baseball game. While there, we got to peek into the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, where my friend impressed me with his encyclopedic knowledge not only of American baseball history, but Japanese baseball history as well! It was a wonderful experience!
Bottom Middle: Custom Cookies
My school has a nice party for our department’s teachers once a year, and this was the big party favor we received on the way out. Each cookie was delightful and the custom tin makes for a nice conversation piece and momento for my time here in Japan. A wonderful evening that made me realize that I am very lucky to have the job I do.
Bottom Right: Whiskey
This is the post that earned me a free drink at the pop-up Amazon bar. I’m so happy I was able to find out about this and participate in the limited engagement. The vibe there was so relaxed and unique. I even got to try the fancy red win Pocky for free! This experience made me feel very fortunate to live so close to such an eventful, metropolitan city like Tokyo.
And there we have it! I’m looking forward to what 2018 has in store. What were some of your best memories from 2017?