Robyn Bernard

Today is a new day

NYC-

I was grateful enough to have amazing friends to give me the opportunity to see the world. This weekend I went to New York City for Thanksgiving. I flew out Thanksgiving morning. The wife (Bree Houlihan) dropped me off at the airport early. Hopped in Economy Class [way better than coach and I suggest the upgrade always] It was a shame that I missed the infamous Thanksgiving day parade. It would have been nice to see, though once I did reach the city I saw remainder of what what left of set up. Once I landed I we had to use the NJ train and subway system. It was interesting because I had yet to use a subway/train system in English. (pictured above)

Marc Hudson and I walked around the city for what seemed to be about 30 miles. Marc never gets time to do tourist like things when he is on tour so he wanted to visit as many as we could in one day. First, went to the empire state building and took the NY SKYLINE experience which incorporated a museum about the beginning of NYC roots and infrastructure. We went on this helicopter ride hosted by Kevin Bacon. We reached the top and It was amazing! (pictured above) Being able to see the entire city from one of the worlds more iconic structures. Breathtaking.  

After the Empire state building we walked through central park and made our way to find some Thanksgiving dinner.  Passing by Times Square (pictured above) we took a few snap shots. :p We were feeling Thai food, so we found some places around town. We ended up going to Room Service (http://www.roomserviceny.com/) Most definitely recommend this if you are in the city. Really great prices and great portions of tasty food. 

We stayed in Brooklyn at Reed’s place one of Marc’s close friends. Reed has really nice home with two bathrooms. One of Marc’s friends said, “In New York, you know your really moving up when you have a place that has two bathrooms.” The View outside of the apartment was really nice not the typical brick wall of another building. (See Above)

The next day, we made our way to Terminal 5 (http://www.terminal5nyc.com/) After getting some breakfast at Jamba Juice, we went and got ready for the show. I was lucky enough to take a good 2 hour nap in the bus during sound check. Then headed to dinner with Marc at this small fancy Italian place. I was able to get a really nice glass of white wine. Yum (pictured above) We made our way back to the show and with a sold out venue two nights in a row I was pretty amazed. Bayside played first (pictured above) then Taking Back Sunday (pictured above).

Since we didn’t have to worry about load out, we went to look around the city. During Holiday time, all the stores make elaborate store front windows. One in particular captured my eye. Of course its the one with Asian influence. (pictured above) After that, we ended up in front of F.A.O. Schwartz Toy Store.  I’ve always wanted to come to this store. Since we got there about 10 minutes before they closed it wasn’t as happening as I thought it would be. But, we were able to get a fortune from Zoltar.(pictured above) Ironically he was right! We then headed to a bar called High Five and met up with the rest of the guys on the tour. It was a lot of fun! 

The next morning I had to wake up really early to head back to the airport. It was a bummer because I wish I could have stayed for the second show in NYC and to  visit the Statue of Liberty. But It just gives me more of a reason to return back to the amazing city. 

<3 robyn

LA and Glendale

One of the most amazing experiences in my life was this past weekend in Los Angles. Lacee picked me up from LAX with Indie (most adorable baby in the world) and took me to her job babysitting Indie, Riley, Sophie, and Penn. The best kids I have ever met.  Especially Riley with his south African accent. I helped Lacey babysit the kids for the day, then I headed to the boys house. Cliff and Julio were kind enough to let me stay in Jay’s room while he was on tour in Europe. Cliff and Julio (pictured above) spent my first night with a bottle of Jameson mixed with some classic Street Fighter and Sonic before we went out for the night. Lacee came to pick me up and we went to Wi-Ho (west Hollywood), where I met up with Michelle. We danced n’ drank at the lesbian/gay clubs. Such a fun night. On the way home we picked up some Carl’s Jr. *Noms* and tried to sober up before bed, which ended up being like 7 am. 

Thanks to some close buddies at live nation (Perry & Tyler) I was able to see one of my favorite Korean Pop bands (Big Bang) which had to be one of the best experiences of my life! I will say I had fallen in love with T.O.P. and GD. Lacey my friend who accompanied me to the show would explain GD, “his moves are like butter. I just want to rub him all over me”. She is now extreme Big Bang fan. On top of the amazing music I will say I was extremely impressed by the talent of the live band that performed. Unbelievable. Also the production of the show was insane. It was snowing at one point and then fire balls and fireworks another point in the show. On top of an amazing show. We were shocked by getting a whiskey shaker for our drinks, pouring shots among shots at the show made us super happy. P.S. if you happen to love a Asians. Go to a Big Bang’s concert. Not only the band but the entire crowd is pretty much Asian as well.   

After the show I headed back to the boys place and took a hour nap until Lacee’s neighbors got off work (3am). We went to their place and got re-acquainted with Jameson again. Along with good old rap music and Usher. I met Wiley (Pictured above)The most adorable German Shepard Mexican wolf dog ever! With only one hour of sleep the most reasonable thing to do is stay up all night to watch the sunrise on the roof. 

Continuing on the most epic adventure in the world. The neighbors Alex and Andrew (pictured above) wanted to show us some amazing spots of Hollywood. We were taken to an observatory where it overlooks L.A. perfectly (pictured above). From there we headed towards a famous spot called Lake Hollywood. Up in the mountains a beautiful spot where u can see L.A. and the famous Hollywood Sign (pictured above). Then we went on a mission to find some breakfast with no sleep. We managed to go to this nice cafe diner called Mel’s Drive-In. Super *noms* food. We went back to Glendale and took a power nap. Then we  headed to Santa Monica Pier. One of the more famous *semi- touristic* areas along the ocean. (pictured above) There’s a carnival on top the pier and many street performers. We watched the sunset then went to the carnival. Where I was terrified to ride the roller coaster for some reason. (pictured above) Probably cause its over the ocean. From there we got some sushi and headed to the airport. 

I am very greatful to have such amazing friends. This past weekend was unbelievable because of you. Thank you! 

-Robyn <3

My family trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

Well as all family trips go, the car ride was the worse. But mom got a new van with nifty tv’s that let people watch their own movies on their own head sets it made the 7 hour drive not too bad. 

We arrived at the cabin. 7 people four beds and a couch. I choose the couch. :p The cabin scared me a little bit because it was so far into the woods the nearest convince store was about a 15 minute drive. Mind you the prices at the convince store were a tad bit expensive. 

As soon as I got there I took a walk in the woods. Its peaceful up there. I like it. We gathered wood and ate some “camp fire diners” . The next morning we headed up to tahquamenon falls. (still can’t pronounce it correctly) it was about a 4 mile hike to the upper falls there and another 4 miles back. Dad can’t walk too well so we didn’t go far but we did hike a bit up the falls to  the first peak. After that we headed back and go dinner at a microbrewery had super legit food and beers. I got myself a porcupine pale ale. Om nom nom.

The next day we were planning on going kyaking though Lake Supieror’s waters were a bit too choppy to go so we headed back to the cabin. Me, Jason (twin brother), and Grace (sister in law) went on a hike as my parents and my other two brothers went fishing. We hiked around this lake to a bog. It felt like we were the only humans to have been there in months. It looked like a still frame from a national geographic or history channel special on wildlife. Breathtaking. We also went to Kitch-iti-kipi Springs where the water is crystal clear and you can see all the way down to the sandy bottom, you can even see the hole where the spring is being fed into the lake. (photo above). After that we went to Pictured Rocks on  the shores of Lake Superior. If it wasn’t a chilly autumn day I would have imagined being in Florida or L.A. beaches with sea foam green waters.

I had an amazing time in the U.P. I’ve never gone before. But now I know why people travel all over the world to come to Michigan. Well…..Upper Michigan. 

<3 

-robyn

hello all. I haven’t blogged since japan. Though I’ll try and post a few things up here and there. 

My time with Matthew Loehr: Met him via Imperial taco bar (try the tacos).As new co-workers we decided to talk about common intrests. Hes a photographer. I’m a aspiring model. We got together and found a few places to shoot. I feel that we can come up with some intresting ideas in the future. Hes a great person to work with at the taco bar and in the woods. 

The forest photos are taken at Tenhave Woods in Royal Oak. Please find time to go visit this park. I live less than 10 minutes away and never knew it existed! I was shocked that we found about three families of deer crossing our path in the woods. “Kitty” a baby deer (pictured above) came about 5 feet away from me. It was sooo ADORABLE. Well, I hope you enjoy some of the photos Matt took of me. Hit him up for any other ideas you might have! :p 

Photos from today’s blog if my last day in Japan. I met up with Rino, Mina, and Yuji and headed to Harijuku. Yuji is from S.Korea. We met via the web through Rino. I think we have lots in common, so it was nice to finally meet her. Yuji, Mina and I ran off around Harijuku making last minute pick up for omiyage (gift).

After that, we headed to Tokyo Tower, We met Yu a super cool French/Japanese girl. We shared a special love for Big Bang an amazing K-pop group. We started singing HIGH HIGH walking down the street. I think Rino, Max and Maria tried to stay far away from us. We a little bit otaku i think. Tokyo Tower reminds me of The Eiffel Tower, but in Japan. Once we reached the top I was in awee.. It is truly a fantastic piece of architecture. Maria and Max hugged me and we all looked onto Sky Tree across the way. I teared up because the fact that I was in Japan hit me. I decided to whip out my phone and express what I was feeling in the best way i know how to (writing) "my final moments hit me on top of Tokyo tower…… I’ve made it. For everything that was holding me back was no longer there. This marks the beginning of realization that I can do anything…….I can make it to the other side of the world, I can be anyone I want to be, I can make a difference.’

Upon my return to the states, I didn’t expect that a large piece of my heart would stay behind in Tokyo. It seems so different. The experience of Japan was so much more than just school and a short vacation. I know now my heart is set out to see the entire world, the good and bad. Japan was a taste of my true dream. The knowledge of what is across the other side of the street. To see it all. The plane ride back I’ve never felt so drowned. I love those back in Michigan and I will always will. Maybe its selfish, but I feel that my heart is always moving always wanting more of the world. Michigan feels like a cage holding me back with responsibilities of a previous life. I am truly grateful for all those who helped me make it this far. Helped me make it to Japan and for all those who will help me succeed in my passion in the future. 

Japan taught me more about my self. The experience was not wasted and will forever be a part of me. 

Thank You 

This week is full of experience. Earlier this week before Tsubasa left for Seattle, We went to his party at his brothers bar called (Memories). Reminds me of the Pike room back in pontiac. Tsubasa a.k.a DJ Ink spun some great music which Max, Holly, Maria, Val, and Alex all danced to. With some help from my favorite drink Shandi Gaff I was able to join the dance party as well. There was an artist painting while the event was going on, and near the end a arm wrestling contest. Not realizing that I had just entered myself into the contest along with Max. I was soon to face Taro-san a super legit Asian kid from Singapore. He was nice and gave me some le-way and allowed me to at least think I was going to win before he dominated me. Max fought a few natives as well then versed Holly. She had a good run, but then Tsubasa decided that he was a super Samurai and just dominated the entire competition. Tsubasa’s brother is really nice for letting us into his club more than once this week. I was able to meet the cover band playing oldies tunes later in the week. They are absolutely AMAZING! I recommend EVERYONE to go to this bar at least once if you are in shinjiku area. When I went it was one of the lead singers birthday, So we bought him a Red Bull.  <(^.^)> The next day we went to Harijuku and walked around for a little while. We ate Gourmet ice-cream and saw some really cool shops.

A few days later, I was able to meet up with RIno, Haruna, and Kento old friends from high school. Somehow we botched our plans of going to the university for dinner and went to a Izakaya for Nomihodai (all you can drink)  for dinner. It was only 777yen for nomihodai (HIGHLY DANGEROUS). We partied hard that night. Went to Purikura for the 9th time this week with Max and Maria and walked around drinking Coke-Cola and Whiskey. (note: not illegal to walk outside with open intoxicants). I guess, extra ordinary things happen only when I am in Japan because when we were sitting in our booth at the Izakaya, and for some reason drunk robyn and drunk max decided to start singing “We are young” by Fun. Then we realized that the booth next to us started singing as well then they came over into our booth and introduced themselves. Haruna and Rino said that it NEVER happens. It might have been the “Gaijin” (foreigner) effect. I don’t mind, but it was kind of unusual. 

Today, I was able to spend the day doing Art History homework and then spent some time with Haruna. Went to the best buffet style restaurant I’ve ever aten at, went to a few stores around Shinjuku, then Purikura again! Photos will be posted later this week. 

Tomorrow marks my last night in Japan. Plan is to finish some last minute shopping in Harijuku (there has been a request for me to post street fashion of Tokyo, I will try to gain enough courage to ask some when I’m in Harijuku) Go see Tokyo Tower head to a bar and drink until 3 am when we meet up with the taxi bound for the airport. 

Went to Chiba to meet with my sister Marie and her family. We ate スパゲッティ at an italian restaurant.  It was raining most of the day which made me tired.. After that we went to Marie’s house and I was able to meet Kei, her mom, dad and sora. I’ve been waiting 7 years to meet them, so I was truly excited. Kand Mom made the BEST japanese dinner. I tried Squid and Tako-yaki (octopus) We also have plenty of chicken along with Japanese Saki. After that K, Marie and I played super smash bros (japanese version) and then I took the best Japanese bath ever and went to bed in a traditional washitsu (japanese room). I want to stay in japan for longer, I know I will miss it here, the people and the culture. I hope this will not be the last time im in japan. 

Meet Tsubasa and Kabukicho! There is a shrine in Kabukicho, Tsubasa thinks its kinda strange because the area doesn’t have such a good reputation. Kabukicho reminds me of Chicago and Detroit mixed together. It feels like home sometimes, so I wouldn’t mind living near there. We even passed a cat cafe (see photo above of Tsubasa posing as Neko). After the first few nights Max and Tsubasa’s Bromance became a little hard to bare, but playing kings really brought out the love between the two of them. :P 

At the beginning of the Tokyo section of our trip, Max, Maria and I made a pact stating “What happens in Tokyo, Stays in Tokyo” But I think I will break that, Because Japan has made such an impact on my life, I think “What happens in Tokyo, should be with everyone around the world”. The first day Tsubasa-san was there to help us find some cool places, including purikura, Tekken tournaments, and a night at the Kabukicho Izakaya. The next morning I woke up early to meet with Rino and her friends Youki, Yuki, and Kenta. They took me to Asakusa where a traditional festival was happening. It reminded me of Arts, Beats and Eats with more traditional activities. Mind you I was in the mood for trying new things. So yes, I will say I’ve now tasted grilled fist on a stick and cow tongue.  I was also able to take part in a traditional fortune telling where I receive a fortune and tie it on the temple thing. Then go wish for luck by praying at the fire.

Today was a big adventure. We woke up early again today and headed to the outskirts of Nagoya. It was a small town, and we walked for what it seemed like for ever to get to a very small industrial manufacturing company. They do most of their business with Thailand and Japanese. After that we were on our way back to the station but we saw this body shop with a lot of Porsches and a Ferrari. This was probably the most excitement we had all morning. We wondered how much mechanics in japan make because the owner and his wife both have really nice car. We then walked around Owari Seita (end of Seito), It was full or art and ceramics. Tomorrow should be sad.happy day i will be leaving Hikone tomorrow. hmm.