May 31 – A Day with the Cruiser!

It was quite a week recovering from the trip to Japan, scrambling to prepare for a summer course (beginning tomorrow)  I had expected was canceled, chairing an honors thesis defense, and just dealing with a host of other matters …. so today I relaxed by spending the day with my ’72 Toyota LandCruiser.  “Together after all these years”, the Cruiser is ageless, consistent, and dedicated performance.  Taro and I cleaner her inside and out a went took her through out for a few runs.  Here are a few photos.  To see more, visit  Enjoy!


May 27

The transition from a trip to Japan to Orono Maine involves much more than dealing with “jet lag”, although I find that I now pay a greater toll due to the physical demands of travel than earlier in my life.

For myself, the more serious issues are psychological and emotional.  While both Keiko and I are happy to return to the University of Maine community, we are often conflicted in our feelings as we make the transition.

Perhaps they are stronger in this instance as this was a very different visit for us.  Taking on many of the planning and implementation tasks of the MBA trip and sharing our time with 20 other travelers was both a challenging and rewarding experience.  While we did get to see family and some friends, and enjoy some new experiences we arranged for the trip, the nature of the trip put us in the odd position of being tourists.

May 24 – Home Again

After some 30 hours of bus and air travel, with many hours spent waiting in terminals, we arrived back in Bangor to be greeted by family and friends.  I can’t wait to see a sample of the thousands of photographs taken and reading the required journals the students penned during the trip.

Kyoto Highlights

After the intense business focus of the Tokyo phase of the trip everyone looked forward to the Kyoto portion of the trip ….. and I can say without fear of contradiction that they were not disappointed in the Kyoto experience.

The hotel was a traditional Japanese inn, the Three Sisters Annex, where students shared rooms, sleeping on tatami mats and observing other Japanese lifestyle activities.
The sites and experiences of Kyoto are a complex composite of visual, intellectual and emotional connections.
One highlight was participating in a traditional tea ceremony where students not only observed the process but were taught how to make a drink the special tea by a tea master and her assistants.
Another interesting stop was a tour of a sake brewery located in an area identified as “old Japan”.  Many may have thought they walked onto a movie set.
A final night tofu dinner offered everyone a taste of Japan not often found in Japanese restaurants outside of Japan.

May 24 – On Our Way

The UMaine MBA trip participants are on their way back to Orono.  The students are in high spirits.  We departed Kyoto at 7AM on Sunday 5/24 (6PM Saturday 5/23 in Maine) and will not arrive in Bangor until 12:30PM 5/25 (11:30PM Sunday 5/24 in Maine) … about 30 hours of travel!

Everyone is now relaxing at the Tokyo/Narita Airport after a 2 hour bus ride to the Osaka airport and a short flight to Tokyo.  ETD for Detroit is 6:50PM Tokyo time.