Bloomin’ Azalea Bonsai

For two days in a row I tried to decipher the words of the Japanese train announcer as he quickly announced the specific train stops while riding the railway to Kyoto with my friend.  The one phrase I finally understood was “Omi-Hachiman, Omi-Hachiman desu,” roughly translated into English as “the next stop is Omi-Hachiman.” Although we did not get off the train in Omi-Hachiman, the announcer’s rhythmic words stuck in my head like a catchy little tune. Continue reading


America’s Flag Day 30 Years in the Making


More commonly known as “Stars and Stripes”, “Star-Spangled Banner”, and “Old Glory”, the Flag of the United States received an official day of observance on August 3rd, 1949, when President Truman designated June 14th as National Flag Day. But, it wasn’t quite that easy… Continue reading