On Site: Tokyo P1

As you all know Dad and I just returned from out VEX Robotics competition in Tokyo, Japan. Let me just start by saying, I think Tokyo just jumped to the top of my list of favorite cities. It was almost exactly what I expected, which was strangely surprising for a city! The city was clean and modern, yet it retained so much personality and culture! The people were friendly, though I couldn’t understand one word they were saying! I learned so much from the competition itself as well. As “first years” we definitely lacked the experience to rank highly in the competition. We were so blessed, however, to be awarded the Amaze trophy for our design process and extensive iterations!

To give a quick outline of the trip: our first evening we stayed in a popular shopping area and ate ramen, the next day we switched hotel, went to a Japanese garden, and attended the practice matches for our robotics competition. The following day was filled with the official vex competition; which included the opening ceremony, games, alliance choosing, final matches, and award ceremony. The last day we took a bus tour of tokyo – my first – and shopped. Monday we had a bit of shopping time, then dragged our feet to the airport!
Here are some photos of highlights in my trip!

Of course the food was a highlight of my trip. The first picture is authentic Japanese Ramen. It was so delicious! We also had Japanese tempura, another food highlight. I was also thrilled to find a Krispy Kreme, delish!

Not trying to make excuses, but look at those robots! The Hawaiian one was like a flowery tank! The school provided great coverage of the competition, they had a birds eye view of the field and they interchanged it with close ups occasionally – so professional!

Our views from the tour bus! It was so amazing!

I’ll miss you, Tokyo!

Bucket Listing


My last week in Tianjin has come. In just 6 days I will be moving back to the States to begin school at Carnegie Mellon University. After five years here, I can hardly believe that China will no longer be my home.

I will miss it more than I can say.

In the meantime, Michael and Jessie are helping to fill my last days with unforgettable memories. Earlier this week we made a long list of various activities that I want to complete before flying out next week.
The first one to be checked off the list was a trip to Tianjin’s “City Center.” Some of my favorite eating and shopping areas are downtown so late Wednesday afternoon we buseed there.



What a lovely outing! Churros and bubble tea-珍珠奶茶-were the first stops we made upon arrival. We then walked around for a while before settling into a quiet Starbucks for a couple of hours spent chatting, planning for the future, etc.


Our last stop was at a Japanese store called Muji, where I stocked up on pens for the next year! Michael was able to snap a few photos of Jessie and I enjoying the Muji “furniture displays” before a shop-keeper gave us some unhappy stares, after which we quickly made our way out.