Because our youngest two can never call anything by the REAL name. ::snort::
We originally planned to go away for this 4 day weekend. It's one of the few left in our stay in Japan....but the more we planned the more we realized the place we most wanted to be was HOME...sleeping in our own beds and enjoying the things we love about living in Misawa. We're doing day trips.
A whole Saturday to enjoy without a sermon to prep - nearly unheard of. A luxury of which we took full advantage. Michael started the day with a nice, long visit with Mom G. We had visited Hachinohe Children's Land when we first arrived in Japan 3 years ago. Armed with the GPS coordinates I posted earlier we headed out again. I'm quite sure we did not find the quickest way - but we DID arrive, weren't lost, and saw some fun new territory. This spot has a botanical garden combined with a very fun park for children. I suggested we wear our new matching G Team shirts....but Arielle pointed out it is very easy to find each other in Japan and we probably would be fine without them. She was right. ::snort:: We were surprised neither spot was overly crowded.
When Stacia saw the Children's Land (which she'd evidently forgotten from our first trip) she said, "Whoa, it replaces Disney! Right here near us!" WE weren't quite so sure - but she had a great day....the cones in the middle are little water structures for kids, there are electric cars, and electric animals you can ride, rides, go-carts, a train...and lots of pretty spots in the botanical garden side.
Hachinohe and Federal Way, WA are sister cities....there was a memorial garden with a totem pole, an evergreen tree, a Japanese monument and a sign or two. An unexpected touch of the pacific NW.
We still hope to see Snow Monkeys in the WILD.
Michael is good. He managed to drive his go-cart and get a picture of the other three cars. Arielle is in the blue car, Nolan in the red and Stacia and I in the yellow.
It's well known amongst family and close friends that I suffer quite a bit from motion sickness. I've quit trying roller coasters long ago - before I met Michael (much to his chagrin). BUT I'm always game for the kiddie rides. I realized today my days of sneaking on kiddie rides without looking like a weirdo are seriously numbered. Arielle USED to ride the kiddie rides with Stacia and me.
Isn't this a darling "cake" - it disguises the bathrooms.
Yep, the kiddie rides days are numbered....Arielle and Stacia both went on their first roller coaster - several times.....this is documentation of their very first ride. Arielle says it was fun and she won't do the loopy ones. Stacia is totally hooked and wants to try bigger ones.
A picture of Michael and me....I do my best.
Go carts the second time....and Zander is driving
Wow - neither seem to be enjoying this....maybe it's better if Stacia rides with me.
When MY knees are scrunched you know Nolan and Michael will be a tad uncomfortable.
Ah - switched drivers for the second round
I introduced the family to this drink - White grape juice with aloe chunks in it....
Stacia's face was priceless, "There's still GRAPE CHUNKS in here!" I assured her they weren't.
Airplanes and swings again....
How could we follow this up? Lunch under the trees, by the big fountain....then following the GPS we headed to Tanesashi Seaside. Our favorite ice cream stand for hot days is there. The kids partook - Michael and I did not - and lived to tell about it. We have learned to ALWAYS put our swim suits in the car on these trips. Today we stopped at Shirahama Swim Beach . We NEVER would have found this place coming from the direction we did without the GPS Coordinates. ::snort:: The direction felt counter-intuitive...but we "bird dogged" it.
I tried to catch how BIG the waves were, but didn't really succeed. To say swimming at Shirahama is different than swimming at Veedol, is like saying swimming in a municipal pool is different than swimming in the Smith River. This was Michael's first time to swim in the Japanese ocean. You see him and Zander below snorkeling - which was quite the experience with changing water levels of 10 feet. LOL
Nolan between waves
Run, Zander, RUN! The stories from this escapade remind us that Dad G's legacy as a story teller live on in this generation!
Arielle enjoyed trying the boogie board out on "real waves" - though she did crack it in one biff.
Stacia and I had fun, but she likes Veedol better. We got pulled under, slapped to the ground several times, knocked off our feet....she wasn't overly impressed with having to stay close to Michael or me.
We arrived home in time to shower, transferring 10 lbs of sand from our bodies (think inside ears) to our drains, throw the suits in the washer, start dough for English muffins (sandwhiches) rising, grab some left overs for dinner and head out to Lake Ogawarako Park (off base) to watch the base's 4th of July Fireworks....because that is how we do it here in Misawa. ::snort:: Seriously, the 4th of July fireworks have been rained out every year...this year they moved it to September 1st. LOL Fireworks are great fun and a big deal throughout summer in Japan. Needless to say, we LOVE IT.
This was a fantastic day! Zander is asking if we can go back to the "Mechanical Park" again. Tomorrow, we are going to beat back guilt at not being in church and go back to the Sea of Japan side of the island.
Through it all - I keep thinking our time is drawing to an end here in this land we love. What is God doing with us?
Living all of life before the face of God...