Wednesday, October 07, 2015

last summa'... 2014... aka, Non-Water Summer Fun in Oki

Beach... swimming... snorkeling... waterfalls... that's what a summer in Okinawa is about! BUT, one cannot stay submerged all the time, so here's some stuff we did when we had to drag ourselves onto land.  Though if you want to see our water fun, please refer to posts such as Beachy Times in Oki... Summer 2014, and a couple of others, but I remember that I linked them down below a couple of pictures, so I will pass on that here... Ahem. And now! Non-Water Summer Fun in Oki!

Now it's THIS summer (when I started writing this post. NOW it's October. 2015. Boo), so I really should get these outta the lineup!  LAST summer was *not* that long ago. I don't know why suddenly it's been... what...?  a YEAR?  Humph.  There's little bitty Zumi, who is now a big tough cat, who has scars from tangling with a habu and surviving it.  But last summer he was small and snuggly.  He's still snuggly, and still prefers his snuggle buddy to be Maeve...

Also last summer, Grandma Buttons came to visit us!  You may have seen her featured in previous posts, such as Whale Sharks! July 2014, and Ta Taki: Waterfallin' with Grandma Buttons. Also briefly in Beachy Times in Oki... Summer 2014.  BUT, even though I'm pretty sure one of her very favorite places to be is in the water, here you will see that occasionally we kept her on dry land.  Like when we went to Katsuren-jo!  Katsuren Castle.

It has a lovely view of the water from the top, though!

We also went to Okinawa World.  This was the first time for all of us.  

We finally got to see a (live) habu!  Stripey, our cat-we-had-before-Zumi (and still have), has been bitten by one of these suckers, also.  It got her on the neck, and she also survived it.  Poor kitties.

Look at those fangs!

Of course, everyone wants to hold a snake.  The girls didn't want his rear, though.  I don't blame them.  Who wants to hold someone's tush?

Grandma Buttons is really making a huge contribution to the snake holding here...

How pineapples grow...  I totally always assumed they grew on trees! Nope.

Habu Sake.  A dead (of course. hopefully.) habu in sake.  Liquor. The alcohol helps the venom to dissolve and become non-poisonous. Supposedly it has medicinal properties as well...  energy... a boost in the male libido.  Apparently a habu is able to mate for as long as 26 hours (uhhh... doesn't one or both get bored??), so some of that OBviously gets passed on to those drinking the sake...

We got to dogsit Koji for about a month.  He was a perfect guest (esp b/c he slept over at Grandma Buttons little house! kept her company!), and we all loved him.  Made us realize that having a dog might not be the huge pain we've always thought it would be... ;)  

The cats actually liked him, too! Okay, Zumi did. He kept grabbing onto his tail. He loved playing with him!  Stripey just avoided him.

Ahhhh, here's a pic of Stripey! She's kinda grumpy in general, but super tolerant of the kids. As is evidenced above. 

The Aquarium! Churaumi Aquarium. It's awesome.

Here's the dolphin and whale show.  The kids are down in that crowd somewhere, gettin' soaked.


Ahhhh... nice on a hot Oki day!

This guy.  He just looks so wise. Probably thinking something like, "My shell feels a bit tight back there," but to all of us, there's just pure wisdom behind those old eyes...

Me, in awe: "This is almost a spiritual connection..."
Him, slightly bored: "If she were a fish, what would she taste like?"

After trekking through all the exhibits, the kids get to go and play on the super fun rope playground. And GB and I got to watch, because there are many signs saying "not for over-12's!" Sigh.

See how fun?!

Over-12s are allowed to stand by the ropes, though.

Just another plant sculpture. A stingray?  Mostly this is to show how the employees were starting to strap everything down, because you see... this was the night a typhoon was making its way to us!  It was a semi-dicey ride home. At least being the driver.  The wind was pretty strong on the expressway, but (phew!) we made it!

The typhoon (I can't remember which one it was!  I'll go look it up...), Typhoon Neoguri! came and went, and knocked our power out for a whole day!  The nerve.  But really, we're grateful that's all that has happened during our many, many typhoons here on Okinawa!

Simi love!  Simis are cicadas, and boy are they plentiful (and loud!) during the summer. Obviously the girls do not mind man-handling bugs. Woman-handling!

*smoochie smooch!!*

Z and I got to go out by ourselves with Grandma Buttons! And we ate lots of yummy food. And GB is a pro with her chopsticks! Also, at this place some Japanese tourists from the mainland asked to take a picture with me. WITH ME! The kids are super popular out-and-about, so when they're around I just fade into the background... sigh... but without them-- Momma's turn to shine!!! It was weird. I'm not fancy or ultra-blond. I mean, I AM gorgeous, so I guess there's that... haha... I *love* seeing the rascals being fawned over! It's so fun. "Why, yes, they ARE super "kawaii" (cute), aren't they?!"

Ahhh... Shuri Castle. Shuri-jo. With some cool fold-up Okinawan hats from the 100yen store.

We love Shi-sas, yes we do.

Zachariah does a great job of mixing old and new...

Nuala and Maeve in their matching bingata dresses. Bingata is typical/traditional Okinawan fabric, and I love it. 

THIS is a pretty cool roller-slide. Grandma Buttons sure enjoyed it! (And a side note, now that it's October 2015... I went with a workout group to this park one morning. Dude. The girl in charge was... in really good shape. We went up and down those stairs -- including that spiraling observation tower!!! -- so many times! At the end of it, I could barely drag myself to the parking lot, and ended up puking in some bushes. Luckily I hadn't eaten a lot beforehand, but it was still embarrassing.  There were a couple of old Japanese gentlemen, just a-hangin' out.  I had no dignity, nor the strength to care about having no dignity. I didn't look at them, though... Just stuffed Maeve in the car and took off!)

Being in Okinawa requires lots of water and fans.

Sweaty times. Good times, but sweaty.

I have never ever heard of anyone being mugged with a gun in a park in Oki. But can't hurt to be wary of that possibility!

I always like the sign for this store!  I should ask Z what it says...

Cuteness in a little Maeve package!

A pretty cool lil' moth...

Oh, yes! The rascals did a painting party thing! Here is Maeve's painting face.


Serious stuff, this is...

The end results! Bran would not smile. He was upset that he hadn't gotten to finish. Punk. They had fun (except for Bran at the end), and they turned out really cute!

Awwww... Maeve and Zumi... snugglers for life.

The teeny-tiny kids' stall at the Wonder Museum. I think Maeve faked having to go a few times, just to use it... Can't blame her.

And I guess that's some of our 2014 summer! Never mind that it's fall of 2015 now. I'm so ashamed.