A little while ago we went to Shuri Castle, the royal palace and administrative center of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Okinawa is part of the island system known as the Ryukyus, which are basically just all the little islands trailing off the end of Japan, down to Taiwan. Fun name, huh? RYUKYU.
A big bell.
And a sundial. For some reason I just really like sundials.
Maeve with one of the big shi-sa. Shi-sa are a traditional Okinawan thing... a cross between a lion and a dog, they're placed in pairs on either side of an entranceway, and they protect against evil spirits. The shi-sa on the left usually has her mouth closed, to keep good spirits in, and the one on the right has his open, to ward off the bad spirits. They're really cool!
Nuala and Bran especially loved those maps they're holding. There were little stations set up all along throughout the castle grounds where you stamped those maps, and when you were leaving you turned them in and got a prize. Brilliant plan. Totally kept them occupied and un-whiny.
A throne room. We had to take off our shoes, obviously.
Annnd, some other out-and-about stuff... Nuala and Maeve looking at all the "ice cream cones." Hehehee... Yeah, they are most definitely NOT ice cream cones.
Here we have one long rolling slide. Those two little blond noggins are Bran and Nuala, there in the middle of the slide. These suckers aren't the most comfortable on a cardboard-less bum. Or I'm just getting old. And Zachariah! He is, too! But, overall, they're pretty darn cool. The kids love 'em, that's for sure!
A close up of the rollers...
A cool rhino head.
Maeve, about to be rocketed off the slide. Woohoooo!