Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mothers Day Blessings


 I am so blessed by God.  He has given me three beautiful, healthy children and a caring, husband that tries his best to provide for of all our needs.  I am celebrated each year by all of them and this year was no different.  We spent the day at a nearby park, basking in the sunshine and enjoying some of the oddities of this country.  One of them being, the beloved roller slide.  Only those that have been here can appreciate these rare wonders.  Some of the slides are small but others grace an entire hillside.  Those of us that are not newcomers to these slides know that a good, sturdy piece of cardboard or basket is essential if you want your butt to be intact after a ride.  We loaded up our cardboard and enjoyed the day to its fullest, slide burns and all.  I think everyone of us had at least one burn by the end of the day, but we still had fun none the least. 
This is serenity in my eyes


Evan will NEVER miss the chance to play in water


 
Our family, Grandma, Grandpa, Tom, Me
This is a flower cake that Tom bought for me.  It is made entirely out of flowers but is formed like a cake. 

Miranda, Aaron and Ninja Evan

Japan's Jurrasic Park

Japan has it's own Jurassic Park, well, sort of.  It is actually a Wild Safari Park, but the design reminded us of the movie Jurassic Park.  The "Fuji Safari Park" is located in Gotemba at the base of Mount Fuji.  We set out bright and early on Saturday, May 19th to spend the day viewing wild animals that were not related to us!

After a 3 hour drive, we arrived just in time for Evan to fall asleep, which he often does at the END of a nice, long car ride.  We let Miranda and Aaron out to enjoy time in the cat house where Aaron promptly fell asleep himself curled up in a corner with several furry friends. 

After Evan awoke, we spent some time in the petting zoo.  This petting zoo did not fail to keep up with the other petting zoo's we have found in Japan.  This one had the main attraction of kangaroo's.  Who would have thought you would find an open petting zoo filled with kangaroo's in Japan and not have to travel to Australia.  They were amazing, strong creatures, but were very friendly with Evan since his little fingers seemed to be filled with food..  Evan decided he wanted to share kisses with his new friends, of course, I would have rather he saved these for maybe something a little more hygienic.  We found the albino kangaroo's to be a little more aggressive and were more then happy to view them from a distance.  The petting zoo also had mice, meerkats and wild boars.  Pumba from Lion King would have found his home in the mud and we decided these fellows may not be too distance of relatives to Evan who finds happiness in the mud at every chance he gets.

Evan's newest Buddy!
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We ate lunch with the spectacular view of Fuji in the background and then loaded up for our drive-thru safari drive. 
This Lion has it made.  He was "hanging out" right above our car.  Wonder what would have happened had he woke up and rolled over.
We saw these signs throughout the park.  They started with "Don't get out of your car!" and proceeded to "Never get out of your car."




So, at this park, the people are in the cages and the animals are out wild and free.  The caged buses must have food attached to them.  As they passed through the bears and lions, these animals would make their way over to the buses and attempt to climb up the sides. 

I don't know how many lions make up a pride, but we counted at least 30 majestic lions and we know several more were hiding.  Biggest collection of Lions I have seen.





Sunday, May 6, 2012

Godzilla has a new playground

 
Key chains are another fascination of both Miranda and mine.  I've really got to curb my "fascination" with little things.

 Asakasa was on our "to-do" list as a popular tourist attraction.  The last time I was here, I had just found out I was pregnant with Miranda and I remember gobbling donuts from Mr. Donut's with Kim Gaudette, who was also pregnant by the way!!  I'm sure those donuts are what helped our two older ones to become the success' they are today.


Miranda deciding whether she needs another key chain for her phone.  They really are rather cute.

Every now and then, we get a smile without complaint...this was one of those days.


Waiting for the subway
It was Golden Week and we were shocked at how empty some of the train/subway stations were in the absence of office workers.  Definitely decided that this is the week to be IN Tokyo.


Imperial Palace

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Flower Park

We found this flower park on our way back from the carp Festival.  I'm not very good with flowers, so I have no idea what kind these are, but they were very pretty


Odd little boy in Flower field


This Little Boy just kept popping up!




Small insect Discovery


Koinobori No Sato Festival (May 5th)

 I'm captivated by the carp that are flown for Children's Day.  Tom searched for a festival that might curb my appeal for as many of these carp as possible.  We drove to Tatebayashi, just north east of Tokyo to capture these photos.  There were over 6,000 carp in 3 different locations throughout this city.  The city is the 2005 record holder in the Guiness Book of Records for the most carp.  I am mesmerized by the colors and the carp and how they look flying in the breeze.
Pit stop at a park near the festival.  Evan has reached a point of trying to do anything his big brother does.  This attempt worked out well.


The carp flying over the river in the background.  A good day all around.


Quick history fact:
(こどもの日 Kodomo no hi) is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of the Golden Week celebrations. It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. The holiday was previously known as boys day but has recently been changed to Children's Day.  Families raise the koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), one for each boy or child in the family.


There was a large fountain near one of the festival sites.  Kids were stripped down and were frolicking in the warm water, the first sign that summer is soon on its way.













Evan would never miss a chance to get wet.  I keep several changes of clothes in the car just in case we encounter water during our adventures.