Thursday, May 16, 2019

Okinawa

On day 3 of our 5 day cruise we got to Okinawa really early in the morning.











I was somewhat surprised being here in Okinawa. I guess I didn't know what to expect since one of the main reasons I wanted to visit here was because of Mr Miyagi, the karate master from The Karate Kid in 1984, who described this ancient mystical island. I was sold, and Okinawa was on my to-do list. Well, it certainly wasn't what I expected; being dropped off by the bus smack in the middle of tourist central, we could have been in the middle of Hawaii. So we went off the beaten track and found some ancient ruins along the way.

The stone gates of Sogenji Temple wasn't far to walk to. It was nice to sit in the shade of the impressive Banyan tree that smothers the steps that once led to the temple.















We also wandered around in search of a local FamilyMart. These are like 7-Eleven stores, which we also see around, as well as Lawson stores. But Jef's favourite is FamilyMart.





After we had a break and some sake at a little park we found near the FamilyMart, we walked through an overgrown access way and found a tomb.







We then walked to a playground where there were some more ancient ruins. I've tried googling where this is but I can't seem to find the name of it.








Monday, May 13, 2019

Weekending

Mother's Day

Yesterday was a lovely day. The boy that gave me Mother's Day gifted me these creations.



The card was made at after school care. He told me he made rock heart by rubbing it on concrete to create the shape. So fabulous! I love it.

Play date in the sky

On Saturday afternoon Kien went up to the Skytower will his friend, Arlene, and her parents. How lucky he is to have such a cool play date. Thanks, Manon, a.k.a. waldokiwi, for taking these awesome pics.











Te Arai beach

The previous weekend the weather forecast looked so good, and I really wanted to head north as a result. Jef had a number of things to work on, and Kien needed to get back early Sunday for a long overdue play date with 2 of his best buddies from school. So we took both cars and zoomed up to Mangawhai.

On Saturday afternoon I took Kien to our local beach while Jef worked on the tractor. Initially Kien could not understand why I brought his wetsuit, let alone make him get into it. I told him I know him well and left it at that. We got onto the sand and he played around for a bit.



Then, of course, he just couldn't help himself. It went from testing the water, then jumping waves. He spent ages building a pool and testing whether he could build a barrier so the water couldn't get in - just like we did at Hot Water Beach.



















I regretted not bringing my wetsuit as well!



Monday, May 6, 2019

A few hours in Nagasaki

On day 4 of our cruise we stopped in Nagasaki.





We caught a bus to the Peace Park.







After briefly wandering through the museum we then walked down to the river where we found a tiny little snake.











We stopped at a local convenience store and got a Magnum for Kien, a one cup sake for me, and a can of beer for Jef. Then we found a lovely little spot beside the river for a rest.







We decided to get the bus and head back closer to where our ship was docked so that we didn't have to rush and get the last bus out at 4:30pm. We were then able to freely walk around city. We wandered around Glover Gardens area, a beautiful colonial slope full of old mansions and villas.











We walked through Chinatown - it wasn't intentional.



We went back to the ship before the sun went down and took pictures from our balcony and enjoyed the beautiful view.





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