Just before Christmas, Jeremy and I on an ITT trip to Bihuko Park to see their Illumination display. It was supposed to be much larger than the one that is in Hiroshima that we usually go to. We met the buses at the library on base for the ride down there. We were surprised to see snow during the three-hour drive.
After a restful evening in Marine Terrace Beach Resort, Jeremy and I were excited to start the third day of our trip. We were excited to go check a unique zoo that we had found out about thanks to our friend, Yumi. Seeing the sun rising over the mountains as we got ready was really cool.
About half an hour from Fukuoka is Nanzo-in Temple. Nanzo-in Temple is the home of the reclining Buddha. I’ve been wanting to see it in person for a while and figured since we were in Fukuoka we should take the detour to go visit it. Even though I had looked online about this temple often, I didn’t know there was more to it than just the reclining Buddha. I also didn’t know it was halfway up a mountain. We had quite a few surprises waiting for us.
After all the chaos from the Balls was over and done with, Jeremy and I escaped the base and traveled south to Fukuoka. Ever since we arrived in Iwakuni, I had wanted to go see the German Christmas Markets in Fukuoka but never had the chance to see it the previous Christmases. There are two Christmas Markets in Fukuoka, one at Hakata Station and one at Tenjin Station. Since the one at Hakata Station was bigger we decided to go to that one. Jeremy and I like to travel cheap so we took the back roads from Iwakuni to Fukuoka and it took 8 hours to get to Fukuoka. Had we taken the Sanyo Expressway, it would have only taken 3.5 hours but it would have cost us $60 one way. The drive was nice though and we only got stuck in traffic once.
I have talked about my friend, Dacia, before in this blog. We met earlier this year and have gotten really close over this summer. She is a lot of fun and we have a lot of the same interests. Unfortunately a few weeks ago she found out that she is having to PCS much sooner than we expected. She was suppose to PCS back next summer like us. Instead she is leaving the beginning of December. I know I am going to miss her.
A few weeks before all the Ball craziness, Jeremy and I had a fun date night in Hiroshima. There was a Ramen Festival near Peace Park. Jeremy and I had been wanted to go to this festival for years but it always fell on a day when he had duty. This year it worked out where we could go after he got off work on Friday.
A couple of weeks ago it was Bagheera’s birthday. Since he is much pickier about his stuff than Katniss is, Jeremy and I weren’t sure what to do to celebrate his birthday. He didn’t like balls, hair ties, or scary movies like Katniss. He is also is pickier about his treats than her. We were stumped.
Since coming to Japan, one of the things that every wife seems to collect Starbucks mugs. I held out for about a year before I decided to start collecting them too. I bought a Hiroshima coffee mug shortly after I came back in November. Then in February Starbucks released their Sakura line of mugs. As usual, they sold out everywhere in about 48 hours. Luckily my neighbor, Dacia, was in Tokyo where they sell out a bit slower and was able to grab me one. It is a really pretty metallic hot pink travel mug. Two weeks after Starbucks released these mugs, they released the Purity line of Sakura mugs. Dacia and I decided to drive to Hiroshima the day they released to go pick up some new mugs.
A couple of weeks ago our friend, Shawna, invited a bunch of us from the Bunco group to go to a plum blossom festival. It was about an hour south of base near Hikari. Shawna told us to bring Katniss because she was bringing her pup, Mochi. The festival was located on a large hill (small mountain) that had plum blossom trees on top of the flat hill and going down around the hill towards the coast. It was really beautiful. Even though there were some venders there, Jeremy and I brought sandwiches and snacks from 7-11 so we could have a picnic with the others in our group. It was a beautiful area and the kids were having fun playing and running around.