Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keeping Busy
Well, we are still at Yokota (until the 18th) and we've been trying to get out to see as many local sights the girls will let us see. We started off by going to Hamura Zoo on Sunday which is just down the street from the base. That means it took only 20 minutes to get there. Seriously people, it's like two miles from the base and took us that long to get there. Not to get side tracked but you drive no more than 40 kph and most of the time you are driving slower because there are so many lights. It takes forever to get anywhere. I'm sure I'll have a whole blog on that another time once I've had plenty of time driving off base.
Back to the subject at hand. The zoo only costs 400 yen per adult and the kids were free. Who could beat that? The zoo is nothing impressive, but it is fun for the kids to get out and see some fun animals. What kid doesn't like the zoo? Of course we had to bypass all the stands selling kid stuff for ridiculous amounts and Etta promptly wanted everything. Gees, no wonder parents buy their kids stuff. It keeps them quiet. However, we managed to get by.
We enjoyed watching the Japanese monkeys (can't remember what they are called). They had a wild boar in with them, how odd. There were a handful of babies in there so it was fun to watch them play and tumble around. We didn't manage to get a good picture of them. Oh well.

Chloe watching the monkeys

Etta's favorite part of the zoo was to feed the penguins. For 200 yen (about $2) you get a cup of 5 little fish. Of course Etta was our volunteer. She had so much fun throwing the fish for the penguins.

We has a picnic at the zoo as well. Seems to be a popular thing to do at the zoo. We got lots of looks from the locals, probably because they were wondering what we were eating. Who brings PB&Js to the zoo in Japan. Just the white people. Eric struck up a conversation with the neighboring table who had a 2.5 year old with them. So, both girls went a rode a little ride for only 100 yen. They were fascinated with us. I quickly showed them I have no conversing skills in Japanese. Hopefully that will change once I start taking my classes in Shizuoka.
Eric and I really liked seeing the wolves. We were able to get really close to them. We thought they looked more like a dog than a Wolf but with gangly legs. They were beautiful.

We also had another free day so we went to Showa Kinen Park which is several miles away from the base as well. Wow, this park is huge! Again it only costs several dollars for the adults to get in and free for the kids. If we ever get stationed here will be members! We only saw one portion of the park and it was around all the kid stuff: the playground, the rope thing, and bouncy thing. Love my detailed words? I don't know what they are called because I've never seen anything like it before. Pictures below.

Chloe playing at the playground. Still too little to really enjoy it.

Getting the hang of the rope bridge

Training for the Olympics. Oops, that's a men's event only. Oh well.
Here is the rope thingy...impressive
Daddy bouncing Etta. Do you think she liked it?

Chloe gets a turn, her turn was very short!
she ended up with rope burn on her forehead. We are bad parents.
Really big slide, never seen one like it before

You get a nice butt message at the same time
The big bouncy thingy. There were continuous hills of this stuff. Small for the little kids and huge mounds for the big kids. Of course Etta went straight for the big stuff.
Sliding down and enjoying every minute of it
Daddy helping Chloe get her balance
All Etta did was run and bounce the entire time we were at the park!
After the bouncy thingy we decided to head back, both girls were exhausted. We still have the huge pool area to see so we'll be going back to the park next week. We are super excited since the girls love water. By the time we left the park Chloe was sleeping in the stroller and Etta was passed out in Dad's arms. Of course they were wide awake by the time we started driving back. Gotta love them!
Just for fun, here's Chloe's new favorite thing...the scowl. She gives us that look a lot lately. We just laugh.


Laura said...

Mommy must look at Chloe that way! Grrr!

Jamie said...

what a fun post! if you're bad parents, then so are we.. we can be them together. :) (now that's good logic!)

Debbie'sDailyDose said...

Oh, how neat...that park looks really fun. Even I would like to play and go down the huge long slide!

klstowe said...

Wow, that does look like fun, and different from anything I have seen as well. The girls look like they had a blast -- so cute :)!

Jen said...

This post had me cracking up! You are so funny. It looks like you all had a great time!!

Stacy said...

I'm amazed at all the stuff you've done already. I've never even seen a park like that in Japan. Okay, I admit it, I'm jealous that you're in Japan. And I'm WAY jealous that you have such easy access to American food. Maybe I'll go buy some Goldfish to make me feel better! :) I'm glad you're having a good time. Japan with're amazing.