Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How YOU TOO can be a celebrity in Okinawa

The family and I headed out to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium for President's Day. This is our second visit. The first time we went it was hot, rainy and super crowded so not the best experience. This time it was cool, dry and much, much less crowded. We had a really nice time. On the way home we stopped at a McDonald's to eat. (Not something we do very often as we spent well over $40 for the five of us to eat!) There was a group of school girls there who absolutely went crazy over the kids. Seriously if you have blond hair and blue eyes you can feel just like a celebrity in Okinawa. The girls must have come back to us four or five times to get pictures and to play with the kids. It was pretty funny if just a little weird towards the end. This is really the first time this has happened to us although I've heard it can be pretty common. I'm hoping it doesn't happen to often, though, by the way my oldest daughter was eating it up I'm afraid I could end up with a little diva on my hands!
Evie and her admirers
Peace signs seemed to be the theme of the night
Speaking of aquariums I am starting to feel like quite the aquarium snob. We have now been to the two biggest aquariums in the world. The Atlanta Aquarium is newer but both are very impressive. There is just something amazing about seeing a whale shark so close up. We've also been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which honestly pales in comparison but is still pretty well known. The funny thing is I am actually terrified of the Ocean. My husband would love to learn how to scuba dive while we are here. I guess some of the best places in the world to do it are right here on this little island but the thought of being under that much water with all those creatures is just paralyzing to me! It doesn't help when a lot of the exhibits show how dangerous some of even the most innocuous-looking creatures can be!

Here are a few pictures of the day. (Unfortunately my husband had the settings on his camera messed up so some of the pictures are pretty washed out and don't come close to showing how beautiful it really was.)
The flower exhibits outside were absolutely amazing

Make like an Octopus!
Flower Mansion
Mansion close-up
My husband just loved the "owl eating lizard" exhibit, men!

I'm a big baby and refuse to touch any of the fish but luckily the kids don't let that stop them.
I really think the Sea Turtles are beautiful

There was also a dolphin show we got to watch. I remember going to Sea World a looooong time ago as a kid but I had forgotten how impressive these animals are. I've heard a lot of people complain about it being cruel but it really makes me wonder. It's hard not to put human emotions on animals b/c they certainly seem to be having a lot of fun.
We ended up our visit by playing at the aquarium park. I have to tell you that the Japanese are truly inventive when it comes to parks. The space is really limited here but they know how to make good use of it. This park was basically just nets that the kids could climb all over.
It was definitely a great day. I think/hope our next outing will be to Shuri (not sure of the spelling) castle. 

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