Thursday, January 14, 2010

snow day

The weather has been pretty wacky lately, with the few feet of snow and all. That didn't stand in my way yesterday when I chose to go to Hello Kitty Land with one of our friends, Ayumi. I piled on multiple layers of clothing and socks, threw on my boots and gloves and got super pumped to visit the land of my childhood obsession. However, when we entered the destination into her GPS unit (which also plays local TV) and were told said destination was 3 hours away we finally decided - maybe today is not so good a day to go to Hello Kitty Land.

So, once again my plans to Hello Kitty Land fell through. Doesn't anyone else understand how important it is for me to go to this place???

Plan B: Bio Park.

On the way to this amazing interactive zoo (not in the technology sense - in the you get to hold the animals sense) we quickly realized that Sasebo was not the only place that received the gift of snow. We also noticed that Sasebo was the only place the snow seemed to have actually melted. As we neared Bio Park (about 45 minutes from Sasebo) we oohed and ahhhed the several feet of snow still piled over rice patties and orange tree's. We noticed the homes with white roofs. Basically, we realized that maybe going to an interactive zoo in a typically warm climate might not be the brightest idea. However, we stuck with Plan B and enjoyed the scenery.

Detour: Giant Tori = Giant Temple.

On the way to the glorified petting zoo we came across a Tori that was huge, and orange, and very captivating. (the picture above is taken while exiting, entering was much more magical. sorry.) We pulled in and entered what I could imagine what a Japanese snow heaven might look like. There was several feet of snow resting on perfectly manicured gardens and trees. There were "oh, so Japanese" bridges to the likes I have only seen in travel brochures guiding you over koi ponds, and beyond the gardens and trees a really large and beautiful temple. Great detour.

Upon our arrival to Bio Park, we were greeted by an empty parking lot and some parrots sitting on a branch, covered in snow. The poor guys were freezing, but non-the-less doing their jobs. It instantly reminded me of a cold day at the water park when we would to have to stand in the Texas Tree House getting routinely drenched in cold water just so the 10 idiots that thought playing in freezing water would be fun wouldn't drown. Well, those poor parrots had to stand out on a branch in snow just to greet the two idiots that thought coming to a Zoo in 2 feet of snow would be fun.

First of all, this place is amazing. It's set around a mountain and the path sort of guides you up and around to the top - with all of the animal sanctuaries along the paths. A lot of things were closed due to the fact that the animals were huddling in random corners trying to keep warm, but I could still tell that in Spring this place is going to be amazing. Some animals were happy to see us, especially this beaver that put on quite a little show. We held some Guinea pigs and fed several goats and sheep, you know all the guys that probably get ignored when the kangaroos are hopping along the paths (I will believe the brochure when I see it). We fed some random animal that was wandering the path with a head of a dear and the body of Brandon's dog. Finally, a monkey jumped on Ayumi's shoulder which was the icing on the cake and was also nice because at that point we couldn't feel our toes and were about ready to give up.
In the end, it was quite a successful day. Complete with a stop at Uniqlo for some cool new pants and a scarf it was just what I needed after several days of sitting around.

For your enjoyment:

Mr. Beaver performing his Maneki Neko Song

The monkey and the ??? both getting quite aggressive. I have now thrown out those gloves.

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