Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival

You know that whole "in sickness and in health" bit that's standard issue in marriage vows? That's where we are right now. Lee had a cold all last week and although he tried mightily *not* to, he eventually shared it with me. I am really tired of having a Kleenex box as my constant companion. But anyway, if you were wondering where I was, now you know.

I also have a midterm coming up tomorrow night and I dragged myself to class on Tuesday so I'd be there for the review. Our professor had us doing a game show thing where a couple people were up at the front facing the class, while the rest of us hollered out clues to a word or phrase that they couldn't see. One of the terms was the War of 1812, and this one guy behind me started humming the finale to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, so major props to him for a musical clue. I totally would have gotten it if I'd been the one guessing, but then again, I listen to a fair amount of classical music and Tchaikovsky is one of my favorites.

So anyway, I did promise some cherry blossom pictures in my last post and now I'm delivering. We did a tour up to Nago on Saturday afternoon/evening with the usual suspects, Bennet and Missy, and we're planning to go back up there again on Valentine's Day weekend to see if more of the trees are in bloom because they seemed to be a bit sparse last weekend. Cherry blossoms are a *big* thing in Japan, and since Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture we get them first while the rest of Japan is seething with jealousy because they have to wait like two more months before they start blooming up in mainland. The type of cherry trees we have here are different than the ones you see in Tokyo or Washington D.C.--the blooms are smaller, darker pink, and they last a lot longer. Our tour guide said the blooms in DC only last a week, but if you're a die-hard cherry blossom kinda person, then you should go to Kyoto in March because they have 350 different types of cherry trees in bloom there.

But still, Okinawa gets 'em first, so there nyeh. Oh yeah, you want to see pictures. Well, we took quite a number but Lee's only edited a few of them for me to post, just making sure the colors look right etc. It will take us a while to go through all our photos from last weekend between the cherry blossoms and the whales and the zero pictures of me being sick. Anyway, photo time.

This is Lee's "artsy" shot. When we signed up for this tour, somehow they neglected to tell us that you have to walk up seven *hundred* steps to get to where the cherry trees are. What's really demoralizing is when you're huffing and puffing along, only to see that you're only at step #300 (yes, they paint the numbers on some of them so you can get discouraged about how much further you have to go). Anyway, along the staircase they have these stone thingimaboppers and that's the top of one of them. I don't think we have a picture of the whole thing, it hasn't been edited yet. But anyway, I do like this shot.

This was our first real big trial of our new toy, the macro lens. We have discovered that it is incredibly difficult to get good pictures if your subject is moving, and it was pretty windy on Saturday so, well, we took a zillion shots to get a few good ones. But this is all about improving our photographic skillz, right?

Do not adjust your monitor, the bird was in fact upside down. Lee got this stellar shot :) The bird kept flitting all over the branches over the stairway where we'd been camped out for a half an hour taking pictures, and Lee went all stalkerazzi until he got this picture.

For most of these, I'm not sure which one of us took the picture. We traded off the camera several times and both of us took a ton of shots, plus after a while all the cherry blossoms start to look the same.

They may all look the same, but they're still purty.

And right about now my dad is thinking, "more flowers, yadda yadda yadda..." Oh hey look, I found a picture with people in it!

Me and Missy after our 700-step climb. We had a picture of all four of us but I think it was taken on Bennet's camera...and for some reason Lee didn't put a picture of him and me out on the desktop for me to blog. Sometimes he's camera shy ;)

After we took five hundred gabillion pictures of flowers, we headed on down to the carnival part of the festival. Lee and Bennet won several prizes, most of which seemed to be things like inflatable bats, but we gave away most of it to passing kids who didn't have prizes (they're more interested in bragging rights over who did better on the game than they are the prizes themselves, and really, inflatable bats? Who needs a bunch of those?). Except for the one gigundor bat that Lee kept and has been using to terrorize the kids...Sadie and Vader kids, not random kids at the festival. Although I did accidentally clock this one guy with one of the bats.


Lee said...

Ahhh so as a good husband I must expand on Christy's last comment..."clock this one guy with one of the bats".

So there we were....

Strolling through the carnival and sticking out like the GIANT Americans that we are. Christy had just finished chastising Bennett and I for hitting each other with our hard earned 4' long inflatable bats. She quickly ripped said instrument of fun from my hands to "protect me from my own idiocy". As she explained, with vivid arm movement (you all know what I'm talking about here :-P), how to not cause trouble in foreign public places she hauls off and whacks the poor old Japanese guy square in the face with the bat!!!!!!!!!!!

The man, to his everlasting shame I'm sure, ducked his head and ran away (probably thinking along the lines of "Holy Cow!!! That evil American Amazon just beat me up"). To expound on that statement, the guy was like 90 years old (they do get there around here) and shorter than Christy (note Amazon comment). We pretty much spent the rest of the evening hiding from the Japanese Popo thinking they were coming to get us for Christy's blatant attack.

Disclaimer: This story is the personal ramblings of a happily married madman with an understanding wife. All accounts may not be wholly accurate as the 10% rule always applies in story telling. All complaints may be submitted to

Ok, so I'm weird when I'm tired, sue me.

Ok, so don't sue me, I have no money...I'm married to a stamper.

Did I mention I'm happily married to a wonderful wife?

Christy Lynn said...

Actually, I think your version makes a better story than what actually happened :D Really I was trying to get a handle on all the stuff I was holding, and this guy was totally on my six so I didn't even know he was there. You shouldn't sneak up on people, you should yodel or something to fend off surprise inflatable bat attacks!

And yes, Ree, I am allowed to post comments on my own blog. And I love you too!!

Christy Lynn said...

And I do sometimes feel like an Amazon here. Too bad my truth-telling lasso got lost in the mail...

Giffysk8s said...

Okay, Ricky and Lucy (I'll let you decide who is whom, LOL), you're lucky you didn't have some "splainin" to do to the police! HA! However it happened, this sounds like a modern-day Godzilla movie, with the Amazon Americans on the terror attack with their inflatable bats. Maybe you should have kept them, Christy~you two could have had some fun duels with them!

The pictures are stunning. I like Lee's "artsy" one. I love taking pictures through branches~you always get a nice effect. And the bird one is way cool! My fave is the one right below the bird~I like the sheerness of the petals and the unfocused background. Good use of the lens! Can't wait to see the layout you make for these, Christy!

And it's nice to know that someone else's life savings is in stamps~gray and red rubber ones, but stamps all the same. :)

Worm's Woman said...

Ooh so pretty...favor to you mind if I have some of these printed? They are so pretty! We are slowly redoing the girls' rooms. Haylee wants hers to be teal and brown and holly wants pink and brown. I think these would look fabulous in holly's room. I don't know that I would actually get the chance to hang them if she ever gets to the stage of wanting to put posters up (some reason my kids don't seem to into that), but in hopes that she doesn't, I would love to decorate it all pretty and these would do that.
So let me know, and this is huge ompliment to y'all's photo graphing. Wish I could go see cherry blossoms...someday maybe!

Liz Guidry said...

Hahaha! You guys are soo funny!

Love the pictures - can't wait to see these scrapped. WHENEVER that will be :)

How does my dust taste, Christy?!

LOL - j/k - just trying to motivate you. I know you will kick my booty this month.

Dustythemomhaskins said...

Absolutely beautiful. But dang Lee hung you out to dry. I am laughing so hard the kids can't figure out why the computer is so funny. Thanks guys, I needed that. Christy, I love the photos. Can't wait to see the cards these photos inspire.

CCsMom said...

Wow, how absolutely gorgeous. I just love it. It's a much more beautiful place than when we lived there, but we loved it just the same. Hey, I needed to be there to do the 700 steps -- I need to get off my butt.

So, you didn't say whether those packages awaiting your pick-up at the post office were the ones I sent . . . I'm still wondering.

Love ya! Mom

Amber said...

PURDY pictures guys! Love the one with the bird, great shot:)
I was beginning to wonder if you were still alive, I miss you! We still on for Saturday?
LOVE Lee's version, I can totally see that happening, lol!

Thoughts by B and M said...

Ususal Suspects huh? You forgot to mention that Bennet got sick from the "cold" too! haha...the inflatable swords...dangerous for our boys...and now you! ;)