We had a great day today! I took the kids to an aquarium - all by myself! I was very brave. It is the first excursion I have attempted on my own. I wanted to take the train, because I thought it would be easier, but it's a bit of a walk from the station and it was pouring rain. I thought I had better just buck up and take the car. So, I did. And I was able to find the parking lot and back into the parking space and pay afterwards without any mishap. Not only that, I bought a year-long pass for myself using the small bit of Japanese I have learned. You have no idea how proud I feel. I told the cashier the kids ages in Japanese, and I was able to understand enough of what she said to fill out the paperwork for the pass. Then I went to information to ask what time the dolphin show was, but apparently I just asked "What time is it?" instead. I was still happy, though, because when the girl responded, "ju-ichi", I knew that meant eleven! I decided not to pursue the dolphin question.
Lion fish and Bear
It is not terribly unusual to see other foreigners in crowds such as this, but today I think we may have been the only ones. I took this picture of Beaver's blondish head against a sea of black heads. It is interesting being a minority. This is at the pavilion for the dolphin show.
Any aquarium with a decent dolphin show is totally worth the money. I love dolphin shows. This is how crazy I am, though. From the first graceful leap into the air and thrilling splash into the water, I totally started crying. For the first ten minutes of the show I was sitting there with tears running down my face. I was glad we were at the back of the pavilion, and glad that Bear was enthralled enough that he didn't notice. What in the world? Why do dolphin shows make me cry?
After leaving the aquarium, we were returning to the car, but Bear wanted to go to a playground he had seen behind the parking lot. As we headed that way, we realized that just beyond the park was the beach. We had seen it before from the train station, but didn't know how to get there. What a delightful discovery! I got all excited and headed down to the water. Bear protested. He wanted to go to the playground, not the beach. He hasn't been to a beach in a long time. He had forgotten. As for Beaver, I do believe this was his very first visit to an ocean shore. They stood for a moment, looking at the water uncertainly.
I waited for the ocean to work it's magic. It didn't take long. Shoes came off, and in they went. We stayed for the next hour - jumping in waves, running from waves, and collecting seaweed and shells. They loved it.
I loved it, too.