Even if I've had too much caffeine to sleep, I feel so cozy in this house full of 1 napping dog, 2 napping babies, 1 napping friend, and 1 napping husband.
My friend V and her precious daughter have been visiting. They hopped over here Space A from Hawaii. It is totally awesome. It is not an easy trip to do with an infant (Liv is a crawler who just turned 1)--there's a 21-hour time difference. OK, stating it that way is a little melodramatic. It's easier to think of Oki as being 5 hours behind Hawaii and 1 day ahead. Clear as mud? I love what the International Date Line does to the space-time continuum.
So, back to travelling with little kiddos. Liv is still on two naps per day, and Eva is on one, so if we let them each take their naps when they were supposed to, we would be home with sleeping kids from 9:30 am until 3:30 or 4 pm. And, of course, 8pm (at the latest) until 6am (at the earliest). Needless to say, we're teaching them that sleep deprivation is an important part of a full life.
Two of our activities have been big hits with the girls. Firstly, of course, the aquarium--a rare spot that is fun for adults and kids alike, as V observed! There Eva visited the touch tank, Liv loved the fishes (Eva was too busy going crazy and climbing up stuff and falling off to notice), and we all enjoyed the dolphin show, especially that great big one exuberant toothy one that's not a dolphin. OK Eva did not appreciate that so much, through no fault of her own:
Liv is younger and thus has totally been stealing the limelight from Eva when we encounter those giggly troupes of Tokyo girls who don't normally see cherubic blue-eyed babies. One of the girls who is squatting literally fell over on the floor laughing when Liv did something particularly kawaii. [cute]
We also revisited Ryukyu Mura, the Colonial Williamsburg of Okinawa. We went there last summer, when it was even more brutally, sweat-swimmingly hot than it was yesterday, and as we shed layers of clothing (layers that had been integral parts of the outfit when we got dressed that morning) I believe I swore never to visit it in the summer again. Ah, well. "They say goldfish have no memory / I guess their lives are much like mine..." Despite the heat, it was a beautiful day and we fed the fish, listened to music, ate beniimo ice cream, watched the habu show*, ate Okinawan donuts and iced coffee, saw the parade/royal court/dance** they do at 4pm every day, and got our picture taken with the 91-year-old lady who dances with a bottle on her head:
We did not taste the awamori in the little liquor store they have. I learned last time that heat and even a tiny sip of the stuff do not go together.
*This used to be a habu-mongoose fight. A tiny, uncivilized part of me wants to see one. But they're illegal now, so you go into a theater, see a real habu and a real mongoose in separate cages, see the habu get handled and strike at his handler, and watch a video of a CGI mongoose-habu fight. There is aggressive gritty techno music and the habu and mongoose strike at each other to the beat. I can't even describe how Okinawa Fabulous it is. Also: a pitch black room, 3D glasses, a loose venomous snake, and silent Japanese people trying to listen: the perfect environment for a toddler!
**My favorite part was this guy, who acted as Bully of the Dance: he would walk up to spectators, loom over them with his mean face on, and flick his fingers authoritatively from them to the dancing ring. They would obey without question.
He totally caught me taking this picture.