Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cosmos on Noko Island

(Note from Justin: Yes, the post may say "Justin" at the bottom, but I assure you that Nana did most of the work.) (Note from Nana: he uploaded all the pictures, I wrote the text. We're a team like that.)

So about a billion years B.K. (Before Korea), Justin and I went with a group of coworkers to visit nearby Nokonoshima, or Noko Island. Noko is known for its giant flower garden, which changes every season. The October flavor of the month was cosmos, a popular flower for my family, as my mother's mother had an art teacher who was obsessed with cosmos and used to make the whole class paint them every year until the entire class never wanted to see a paintbrush or a cosmo (a cosmos?) as long as they lived.

Ferry to Noko Island:

Map of Noko Island:

Goat of Noko Island (Don't ask me; I have no idea):

Chickens of Noko Island:

Brother-in-law Ryan: any thoughts on breed?

One thing we were unable to photograph were the much-dreaded Spiders of Noko Island, black-and-yellow striped spindly things the size of the palm of your hand. They spin their webs under trees and in the fields to catch unsuspecting off-roaders. Stick to the paths, my arachnophobic friends!

This is the katakana for "cosmos" - kosumosu - plus kanji that probably means something like "field" or "park" but I'm too lazy to look it up.

We found this little patch of cosmos early on, and though it seemed a bit small to be making such a fuss over, it nevertheless inspired Justin to ... well, I'm not exactly sure what he's doing, but as his wife, I'm not totally comfortable with it.

Eventually we discovered the actual point of cosmos season, the giant field, which was much more impressive than the little patch. For perspective, in that second picture, I'm standing up.

Cosmos aren't the only things to see on Noko Island. There are other types of flowers:

Some of which apparently make Justin rather suspicious:

There are games for the kiddies, such as this wooden staircase rope toboggan (yes, that's the best description of it I can come up with... and yes, Justin and I were quite annoyed not to find one in jumbo size to try out for ourselves!)

There is inexplicable statuary:

and the same non-functioning telephones which were so omnipresent at Korea's Herb Island.

Overall, it was an entertainingly random way to spend an afternoon, with some lovely photo opportunities spoiled by us being too much of goobers to pose nicely, coupled with sunlight so bright we couldn't take off our monster shades. Hope you enjoy them anyway!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back in Fukuoka

Just got home from a very fun, very rewarding, but very tiring Model UN trip to Korea. I have to say, Nana did a great job planning and executing this expedition: the kids learned a lot, we all had a blast, and everything went off without a hitch. Thanks, Nana, for showing us all such a great time!

Look for some pics soon, time permitting. For now--SLEEP.