Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Look Back: Nagano Snow Monkeys

After being able to find and download all my old Myspace blogs I am doing some look backs on the adventures we experienced while living in Japan. These have been left exactly how I wrote them in my early 20's -- in all my immature, na├»ve, and ineloquent glory. Pictures have been added.

This trip was fun: The Nagano Snow Monkeys.
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January 20, 2007

Whew, what a day!

Ryan and I got up early and got on the ITT bus -- headed for Nagano. LONG trip. About 4 hours.

We brought along the laptop and watched "Little Miss Sunshine" to pass some of the time. OMG! We had our headphones on so as not to disturb anybody, but I think because of all our quiet laughing (you all know what I mean) we got a few looks our direction. It was just too funny! If you've seen the movie, when we got to the 'voice of experience' part we could not contain ourselves. Ryan hadn't seen it before; so you know how if you already know what's going on you get more fun out of the other person's reactions who hasn't seen it? Yeah, it was great.

We stopped off at this fruit place, thingy-ma-bobber for lunch.
Congratulate me... for the first time I used a Japanese toilet. It's so weird. I think I might have peed backwards on it, but at least I did it. I was so afraid that I was going to get it on my pants! Sheesh! But it was done, something new I experienced.

We had lunch and bought some interesting little fruit flavored stuff. Ryan wanted ice cream right as we were leaving. I'm not really sure why, it was freakin' COLD outside. But he ordered a vanilla cone.
It was not vanilla.
We couldn't place the flavor and then we learned it was apple flavored ice cream. How weird is that?!

A while later we arrived at the trail to the monkey park. Thankfully I had my new Columbia jacket and my snow boots, gloves and a hat. Ryan didn't listen to me so he wasn't as well as prepared. I gave him my hat though, I didn't need it.

We climbed up this little hill then traveled a narrow, ice covered trail all the way to the park. About 20 minutes walking. There was a couple inches of snow at the park, but the monkeys were pretty cool. They're used to people being there so you can get right up next to them. I was good, I didn't even try to touch one... one tried to touch me though (I'll get to that soon).

 These snow monkeys get in the hot springs and swim, they run around and play, walk right by you like a person, clean each other, and hang around. They all have little cute faces, well sort of. They all smell too. 
We have a lot of pictures that I'm sure I'll do some postings of soon.
Now, the attack! What is up with some of these animals?! We were getting ready to head back down the trail. I'm standing on the little bridge talking and as I take a step forward this HUGE monkey jumps from out of nowhere onto the railing which I am sort of leaning on/standing next to. Scared the crap out of me! You should know by now I startle easily, so of course I practically scream. Sheesh, then he jumps down like right behind me and runs to the other side and off somewhere. When I sort of screamed Ryan turned around almost tripped over a monkey at his feet. We started laughing and the lady who saw the whole thing said she should have got it on video it was so funny!
We got back down to the bus early and just chilled out.

Of course on the way home we stopped at a rest area type place. We had a little potty break and the Japanese women were laughing at us American women 'cause we were all standing in a line to use western-style toilets. None of us wanted to use Japanese toilets. Then we got some Japanese food and back to the bus.

We made it home, I've done some homework and Ryan is playing his new Zelda game. All is good.

Tomorrow is Ryan's birthday. He'll be 26. Like he says: he's getting close to being close to 30. He's so cute!

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