Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Little Lemur Snot Never Hurt Anybody: Spring Break 2015 Day 3

Blogger's Note: If you haven't already, start with the first Spring Break 2015 post. The remaining posts will be much more enjoyable if you understand the inside jokes explained earlier.

It's Spring Break 2015 and two moms and five kids have taken to the Japanese highways. Like any good road trip, this one had a playlist. I share it here so you can get the full Guthrie Spring Break Road Trip Experience:

Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts
Dark Horse by Katy Perry
Since U Been Gone from the Pitch Perfect soundtrack
Me and My Broken Heart, Rixton
All Star by Smash Mouth
1985 by Bowling for Soup
Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's
Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash
Take on Me by a-ha
Rolling in the Deep by Adele
Piece of My Heart from Janice Joplin's Greatest Hits
Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams
Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 (see what I did there?)
Juke Box Hero by Foreigner
Treasure by Bruno Mars
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Here is the Itinerary for Day 3 (as it was left with the spouses remaining home):


Bio Park, Nagasaki: (10 percent discount with military ID)  1,700 yen/adult, 1,100 yen/junior high, 800 yen/child

Navy Lodge Sasebo: 0956-24-0322 

We woke up to a foggy Kuju (surprise, surprise... thwarted from beautiful views once again) and ate at the tasty breakfast buffet. I left my phone in the room by accident, so I do not have a photo of my breakfast. But it was very similar to the breakfast I ate at the Suginoi Hotel. Complete with corn soup.

We followed Google Maps directions as we headed off to Sasebo, where there is a U.S. Naval base, and a fabulous zoo called BioPark. As you drive down out of the Kuju mountains toward the toll road, you come upon this fabulous "junk store" after about an hour or so. This is the second time I have shopped there, and I always come home with fabulous treasures for incredibly reasonable prices. I do not recommend taking small children to this place. You could easily lose them. Fortunately, ours were large enough not to get lost in the warehouse maze, and coordinated enough not to break anything. Go us!

I managed to find a third (middle size) plate that matched the two I purchased in the fall, which was very exciting, since I didn't even know a third one existed. Plus, I added some new finds, including a sword for each of the boys. I paid about $70 for everything.

After killing about an hour at this place I'd like to call "American Pickers in Japan" Heaven, we hit the highway and made our way west. Soon after you change from the Kyushu Expressway to the Nagasaki Expressway, there is a rest stop called Kinryu with a Starbucks Coffee. Everyone got a little bit happier once they consumed some sugar and caffeine.

Everyone was happy except for maybe Cortney, who could not find a city-themed mug to add to her growing collection.
But not nearly as happy as they got when they got a little lemur snot on them and took a selfie with a capybara. And so our BioPark adventure began...

There is a fantastic greenhouse dome with orchids, butterflies and a flying fox within arms reach.

Ad then there were lots of animals... doing animal things.

But they did interact with humans when food was involved. Fortunately, there were plenty of places to spend 100 yen to buy food. Be sure to bring plenty of 100 yen coins.

We were just in time for the birds of prey show. Since the crowd was small, our kids got to chat with the handlers, whose English was quite good.

It was hilarious watching the cast of Meerkat Manor scatter every time the birds of prey flew over their enclosure during the show.

A photo for my mother, who loves giraffes. We were not supposed to feed the giraffes. But they swore they wouldn't say anything.

Then it was time for monkeys and lemurs and peacocks, oh my!

Yep... much prettier from the front. I have no idea if this guy was trained or not. But as soon as he had a crowd of people, he displayed his feathers and spun in a slow circle. Or maybe he was trying to mate with the Japanese toddler in front of me. We will never know.

This is when Xan got some lemur snot on his jacket. After this whole experience his jacket smelled like a zoo. He was very disappointed that I wouldn't allow him to wear it again.  "A little lemur snot never hurt anybody!"

To head to the park exit, you go back through the dome. The butterflies were much more plentiful this time.

Plan for BioPark to take you at least three hours to get through. About a third of the way through is a lunch area, where Cortney reminded me we hadn't eaten lunch yet. There were a lot of food choices and rices weren't outrageous.

But the kids were itching to get to the Sasebo naval base so they could enjoy Chili's and the tiny arcade. We stayed at the Navy Lodge. If you plan to stay at the Navy Lodge in Sasebo, you must make your reservations as soon as the date becomes available, which is two months out. Unless you are on orders, you cannot book any earlier than that. I would especially do this if you plan to travel on an American holiday or during summer time.

This arcade is located above Chili's, next to a bar. There is also a yummy oven brick pizza place on that floor. Fun for the whole family, I say.

After Chili's and the arcade, it was time to crash... on to Day 4!

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