It was an overcast day, but the rain was holding off so we piled in the Cubie Doobie Doo (our baby blue Nissan Cube) and headed east to Okinawa Comprehensive Park.
It is HUGE. There are multiple running/walking trails, ponds full of fish and lilypads, playgrounds, and fields. It could only have been closer to heaven for Banks if the park had been filled with friendly dogs and milk bones. Aside from the beautiful scenery, my favorite part of the park is the clean, paved trails because it gave me a whole hour to feel like a Jane Austen heroine strolling along the English (ok, Japanese) countryside reading a book and walking my dog.
As some of you know (and many should surmise), I am not a fan of many wild animals. This list includes: bats (horrific experience), rodents (nasty), geckos (move too quickly) and snakes. When I found out that we were moving to Okinawa, of course I checked to see what sort of wild life lives here and might give me problems (read: heart attacks). All of those animals on my dislike list? Yep - native here.
I know that most animals on my list are relatively safe. That being said, you can't argue with me on the snake issue, especially since they're wildly poisonous here on island. The habu (a pit viper) is oft spoken of by Americans and Okinawans alike. I am always on the look out for them (and not just in the bottom of sake bottles sold locally). If only they looked like the one on this sign, maybe I wouldn't be so scared:
After sitting on a bench enjoying the quiet for a while, Banks and I were
harassed accompanied by an on-the-loose little Min-Pin fella. He jumped right up on the bench Banks and I were sharing (don't judge) and made himself part of our pack. When I had enough of trying to keep him out of my bag, I packed up shop and started back on my wandering with Banks. Would you know, that little booger followed us throughout the park? He would BOLT past us, going as quick as his little black legs would carry him, then zoom back around in a loop and walk next to Banks like he was on the same leash. Our little friend finally ditched us for a casual stroll under the red gate and across the pond bridges.
Before we left, we checked out some of the unique architecture the park offers, including this unusual convention center/gym and stadium:
And my new favorite, the "get your water and water your dog, too!" fountains:
Even if the weather is blah, you don't feel like spending money, you don't know exactly where you're going or what you're doing, there is an adventure to be had. Just make sure to bring your trusty sidekick.