Welcome to the new year! Hopefully, you all had a great New Year's Eve with lots of celebrating with friends and loved ones. Jeremy and I stayed home and had a quiet evening in with the cats. We are homebodies and were in desperate need of a recharge. I don't know about y'all but Jeremy and I have a few traditions that we do every year to make sure we start the new year off on the right foot. Some of these you may have heard of but some of them you may not have.
The Christmas festivities are starting to wind down. Mom headed back to North Carolina yesterday. She had been here for a week. I'm really happy she was able to come up for Christmas. I've missed spending the holidays with her. The week leading up to Christmas has been a crazy, busy, fun week. The day after Mom drove up from North Carolina, we drove down to Springfield, Illinois to explore new areas with Avery and her kids. We first went to a great little restaurant called Anchors Away. We chose this restaurant because we heard that it was haunted. Thankfully our waiter, Brock, was able to confirm this quickly for us.
As much as I love Champaign, I have been a little homesick for Japan lately. I know I'm not the only one. Jeremy is missing the food and Katniss is missing the festivals. Thankfully the campus was having a great little festival at the Japan House on base. Jeremy and I decided to take Katniss to it.
Just before Christmas, Jeremy and I on an ITT trip to Bihuko Park to see their Illumination display. It was supposed to be much larger than the one that is in Hiroshima that we usually go to. We met the buses at the library on base for the ride down there. We were surprised to see snow during the three-hour drive.
After a restful evening in Marine Terrace Beach Resort, Jeremy and I were excited to start the third day of our trip. We were excited to go check a unique zoo that we had found out about thanks to our friend, Yumi. Seeing the sun rising over the mountains as we got ready was really cool.
About half an hour from Fukuoka is Nanzo-in Temple. Nanzo-in Temple is the home of the reclining Buddha. I've been wanting to see it in person for a while and figured since we were in Fukuoka we should take the detour to go visit it. Even though I had looked online about this temple often, I didn't know there was more to it than just the reclining Buddha. I also didn't know it was halfway up a mountain. We had quite a few surprises waiting for us.