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.
One of the festivals I wanted to check out while Mom was in town was the Azalea Festival in Hofu City. Back home in North Carolina, Wilmington has an Azalea Festival as well. I thought it would be cool to see how Japan does their azalea festival. I didn't know if it would a street festival like we had been before or more of a quieter affair like the wisteria tunnels.
For New Years Jeremy and I decided that we would stay in and celebrate with the cats. It had been a busy holiday for us and we wanted some down time to ourselves. For dinner Jeremy made a seafood feast of fish, shrimp, and crab. It was really delicious. I love how we have such a variety of fresh seafood out here. Jeremy has been using the opportunity to learn how to break down a fish properly. We watch shows like "Worst Cooks In America" or "Hell's Kitchen" and he has actually learned quite a bit from the shows. I'm so proud of how far his cooking skills have come.
The main reason for my trip back to North Carolina was to be with my sister and mom for the anniversary of my Dad's death. I knew it would be a very difficult anniversary and not one I would want spend half way around the world from them. I knew that if we stayed in Chapel Hill we would just sit around miserable and depressed and that would not be how Dad would want us to be. I had the idea that we should go away for the anniversary and do something that Dad would have wanted to do.