These little orange flowers aren't the most beautiful or magnificent to look at, but they are the best smelling flowers on the planet! What's so weird is that the smell sparked a memory. Rumor has it that memories that involve smell are the strongest memories. I don't know if that's true or not, but it certainly makes sense to me. Once upon a time, we planted some teeny tiny bushes at our very first house in Podunk, South Carolina. I picked them for their smell and had never come across that little shrub again, until now, on the other side of the world. In SC, they were referred to as Tea Olives, but I seem to remember white blooms. Here, they have orange flowers and are called Kinmokusei. Whatever they're called, they smell absolutely divine and it will be my goal in life to find them and plant them at every house from now on.
After some time spent in the river that didn't cure the attitude of the one in yellow, we packed up and headed for the car. On the way to buying the behaving children the best gelato eva, Titus hollered, "Is that a MONKEY?!" That's the second time he's hollered the phrase and been correct.
I was like, "Whaaaaaaat is happening? Why is there a monkey at the flower park?" Only I kept that question amongst us as I don't know how to say any of that in Japanese, nor was the answer overly obvious.
So, we scootched on by the man and his little friend and went to peek at the flowers again.
Amidst the monkey befuddlement, I forgot that a certain someone in yellow wasn't supposed to get gelato.
This kid with the brain freeze. Ha!
I got my gelato scoop worth of pictures. I absolutely bribe my children for pictures. And I also dole out punishments that I all to often forget to enforce. I prefer to call it "mercy" vs. "bad parenting."
Jude...he's so shy.
About this time, we saw a crowd had gathered back by the gelato tent, and all of our monkey questions were answered.
After the show, the monkey wrangler asked if we wanted to take a picture with the little beast. Absolutely! Apparently, our eagerness showed as he mustered up his best English to emphatically warn us not to make eye contact with the monkey. Um, perhaps he should've led with that as we'd all been having emotional moments with the monkey throughout the show. We were locking eyes the entire time. I just thought the monkey loved me or could perhaps hear me singing, "If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey. If it doesn't have a tail it's an ape." As it turns out, he wanted to rip my face off and wear it as a mask. Or something like that.
All of those thoughts weren't there at the time given I put my youngest in for the photo op, but the thoughts are certainly there now and I am thoroughly freaked out by Junior. If that even is his name.
Ah, Japan. I love it.
Even with the Spider Lilies long since gone, I would recommend this park. It's not too far from base and the river was calm enough you could lounge on the bank while kids skip rocks.