My friend has been telling me about an amazing beach that their family loves to go relax at. The pictures she showed me were gorgeous. So, Brian and I decided to take the kids and head out to Kouri Island for the day, in hopes that we could find Heart Rock Beach too. I will admit that we never discovered Heart Rock Beach, but we did make plenty of our own discoveries along the way! First of all, we discovered where the boxcar kids currently live. Who knew!? Their home was so interesting and bizarre. I would like to have seen the inside for sure. It looked pretty typhoon proof too! There was a trike and some other children’s toys outside. We decided that was absolute proof that the boxcar children had made their way to Okinawa! A little further down the rode, we turned off and parked our car on the side of the road. We walked down the dirt road past farmer’s fields, until we came to an intriguing path. It was maybe a tad bit crazy in hindsight, but we decided to press forward each armed with sticks as weapons. After all, you never know when a Habu snake will pop out to say hello, or eat us for dinner!! As we hiked down the path, we saw lots of beautiful butterflies. The kids named our hike the Butterfly Jungle. I think it is a very appropriate name. Armed and ready to swim once we reached the beach, we continued our hike. As soon as we stepped into the clearing, Kennedy stripped her clothes off, down to her swim suit. I’m not kidding it was all done in about 2 seconds flat! She was beyond thrilled, and ready to swim! It was just a slight disappointment when she realized that we had hiked to a sharp volcanic rock cliff, and not a nice sandy beach. Not to be deterred, the kids were still ready to dive off the cliff to the water below, but Brian and I objected! I know, serious party poopers right!? We hiked back to our car, and continued our explorations of the island. Eventually, we found a little sandy peninsula where we spent the rest of the day. Yes, the water was rather chilly, and the clouds had rolled in by then, but nothing was going to stop us. Yikes! After all, it was January! ( I know, I’m a little behind on my blogging! I have re-committed myself to be a better blogger.) We splashed in the water, and scoured the beach for great shells and pieces of sea glass to add to our ever growing collection. We met friendly locals jogging and fishing on the beach, and I even busted out some bad Japanese. Hey, at least I tried! We found some interesting critters along the way, and I’m not talking about the prior mentioned people! It was so fascinating to see washed up logs and branches from trees covered in goose barnacles. Goose barnacles are crazy stubborn sticky critters that are often considered a delicacy. I can’t say that I’ve tried them though!! I haven’t gotten that brave yet! All in all, we had a great day and headed home beach tired! There is not much that is better than returning home “beach tired”. That is, except maybe never leaving the beach in the first place!