Andrews Family Vacation Memories, Pt. 2

Here's the second installment in my family vacation memories. I didn't have access to my trip photos this time, so I had to improvise.


When Jeremy got home from his mission in Japan, he and I went with our parents to see his mission (and other parts of the country). We were there for about two weeks, starting in Okinawa and working our way north to Tokyo. Jeremy's last area on his mission was on Okinawa, so he had only been away for a few months and knew some of the people there. We spent one day riding around with the Stake President, who took us to see various sites. One of the places he took us was to the Okinawa Peace Park, which is a World War II memorial set on the cliffs. It included a series of marble walls (similar to the Vietnam Memorial) with names of the soldiers inscribed on them. The Stake President found his father's name on the walls to show us.

Later on, we also traveled to Hiroshima and saw the Atomic Bomb Dome. This is one of the few structures to have survived the bombing, even though it was almost directly beneath the detonation. The building has been preserved and is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. We also traveled to Nagasaki and visited the Peace Memorial Park there. This park was interesting because it included monuments donated by other countries. It was a beautiful place that I don't think I'll ever forget it.

For this trip, my brother Jason was serving his mission in Taiwan. We happened to be there on Mother's Day when we should have been able to call him. We had gone out early in the day to do some shopping, and my dad bought a samurai sword. Then we went to the train station to take the train back to our hotel so that we could call Jason. Unfortunately, only Jeremy could speak Japanese, and even he could not read Japanese. We ended up on the wrong train—the express to the airport. By the time we figured out our mistake, we were stuck sitting on the floor in the doorway of the train car (because there were no open seats), forced to take the entire ride.

Once we got to the airport, we had to go through security just to get to the opposite train platform. Obviously this was going to be a problem since we were carrying a samurai sword with us. Jeremy explained the situation to the security guards and we were able to get an armed escort through the airport to the other side of the train platform. My mom got to call Jason at an airport pay phone, but only got to talk to him for a short time. We then got back on the train (not the express this time), and spent the next couple of hours riding back to where we started.


Both of my brothers were on missions when my parents and I went to Mexico. We stayed in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort, meaning that we had already paid to eat dinner at the resort when we paid for our room. This had its pros and cons. Normally, this wasn't really an issue. We just went down to buffet and ate. But one night, the dinner included a show, so we were forced to go to the show in order to eat our dinner. The show was mildly entertaining, including a tequila drinking contest and some dancing. At one point in the show, the performers got people from the audience to join them on stage to do the Mexican Hat Dance. Lucky for me, being in the front row, I was selected to go up and dance with a little Mexican dude who looked like an extra from Three Amigos.

Also during our stay in Mexico, we took the ferry to Cozumel Island to do some snorkeling. We got off the ferry and straight onto another boat that would take us snorkeling on the reef. Unfortunately, we were somewhat unprepared. Because normal sunscreen damages the coral, you're not supposed to wear it in the water. We didn't have any biodegradable sunscreen, so we just went without. Well, not only did I inherit my mom's motion sickness, but my dad's fair skin as well. We both got sunburned ridiculously bad. Then when we got off the boat, we couldn't find any place to rinse off. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and I went into the bathroom and basically bathed myself in the sink to get the salt off of my sunburn so I could stand to put my shirt on.


Hali said...

I would like to see a picture of you doing the mexican hat dance. I will look forward to that on Sunday!

Krissy said...

I don't actually have any photos of me dancing with the Mexican dude. Sorry.