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Robert Smith and His Family in Japan

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Okinawa Scenery

Okinawa is a true tropical island. Heidi, beautiful beaches, Heidi, history, Heidi, exotic flowers, Heidi, banyan trees...and did I mention Heidi lives there?

There was so much to do and see in Okinawa. We went to a history museum, the aquarium, the Tropical Dream Center, where they have more varieties of orchids than you can count, all gorgeous. We were able to see a few beaches, and thanks to Heidi's parents, we were treated very nicely for a great vacation.

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The aquarium is world class. I do like aquariums and have been to the one in Monaco, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the US National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the Sea Paradise in Yokohama. The one on Okinawa is world class and has the best collection of tropical fish I've seen yet.

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There was a nice dolphin and small whale show.

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This is what the branches of the banyan tree look like. Cool, huh?

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We took a trip to this war museum. You walk through all the underground passages of the Imperial Japanese Navy. It's easy to see why they were able to put up such a fierce resistance for so long, in spite of all the bombing and shelling. It's a sad place, though, and a reminder of just how senselessly and cruelly humans can behave sometimes.

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I'm going to put up the orchid pictures I took, as soon as I finish the roll of film they're on. I know they can't do the orchids justice, but the pictures should give a fair idea of what it was like. The Tropical Dream Center is basically a little rain forest with lots of exotic plants...I just couldn't pay much attention to anything but the orchids. I literally ran through the place, since we had to leave so Heidi could go to a study group.

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Banyan trees are incredible. About 2 1/2 to 3 stories tall with a canopy that makes them perfect shade tree in a part of the world where you REALLY appreciate shade.

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This is the root system at the base of the tree. So it looks like a bunch of vines come up out of the ground, get together and form the trunk, then separate again to create branches. A tree by committe.

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If I could choose a tree to work under, to meditate under, to dream under, it would be a banyan tree.

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The water so clear and such a turquoise color! The white sands! Other islands off in the distance. Temperature in the 80's. This is paradise.