Saturday, June 30, 2007

Photos Of The New Bowman Home

I sent a Kodak Gallery album link to pretty much everyone in my address book; let me know if you didn't get it and you want to see the new place. We're really excited to move in - and to be out of hotel living.

SO much is constantly going on here - it's amazing. We will certainly never be bored - it's starting to feel like we won't be able to do everything we want to in the next 3 years!

Craig was kind enough to pay for my scuba certification classes - so that starts on 7/22. I'm super excited to be certified (or certifiable...) and get to go do dives. The classes are at night, so Craig can watch Mia - 6 classes. 2 classroom sessions, 2 pool dives and then 2 open water dives. Mia wanted to do it too - but she has to be 8 years old. So - before we leave, she'll be able to take diving classes too.

Now we have to spend a ton more money on a laundry list of items to include:
Curtains for the new place
A computer desk & chair (the gov't furniture is BEYOND heinous - we won't use their crap for this)
Pots, pans & dishes
An iron
Car stereos & speakers (neither car has a good system, it's what we have to spend on for the cars)
A coffee table
Area rugs (note all the wood & tile floors in the pictures - it really echoes in there)
And some kind of shelving b/c the walls are concrete.

Rather disappointed that we took so many "home touches" like art & framed photos & posters, and we have NO way of hanging them in concrete walls. Anyone who has suggestions, we'd love to hear them....

I hope to attend the jazz & wine festival tonight at Torii Beach - hopefully some pictures later.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'll Be Going "Dim" As Of Monday

Unfortunately we won't have any Internet at our home for 2-3 weeks. So to email and to post to this blog, I'll have to hit "hot spots" on the base. So - I'll be a bit incommuincado for a while. Also, we have a Vonage phone, which works off of the Internet (VoIP for those who understand) - so our old home phone number won't work for that same 2-3 weeks.

Trust me, you will know when we're online, I'll shout it from the rooftops.

So I have a cell phone (already working now) and a home phone (which will be hooked up on Tuesday 7/3), if you want either or both of those (if you don't have them already) please email me before Sunday.

Craig is off to work today, and Mia and I just might get our toes done in town. We'll also find out about her school district, and later we'll pick up the title to my car.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My New Cube!

What should her name be? She's a 1998 Nissan Cube - and I already love her. She's boxy, yes- but that's really popular here. (Cubes were sort of the predecessor of the Scion & such.)
Here's Mia standing by the car in the hospital parking lot. We bought it from a Navy pathologist, Dr. Kim. She was in the Navy for over 20 years, and is headed back to the US this summer - to work at Balboa Naval (for the 2nd time). She's Korean, and one of the nicest women you'd ever want to meet. Before we were done, she gave me a breakdown of everything in the car, everything on that base (including where the post office, swimming pool, and best yoga classes were), and even where the best Korean BBQ in town was! (a walk from our apartment) What a great woman, I'm happy to have bought our car from her.

Ok, off to lunch, then we should hopefully buy tickets for Surf's Up, then we'll go into town to set up Internet & bill pay.


To give you an idea of the trash fun we'll deal with, read here:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another Day, a Lot More Done

Let's see here...we've signed up Mia & I for local health care (on the base closest to our home at the Naval Hospital). We then filled out everything necessary for "G.I. Bill Pay" - yeah, sounds like we're using a school loan to pay our bills, not the case. It's just the bill payment company - they'll divvy out your rent & utilities payments via automatic bill pay on paydays. Pretty sweet.

While in the hospital parking lot we saw a silver 1998 Nissan Cube for sale, and called the cell phone number on the for sale sign. It was owned by a Navy Doctor (who's leaving to to San Diego and work at Balboa Naval - again) and we decided it was in great shape, she was asking a fair price - and so we gave her a deposit and decided to buy it. So she should call tonight or tomorrow morning and I'll have a car!

We arranged for our express shipment stuff to come to our place on Monday, which is pretty fast - we're happy about that. And then we went up to Camp Courtney to talk to the housing office. We got our paperwork done, arranged for temporary furniture (until our stuff arrives, close to July 30th) which will arrive on Tuesday 7/3. Cool - only one night on an aerobed! Traci, the woman who helped us at the housing office, is super nice. She also gave me a bunch of web links to look for a job this fall when Mia goes to school.

So tomorrow we head back to finalize bill payment and hopefully find out that we'll get a good Internet connection. Then at 3pm we're going to see "Surf's Up" I hope - as a big treat to Mia for being such a good kid while we've put her through all this completely unfun-for-a-kid stuff.

Now it's off to dinner in a few minutes. It was a little cooler outside today too, which was nice. And apparently the A/C vent in our room was SHUT so when we mentioned it to the front desk and they came and opened it we realized (10 days later) that we're going to sleep much more comfortably tonight. Ahhhh.....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


You read correctly; we have a home. It's a 3-bedroom apartment on the 4th floor of a hotel. You walk in the front door, there's a desk person, an elevator, and on one side of the building it's hotel rooms, and on the other side there are apartments! So there's also a restaurant and a spa on the ground floor! Oh yeah baby - stumble downstairs in my pajama pants for pedicures and massages - loving THAT!

It's 1/2 a block from the beach, and a walk away from convenience stores, restaurants, a fantastic park (with a skate park, playground, and tennis courts), and a very short drive to shopping and other stuff. We have 2 parking spaces underneath the building, and enough square footage to put our big American bed and couch. Not a large kitchen, but we'll make do.

So here's the complicated process: Our household goods are still being shipped here, due at the end of July. So we need to borrow beds and a dining room table and a couch for a month. It takes a week to get that stuff. So we arranged to move in on Monday 7/2. We have to start up Internet service - that's separate, and they don't know if we'll have to use DSL or fiberoptic (fiberoptic is ideal because it's blazing fast) - depends how close we are to the "switch" or whatever other lingo there is involved here - that's Craig's gig. The housing company we got the place through arranges to start up gas, water & electricity. We are going Saturday to do a walk-through. We also need to arrange to get a satellite from the Military, as well as a fridge and a washing machine. It's all very drawn out & complicated- oh, we still have to find me a car too! Add to all this the whole converting-yen-to-dollars stuff and whatnot. Lots of money and hassle and confusion.

Mia, for one (Craig & I too) are very happy not to have to search anymore, I'll tell ya!

2 more things - 1. Okinawans loooooove vending machines. You'd never die of dehydration here if you always kept 110 yen in your pocket for the iced tea/coffee/soda/juice machines that are EVERYWHERE. Pictures to come.
2. this place has the cleanest bathrooms on the PLANET! I went into a convenience store bathroom (like 7-Eleven) and it had a STUNNING bathroom - nicer & cleaner than some homes I've visited in the US. These folks aren't necessarily rich, but they're clean! gotta go sign a lease!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Eventful Days

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to the mall downtown. Today (Monday) more apartment hunting We hope we can find it.

Standing by a Pirates movie poster by the theater in town near American Village. The American Village Mall was apparently designed to look like a San Diego mall.

Mia hugging a dragon on the way up the stairs to the carnival park (with the ferris wheel, see below)

That is the ferris wheel (in Japanese: kandancha)- it goes very slowly, you can only see it moving if you really stare at it. It takes about 45 minutes to go once around in the little enclosed capsules on there. We'll do it eventually, but not in this heat I'm thinking.

This is a fountain outside the American Village shops - water pours out of the oil cans above into the convertible VW below - cute.

Now I NEVER in a million years thought I'd find a shirt like this in an Okinawa shop! We really wanted to get one for Mia, but there were none in her size. (and too small for me)

Craig's new car!! Very small, but very efficient. It's a Toyota Vitz with a CD player & a cassette player too - old school. Send over your old mix tapes!

Yeah, the place we looked at today has this view off the balcony and from the bedroom. Wouldn't exactly be awful, eh? Alas, they want too much for it - and Craig tells me that drunk idiots get loud along the sea wall here late at night - we don't need that. Not to mention if typhoons roll in, our cars (parked underneath in the garage) would be submerged. No fun.

Just came from another place that we really liked! 1 block from the place with the view above (so no ocean view, but that's ok) and 2 blocks from a really cool park. Say a little prayer! More news when we get it.