Saturday, July 7, 2007

Sea Life

We stopped at a beach right outside the gate of the base where Craig works - Camp Hansen. In the little tide pools there were these amazing bright blue fish and some kind of sea snake or eel - we were fascinated. Mia wasn't thrilled about the snake, but after we explained it was small and wouldn't come out of the water she was cautious but better. This was just in a dinky tide pool - imagine when I dive! Wow... exciting.

Friday, July 6, 2007

We Are Online!!

However, it's slow - ADSL (300-someodd kb/min) so bear with us. LOTS has been happening, lots to tell - but not much time to type right now. Soon - I promise. Categories to include:
July 4th
Our neighbors
More culture shock

To tide you over, here are some photos:
Starbucks inside of Jusco (huge department store/flea market/supermarket/mall...more pictures soon, maybe some video when we get a quicker connection).

Fresh fish/noodles/sushi/fried things we have no idea what they are market in the middle of Jusco.
This is one side of the "American Village" - that mall designed to look like a San Diego mall. You can see McDonald's, and I think "Deep Blue" is a clothing store meant to be like Old Navy.

This is the view if you look to the right from the last picture - Sega/Sonic is everywhere - as are game rooms, pachinko & slot machine places.

Sunset view from our ROOF. That platform on the left - yeah, there's a hot tub up there. Not our first order of business when it doesn't ever get below 80 degrees and humid outside, but come winter we are SO there... And a giant plastic mug of beer - no idea why that's there. Maybe if someone was drowning you could throw that in there for 'em.

Daytime views from our roof - there's a dog park down there, and there's a small playground next to it too - apparently the moms call it "poopy park". Guess they aren't cleaning up after their pets too well.

That Hawaiian/Japanese restaurant? It's not on the 1st floor, it's on the ROOF! This is it - right above our apartment. The menu looks amazing - I'll be trying it tonight with our neighbors. Very cool bar in there too! Do you love it that I can grab a drink on my rooftop bar or in a beer vending machine? Sweet.

Inside the aforementioned restaurant.

Here you go Ryan - this guy was chirping away on a ledge above a doorway. These are everywhere... any clue what it is?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Going dark

Moving day - we have power & a telephone today & tomorrow, but no Internet connection until Friday. So posts will be unreliable at best (have to bring the laptop on base to a hot-spot).

I'll miss you all for a while! Have a great week!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Flying Foxes

AKA fruit bats. There are lots of them on Okinawa - they're really big. We saw 3 flying around last night, 2 were large. I'd say 2.5-3' wing span. They're very cool, and I guess they're called flying foxes here because their faces look like foxes'. I was also told NOT to take pictures of them sleeping because if it disturbs them they attack you like something out of a Hitchcock film. I can live without a picture....

Jazz Festival And Such

Yeah - still no fun seeing gorgeous sunsets every night. This was outside the restaurant after dinner & before we went to the jazz festival. The moon rise was even cooler (full and huge) but the camera never would've captured it with no tripod.
Some gas stations here (like this Esso station) have the pumps coming out of the overhang. You pull them down to put gas in the car. (which we NEVER do in town because it costs about 4x as much as on base) The gas on base here has fluctuated between $2.89-$3.00 since we've been here. It's mid-grade (the only choice) and off base it's almost 300 yen per liter (a liter is a little more than 1/4 of a gallon, and right now it's 199 yen to the $1. When we got here it was 124 yen to the $1.) Welcome to my math world.
Mia at the top of a big jumpie thing - this was a wave, and at the bottom there were "sharks". At the jazz festival off to the side near the beach there was a park full of jumpies, 4 of them. And the kids were going nuts in there. Mine was sweating like crazy, but happy as ever to be among dozens of other kids. She came to me, crying that she'd fallen & bitten her lip - wanted water, and then wanted to go right back in there! The energy & stamina is astounding.
The jazz festival was fantastic. It was warm and humid, but breezy and not totally uncomfortable. This time I had bug spray on to protect my already mosquito-eaten legs and arms. It's really warm & humid here, but without the haze of the states- it's why all the pictures are so clear, you can always see for miles, even on the most hot & humid day. The beauty makes the discomfort level more bearable. I was only disappointed that we attended at night because we didn't get to see the beautiful beach it was being held on.

Mia also danced on the dance floor in front of the stage where several Japanese jazz ensembles and even the III MEF jazz band performed (though we missed the USMC band unfortunately). We heard everything from "Take 5" to big band stuff, it was fantastic. Mia danced very happily ("interpretively") and I took a bit of video but the upload will have to wait until we have a better Internet connection.

Today we're packing up and moving some things over to the new place- and we'll hit Jusco to get some things for the apartment too. (Picture giant Target meets sushi to come)