Friday, July 20, 2007

Our First Beach Trip

We've been here a month and I haven't taken my poor kid to the beach! So off we went today, to Araha Beach - not far, about a 7-minute drive. Weekdays are very quiet there, so it was lovely - but so hot. You really had to get into the water. Mia didn't seem to care though...especially when she saw this:
Pirate ship play structure - very cool. With a super fun zip line.
She didn't seem to care about the heat one bit, just going back & forth on this zip line over and over again. Only stopping to drink water. Amazing. I was we finally went into the water:
Beautiful - and as you can see, quite empty. The blue rope has nets so no jellyfish & stuff get in, so all the families go there with little kids. Mia made like 10 friends while we were there. Very nice. It was a great time, now we're home doing laundry and such.

Here's an interesting find:
It's rather strange, but I was tempted to try it. I don't think we'll buy it again, but figured I'd share it with you.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coins & A Heck Of A Bug

Coin lesson for you, if you care:
Left to right: 500¥ , 100¥ , 50¥ , 10¥ , 5¥ , 1¥ total of the above coins=666¥ - ¥ ikes.... (so at today's yen rate of 119 to the dollar, it's exactly $5.60 worth of coins.

Speaking of YIKES- I saw this dude, thankfully dead, on our balcony this morning. I hear what sounds like cicadas out there - any entomologists want to clue me in?

Happenings Around Town

Koza Music Town will be opening on July 27th. Here is the article describing what it is, and I'm pretty sure there will be some cool opening day events too!

By the way, Japan Update is a great site to keep up with what's going on over here (if you are interested in more information that what I provide in this blog). Weather, local news, events, and restaurant reviews make it the San Diego Reader (or City Paper, for my DC area peeps) of my area!

Additionally, I just found out I was stuck in a traffic jam due to this on Tuesday (Hwy 58 is the main route through our part of town):

Flash flooding traps cars in Okinawa thunderstorm

Date Posted: 2007-07-18

Several cars traveling Highway 58 Tuesday suddenly found themselves trapped in meter-deep water as a thunderstorm pummeled the island.

The thunderstorm blanketed Okinawa beginning about 7 am, dropping 35 millimeters (1.38 inches) of rain per hour, for more than two hours. The heavy downpour caused the Okinawa Prefecture Weather Bureau to issue a severe thunderstorm and excessive rain warning in mid-morning.

Cars traveling Highway 58 in the Kadena, Chatan Town and Sunabe areas met the gushing wall of water about 9:30 a.m., storm drains and sewers unable to handle the runoff. Cars trying to reach Camp Lester in Chatan Town were quickly stranded, water rising more than three feet, reaching to automobile hood levels. Rescue crews were sent to remove seven drivers from the semi-submerged cars.

The storm and flash flooding triggered a massive traffic jam stretching more than two kilometers on Highway 58. Traffic did not begin moving for more than an hour, when water began receding from the roadways.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Earthquake & Flying Pigs

Because so many asked, no, we didn't feel so much as a tremor yesterday morning during the 6.8 that hit northwestern Japan. Geography lesson: Tokyo (which was 160 miles from the epicenter, and yes - did feel it) is slightly closer to us than Dallas to San Diego. No - we won't feel an earthquake that far away. But thanks for your concern.

On the other hand, there IS something pretty earth-shaking going on in the Bowman home. Click here for video proof!

In other news, we stepped through water up to our calves today to get into the car - we had so much rain this morning, in the states it probably would've been a flash flood. Here's a shot of Mia in the back seat after we ran about 20 feet from the youth center to the car without an umbrella.

No - it wasn't 5 in the morning, and no, the windows aren't tinted - it REALLY gets that dark when storms come. And unlike the east coast summer storms- you can't just "wait it out", this constant downpour lasted from 7:40am until about 11am. It is kind of fun - I still like downpours! Just not having to be somewhere when they're happening. And having the right shoes, which today I did not.

And let me tell you, if my kid doesn't have the time of her life on this island, then it's her OWN darn fault- she's signed up for ballet, a 3-day gymnastics camp (and on a waiting list for the weekly class), soccer (which starts in September), and Saturday I'm signing her up for swim lessons. AND we bought her a snorkel set and beach shoes (hard soles for the coral) so we can snorkel together. I wonder which activity she'll love best! And I wonder how on earth I'm going to do all this when she's in kindergarten from 8-3 every day this fall!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Stuff Is Here!

I'm so excited - called TMO today and our household goods are going through customs now. On Wednesday I can call to make the shipping appointment! Fantastic - we have couches! And Big Head TV! And our beds! And Mia's toys....and... probably too much stuff to be able to put away, but it sure will be fun trying.

Craig's Birthday!

Yesterday (the 15th) was hubby's 39th birthday - hard to believe in a year we'll celebrate the big four-o.

I'm going to try to link this to the photo album I uploaded just now - let me know if the link works for you folks out there, ok?