A Fresh New Year!
I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season! I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately. Christmas always leaves my head spinning after all of the decorating, shopping, parties, and food, food, food! We had a nice holiday, just the two of us this year. We weren’t able to go on leave to visit family, but we were grateful for a little time off together (and I’m always grateful to have my hubby home with me instead of on deployment!). As a military wife, that’s the best gift I could ask for!
2012 will be our last year here in Okinawa and we’re really starting to hear the clock ticking. We made a list of the few things we haven’t done yet, so we can make sure to focus on seeing this stuff before we leave:
- -Whale Watching
- -Forest Adventure Park
- -More snorkeling (that’s my wish, hubby is content watching from shore!)
- -Tug of war in Naha (I don’t know how we missed this huge event two years in a row!)
- -Tangerine picking (or grape picking, or really any type of picking!)
- -Find Tsuboya pottery district (we’ve already made a few failed attempts at locating it)
- -Visit some of the outer islands like the Keramas
I also want to continue exploring and poking around in places I’ve never been before, because there is always something “off the map” to discover. I’m sure there are a few castles we have not managed to find yet, and we haven’t spotted the endangered and elusive Okinawan Rail yet either.
One of my blog-related New Year’s resolutions is to post a LOT more pictures of Okinawa and share more of my experiences in this wonderful place. All of the following pictures were taken by me in the late months of 2011:
This is a dragon fruit, which tastes kind of like a kiwi, but the fruit is bright purplish-pink. It grows on a cactus-looking vine.
Did you know Starfruit grows from the side of the branch? Me neither!
This was taken at a beach near Kouri Island. The landscape in Okinawa is so beautiful, with mountainous rock coming straight up out of the ocean. Scattered here and there, you will also see these little islets of rock near the shore.
A beach near Cape Hedo. Picture taken from the roadway.
I often come across things that I’m not exactly sure what they are and have to guess. I think this is an old bus stop that is no longer used? It reminds me of the turtle from the movie Neverending Story!
This is Cape Hedo, on the northern end of the island.
View of the reef from the cliffs of Cape Hedo. The snorkeling is fantastic in Okinawa!
An observatory near Cape Hedo, shaped like an Okinawan Rail, a very endangered flightless bird that lives only on this island.
Views from inside the bird-servatory
Driving here can sometimes be quite confusing!
I’m a DBZ fan so I had to try it! It tastes nothing like squash! More like Red Bull. You can literally find vending machines like this EVERYWHERE. Like, seriously, every street corner. I was driving in the country one day and got lost in a sugar cane field. Lo and behold, there was a vending machine right in the middle of the field and not a soul around! Lol.
They have really cute cars here. Some of them look like toys! The majority of the cars are small and boxy, like the Nissan Cube. Rarely you will see an “American” type car, like a Pt Cruiser. The roads are much narrower than in the states, and the parking spaces are tiny, so trust me when I say, you WANT a small car here! When we went home on leave last year, I was pretty shocked to see big cars again.
This is Tadake falls, which you can only get to by hiking down a river.
This is American Village, a shopping plaza near Kadena AB, the largest base on the island.
Looking out from Sunset Beach on the west side of the island, you can just see the outline of the Kerama islands in the distance (one of the places I hope to visit before leaving Oki).
Please feel free to post any thoughts on anything I share with you. I’d be happy to answer questions about Okinawa or to hear about what you’d like me to share next!