Friday, May 31, 2013

Okinawa {Part 3}

Today is the final day of the "Blog every day in May" challenge.  I cannot believe I successfully blogged 31 days in a row.  I don't know how some of you more serious/daily bloggers do this.  It required a lot of planning and late nights for me to make this happen but I didn't it and I don't know that I'll every do it again.  For the final day of the challenge, I bring you the final part of my Okinawa recap.

We had only intended to spend one day in Naha so we didn't have a lot planned.  We spent one day walking through the markets of Kokusai Dori and our last day on the island we went to Ryukyu Glass factory/museum.

Kokusai Dori

These cookies were strange!

I loved their fish market.

I'm pretty sure we saw some of these guys the previous day while we were snorkeling!

This guy was being walked down the street and made me miss Buster badly!

The street was blocked to vehicle traffic and a big section of the street was set up with entertainment for kids.

These adorable girls were performing on one of the side streets.

 While in Naha we tried "goya", a bitter vegetable that is popular in Oki.  I hated it but I tried it.

We also ate at one of the best restaurants we've ever eaten at in Japan.  It was called Daikon no Hana or flower of daikon.  It was an organic and "local when possible" buffet and everything we tried was delicious!  My stomach is growling just looking at this photo

Our last day it POURED!  It rained so hard and consistently that we bought an umbrella and found something to do indoors.  We headed to a glass factory where we had a chance to blow our own glass cups.

We weren't able to take them home with us that day but 4 days later, these arrived in the mail.  I was pretty impressed with our glass blowing skills. (Mine is blue, his is green.)

Overall, it was not the vacation we had planned but we had a great week!  I'm so grateful that we got orders to Camp Zama and not Okinawa but I know I would have loved it there as well.  I hope to return one day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Okinawa {part 2}

I'm skipping today's prompt to continue my Okinawa update.  After a couple of days on the main island we wanted a few days of complete and total relaxation so we took a ferry out to the Kerama Islands, specifically Zamami Island.  

 The island has only about 500 permanent residents, no hotels and only a dozen or so restaurants.  We planned to camp on the beach (you can rent all the necessary equipment for about $25/night) since the few B&B type of places that are available are really expensive.  We got to Zamami, rented all of the stuff we needed, set up camp and headed for the beach.
This was the view from our camp site.

  Jason had the time of his life snorkeling while I read & combed the beach for shells.  

I'm not normally a shell collector but how could I pass up these beauties?!

We went into town and had dinner that night then went back to our tent, played a few card games and went to sleep.  About an hour after we went to sleep it started to rain and continued to do so ALL night.  This wasn't just a drizzle, it poured and there was thunder and lightening.  About 1 AM we were completely soaked.  We tried to take refuge in a kitchen shelter but it didn't have any walls and the rain was blowing sideways so that wasn't an option.  We ended up hanging our bags from hooks in a public restroom and going back to our tent to "sleep" in the 2 inches of water that had accumulated inside.  Without thinking twice, our 2 night trip quickly became a 1 night trip.  The next morning we returned all of our soaking wet gear and hiked back to town.  The ferry back to Naha didn't leave until 3 PM so we dropped our bags in a locker at the port and went to Furuzamami Beach where we had heard the snorkeling was phenomenal.   Even though the water was cold and there was no sun in sight, I joined Jason in the water for a short while.  He would have stayed there all day but we had a ferry to catch.

See?  Crappy weather!

The water was so clear.

I'm so happy we invested in an underwater camera!  This guy was my bud, he followed me around the whole time I was in the water (which wasn't very long).

My friend was correct, the snorkeling at Furuzamami was spectacular.  The island is surrounded by coral just feet off the shore and there were fish all over!  The only thing we didn't see that we really wanted to was a turtle. 

This was taken from up on a cliff. 

Such a beautiful island!

I really, really wish the weather had been better.  Other than our lack of sleep, we loved this quiet little island.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blog everyday in May {Day 29}

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post

1. Blue Dress by Ernie Halter (This is where the name of my blog came from.)
2. Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne (Our "wedding song", we didn't have one and Jason suggested this one while he was deployed.  It couldn't be more fitting of our relationship.)
3. Good Riddance by Green Day (My all time favorite song.  EVER.)
4. One Sweet Day by Mariah Carey and Boys II Men (This was played at a funeral I attended in 8th grade {and many others after that} and 17 years later, I still cannot listen to it without sobbing.  I couldn't even bring myself to test the link so I hope it works)
5. Party in the U.S.A. by Miley Cyrus (This one is slightly embarrassing but it was our jam during one of the best periods in my life.  This song will always remind me of the friends we made and shared our lives with in Missouri and the great time we had there.) 

Monday, May 27, 2013


Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures

Today's prompt, only pictures, is the perfect way to share how I spent my Memorial Day.  Living on a military instillation, EVERY day is Memorial Day.  Every day I drive past a home with a gold star flag hanging in the window or see a person wearing a gold star pin or a memorial bracelet in honor of a fallen friend/family member/loved one/fellow soldier.  My husband wears one in honor of 1SG Christoper Rafferty whom he deployed with back in 2006, Jason's first deployment.  It's the only piece of "jewelry" that he wears no-matter-what, even more than he wears his wedding ring.  I am constantly reminded of and remembering those that have made the ultimate sacrificed.  We decided to spend this Memorial Day in Hiroshima.  The last location on my MUST do list while living in Japan.  I cannot think of a better place to spend the day.  I don't think the day needs any words, photos will do.