Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Weekend!

Thanksgiving weekend was an awesome weekend! It started on Wednesday (Bryan got off at noon!!!) and went until Sunday (obviously). It was a glorious 4.5 day weekend and it was spent doing lots of stuff! Besides Thursday being devoted to cooking and dishes, Friday was spent shopping AFTER 2pm, Saturday was spent watching movies and just being together and Sunday in the morning we were able to Skype with my family while they got together for their Thanksgiving dinner and then we went on an All Day tour with our base's ITT office. It was a great weekend and we are sad that it is over and that Bryan is back to work for the week.

The tour we went on was the Explore the North tour. It was fantastic! It started bright and early Sunday morning at 9am (okay maybe that is just early for me lol), and we didn't get home til after 5pm. We got to see lots of the North part of the island that we haven't seen yet, so just the drive was great! Who knew that we could go from flat land to mountainous land with jungles?!?! It was great!

We started the tour at the Nakijin-jo Castle Ruins, and even though the original castle is long gone the walls are still in tact, and there are some smaller buildings still standing. I myself love history and all things that have to do with long ago times. So this was a favorite on the trip for me. I love seeing where people once lived and see what still remains today! Plus the views were breathtaking!
This was a little hut outside the gates to the ruins, and they sold lots of  little treats to eat.

Bryan being impatient because I was trying to figure out the settings on my 'good, fancy' camera lol

It was breathtaking views on the top of the ruins! 

And a self timer shot! With our little point and shoot camera resting on the top of a very unstable rock lol

After we left the castle ruins we were off to Okinawa Fruits Land, which is where we had lunch! It was a very yummy lunch. We partook in a Yakiniku BBQ lunch, which is where each table has their own grill and you grill your own food! This was a first for Bryan and I, and we had so much fun doing this!!! And the food was awesome! We are already talking about finding another restaurant that has this!  (The pictures (except for the first 2) from this stop were taken with our Canon point and shoot because it was too crowded and I was too hungry to mess with our DSLR lol)
Okinawa Fruits Land!

Bryan sitting at our little table, all the tables were connected! The rest of the people you see were on our tour bus, there were 37 people total.
Cooking our food!! All the meats and veggies were sliced thin so they would cook fast.

Bryan cooking his food!

The restaurant. This place could probably seat close to 200+ people!

My lunch! Yummy, rice, beef, some type of noodle (or veggie not sure but it's in a lot of dishes here) and cabbage.

Bryan's lunch, he wanted the veggies!

Salad, dipping sauce (which is awesome) and our Miso soup that we cooked as well!

Drinking my Miso soup, they don't do spoons here! You drink your soup.

Our next stop after lunch was the Nago Pineapple Farm. This place was really interesting. I guess I always thought pineapples grew on trees, guess not they grow under the ground. We also got to sample lots of yummy products made with pineapples! Also there is a rare sweet potato that grows here in Okinawa and it's called the Purple Sweet Potato, and when they make things out of it they call the flavor Benimo, and it's actually pretty yummy. They make icecream and chocolates with it!

Our self portraits never turn out good, oh well. Us at the Pineapple Farm.

Pineapples growing on Pineapples?!?!

People left their coins in this 'guard dog' at the Farm. Maybe like our tradition of throwing coins in a fountain?

After the Nago Pineapple Farm, we then went to the Ryukyu Glass Factory. They make lots of handmade glass products all the way from glasses, to little figurines! It was a really interesting stop and we also got to make our own glasses!! The interesting's a Glass BLOWING Factory, so you blow in a long tube to form your glass! 

Bryan blowing his glass to make his glass!

Learning how to roll the glass into the right form.

Me blowing my glass.

Forming his glass.

Me forming my glass, our glasses will be is just red because of how hot they heat it up!

They had these cute cut outs made from different colored glass!!

After the Glass Factory we headed to the Orion Beer Factory which was our last stop on the tour. The Orion Beer Factory was the first beer factory on the island and started shortly after the war ended here in Japan. It is named after the Orion star which rises in the East and is considered good luck here in Japan. Even though it is named after Orion, here it is pronounced Or-re-on when translated to English. The tour lasted about 30 minutes and we toured the whole factory from start to finish on making beer. It was pretty neat the whole process that it goes through. After the tour we got to either sample the beer or another beverage product that Orion produces. 

One of the machines to make beer...I have no idea, I was kinda 'lost' on the tour lol

We got 'play' with the hops that goes in the beer. 

Bryan drinking his sample!

I tried their tea that they make called Oolong Tea, it was pretty tasty.
Well that is all our tour! Whew that was a long one! Hopefully you made it to the end, if not I don't blame you! Hopefully next month we get to go another tour, we are trying to see what dates work for us, sadly most tours happen on Sundays, so then we have to miss church which we don't like doing every week. But hopefully something comes up we can do!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Rainy Days, and an Uninteresting Week

For the last few days we have had some serious rain! It seems just about every day we get at least a small rain shower, however Tuesday and Wednesday it just rained constantly. Rainy days make me want to stay inside and curl up with a good book and just loaf. Which is so not good for all the things I need to get done around our place!

We have a baseball field in our 'backyard' and it seriously looks like a lake right now! You can actually see little waves in it! I don't think there will be any games being played any time soon! Which even though we think they play way too much (hello 7am on a Saturday), I am kind of missing their constant chattering outside our balcony, it gave me something to watch during the day.

On another note, don't know if anyone back in the States heard, but we had a big earthquake on Tuesday! It was a 6.9 and was just a little over 100 miles off Okinawa's coast! It was crazy! We have had quite a few earthquakes since we have been here, but this was by far the biggest one yet! It seemed to last a good minute as well (even though Bryan said it only lasted 15 seconds...I don't believe him because he didn't know we were having an earthquake, he thought the truck he was in was dying lol).

This week is slowly going by, nothing too exciting. We went to dinner on Tuesday night, then came home and hooked up our Apple TV, wohoo we get shows now!!!  Yesterday was a lazy day at home, with Bryan at work, and today I will be babysitting in the afternoon, and then it's Friday!! And Bryan is OFF work on Friday, wohoo for holidays!

So yup that sums up our week, pretty boring I know. I have been working on a few DIY projects and so far they are turning out great! I can't wait til they are finished and I can show them off!! 

A Late Weekend Update

Our weekend is sadly over (awhile ago! this post may have been in the works since Monday lol), and Thursday is almost over! Seriously where does the time go?? On Friday when Bryan got home from work I was already at work! Yup you read that right! I got a job!!! I am nannying for a fellow military family that live on the next base over (about 15 mins away). They have 3 kids; 6yrs, 2yrs and a 1yr old. They are great kids, and are sooo much fun! I was there from 6pm-11pm, so Bryan got to do his manly stuff at home i.e. play xbox and work on his car not my cup of tea lol

Saturday we 'loafed' around the apartment in the morning and did some more unpacking and then decided to get out and about. One of the Marine bases on the island was having their Holiday Bazaar so we went to that, and I didn't even buy anything!! There were a lot of things I liked but nothing I couldn't live with out. So after that we decided to try a new restaurant, well it's not new but new to us! Bryan had heard about it at work so went there. It's called the Big Di-Chan, it was actually a pretty good little restaurant. We both ordered the same thing, they had menus with pictures in it, which is how we ordered because otherwise we didn't understand the menu! So from what we could tell our meal was going to be breaded chicken, rice and a bowl of soup. We were very surprised when our meal came because it was HUGE! There was sooo much food, we could have split one dinner instead of each of us ordering our own! But it was very tasty and yummy! And surprisingly for all that food it was only 1,789Yen! Which is about $23, so not too bad! One of the cheaper places that are on the island actually! After dinner we stopped for icecream, and then came home and watched some movies we have been waiting to watch til our BIG TV arrived!

Sunday we were able to Skype with both of families, so that was nice. And then  we did our grocery shopping then came home and made dinner and just relaxed around the apartment and got ready for the week ahead of us.

So not totally a jam packed weekend, but that is okay with us. We like being home and watching movies and just being together. Here are some pics from the restaurant!

Me with all my food lol it was like my own little buffet! I mean the soup bowl was bigger than my head!
And Bryan with his food!
The huge amount of food, I didn't even finish all my meal! That little bowl behind the soup bowl was a cold salad of mixed greens and some 'weird' stuff, I actually tried it! I was surprised by myself because normally I stick to things I know, but I figured I am going to have try the random things here, otherwise I am not really experiencing it! And it was actually good! Bryan of course ate everything, without thinking twice lol

On the way back from the restaurant we stopped at the park that we keep driving by, this time it was night and soooo pretty! I loved the views!

Then we decided to stop for icecream!!! Bryan was too quick and started eating his before I could get my camera out!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An Update, wohoo!!!

Has it already been over 2 weeks since we last updated?? Wow, time is really going fast here, well actually the days don't go fast, but when I sit back and actually realize that we have been here over a month already that just seems insane!!! Since I am a countdowner (is that even a word?) we have 35 months left here in Okinawa! Sounds extremely long, but if it goes like this past month it will be over in a *few* blinks of an eye!

Depending on the day and which one of us you talk to you will hear that either we like it here, we love it here or we *wish* we were somewhere else...can anyone say Europe? But, that isn't the case, the Air Force sees it best if we stay in Okinawa for the next three years, trust me I have asked if we can move sooner apparently they don't go for early releases lol So I am bound and determined to make the next 35 months a fun adventure, because after all our blog is titled Adventures in Japan!

One of the first adventures we have had is eating at a little Japanese restaurant called Arin Krin or as others refer to it the Garlic House. I found this restaurant while searching the OkinawaHai website (which is a website written by military spouses (mostly wives) about different places here in Okinawa and the best part is they give awesome reviews, so just by reading some of the reviews I can determine if it would worth our interest to actually go to them! We have already been to two different restaurants that were featured on the OkiHai! And they both got a thumbs up from Bryan and I!

Back to the Garlic House. After reading about this restaurant I knew we HAD to go to it. I mean Bryan LOVES garlic so I figured this restaurant was made for him! After driving around the restaurant in circles literally, about 6 times (there were only 4 parking spots for that place, and so we kept circling the block looking for another spot to park) we finally found a parking spot! The restaurant was a very cute little place with lots of tables and we were shown to a seat fairly quickly, after reading that you should have a reservation I was a little worried that we would be waiting a long time, but we didn't have to!

We ordered 4 different items off the menu which thankfully we did, because the portions are soooo tiny here. Seriously now I know why Japanese people are so skinny, they hardly eat anything! Maybe I can learn from them! We ended up ordering the shrimp, chicken, fish and fried mashed potatoes! They were sooo yummy!! However...because of the small portions we were still hungry when we were done there so went down the street to the Big Dip icecream parlor and had some *expensive* icecream =) It was a great date night out for us, even if we did spend most of the day/night lost!

The restaurant! It even had little 'garlic people' painted on the side!

Yummy garlic chicken dish!

The garlic shrimp, was my favorite!!!
The deep fried Mashed Potatoes with cheese, these were awesome!

The garlic fish!

yummy icecream place!

Our icecream! Mine was a coffee flavored, and Bryan's was Blue Wave, it was like bubblegum with pineapple chunks!

And here is just a recent picture we took Sunday morning on our way to Church,  we found a cute little park that had an awesome view! We can't wait take our Little Bella there!!