Okinawa Sunrise

Monday, June 18, 2007

Heiji Falls and Hedo Point

So the Saturday before last Adrian and I took the gamble what the rains would hold off and we won! We drove north of Nago to Heiji falls. From the entrance to the park, it's about a 40 minute walk (it would be lying to call it a hike) up and down and up and down wooden stairs and across wooden bridges built into the jungle. It had a look about it that made me wonder at times if we were going to come out at the falls or at the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse at Disney! Having been a very wet week, the wood was very moist and you had to make sure you had a firm grip on the stairs. Evidently I gripped a little too much as I woke up on Sunday with throbbing calves that had me walking like a peguin until Wednesday!

There weren't too many people at the falls so it was a lovely walk. The water is amazingly crisp and clear and very tempting to swim in. Warnings by the park and the US Armed forces state that you shouldn't due to the currents. Many service members have been severely injured in actually jumping into the water from the top of the falls. Refreshing I'm sure but given the slippy moss all over the rocks...definately a bad idea!

After Heiji we drove another 20 minutes north to Hedo point, Northern most point of Okinawa (See pic 4). Very craggy but lovely. Then back down south, stopping along the way at a little Soba joint for some Okinawa Soba and Tempura.....yum!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Introducing Aubrie!

Tali and Kyle welcomed their daughter Aubrie into the world on June 7th! She was 7lbs, 9oz and 21 inches and pure beauty!

I went by for a cuddle when she was just one day old. Clearly already so alert and strong. Just beautiful and with the biggest little feet you've ever seen! The pictures say it all!

Promotion and Wet down!

Our first anniversary was an auspicious date for another reason. It marked 2 years since Adrian was commisionned as a 2nd lieutenant. Therefore, on the first day back at work after the Memorial day weekend, myself and Adrian's Gunnery Sargent, Gunny Bradley, took off Adrian's 2nd Lt bars (also known as butter bars) in favor of his 1st Lt ones. The new ones are silver rather than gold ( I know, that doesn't make any sense to me either!).

Adrian got his promotion on the same day as our good friend Brian which was nice for another reason. Traditionally, a newly promoted officer throws a soiree for his entire office and pics up the tab with the new increase in his pay. Since Brian and Adrian were promoted at the same time, they hosted the "wet down" together at a lovely place called Shimenabi just south of Futenma airbase! It was quite the event as you can see from the pics and given all the Sashimi and terriyaki we ordered and all the Birru and Awamori we washed it down with, not unreasonably priced either!

In the first 2 pictures we see the proud new 1st lets, followed by Clint, Meghan's husband recently returned from Iraq, getting experimental with a slimy concoction pretending to have something to do with bean curd. Meghan clearly eagerly awaiting her turn to try in picture 2! Brian toasts with Ikuko and an office mate with some Awamori which got the better of him by midnight in picture 3! Our bountiful feast if evident in pics 4 and 5 :) hungry???

Nakagusku Ruins

So the shame of living under 10 minutes from a UNESCO world heritage site that I had never visited finally ate away at my last excuse a few weekends ago so I dragged Adrian out there (on our anniversary no less) to do the culture thing! It was hot as blazes (as you might be able to see from the pictures) but very interesting. It's estimated that it was built around the 13th or 14th centuries. They were in much better shape when Commodore Matthew Perry visited them in late 19th century and declared that they were most impressive. When Japan annexed Okinawa as a prefecture, the prefectural office built their headquarters on the ruins. These were blasted to bits during the bombings in late World War II but the castle foundations rode out the storm. The style and the way the stone's interlocked reminded me somewhat of Mayan Temples I visited with my family some years ago just outside of Cancun. Clearly very precise and with no cement of any kind.

I was certainly an educational little sojourn but with the heat, Adrian and I elected to spend the rest of the afternoon soaking ourselves in the local outdoor baths...most refreshing!