Saturday, July 25, 2009

A pretty chill weekend...

Not a whole lot to report from Okinawa this week. I have been studying like a mad woman and John has been preparing for a trip for work. Needless to say, our house is a bit of a disaster and we're a tad stressed! To help with the stress, my wonderful husband took me out to dinner at a nice restaurant (ok, nice by Okinawan standards!) for my birthday since he will be in the Philippines on that day.
We stuffed ourselves silly with crab legs and steak although nothing compares to a good ol Texas steak! It was a great birthday dinner and I am glad we had a chance to go out to celebrate!
Saturday morning we planned on diving (shocker, I know). We headed out to a place we had never been and after getting lost a time or two, we finally found it. The conditions were way too windy and the water was too choppy to get in, so we took a little stroll on the beach. We encountered these guys.
I am not quite sure what this is called, but I would say stupid might be implied. These guys are strapped to a harness which is connected to a parachute, connected to a motorized fan! Now I am all about doing "daring" or exciting things, but this just does not look safe to me!
We watched them fly around for a bit then continued are walk, but were sure to keep an eye out so we didn't get knocked over in one of their landings!
This picture makes us (especially me) look a little dwarf-ish, but it is cute nonetheless!
The water was exceptionally clear and beautiful this weekend, I couldn't get over how pretty it looked.
We officially have one year down in Okinawa. I wish I could say "I can't believe it has already been one year", but it seems like 5 to me! Orders are still in the works for us to head out of here next summer, but nothing is ever official in the military until you are on that plane. Say a few prayers for us that if it is God's will, we come back to America sooner rather than later!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Boat Dive

Alright, I am sure by now you are tired of scuba diving pictures, but quite frankly, that is all we do on weekends because my husband is just a little obsessed!
Last weekend we decided to do a boat dive to the Kerama Islands. The guys we had planned on booking through were not going out there this particular weekend, so we had to settle for going through the Air Force's Scuba Locker. Sorry to my Air Force loving family, but this was just a bad idea. They don't exactly have their act together over there, but I think it is partially the fault of the 5 teenagers behind the counter. We got on the boat at 7am (let me remind you that I am sooooo not a morning person). An hour later we still had not left. It was pretty disorganized and then to top it off, John overheard the captain talking about another island. Luckily he asked about it back the boat we were on was not going to the Keramas, but to Ie island...meaning we were in for a 2 hour boat ride each way. Ugh. Absolutely no one on the boat knew we were going there, they all thought the same way we did. The captain decided to do what he wanted to do, not what the rest of us wanted (and paid for!) so off we went to these other islands. By this time we were one hour and 1/2 behind schedule. Add that to the ridiculous amount of time we had to spend on the boat; needless to say, we had a REALLY long day!
Alright, now the complaining stops! We wound up having a great time and the water was absolutely gorgeous. I have to say, there are some fabulous places around here, and dare I say, some are prettier than Hawaii!
This was the bluest water I have ever seen and the visibility was incredible.
You have to really watch your gauges to be sure you don't go too deep because the water is so clear.
Check out this giant mushroom coral. Hopefully you can see the other divers around it to put into perspective how big it is!
I love this picture John took of me.

























Here is John in a creepy crevice. I just hovered above and watched. Too narrow for me and my weenie self!
Diving near our house isn't going to be nearly as fun since we have been to this beautiful place!
This is a little video of what it is like down there!
video

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I wrote this a few days ago, but I guess I forgot to actually post it! Anyway...
We had a pretty chill 4th of July weekend. John had a 96 (military speak for 4 days off...96 hours), so we got to hang out pretty much all weekend. This island has a ridiculous number of military bases, at least one for each branch. The large Air Force Base (Kadena AFB) hosts an Independence Day celebration every year. Friday was only for service members, then Saturday they opened it up to the local nationals. We decided to go on Friday and check it out. It has been so rainy and nasty here and that day was no exception. Here is kind of a sorry photo of the flightline at Kadena. There was hardly anyone out there since the weather was bad.
Melinda Doolittle (remember her from American Idol?) was out there performing and she was really good! She came in third on the sixth season of Idol.
Gary Sinise (of CSI and Forrest Gump) also performed along with his "Lieutenant Dan Band". He is a huge military supporter and he and his band travel all over the world performing for the troops.
They also had one of each of the military aircraft that fly here on this island along with some Japanese jets.
And of course the awesome new F-22!
Switching gears...our dogs definitely LOVE the water! We spent some time with them at the beach this weekend so here are a few pictures of them living it up!
Zeke got a bit sandy!
We found a little crab and the dogs were surprisingly scared of it!
It was time to go and Mischa refused to get out of the water. Here she is pretending she didn't hear us calling her so we could go!
They also got a pool this weekend to play in since it gets so hot around here!
Yes, I know, our dogs are spoiled.
I hope each of you had a great weekend. Living in another country really makes you think about how good we have it as Americans. Here is a picture of the HUGE flags that fly at the headquarters of Marine Corps Bases Japan which is on the base where we live. It is a little weird to see them together, but I am glad we are able to peacefully co-exist with the Japanese.
*Side note* I corrected a little paragraph on the previous post. I think I kind of made it sound completely different than what I was intending. John caught it and questioned me, so I just wanted to clarify the "break" part I wrote about. When I said this place can either make or break a realationship, then said, I have seen the break part, I meant I have seen it break up marriages, not ours! I think I scared my poor husband a little!