Thursday, July 31, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We get to move into our house today! We are so ready to get out of this hotel and get our puppies out of the kennel! Poor little guys have been through so much with this move, I am sure they will be happy to be in their new home and play in their big back yard!

(I will be posting more pictures once we actually get inside!)

We are so fortunate to get housing so soon as well as a single family house (as opposed to a multiplex or duplex).

We bought a car yesterday. Cars here are quite different. It is unusual to see brand new cars, they are all quite a bit older and much less expensive. John and I did not see much of a point in buying a newer car to only have it for 3 years. So we went down to one of the military friendly dealerships and bouth a 1994 Surf (It looks just like a Toyota 4-Runner), perfect for toting around the two dogs!

Car dealerships here are quite different than in the US. The car lot was like nothing I have ever seen before. This lot had rows and rows of cars bumper to bumper. You can't test drive them because there is no possible way to get them out. All of the keys are inside the vehicles, you can open the doors, look inside, try out the AC, but you can't drive it until you buy it. They have 2 year warranties for everything, so if there is something wrong with the car you bought, it will be covered, so you dont have to worry about not test driving it.
After a few minutes of looking around, we decided on one we liked, a guy came outside and talked to us about it, and before we knew it, we bought a car. The funny thing is that depending on how difficult your car is to get out of the lot, depends on how quickly you get to take it home! So try to find a car that is on the outside of the lot. There were only 3 cars in front of ours, so we get it the next day! Haha! Hopefully you can see the insanity of this lot by these pictures!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting the hang of it all

Ok people, sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. It has been a bit of a whirlwind! We have now been on the island for 6 days and things have been going quite smoothly!

I have a friend from back home in good ol Wichita Falls named Sara. Her husband is an Air Force pilot and they are stationed here on Okinawa. It is great to already know someone and not feel like you are bombarding them with all of your questions! Anyway, Sunday night she and her husband took us to an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant...I'm talking the kind where you remove your shoes and sit on the floor. It was great! John and I loved everything about it! It was so fun. I am kicking myself for not bringing my camera, but I promise I will be back and post a few pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I have been asked by many to post some, but I haven't been off base much, so I figured you all don't care much to see what the base looks like. They're all the same, except for the fact that this one has this stuff they call grass. Hmmm...foreign concept coming from the middle of the desert in Fallon, NV.

So we took our driving tests this week; it was not as hard as I expected, but I'm not sure yet how driving will be. We will get our licenses tomorrow and then hopefully immediately after go buy a car! I have felt like I was 15 years old again for the past week. I have had to rely on others, a shuttle, and my own two feet to get me around. Lord knows I'm not a huge fan of the last one, especially in 98 degree heat with an insane amount of humidity on top of that. I swear I've lost at least 5 pounds since I've been here! Driving will be quite an interesting experience. As most of you know, they drive on the other side of the road here, and much, much slower than we do in the United States. From what I hear, the highest posted speed limit on the island is 80 kilometers per hour, meaning a whole 50 miles per hour, but in most places it is 50 or 60 KPH, a whopping 30-40 MPH! Guess I need to lighten up on my lead foot!

Yesterday was my birthday, an I got a wonderful gift: a housing offer! John and I were ecstatic to hear that they already had a place available for us! We move in on Friday, so I will definitely be taking a few pictures of our funky new house and telling about it!

Thank you to everyone who remembered my birthday and sent me birthday wishes! I had a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We made it!

Well, after countless hours of traveling, we finally made it to Okinawa! On Tuesday, the 22nd, we flew from Reno to Seattle. We were spending the night there, so we decided to do a little sightseeing. I had never been there, so we drove downtown and saw the space needle, and the awesome farmer's market. This was no Fallon Framer's Market! Haha! They had flowers, and fish, and all kinds of fruit and vegetables. We even saw the famous Pike's Place fish market, where the guys throw fish back and forth to each other!

Anyway, the next morning we woke up bright and early to head to the airport in Seattle for our long journey overseas. The check in process with two dogs was virtually painless, but trying to maneuver two 60 lb dogs in their crates, plus all of our luggage was quite a feat. It was a military flight with approximately 350 people on it. Most of whom had kids. I applaud them! I have never seen that many military families in one place in my entire life! It was a sea of high and tight haircuts!

So after many hours of waiting, we all pile into a rather large airplane headed to Yokoto Air Base on the main island in Japan. There were many seats available in first class, so first they called out for any single officers traveling, and no one stepped up to the plate. Then they went down the line for those officers who were traveling with one dependent, and we were able to snag two first class seats! What a world of difference!!! We were able to sit back and relax on that 9 hour flight! It was so wonderful! When we got to Japan, we were able to get the dogs out and take them for a little walk, then back in for the last leg of our trip. A few hours later, we finally made it to Okinawa! The puppies did really well! Our sponsors met us at the airport and took us to drop the dogs off at the kennel, and then eat some local food...Chilis, haha! By that time anything sounded better than airplane food! So I really have no earthly idea what time zone I am in or what day it is, but we are so excited to finally be here! Thanks for all of your prayers! Hope to hear from all of you soon!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2 days left!

We only have a few days left until we get out of here! Tomorrow the movers come, so hopefully there will be no moving drama, and all of our things get packed safely.

It has been quite surreal the past few weeks. Everyone has been asking: "Are you nervous?", "Are you excited?", and "Are you ready?". The answer is Yes! We are ready to just get there and get settled in. It has been hard saying goodbye, especially to my family, but hopefully we will be able to come back for Christmas. It all depends on John's deployment schedule.

Friday night, my wonderful friend, Robin hosted a farewell party for me along with the other fabulous Topgun wives. We had amazing desserts and, of course, wine. I will miss these ladies dearly. I think leaving some of them will be a little more difficult that leaving family. You know you will always see your family again, but there may be some of these ladies I might not see again. Thanks to all of you for being great friends. I hope we are able to cross paths again!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

On our way out of Nevada

We are exactly 12 days away from leaving the armpit of the United States...the place they call Nevada. There will be a few things I miss about it here, like my friends, being so close to Lake Tahoe and driving distance to John's family, but other that that, I do not have many nice things to say! If you have been one of the lucky few to have visited us here, then I need to explain no further. John's time at TOPGUN has been a long road. There has not been an officer in the history of TOPGUN who has been here as long as he has. It is definitely time to go! Don't get me wrong, this has been a great career move for him. I mean, how many people can say that they were an instructor at the prestigious Navy Fighter Weapons School: the real TOPGUN? I am so proud of him. Not only for the job he does, but what he has endured the last 4 years. There were many 16+ hour workdays, countless late night debriefs, and there were quite a few times I was sleeping when he left for work and sleeping when he came home. There is a lot expected of you when you are a member of a staff who are the best of the best. I believe he will miss the camaraderie and being with such an elite group of people. But the best is yet to come. We are looking forward to being on a beautiful tropical island with such wonderful travel opportunities. Start checking for flights everyone!