Friday, April 11, 2008

Okinawa Trip: Lazy Days

Poor Jen had to get fingerprinted on Thursday (stupid Ohio!) so we stayed close to base. We spent the morning shopping in a little plaza - including the $100 yen store (like our $1 store.) I saw a bedraggled stray cat and wanted to rescue him, but sadly there was nothing I could do.

After shopping, we went to a little restaurant right by the sea wall. It was an all-you-can-eat curry buffet and we sat overlooking the ocean. There were tons of surf shops nearby, but I have yet to see anyone surfing.

We spent the afternoon hanging out - needed a low-key day after all the craziness. It was Brian's mom's birthday so we fancied ourselves up and went to Sam's By The Sea for dinner, a steak and seafood restaurant. I had the mahi mahi, caught straight from Okinawan waters, and a banana daiquiri. They also serve this incredible pineapple butter for bread.

The picture is of the shrimp cocktail appetizer - it had dry ice in it so all this crazy fog surrounded it. Plus, it was the best dang shrimp I've ever had in my life!

I'm glad I'm skipping my diet even though I've probably gained a gazilion pounds - not that I could understand any of the nutritional information or anything.

Friday: Up North Again

Yesterday, Brian and I ran two miles again. Yes, he's still amazed that I run as slow as I do, but at least I'm running! After that, we drove to the northern end of Okinawa to check out some of the beaches. The water is way too cold to swim, but the beaches are perfect for shell collecting!

We went to the gorgeous Okuma beach on a military resort. It felt very Dirty Dancing 'esque with little cabins all over the place. The water was aqua and so clear.

The military accommodations are a little sparse - small concrete buildings right by the ocean, a few little wooden cabins, a basketball court and lots of recreational equipment. Jen says there's no air conditioning and you have to bring your own sheets! What's funny is the JAL Private Resort is right next door - it's where the Japanese people go. Three crystal-clear pools, pristine cabins overlooking the ocean, umbrellas sitting up in the sand - a little bit of a different vacation opportunity!

I think I'm allergic to the sun because I keep getting huge red bumps on my arms when I spend time outside. It's very fetching

Corn, corn, corn, corn

We had a late lunch at Pizza in the Sky (Pizza Kajinho). It's this fun restaurant way up high (hence the sky) that serves pizza and salad. You have no say what pizza or salad you get - it's whatever they feel like making that day. Our pizza included onions, green peppers, some spicy hot dog-like meat and corn. Apparently, they put corn on everything in Okinawa. It was actually pretty tasty on pizza, much to my surprise.

The picture is of me and Jen and the English menu. We just pointed at what we wanted! Really, I don't know how I would've survived international travel if I hadn't been able to point.

In Okinawa (and I'm assuming Japan) it's considered rude to ask for special orders (like no mayo or no cheese). You eat what you're given. It's also considered rude and wasteful to leave food on your plate, so you have to eat everything. That meant we had to eat both large pizzas - I've never been so full in my life!

We did a little more souvenir shopping and headed back to Jen and Brian's, where we collapsed in a heap. Sadly we were too full from pizza to eat a real dinner so we had Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for dinner. I'm not going to complain about that - yum!

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