Sunday, May 27, 2012

Konnichiwa, Okinawa!

So it’s been about a month since the last time I updated the blog. You have my sincerest apologies. The past few weeks have been BUSY visiting/saying goodbye to family and friends before leaving the country. 

In a four-week timespan, we spent two weeks in Alabama...

a day in DC...

a night in Baltimore...

four days in Philadelphia...

five days in Punxsutawney...

four days in San Diego...

 and a day in Seattle---an incredible vacation but tiring and hectic, nonetheless. While I wanted to sit and post every day, I felt like my time was better spent with my loved ones, making those last-minute memories before skipping the States.

Thursday morning we boarded a plane in the “Rainy City” and after a day or so in the sky (21 hours total with layovers), we finally made it to the “Keystone of the Pacific.” (I plan on posting more later about the trip itself, for those of you who are interested in how I kept myself occupied on a flight of that length.)

We arrived in Okinawa around 6pm Friday local time (which is 13 hours ahead of EST), completely exhausted but also equally excited. 

Fortunately for us, we were greeted by two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet---a couple named Billy and Courtney, our sponsors here at the base.

Right from the start, we got a sense of their southern hospitality. Not only did they pick us up from the airport, they filled our (lodging) fridge with food. Turns out, they are from the South and love Auburn football just as much as my husband does!

That night, we met up with them for a little socialization and were introduced to several other couples, many of which are the husbands Kevin will be working with.

Saturday morning, we woke up early, went for a short three-mile run around the base, then joined Billy & Courtney again for lunch. If you know me at all, you can probably guess what we ate.

Yes, I did, in fact, consume the freshest sushi I’ve ever encountered. Seaweed salad, shrimp nagiri, a rainbow roll and hot green tea. It was perfect. Similar to what I’ve eaten in the US, but a little tastier. Not sure why, but maybe it was the scenery? Or the company? Or perhaps the music? I’m not lying when I say that I heard the melodic, no-word version of “Unbreak My Heart” while mastering my chopstick skills. Toni Braxton would be flattered.

Following lunch, we stopped at the BX to buy new iPhones. We were told the ones we already had wouldn’t work in Japan. (That’s probably not true, but whatever.) Either way, I’m content with the 4S and my newfound capability of communicating with Siri. And now, we no longer have to rely on our hotel room to make phone calls. Believe me, it was a tough 12 hours living without a cell phone. Especially one with the Internet.

So after all that, you’d think that we’d just stay in our hotel room and recover from all the jet lag we were experiencing. But nope, we decided to meet up with an old friend of ours who we knew from when we lived in Valdosta.

Brian picked us up from the hotel around six and we headed north on the island towards a Marine base called Camp Schwab. We had heard of a free concert happening around 8pm and wanted to check it out. It ended up being similar to a carnival with prize-winning games, fried food and loud music. Of course, Kevin won me a blow-up samurai sword.

And we got to hear the 90s grunge band Candlebox and their one-hit wonder "Far Behind" in person.

Needless to say, both Kevin and I fell asleep in the car on the way home. (Sorry, Brian) We were both beyond exhausted.

And then last but not least, today we slept in, ate a humongous brunch buffet on base, and then napped literally all afternoon.

It’s been a great past two days and we are so happy to be here! Stay tuned…