Saturday, December 24, 2011

Okinawa #4 (Das ist alles)

OK,OK probably a lot more pictures than you care about, but it was fun seeing them again.

Holly Anna made reservations for a couple of days at a really wonderful miliary resort - Okuma. It rained some, but we had a great time.

The West Beach at Okuma.

We had lots of fun at the Pineapple Plantation and the Glass Blowing Shops

What you see here is all part of a Soba restaurant in Nago. I kind of fell in love with the various soba dishes.

You would see these shrines in many areas of the island. We understand that the ashes from many family members reside in these.

The next several pictures were taken a the Ryukyu Mura, a cultural center on the island. Lots of cool sights and educational experiences.

We took in a Habu snake demonstration. Habu are one of the most deadliest snakes on earth. The snake around Patty is not a Habu by the way (they keep them in the cages).

So while Patty and I were hanging out in the Osaka airport (and also being one of the very few caucasians) we were invited to participate in some welcome activities with the natives and their traditional dress. They are a lovely people in many ways. (we could learn a lot from them about customer service, btw)

Okinawa #3

Are you excited for more!

Our hosts seem to know of all these fun places to have lunch (the lunches were great as well.)

We went to this restaurant called "Pizza in the Sky". I still marvel that they found this place. We were definitely the only foreigners there. The pizza was good - whole corn and all!

A great shot of Ie Shima (island) from the restaurant. This island had a lot of significance during the Battle of Okinawa. I will let you study that. One significant casualty was this is where Ernie Pyle was killed. He was probably the most famous WWII war correspondent.

These shots are of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. A very cool place that, in my opinion, rivals Sea World in many areas. The inside aquarium was truly remarkable with some of the biggest fish that we have ever seen.

Here is our main wizard, Denver, getting ready to launch his "Nimbus 3000".

We just never tired of seeing Juniper smile. Now bear in mind that she would have a meltdown every once in a while, but that usually only lasted 10 minutes or so.

Beautiful sights at Hedo Point (the most northern point of the island).

Beachcombing. Patty was excited to collect shells, coral and polished glass.

Denver and Grandpa did a little exploring up a small ravine.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Okinawa #2

We had a really terrific time at the Forest Adventure zipline. We will have to show you Jason's videos. This was also the first time for Denver. He was tall enough to go this year!

Juniper loved to try out any shoes that were laying around.

Pretty Ms. McCall ready for the day.

Cool sights at Zanpa Point.

The cool cove where Denver was baptized.

Lots of neat castle ruins on Okinawa. This one is called Katsuren Castle. Really cool when you think that is was constructed around the time of Christopher Columbus.

McCall loves to pose in the sun.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Okinawa December 2011 #1

Patty and I had such a wonderful time in Okinawa (Dec 2-10) with Holly Anna, Jason and the kids. Because our computer must be getting old and it takes awhile to upload pictures, we will bring these great experiences to you in smaller doses. That may be best as you can digest them in smaller bites.

These pictures are from our first day. We arrived in Okinawa on Friday morning and Holly Anna picked us up at the airport and the fun immediately started (besides being on the end of the island with a lot of the historical sights, she wanted to make sure we stayed awake until evening. Good plan, by the way.) You will see pics of Shuri Castle, a highly significant shrine area for the Japanese, but also very significant in WWII. The Japanese Naval Underground Headquarters during WWII. This was ingenious and was part of the reason that the battle for this island took almost 3 months and nearly a quarter million lives. Pics of the Peace Prayer Park where the war really ended for Okinawa. The memorial that you see (much like the Vietnam Memorial) has the names of not only the Japanese soldiers who died, but all other soldiers and civilians as well. Very impressive. The lovely Holly Anna is standing by one of the shrine areas in the park. Lastly, it did a grandfather good to see how the numerous school groups loved Juniper. Everywhere we went the old and young Japanese alike loved talking to her in Japanese. It was fun to see.

Finally, thanks again to the Dalpias family for being such terrific hosts and the loads of fun that we had!

Stayed tuned . . . . more to come later.