Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome, 2011!

New Year's Day dawned cold and windy. Too cold to do much outside. We decided it was the perfect day to go for a drive. Plus, we just wanted to get away from the base. There are some tiny islands off of Okinawa that you can drive to. That's where we headed

We stopped to take some pictures.

We had never seen anything like this before.

Most of the beaches here are not sandy. More on that in a few minutes. The first island we got to consists of what appeared to be a fishing village and a small resort. That's it. Guests at the resort can walk down to this beach.

You can also pay to park and come to this beach without having to stay at the resort.

And since we were on such a tiny island, everywhere we went there was more water.

By this point, we were starving. We had left home around noon (without eating lunch), got some yen from the ATM on base, and we had been driving for about two hours. As I said, there was nothing on this island except the small resort and the fishing village. That means there was no drive thru to be found.

So we stopped here.

We figured you couldn't get any more authentic than this.

Tom knows more about ethnic food than I do. He knew that pretty much any Japanese restaurant would have soba noodles. And since the man who owns the place speaks no English, and there were no pictures, he ordered the only thing he knew of.

And this is what we got.

Okinawa soba. You can read about what's in it here. I did not eat any of the kamaboka. Tom took a bite and wished he hadn't. The man did manage to tell us to put the egg in the rice.

Other things that were not available in this establishment:

1. High chair.
He tried to hold Brendan for me so I could eat, but he's not big on strangers so it was short-lived. Brendan had to sit in his car seat instead. Thank goodness I always have some Gerber treats with me.

2.  American utensils.

It was chopsticks or nothing at all.

We kept driving around and made it to Ikei Island.

These pictures were taken from the car.

And we eventually made it to the big time.

Yesterday we spent most of the day around the house.

I hear a lot of people say that their babies don't play with their own toys. Well, Brendan actually does play with almost all of his.

 But there are moments when something like this will entertain him.

And at one point we turned around, and this is what we saw.

I thought it would be a while before I had to worry about him climbing the stairs. Apparently, I was wrong.

The weather wasn't quite as cold yesterday so we headed to the park. We love where we live. We can walk to almost anything from our house. Including this park.

I haven't found a playground yet with the typical American baby swings. So these had to do. I was a little nervous since there is no way to strap the baby in.

Don't you just love the windblown hair?
There's a beach right next to the park so we walked over to see what we could see.
Most of the beaches here are made of broken coral, not sand.

We did manage to find a few sea shells that were pretty enough to keep, and one piece of sea glass. Tom had never heard of sea glass and laughed at me for picking up a piece of a broken bottle. I happen to love sea glass, and I decided I am going to see how much I can find in our four years here.

It's back to the grind for Tom today, and hopefully, back to a routine for Brendan and me. I thought that by the time he was this old I could count on him sleeping through the night. Wrong again. Maybe tonight will be different....?


  1. Love the adventures of living in a foreign land. I bet you could make a really cool art project with all your sea glass!

  2. I laughed out loud at that picture of Brendan with the restaurant man!

  3. I am with Carrie on the pic w/the restaurant man! too funny! I would not be doing well over there myself as I don't break out of my box often so trying new foods that I cannot identify or pronounce is a big NO No in my book. Good for y'all. How did you eat the soupy brothy stuff w/chopsticks anyway? Just drink it?
    Love you.

  4. Tom sipped the broth out. I just ate the noodles and some of the meat. And hoped it was pork. :)