Sunday, November 26, 2006

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"

Can't you tell?



Although I didn't get to experience the joys of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie this last weekend with my family, I had a fantastic weekend in Okinawa. On Friday afternoon, I boarded a bus to head up to the northern city of Nago to meet up with some friends. The bus ride was actually quite amazing as it wound its way up the coast as the sun was setting. It passed beautiful resorts and beaches, some complete with lit Christmas trees. There was a chapel on one beach in which a couple had apparently just been married. Upon arrival in Nago, I enjoyed a filling meal at a local izakaya (restaurant) and then we headed off to a small bar on the beach where we listened to some live music before heading outside for some conversation and stars.

Saturday was going to be a day to check more tourist items off my expanding list. Thankfully, the minute we stepped outside, we knew it was going to be a perfect day for some outdoor activities. Amy and I met up with Christina, her friend from the mainland, and Juhi and headed to the famous Motobu aquarium. Everything about the complex was impressive and with the cloudless sky, absolutely beautiful. We frolicked in the musical fountain, sat on the beach and watched naked children splash about, and enjoyed a dolphin show with the ocean as the backdrop. It also got hot! We began seeking shade and cold drinks... It's the end of November!





After enjoying the aquarium, we headed to the top of a hill for some famous Motobu pizza. At this restaurant perched on the hillside with a view of the ocean, you have two choices of pizza - small or medium. And you can add a salad too. The pizza was yummy and the atmosphere was perfect for a day of sightseeing. We decided that even though sleepiness was setting in, we should go and visit the Butterfly Garden which we had passed. Although it wasn't a gigantic park, there was a butterfly building in which you could take amazing photos and enjoy having butterflies nestled on your head thanks to a nectar-infused hat. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day. Amy and I spent the evening making root beer floats and watching "Grey's Anatomy" which pretty much made it a 10/10 day.






On Sunday, we decided to head to another sightseeing spot before I headed back to Chatan. After perusing the options, we decided to go to the Nago Paradise Park where we were greeted by monkeys (my favorites). There wasn't a ton to see and do at this particular place, but we did get to walk outside in some more amazing weather and make pressed flower keychains. Nothing like some arts and crafts!

I'm hoping this weather holds for a couple more weeks, but I guess I shouldn't get my hopes up too high. It does make up for missing the holidays, but only a little. Hope everyone has had their pants adjusted for the holiday season! I have done some of my Christmas shopping but don't have to worry about shoving people out of my way. Trees are up and there are lights on many of the buildings, which is comforting, if not a little strange to see the Okinawan version of Christmas decorating. I am currently debating whether to buy a Santa that sings and plays a saxophone because it reminds me of the one we have at home...




6 comments:

mom said...

Beautiful butterflies and weather to match! Glad you had a great weekend. We did miss you on Thanksgiving, but are excited about seeing you soon.

Laura said...

That fountain picture reminds me of a certain vatican shots....:)

Luey Fufu said...

We went to a butterfly conservatory in Canada in May. I'll have to take a nectar-infused hat the next time we go so I can get some better pictures of the butterflies. :)

Rachel said...

I'm trying to remember the Vatican quote that accompanied the pose. I remember hitting myself with my bag at the end. Something about, "So, today, we saw the Pope, saw the Sistine Chapel...blah blah....and we're in ROME!" I can assure you, though, that as nice as it was in Okinawa, it had nothing on our days in Rome. Blue Seal ice cream can't compare to gelato. I'm still searching for a place to do my Ireland pose.

And yes, you should sneak in a hat to the conservatory, although some of the butterflies were scary when they'd swoop in out of nowhere or try to get under the hat!

Brooke said...

i have the picture of the happy crab as my desktop background. Reminding me to be happy, not crabby...

Carly said...

*sigh* I want to go somewhere exotic. Not saying that Mishawaka isn't exotic... They have palm trees on Main Street (weirdos, if you ask me). That exotic, right?