Friday, November 14, 2008

Okinawa Pictures!

We went out today and did some exploring around the island. I love this place. Srsly. If it was legal to marry an island, I would. I <3 Okinawa.

Now, first things first: Never let it be said that Eddie and I don't ride in style. Behold, our Hoopty Ride, an 1876 Nissan Crapfinder:

And here is our view from our hotel room, which will be our humble (and freezing) abode until the 18th, when we move into base housing:

And the first sign that we are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto:

There are brightly colored vending machines everywhere. And I do mean EVERYWHERE. They appear more often than internet pop-ups, and just as randomly. I even saw one right next to one of the tombs, which are too sacred to photograph, but apparently not too sacred to grab a Coke:

It didn't take long to get out of town to some of the older areas, which are mostly covered in gorgeous trees/bushes/etc., with a sprinkling of beautiful tombs (which we are not allowed to photograph) and shrines. One such shrine was out at the end of a breakwater beside one of the bridges:

Here's a close-up of the shrine itself:

Most homes and buildings are guarded by Shi Shi Dogs, similar to the Chinese Foo Dog. There is one on either side of a doorway or gate - one with an open mouth, one closed. We've gotten some conflicting information as the significance of the open/closed mouths, but basically the purpose of the dogs is to ward off evil and welcome/keep good spirits. This is one of the dogs at the entrance to the White Beach base:

Then we proceeded to the beach. Okinawa, it would seem, has an abundance of beaches. Stunning, white sand, crystal clear water, beaches. Such as:

Welcome to Paradise - Population: Us

We also met some of the local wildlife:

"Hello? Anybody home?":
" Whassup?":

Owned by wave in 3...2...1...:
This little guy is about the size of a Jelly Belly jelly bean:
WWE HERMIT CRAB SMACKDOWN: (the biggest crab in this picture, the white shell across the top, is about 3/4" long)
No Eddie, you can't keep him... Tomorrow, we're heading up to the aquarium, which I'm told is the 2nd largest aquarium in the world. We're also going to check into a place where we can ride zip lines through the trees -- WOOHOO!!! Sunday, who knows? More pictures to come, without a doubt.
Then on Monday, it's back to finishing up paperwork and other bullshit, including figuring out how to get our cats here. Happy happy joy joy.

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