Friday, July 31, 2009

Castle Ruins and a Haunted Hotel

I had heard about the haunted hotel and since I am not a ghost chaser I wasn't really interested. Then I went out shooting with my neighbor we were in the area. I mentioned I thought it was right by the castle ruins and we were determined to find it.

Doorways to the next level.

This was very cool, I took some fun shots being cute on these stairs.

One of the things the Okinawan's do not like about us being here is the airplanes flying over making all kinds of noise.

We came out of one area and there in the distance was the hotel!! BINGO

The first building was the "Royal road pub". Who in the heck went drinking there I wonder.

Hallways that led to who knows where. They were a little creepy.

This is the look I choose when being out in the Okinawa sun. Bandana, no makeup, and sleeveless to get a tan. Plus you always have to have your flip flops.

View from the top. The guy building the hotel didn't have blueprints. He just built things all over. So wierd.

One of the walkways we didn't try to go check out. There weer spiderwebs everywhere.

We were a little nervous of running into these guys. Bannana spiders get HUGE! This isn't even a big one.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finding a Buddhist Shrine

A neighbor of mine is moving, one of these days. To distract the poor thing from her MIA orders we went on a photo trip. We wanted to get some cool pictures from around here and I wanted an hour or so without kids fighting with each other.
We had a sweaty blast.
We only ventured outside one of our gates here and found fabulous things.
While driving around looking for something cool, we saw the red roof of a building and decided to check it out.
BONUS It was a Shrine
THE "OMIKUJI" FORTUNE. Most shrines sell fortunes called Omikuji おみくじ. Just look for a small rounded container filled with bamboo sticks at the shrine kiosk. Pay the attendant (typically 100 yen), pick up the container, give it a shake, and a long stick will pop out of a small hole at the top. The stick will have a number, which corresponds to a fortune. Based on your number, the attendant gives you a tiny slip/roll of paper on which is written your fortune. If you draw a good fortune, keep it, take it home with you. But if it's bad, leave it at the shrine, don't take it home. Just look around, and you'll find a small stand with many strips of white paper tied on. These are bad fortunes and you should tie yours here too. The concept is "leave the bad luck at the shrine, where the divine spirit can exorcise it.
I had to do a little homework on that one.

There are explanations for all the goodies the visitor here tie on the fence and trees. I just cannot remember what it is. Loving the mini backpacks.

You have to wash your hands get cleansed before entering the temple. Cleanliness is next to buddaness. I personally did not want to use this one with the many many children. Out of the picture there are a few more kid statues standing around her.

I opted for scary looking dude. As did Diane.

Back up the stairs. When we first arrived we accidentally came around the back way. When I saw we were about to go in we rushed down the stairs to wash our hands and mouth. We decided NOT to wash our mouths.
Once inside we were taking it all in. Not taking pictures but just checking it out. I find out later the lady working there said no pictures. Good thing I didn't know.
I never put the camera to my eye but I held it at my waist and clicked away. No flash.
The reason for this was while we stood there the men outside came in and three Monks came in and started a ceremony. It was amazing, the chanting, the drums, it was very cool.
As I have my back turned Diane kneels down on the floor. I felt like I was intruding just standing there. Kneeling just worked.

We left after he flung the rag mop looking deal around their heads. Our knees were hurting.
Down the hill was this fierce looking Shisa.

I don't care how holy you are. Sometimes you just have to hit the vending machine. Now my girl Aviva would get the shot of the monks going to the vending machine. But she has some ninja skills we cannot discuss here.

This is a replica of the mop deal. This was set up down the hill. Like a mini shrine.

Please remember while reading this post I have no idea what I am talking about and do not mean to offend any of my Buddhist readers.
arigato gozaimasu

next up, castle ruins and haunted hotels OH MY

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eclipse in Okinawa

I saw my first Eclipse and I can still see. Whew. I was a little worried about it.
We were doing a fundraiser today for our Army peeps and thank goodness some of them were prepared so we could see it.
Here it is without the special glasses. Not much to look at.

Ahh this is what it is supposed to look like.

Very cool..

Click on this to see how cool it is.

Cropped to see it closer.

This was just funny, everywhere I looked were people looking up at the eclipse.

Just one more reason Okinawa is the place to be!!

I copied this off my friend Joelle's blog. A little info for you.

"The solar eclipse of July 22, 2009, is the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting at most 6 minutes, 39 seconds.... It will be visible from a narrow corridor through northern Maldives, northern Pakistan and northern India, eastern Nepal, northernBangladesh, Bhutan, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.... This solar eclipse will be the longest total solar eclipse that will occur in the 21st century, and will not be surpassed in duration until June 13, 2132. Totality will last for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, with the maximum eclipse occurring in the ocean at 02:35:21UTC about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan. The uninhabited North Iwo Jima island is the landmass with totality time closest to maximum, while the closest inhabited point is Akusekijima, where the eclipse will last 6 minutes and 26 seconds

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Okinawa Aquariaum.....again

When we arrived on this island one year ago we bought season passes to the aquarium. They are a good deal and we have more than paid for them. Well we realized last weekend that the 12th was when they expired.
We jumped in the car and went to go check it out for free one last time.
Outside on the upper level. We love that the ocean is right there.

Had to pose in the dated picture place. To prove what day we were there.

When you first come in there is a place to touch starfish.

We tend to spend a lot of time there.

Great place to pose for pictures.

Then you have to wash your hands. Not to be confused with the mouth wash station.

I have no idea what this is. But I loved him. He has a sweet face.

These things are some of our favorites to watch. They were trying to bite one another but they can only come out so far.

The big room is really cool.

The best part is this room, we can sit and stare at giant fish. It is good times in here.

We are not going to be going here again until we have visitors. If you feel bad that my kids cannot go back to the aquarium then I suggest you get on a flight and come visit. (-:
I should add that seeing all those animals and water made me want to dive. I may be turning into a scuba diver after all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kokeshi Dolls

One of our friends Angel is moving. She planned a last get together where we made our own Kokeshi doll.
This is what we started with.

We had to sketch the face and hair.

I went with the traditional purple hair. Oh wait that isn't right.

I added pig tails and did her kimono. We were supposed to use washi paper and modpodge it on there but I couldn't decide on a paper and I wanted a more subtle Kimono since her hair was purple. Then I added a little flower.

All of our dolls.

I added her to my Kokeshi collection. I have 11 now! I love Kokeshi dolls but I think I will stick to buying them and not making them.
Thanks Angel, I had a blast!
I will miss you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dino is on the Bucs website

There is a slide show on the bucs website telling all the things they did while in Okinawa. So what do you know, there is his picture with one of the players. Very cool. So go check it out. After seeing the picture E said "yeah, um where is my picture?" He is shocked his isn't on there.

That is all I have for you right now. I guess since I am here I will post some more stuff. visit

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello my friends, and or blog peeps.

Summer so far.
Swim lessons. The two little ones have been in swim lessons for two sessions so that equals four weeks. We are all done with swim lessons. Except for tomorrow, it's the last day.

I have gone diving with my husband and two of my friends. We lost each other. Dino and I had a blast though.

We are going on a boat dive to the Keramas next weekend. Check these out.

Can you believe we LIVE HERE. We are so blessed. Next we are planning a trip with our whole family. This trip is just a dive trip.
Here is some info off the Internet. The Kerama Islands are a chain of subtropical islands that lie 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Okinawa Island. Although the Keramas are easily accessible by sea or air, they remain an idyllic paradise largely undiscovered. Only four of the Kerama's 22 islands are inhabited: Aka, Geruma, Tokashiki and Zamami. WOOHOO!

M has been babysitting. She has been making bucks!
I, has been chilling which is her favorite thing to do.
We are going to be hitting a lot more places in the next couple of weeks so check back. I will actually post them!