First off, I apologize for having such a dramatic gap in my updates, but it seems that its slowly becoming more and more difficult to remember to keep updating this blog.
Anyway, onto my quarter-break trip to Okinawa!
Well, for five days and four nights, a group of friends and I decided to take ourselves to the wonderful island of Okinawa. Even before our mid-terms started, we were all more than ready to hop on the plane and jet on over to the white, sandy beaches. By the time it was time to go, we couldn't have been more excited.
To get there, we first had to take the 2 hour bus ride to Fukuoka Airport. When we got to the airport, we had some time to spare, so a few of us girls went to look at a lovely flower/art gallery nearby. It was really neat, and they even had a small workshop going to make pressed-flower prints for free. We decided to go ahead and be creative, all the while trying to exercise our Japanese speaking skills.
and my result:
From the Fukuoka Airport, it was about an 1 1/2 hour flight to Okinawa, and from the Okinawa airport, it was about another 1 1/2 tax ride to our resort. SO WORTH IT.
Here are a few night pictures of when we arrived at our hotel. I was impressed, and it was a very nice place for the prices we got it for. There were four to a room, each with our own wonderful bed and a wonderful bathroom with a wonderful shower and a wonderful balcony.
That night, we decided to head on down to the bar downstairs, which was themed as a "cave bar". It was very interesting and a lot of fun.
Josh and Stephanie
Carlos and Me
The next morning we headed out to our day tour of the famous Okinawan Aquarium and a couple other touristy spots. It was a long day, but it was quite fun. Our first stop was a butterfly house along the way. It was a nice stop, and the butterflies were huge, but after a little while, the hordes of giant butterflies all clumped together and twitching, became a little uncomfortable. They were beautiful by themselves, but at the end of the room, where bunches of them were fighting over a small specific feeding flower pot, I was reminded that even though they were pretty, they are still bugs, and I am not a fan of bugs.
Then it was on to the aquarium. The aquarium was so big, with so many neat sights. My favorite definitely had to the the huge tank in the center of the building, it was so big that it fit two whale sharks, tons of giant manta-rays, schools of fish, turtles, and a few unknown creatures. It was amazing.
After the aquarium it was time to go to Pineapple Land. Yes, Pineapple Land. This place had pineapple everything, from pineapple wine to pineapple jam, cookies, sauce, ice cream, and more. And we got to taste everything. It was very interesting, but I think I've had my fair share of pineapple for awhile.
When we got back to the hotel after our long day, we were determined to go swimming, at least in the pool, even though it was raining. We grabbed our suits and jumped in, despite the rain and the odd looks from the people passing by. It was a good decision because it woke us all up and gave us our second wind. After the quick and rather cold swim, we headed over to the "Cave Bar" once more to do something very daring.
The night before, we noticed a very strange jar with a very strange creature inside. Well it turns out that Okinawa is famous for its "Habushu". This is achieved by filling a large jar with awamori liquor,herbs, and honey, and most important of all, a pit viper snake coiled at the bottom. This drink isn't cheap either. It was 4000 yen (+/- $40) for one tiny glass, but luckily, four of us decided to split the glass, and the price.
That was a very interesting experience, as well as a pricey one! I'm glad to say that I drank it though! My friend took a video of the four of us drinking it, but unfortunately I am having a difficult time loading it onto this website. I was able to load it on facebook, so if you get the chance, check it out on my page.
After the cave bar, we headed over to the lobby and checked out the lounge area. It was very nice with classy furniture and a really rich atmosphere. We sat around a few tables and relaxed and talked and just enjoyed each others company.
The next was Friday, right? Friday was our lazy day, our day to lay out in the sun and get some rays. Well, Mr. Sun did not agree with our schedule and decided to send a bunch of clouds and rain in his place. We still stayed out by the pool, trying to relax despite the drizzling rain and cool breeze. And somehow, even with all of the clouds and mere one hour of blissful sun, I managed to get sun-burned. How? That's a darn good question, but I was the only one. Oh well, it turned into a nice tan after everyone stopped calling me lobster and shrimp and other colorful names. We pretty much spent the day eating, swimming, throwing one another (translation = me) into the pool, and enjoying our freedom.
The last full day we had, we switched hotels to a location that was much closer to the airport since we had an ungodly early flight back to Fukuoka. This hotel was interesting because we had a Japanese styled room, with tatami mats and futons. It was comfortable, although I still missed having a nice roomy bathroom...
The day was spent walking along a main street full of gift shops and restaurants, kind of like a Mackinaw City street for all of you Michiganders. Except think that the fudge is replaced with pineapple and snake alcohol.
Nighttime was spent eating at a wonderful steak house with real steak and good wine. It was a fabulous meal that even included cheesy fries, American style. Heaven.
After that, it was good old karaoke to end our final night in Okinawa, and it was a blast. We sang our hearts out, getting every last drop of freedom out of our system before we headed back to APU mountain. It was a great trip, and I'm so pleased about its turn out. I can't wait to go back one day, the only thing I wish for next time is better weather, and more sun!