Goodbyes are never easy. It’s an old cliché, but we all know it’s true. My Okinawa goodbyes were not particularly graceful or memorable. They were actually rather abrupt, but in some ways, I like that better. As my friend Sally said, it’s like ripping off a BandAid. Or diving head first into cold water. You’ve just gotta do it. And in the end, most of my goodbyes were not that serious, because I know I will see many of these people again. But there was one goodbye that was harder for me. Because I know I will never see my Uken family again.
It’s hard to explain what Uken Beach means to me. On the surface, it may seem obvious: I like cats. Cats are my spirit animal. And believe it or not, I haven’t always been as obsessed as I am today. Sure, I’ve always loved them, but it wasn’t until my mother got rid of my cat while I was in college (without my knowledge) that I truly realized their significance in my life. As my mom struggled with mental illness and my home life disintegrated, Sammy was my consistent source of comfort. When I didn’t have her anymore, I felt her absence on a very deep level, and from then on would obsess over when I could finally get another feline companion of my own. Continue reading
Cafe Pipineo is about 10 minutes from my apartment and serves the most luscious cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had my whole life.
Welp! We are just about 6 weeks from our presumed rotation date, and the Marines still haven’t given us orders for the next assignment. Never mind that pretty much everyone else in our lives knows where they are going. Chuck and I are masters of the “hurry up and wait” philosophy, at this point. That said, I continue to assume that we will depart Okinawa this spring. With our time here drawing to a close, I am hoping we can squeeze a few more adventures into our remaining weeks – however big or small.
One thing I will surely miss are the darling cafés that dot the island. They typically offer just 2-4 menu items at any given time, which sounds limiting but actually ensures a more memorable culinary experience. Of course, the ingredients are always fresh and local, and the décor is consistently unique and charming.
I won’t mind having more options (especially vegetarian and/or gluten free) when I return to the States, but I don’t know what I’ll do without a hearty guarantee of savory Japanese curry, garnished with local vegetables known to bless Okinawans with the longest lifespans on the planet.… Continue reading
I first visited the Cosmos Fields in Okinawa 2 years ago, and I had a great time frolicking in the sea of pink as Chuck humored me with a couple of cute photos. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having more photo-shoot oriented fun when I took my friend Sally to see them for the first time.
It’s hard to believe that Chuck and I will hit our 2-year mark in Okinawa in just a couple of weeks. One year left sounds like both a lot of time, and no time at all. Much has been done, and yet there is still so much to do!
I didn’t mean for this blog to turn into a travelogue, in which I only update when I go somewhere exciting. Even if no one ever reads it, I want to look back on it myself and remember all the adventures I had, big and small. So, here’s a quick re-cap of what we’ve been up to since our Thai Holiday, in reverse chronological order.
To celebrate our 5th anniversary, Chuck and I visited Kyoto, which served as the imperial capital of Japan for 1,000 years. It was also was recently voted the #1 city in the world by Travel + Leisure, for the second year in a row. We had a wonderful time, so I can see why…
Over the long holiday weekend, Chuck and I took our first trip to the mainland together. I had been to Osaka and Hiroshima before, but together, we haven’t actually explored Japan outside of Okinawa. We had a great time in one of the world’s biggest cities, and the only disappointment was that we had to cancel our planned hike up Mt. Fuji due to more extreme weather than anticipated. We weren’t quite equipped to hike for 6 hours in snow and sleet… So, we will try again next summer!
It has been quite a while since I updated last, particularly about my adventures in Okinawa. Chuck has been away playing war games around the Pacific, while I enjoyed two weeks off from school (even if work continued to pound away at my sanity.) My weekends have been full of fun and sunshine, rather than papers and presentations. Here are a few highlights! Continue reading
Before I moved to Japan, the crazy cat lady in me longed for a “box of kittens” that needed my help. Now that I live in Okinawa – an island practically swarming with homeless, feral, and/or dumped cats – I am overwhelmed by the “boxes of kittens” that come my way… Continue reading
Since moving to Okinawa, I’ve seen plenty of Buzzfeed-style blogs and lists about what makes it unique, special, or funny. Since arriving here myself almost 1 year ago (!), I’ve come up with a list of my own. Very little of it is scientific, of course. These are just observations I’ve made since moving here last April. I hope they provide a bit of insight into the cultural experience I’ve enjoyed here so far 🙂 Continue reading