27 April 2013

Random Things We've Been Up To (February & March)

I have so many pictures of things we have done and seen that I would love to share, but I've been thinking of how to do that without doing a whole blog post on each individual thing.  Maybe like a monthly round up of our highlights and fun things?  That might work.  Seeing that we are closing in on the month of April, let me catch up now with some highlights of our life in Japan for February and March.

I'm going to do a separate post for snacks, signs, and other products I've found, so keep an eye out for that soon!  Of course, restaurants and food will be found over at Kacey's Kitchen

Here's our February and March Japanese happenings.

Our welcome sign we were greeted with when arriving to the terminal.  No pictures of our actual welcome group but I spoke a little about it here.  I didn't take pictures because I was too busy being frantic inside my head figuring out how to get straight to our hotel room instead of socializing after our 26ish hour flight.  That's right, we are social butterflies.

I was excited to find one of the nicer fish markets in the area.  This place gets deliveries every morning from all over the Pacific and brings them into the store fresh from the boat.  I plan to do a blog post on this, so for now, you get a picture of me catching a big one!  They have tons of these wood cut out picture opp things.  Are they actually called something?

Right across from a great produce market is often and out door plant sale. Anything from bonsai to herbs to trees you can find here!

I found my first geocache with a new friend here.  Her and her husband go all the time to find new places to explore on the island.  We weren't able to find our first one, but were successful on our second location.  You can see how tiny it is compared to my finger.  Tricky, Tricky!

I do a lot of general exploring, especially by myself.  Usually it starts out trying to find a new store or market and then wandering around the neighborhood aimlessly. It's the best way to explore in my opinion.

We supported our local roller derby team in March.  They play in various locations, but here they skated in a fighter jet hanger on base.  That's pretty awesome.  I miss my team back in Florida a ton, especially watching other people.  Still undecided though on joining up with their volunteers.

 The first weekend we were here, we went with friends to Pizza in the Sky, which deserves its own post.  But they had beautiful gardens and tons of Shisa (lion dogs).  These mythical creatures are believed to protect homes/businesses from evil spirts.  They are often found in pairs, one on either side of the doorway or roof.  One has a closed mouth (keeping good spirits in) and one has an open mouth (to keep bad spirits away).  They are really interesting, and there are so many variations of them.  I wouldn't mind getting some small ones at some point.

I can't even remember the last time I dyed easter eggs, but we had a nice dinner and dying party with friends a few weeks ago.  Lots of competition over the best egg.

Here's the couch I was talking about the other day.  Total big kid couch.  The pillows are all discombobulated because they literally just put it all together when I snapped this photo.  See, the tags are still on it.  Speaking of pillows, those are metallic silver pillows that came with it.  Amazing!!!!  And that ottoman, how dumb that it was a huge selling point to me, but I love it.  It's on wheels and opens up for storage.  Man, this couch is huge too, it's almost 10 feet long on both sides, which is awesome to lay on and watch movies.

More exploring. We took a trip down to Naha (the largest city here) and walked around the famous (touristy) Kokusai Street.  Here's a picture of Heiwa Dori (Peace Street) marketplace, just off of Kokusai.  The marketplace was definitely our favorite, with more variation of shops, and an amazing fish and meat market.  We plan on going back to the market. A very nice man working there asked if we spoke English (his English was excellent) and thanked us for being here.  He explained that we could buy any of the fish we saw and bring them upstairs to have one of the restaurants cook it for us.

I can still coupon here. At the commissary at least.  Of course, we don't get the newspaper or anything, so couponers here rely on people back home sending them to us.  The commissaries and exchanges overseas allow us to use coupons that are up to 6 months expired.  There are lots of programs and groups back home that mail bulk coupons to our family readiness center, and from there we are able to go and pick up envelopes or boxes of coupons.  Before we moved here, I would also send my expired coupons overseas.  Of course, you can also send your high value coupons directly to me *wink wink*.

Man, they love their arcades here. Arcades EVERYWHERE. And they aren't your typical arcades.  Maybe I should do a whole post on them as well.  Asides from games, they have these really fun photo booths.  After it takes your picture, it enhances your features and colors, making the photos really pop.  It widens your eyes and makes your lips and eye color really bold while lightening your skin.  Then you can go and edit the photos with words, borders or embellishments.  We may or may not have taken photos in this booth, and Aaron may or may not look prettier than me in the photos.

Found a number of fabric shops in the area.  There are some pretty good ones.  The prices are reasonable.  Think JoAnns or Hancock but without the sales.  I've been having a hard time deciding what to buy.  These were all so fun, but I didn't buy any of these. Ha!

When I first got here, I joined our squadron spouses crud team. Crud is a game made up by drunk fighter pilots played on a pool or snooker table.  It's a competitive, confusing, and frantic game played with teams.  Go google and you tube it.  It doesn't make any sense, and depending on who you play with, the rules are different.  Every year a tournament is held.  We were all newbies this year, and we thought we were more prepared then it showed.  We were the first team out, and I was the first person to 'die' on my team.  That was almost 2 months ago now and it's still driving me nuts.  Seriously. My name was 'ACE'.  I could have done better than that.  But it was an awesome way to meet people, and super fun to play.

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