Published: June 29th 2006May 23rd 2006
We went to Okinawa at the end of May - kind of a little vacation to relax and also to end Larry's week-long birthday celebration!
When we first arrived at the Naha Airport in Okinawa City, we were REALLY disappointed to find that the weather was cloudy and pouring rain on the island...not exactly the tropical island getaway we were expecting. Still, we hopped on the bus that would take us to our beach resort, the Sun Marina, hoping that our luck would change by the time we reached our final destination. Well, miracloulasly it did!! About an hour later, by the time we unpacked our bags in our room and ate a quick buffet lunch in our hotel, we were ready to walk along the beachfront. As you can see by the pictures, in no way was the weather perfect, but it was warm and not raining...and so we graciously enjoyed it. Our hotel was very scenic and even had a beautiful walkway that went into the ocean...so we took a walk, and then did a little swimming and relaxing on the beach.
Later in the day, we rested up and then got ready to go out to
dinner. We actually loved just spending time in our room because of the wide array of English channels found on our tv's! (When Oprah and Family Guy came on, it felt like Christmas morning!!!) Anyway, for dinner we decided to go to a huge Chinese restaurant near our hotel, where a complimentary dinner awaited us (as part of our travel package). As soon as we sat down here we were presented with course after course of delicious Chinese cuisine...I think we had 6 courses in all!! Afterwards, we took another walk around our resort and then headed indoors to play some games at "Club Amusement", located in our hotel. Our favorite game was called "Feed the Fish," which we played endlessly until we didn't feel like playing anymore. In Japan, many games do not have "an end" - a point where the game is over and you win a prize, or at least know that you're "the winner". Instead, you just play for the enjoyment of playing. They did, however, have the "crane game," where you try to pick up a prize with a giant crane in order to keep it. In the this game Larry won me a stuffed
Cinderella which I traded in for an Ariel...how appropriate!
The next day was truly a miracle as we woke up to bright sunlight streaming into our room. This day we took full advantage of the nice weather and did as much as we could - including a 3-hour fishing trip, a 2-hour snorkeling trip, and an all-you-can-drink sunset cruise. But this amazing day was not over after the sunset cruise! For dinner, we decided to venture out from our resort and were not disappointed to find a Hawaiian-looking shack that tripled as a restaurant, a bar, and an Okinawa souvenir shop. We were not sure at first if we were going to stay for dinner or not, mainly because there were no English menu's and the English of the folks that worked there was VERY limited. However, we felt so welcome when we were offered "Okinawan pizza" and "Okinawan whiskey" right from their own plates before we even sat down, that we had to stay. Furthermore, one man (maybe the owner?) told us to write down on a piece of paper what we wanted to eat and he would be sure to get it for us. Well, believe it
or not, in the end we were somehow provided with everything that we had written down...and were not disappointed at all! After dinner we bought some souvenirs - some beautiful jewelry, a couple of Okinawan wooden masks, a windchime, etc... - and headed back to our resort for some well-needed sleep.
Our last day, we had a couple of hours to buy a few more souvenirs in our hotel and sit down for a nice buffet lunch, before catching the bus that would take us back to the airport. This day it was raining hard again, but since we were only traveling, we didn't really care. We arrived back home to Tokyo later in the day. Overall, we realized we were VERY lucky with the weather on this trip and were very happy that the whole trip worked out as well as it did! We hope you enjoyed this blog...
Larry & Melanie
JAPANESE FOR THE DAY: chekkuowto o okurasetai no des ga
(can I have a late checkout?)
There are more photos below