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Showing posts from January, 2011

Okinawa Ambrosia

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1/31/11

I haven't had an Ambrosia post in a while, and certainly haven't had one for Okinawa, so here it goes...this will be a photography ambrosia (all pics that I finally took off of my iPhone)!

Japanese Spring Training

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1/31/11

Spring training season is upon us folks. Okinawa just so happens to be the Florida of Spring Training here in Japan. We are lucky enough to have the Hiroshima Carp staying at the hotel here with us. Today the media were swarming the lobby (I snuck a pic with my iPhone from the balcony above) buzzing around with their heavy duty photography equipment and bowing courteously as the players and coaches would walk by. There was a level of respect and privacy that was present here that doesn't exist in the states, so it was neat to see. Never once was a player approached by the media unless they solicited the media themselves, the media just bowed, showed respect, and left them alone until they "got a turn" to interview them, then things went back to business as usual.

Perhaps our etiquette differs slightly...

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1/31/11

Today while walking in the beautiful Comprehensive Park (yes that's the actual name and it suits it well) I did what I would consider "polite" here in Japan and bowed slightly to acknowledge my respect for an elder Japanese man. He stared at me, continued walking on his path, and as he was right next to me he farted very loudly.

Knowing very little (if anything) about customs, traditions, signs of respect, in this country, I wasn't sure how to take this gesture. Perhaps it was similar to the greeting that dogs exchange when they sniff each other's butts. Perhaps he was expressing his disgust for my presence in his country. Or perhaps he has a problem with flatulence that I'm taking way too personally...one will never know

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival

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1/29/11

Festive it was, but whatever it was that I expected, this surely was not it. There was no cherry blossom king and queen, no cherry blossom princess even. The parade my friends consisted of lots and lots of older women with a pink shirt on with a cherry blossom attached to each hand doing Hawaiian-like dances down the street. That. Is. It. No singing, no dancing, no drumming, and certainly no throwing of free candy.
Prior to the parade though I climbed over 400 steps to the site where a castle used to be. You would think that after climbing that many steps you yourself would get a little parade of sorts... As for the castle site, you would also think that something that had such significance would have some sort of memorial. There was an opening/clearing. I don't see how a castle could have possibly fit up there unless it was something from the Barbie or Lego era.
As for the Cherry Blossom part of this event, I was deceived. So the "Cherry Blossom Festival" is actuall…

Black biscuits in chocolate Kit Kat

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1/29/11

Found a new addition to my Kit Kat enterprise. Today while wandering the streets in Nago, I popped into a drugstore (?) and low and behold this beauty was right in front of me! How could I resist the newest flavor? Taste testers hold onto your seats because here comes...

Black biscuits in chocolate Kit Kats


Nago Pineapple Park

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1/22/11

Today was a marvelous day in all meanings of the word! The weather was perfect, the sun was out, the sea was turquoise, and I went to the Disney of pineapples. It was fantastic! Pineapple Park is a total tourist attraction if there ever was one, but why not go to a place where you ride around in a pineapple shaped golf cart that drives itself?!

There is a winery on site that makes (and sells more importantly) pineapple wine. I did come home with two bottles; sparkling pineapple wine, and dry pineapple wine. Both were rather fantastic...and I did sample everything they had to offer (without an allergic reaction!)

Pineapple Park also brought a new Kit Kat to my collection (Beni-Imo) so that was fun, I can't wait for my taste testers to try it out!

After Pineapple Park we ventured to a restaurant called Ufuya. Turns out there are no signs in English to locate this place, but it was worth the searching (and drive through a cemetery) to get there. This place was like Swiss Family…

Beni-Imo Kit Kat

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1/22/11


Beni-Imo flavored Kit Kat...otherwise known as an Okinawa tradition...the Purple sweet potato

Found this one today at Pineapple Park. Quite a find if I don't say so myself!

Good Morning 1/20/11

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1/20/11
I just missed the sun before it ducked behind some clouds, but I assure you it was the most beautiful pink. I captured the remnants of the sunrise...enjoy and Happy Thursday! All taken from my balcony...not a bad view right?!

Irony

1/17/11

I guess in the blur of travel I completely forgot what I think is pretty ironic/impressive. On the flight from Atlanta to Tokyo one of the movie choices was The Cove. Now if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. If you have seen it, you can understand the irony in one's ability to have this option en route to Japan.

Here is the website as it relates to The Cove, Ric O'Berry, and dolphins in Japan

Beach Hopping

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1/16/11

Today I went with some colleagues on an island beach hopping adventure. Although the weather didn't always cooperate, it was still nothing short of amazing. During the adventure we saw many rainbows, even some double rainbows (no I didn't freak out like the guy on Youtube). I put my hands in the ocean (not too cold, but not warm enough for me to get in), collected some beautiful shells, and soaked up the sun when it made it's appearances!

On to some important news...I have resumed my Kit Kat search...and guess what, I found a new flavor today! Strawberry Cake! So all of you who have enjoyed the Kit Kats, buckle your seat belts, I'm trying to top the flavors that I brought home before! I put a few of my favorite pics in this post and then all of them in the slide show...enjoy!

Wrong Way

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1/10/11

I debated not writing this post tonight for several reasons, I'm exhausted, jet lag has taken over and consumed the tiny fragments of my functioning brain, and because quite frankly I didn't want to re-live it...but, then I thought, the story would lose it's luster (and details) had I waited a day or so to gather my energy to divulge!

Today was the first day in Okinawa post flight. What other logical thing would one do but to drive, on the wrong side (which they actually think is the right side, but I won't get into one of those arguments here)

It turns out that I'm actually a good left side driver...possibly because of ALL of the experience that today permitted me (that's trying to see things from a positive lens). On a side note there is a nice little jingle that someone shared with me today to help with "wrong" side driving. Here it goes: "Look to your right, stay to the left, and keep your hiney on the liney" Pretty accurate!

OK, …

Safe and sound in Okinawa...until they give me a car!

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1/10/11

Well hello friends and family! I am safe and sound in Okinawa. I arrived after midnight last night (technically this morning I suppose) and as I sit here typing, it is 4:40am. I am meeting some others downstairs for breakfast at 7:30 then we are off on our adventures for the day.

When I say adventures, I mean, attempts to stay alive while also not injuring or offending any of the locals in the process. That's right, after two days of travel, and little/no sleep last night, I guess they think it's a good idea to give me a car. With the steering wheel on the "other" side, and then to allow me to drive..."on the other side". Yikes! It certainly has given me a full appreciation of the extensive walking that I did last time I was in Japan...without a car!

I'm told that Okinawa is a small island, but while looking around during our ride from the airport to the hotel, small was not the first thing I thought of. Also, is it really a good idea to allow s…