Monday, April 27, 2009

Ieshima Island

Sunday was beautiful and clear, and we were lucky to view the lilly fields on Ie Island in brilliant sunshine. This event takes place once a year-- for about 3 weeks, thousands of lilies bloom in patches overlooking the ocean. The sight is really gorgeous with white flowers against a bright blue sky backdrop and clear water. To make the scene even more special, waves crash against the rocks, sending spray up into the air. 

We took the 35 minute ferry across from the Motobu port, rented bikes once we got there and then rode around the island, stopping at whatever caught our attention. This island was so pastoral-- fields of flowers, all kinds of animals, hills, gorgeous vistas of the ocean, lush vegetation, and caves. 

Australian pine forest -- can you see that patch of blue at the end? it's ocean

New friends

This photo shows Mary going into the Niya Thiya Cave, where one thousand local people hid during the American invasion in WWII. Inside, we saw a small shrine erected to honor ancestors with offerings of money, food, and the most important of all, Orion beer!

Locals have a legend that any woman who enters the cave and is able to hoist a heavy rock over her shoulders will give birth in nine months. So, did Mary manage to lift the rock? 

You'll have to watch the video to find out...suspense!

Last stop of the day was the grave of Ernie Pyle, Pulitzer Prize winning news correspondent who was killed during the invasion of Ie-shima island, 1945.


Fun at Rizzan Sea Park Resort

Saturday, we drove north to Onna Village and stayed in a swanky high rise tourist resort. 

Who doesn't love jumping on hotel beds?

In addition to practicing the sports feature on the camera, Mary visited the Japanese onsen style public bath in the hotel. Due to nudity, she was unable to document that whole experience which included a dozen naked Japanese women and a few little boys, but to give you an idea, it was a lot like this:

After awhile, we took a short drive into town and found this Shiisa pottery workshop and coffee house. 

The rest of the afternoon included walking on the beach and practicing the sports feature some more on the camera.

After dinner at a Korean BBQ house (which gets a whole separate special blog entry of its own) we watched some Okinawan traditional dancing at the hotel. Strangely, we can sort of recognize some of the songs and dances now.

Then we headed to the bar to have a special appetizer and some drinks...

P.S., we didn't really order the Pig's ear jerky.

Best Okinawan Burger: Part II

Dear MOS Burger, I love you!

For our next hamburger review, we went to MOS Burger, a local fast-food burger joint. 
We ordered the original MOS burger with special sauce, cheese, and jalapenos. Savory and spicy and awesome. Come on, just look at it!

We also tried Teriyaki burger, also wonderful

and finally, the BBQ beef burger piping hot in a rice bun. I think they deserve extra points for ingenuity...

This was one of those meals in which Sean and I did very little talking. I know this might be premature. I mean, we've only done two reviews so far, right? But based on cost and taste, MOS could the running to be the "best". More field research is needed obviously, and maybe even a follow-up to be sure.   

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hunt for the Best Okinawan Burger: Installment I

We had a rare very eventful weekend here including a Dining Out with Sean's work, a spontaneous two person dance-athon Saturday night in our living room, a visit to an agricultural fair where we sampled local sugarcane candy, and a meal at one of our favorite places here called Jet City Burger.

 The restaurant is basically a shack that sits right on the beach. They have huge sloppy burgers just like we love them with all kinds of interesting toppings. We decided to have a contest among our favorite burger places to choose the best one. (yes, we are starting to get island fever-- as if the dance-athon didn't already give it away) 

First up was Sean's "Texas Extra" burger which included 2 pieces of beef, ham, a fried egg (which he elected to omit from the order), cheese, lettuce, and a curry sauce. His verdict was "Outstanding- the saltiness of the ham, the spiciness of the curry ketchup, and the meat and cheese complimented each other very well."  Jet City gets his vote. 

Next up was mine-- the "Avocado Chili" burger with both guacamole AND fresh avocado, cheese, and a spicy Tapatio-like hot sauce. I know my mom would love this one. 

As for me, while I appreciated the double avocado action and the hot sauce, I'm not sure yet that I'd call this burger my favorite on island.  I was also really hormonal this day, so my judgement may have been impaired. 

What I do love, however, is the ambiance in this place. It's so relaxed and check out the gorgeous view of palm trees swaying in the breeze.

If you live in Oki and haven't tried this place, go there now. Oh, but watch out for the fried eggs -- there's a random egg  on everything here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Hope you all had a nice Easter Sunday... we spent the day at the park throwing frisbee and enjoying the brilliant blue sky and sunshine.


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