Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall in Okinawa

Who can resist a cow riding a surfboard?

The days have cooled off around here (a little), so I guess we can claim fall has begun. But we're still getting warm summery weather some days and even hunkered down for a typhoon this week.

Even so, we've been enjoying the subtle change in weather and scenery. Last week, we visited the Botanical Gardens in Okinawa. I can't believe we'd never come here before. I'm a big fan of gardens, as they offer so much more than just plants and flowers. They are also super relaxing.

My favorite part of our day was lounging in the hammocks... I'll miss this when we leave next year.
There were all kinds of interesting textures to admire and contemplate...
And I always love feeding goats...

How are you enjoying fall where you are?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Exercise Your Right

Dear Friends,

Please vote for me in the Trazzler Mt Rainier Writing Contest. I only need 3 more votes to be at least tied with the lead article! The deadline is Oct 24 for voting!

My entry is about the amazing colossal trees in the Grove of the Patriarchs. To vote, sign in to Trazzler and click save on my post. It only takes a minute!

Thanks and you are all stars!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visiting A Japanese Fortune Teller

A year or so ago, I visited a urenai, or Japanese fortune teller in Okinawa. I wrote a post about it recently for Matador Travel Network.

You can read the crazy adventure here...

Have you ever been to a fortune teller before? Do share!

Japanese Portion Sizes

This past weekend, Sean and I tried a new restaurant in Okinawa called Bistro Chez.

The server handed us an English menu which listed pizzas and pastas. However, we noticed a board listing the daily specials in Japanese. I'm a big fan of daily specials in Japan as they are usually made with the freshest ingredients according to season. (I highly recommend getting the server's recommendations too) So we randomly ordered a few dishes without knowing what to expect.

Most of the time in Japan, we're surprised in a good way by the food, and that night was no exception.

Our meal started with an appetizer of oyster, shrimp, and salad.

Next, we got a lovely mixed vegetable salad of pumpkin, eggplant, and okra. The dressing was a cold soy sauce based broth, and a nice extra touch was that the pumpkin was sauteed and warm!
Our other plates included yakisoba noodles with shrimp and baby clams...
... and garlic chicken with Thai chili sauce

There was also a plate of penne with gorgonzola cheese sauce (not pictured as we had to dive right into it without pause for a photo). At first we wondered if we had ordered enough food. Anyone who has been to Japan knows that the portions are much smaller than what we're used to it in the States.

But you know what? We ate and took pictures (obviously) and had conversation. After eating, we felt comfortable and awake!

I actually really respect Japanese portions- especially for pasta and meat. They are sensible and focus on quality rather than quantity.
What's your view about portions? Do you believe in getting a lot of food for your money when you eat out? Do you think you'd starve in Japan?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Favorite Cultural Festival

One half of the famous 600 foot rope in the Naha Tug of War

Over the weekend, we were fortunate to be able to participate in the World's Largest Tug of War. This event, which draws 25,000 people is an amazing thing to witness.

I devoted a lengthy post to it on my travel blog and included lots of pictures. This morning I found that my article was featured on Wordpress Freshly Pressed. Please check it out!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Okinawa's Shades of Blue

We did a road trip this weekend up to the northern part of the island. The weather forecast was partly cloudy with chance of thunderstorms, and the sky provided the most beautiful backdrop.

I love it when the ocean and the horizon blend together so you almost don't know where water stops and air begins.
We visited Okuma, and did some jet-skiing on the crystal clear water with the storm clouds hovering over us. Couldn't have asked for more lovely atmosphere.
I'll miss all this blue when we leave the island next year.


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