Cherry Blossom Bonus

Long time no blog. I have no excuse. Just not been in the mood to blog it up lately. However, whenever we go on a trip I must display and recap ASAP!! It’s a compulsion.

We hit the road on a bus tour and traveled to Nago (the northern part of Okinawa) where the annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place. Apparently it is a huge deal with people from Mainland and surrounding areas making the stop to see them. If you are unaware of what a cherry blossom looks like…


They are beautiful and very PINK!! Which always make me think of Spring (my favorite season)! In order to experience the full capacity of the cherry blossom…you feel compelled to walk up a wearisome, sharply inclined staircase that rewards you with a clearing of fallen leaves at the end. It was wretched, but we did it!
The kids had a great time feeling like explorers in a new land. JD could have bet his savings that he was entering the birthplace of Kung Fu.

Once we made it back down the mountain, there were one of the typical Okinawan street festivals. We made our way to the stage and watched the Eisa dancers and Taiko drummers (also custom to Okinawa).

Good Times…

 



The best picture of the day could have been a dang magazine cover. Yes, that was shot with my regular Canon Powershot. It’s not always the fancy cameras that generate good pics…you got to have a good eye behind the lens :o)

Other than that, things are running full steam ahead as usual. I am back in class this term after taking last term off, I am still going to the gym regularly, both my kids made the honor roll again, the big kids are knee-deep in Cheer and Basketball season, Teage is my little motormouth (far surpassing both Saige and JD), and so far JD is showing major signs improvement with his medicine.

Last, but not least….while the details and specifics aren’t clear, we have a slight possible chance of moving this summer as opposed to November. We are shooting for Korea or Germany (Europe) as our next assignment with a visit to the states still in taking place in November. I will keep everyone posted as we gain new information.

Oh…check out my hubby doing a little public speaking at his boss’ farewell dinner…


Back to blogging soon….Love Ya!!!

Kinser Fest, Ryuku Mura, a Beatdown, & a VP!

OK so I have a lot to update everyone on…I have been super busy and so I have slipped on the blogging thing. So here it goes:

Starting with last week, I got a call from the nurse at JD’s school saying he’d come into her office after recess shaken and injured with what could only be described as a “beatdown”. I got over there with the quickness and saw my boy laid up with a cold pack on his head, his knee and scrapes all on his face. I was mortified because all I could think was some 5th grader’s gonna get their a$$ handed to them by a grown woman. But before I could really follow through with that thought, he told me that he was beat down alright…by the playground equipment. It seems he was playing tag with his buds on the play structure and ran into a pole. The shock from the pole collision caused him to topple over…right onto the ground. He got banged up pretty dang good. Cause and effect….what’d he learn? Not to run on the darn play equipment. So here’s the visual…poor kid!

Of course he’s all better now and only has a nasty bruise on his knee and a leftover scar next to his eye. What a tough guy!

This past weekend was the Kinser Fest (it’s another base and basically a money pit o’ fun). So I ventured out with them and a friend of Saige’s . Let me first say…IT WAS SCORCHY!! I mean I was sweating in places nobody needs to sweat. AND, the stroller was in the other car which is parked at the airoprt still, thanks George! So there was mild chasing of a runaway two year old and nothing to cart the obscene amount of blow-up prizes the kids won. Saige was the first to get her hands on a game…

Teage got in on the action, too!

This was his winnings…
All JD cared about was the bungee trampoline. That boy had so much fun, he kept saying “I’m flying Mom…look at me”. The bungee worker guy came over and catapulted his little butt even higher a couple of times. He eventually started doing flips.
By the end of it, I was ready to get on that thing, but I had THIS looking at me…so we moved on to the next thing.
Once we were done with all the game action and a little lunch, Teage wanted to go check out the military vehicles and copters. This is where the chasing began…

He did manage a pose for me with his Stitch doll that JD won for him. Cutie!!
Finally, I did my good parent volunteering for the week by chaperoning a field trip to Ryuku Mura. Here I am with my group of seven…

You pretty much walk around and they have little areas set up where you can see authentic scenarios of the Japanese culture. Inside this building is the replica of a rope used in the annual “tug of war” they do in the streets here, where thousands of people come out to play an old fashioned game. It was so huge!

We started following the path guided by these weird looking pink elves. One of the kids in my group (who is Japanese American) told me that there’s a legend that if you play on these statues, they come and kill you at night. NICE!! I’m just wondering why they’re cross-eyed.

Then we came upon a vending machine that had a fish on the box…a few steps later I see what was really going on. Freaky…there were like hundreds of fish up in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why was this thing right next to where we stopped for a snack break?? We quickly left. The boys wanted to “capture it and pet it”. Uh NO!

There was a pottery factory that you could walk through and see them actually making the shisa dogs. It was pretty neat. Check this guy out..hard at work!

And the finished product…

JD wanted to get the coconut drink and I was about to buy one…until I got closer and noticed it had gnats all over it. It was still cool-looking though.

Oh and I think I will do this whenever the whole fam can come back…for $10 your whole group can dress up in kimonos and get a picture taken just like these chicks did.

Next we headed inside and waited for the first show. They performed traditional Ryuku dancing…it was neat!

These guys were funny. Were they making fun of us all taking pictures of them I wonder…

Next thing I knew, some white-face painted dancer came up to me and tried to pull me on the floor. I told everybody around me they better get up with me. They did and had us doing this…again, were they clowning us??

After the show was over, JD wanted to go up there and throw some yen in the moat looking thing and make a wish for an Indiana Jones adventure…and yes I bought that hat there because he said it was an Indy hat and he needed it for his cub scouts camping adventures coming up soon. (He is officially going to be a boy scout now, more on that later).

So we continued to walk around and saw these makeshift Japanese homes. It was cool to see how the traditional homes would look inside. I wish someone would invite me over to their Japanese home so I could experience a traditional sit-down ritual. That would be awesome!

We had a little more time to kill before we saw the last performance…so JD found this little fountain to sit next to…and then he screams out loud “Mom, look, that dog is peeing…ewww gross!”. The kids started cracking up!

He also came across this throne and decided it was meant for meditation…whatever works!
And lastly, we watched the Eisa dancers and Taiko drummers. They were a perfect finale to a long day. Great times!

One last Isla info…Saige is running for Vice President of her school. I am so proud of her taking the initiative and stepping out of her comfort zone. I know she would do an ab fab job. I can see myself already making buttons and posters for her in the very near future. You never know…she could be the next….uh Sarah Palin????

 

Uh no…she’s got nothing on my baby girl!!! Vote for SAIGE!!!