Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Jake

It was Jake's birthday this weekend and we celebrated in style. We had a little BBQ with some of our good friends. It was such a fun night of grilling out, chatting, and playing games. We finally got to entertain in our wonderful back yard. It was beautiful all day long until right before people came over. Clouds started racing in, but thankfully, the rain held off.

BBQ food is one of Jake's favorite meals. We had burgers and brats, cheesy potatoes, grilled vegetables, and yummy appetizers. I love to cook, but I am not much of a baker. My baked goods never come out as planned. I decided I wanted to give baking a try and so I made a white cake with blueberry whipped cream frosting. It turned out great!

Happy Birthday husband!! I hope 24 is good to you. You deserve all the happiness that life can give you.

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's Rainy Season

My first rainy season on Okinawa is here and I am not a fan. I thought the rainy season meant that it rained a bit more than usual. Not the case. Since the day it was declared "rainy season" it has rained every single day. Sometimes all day without stopping. The first week of the season the temperature dropped, and so it was rainy and cool and not too bad. Now, the temperature is back up, causing intense humidity. Everything is moist (sorry, I know people hate that word). My tile floors always feel wet, my produce goes bad very quickly, and my body is very sticky all of the time. Let's not even get started with my frizzy hair. I am so ready for sunshine and beach days. Thankfully, the rainy season lasts less than a month, just in time for school to get out.

So what does one do during said rainy season? Well, Jake was in the field this weekend so that meant I was free to do things he doesn't always care to do. Number one, shopping. I went to my favorite home decor store on the island and picked up some new kitchen rugs and swooned over the beautiful furniture. When you think of Japanese furniture you often think modern and clean lines, but Okinawans really like French and rustic inspired furniture. If you know the right places to look, you can find some pretty cute stuff here. 

To get the table or not get the table, that is the question

I also ate curry for about three meals in a row. Don't judge. Jake won't even go into a curry restaurant with me, so I figured this was my chance to enjoy it. I ate Japanese curry at the super cute cafe in the home decor shopping center that I love. Most people here love the Japanese curry, but I am not the biggest fan. So for dinner that night I got my favorite spinach chicken curry and cheese naan. So delicious, I could eat it every day. I love that Indian restaurants are so popular here.

The good thing about all of the rain is all of the beautiful flowers that are popping up everywhere. Just on my run around our neighborhood I tons of different kinds of flowers. Rain also causes some pretty awesome sunsets when the sun does peak out for a minute. 

June 1st, I am ready for you to be here and for this rain to go away!

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Perfect Day on Ie Island

Saturday we hopped in the car with some friends and drove an hour north to a port to catch a ferry 30 minutes away to Ie Island. Once we were on Ie island, we walked over to the rental place. Jake was disappointed that they wouldn't let us rent mopeds, but I was content with our beach cruiser bikes.

 It was an absolutely beautiful day, sunny, not to hot, and a slight breeze. We spent the morning riding our bikes through beautiful farmland and picturesque beaches. Our first stop was at the hibiscus garden. It was a giant greenhouse full of huge hibiscus in every color combination possible. They were incredible. Jake even bought me my own hibiscus plant.

As we continued along the coast of the island, we found lots of lookout points with insane views. The northern part of the island sits on top of cliffs, providing an amazing landscape. We even climbed down parts of the cliff to look at the tide pools.

After sweaty uphill riding, we reached the lily festival. As we were winding up the road to the festival, Jake was goofing off on his bike, causing our friend to crash her bike into some lilies. The lilies and soft mud caught her fall and so she wasn't hurt, but we couldn't stop laughing about it for the rest of the day. Maybe you had to be there. The lily fields were stunning and overlooked the sea. The smell was so amazing. I love that Okianwa loves flowers so much and has so many flower festivals. We took a quick food break, where I devoured some amazing mini corn dogs. The Okinawans do their corn dogs right.

We said goodbye to the perfect sea of white lilies and continued to our last stop on our bike tour, Wajee lookout. Out of all of the incredible sights we have seen since moving to Okinawa, Wajee definitely tops the list. The brilliant colors were indescribable. I wanted to stay on the side of that cliff forever.

Tired, sweaty, and full of appreciation for this beautiful place, we rode our little bikes back to the port and got back on the ferry to take the 30 minute ride home. This day will forever be at the top of my list of all time favorite days. The laid back way of life on the island, meandering through fields on our cute bikes, good laughs, beautiful views, it was absolutely perfect. Ie island, we will meet again!