Last week our family had the chance to spend 4 nights in Okinawa, the southern-most island of Japan, and the most tropical! We went to visit our good friends the Wilsons, choosing this particular time because Mike, the family dad, was in the US for a month… we wanted to both help out/hang out with MaryJo and the kids, as well as soak in the sun. We had a chance to do both!
It was a great few days of spring vacation… we came back on Thursday night, and Owen started yochien (kindergarten) the next morning. Here are some favorite memories.
The kids love the adventures of travel! From finding our seats on the plane…to Owen helping Eric now get the luggage of the conveyor belt…each little step that we are so used to is still a big adventure for them, making it fun for us, too.
We stayed for 2 nights in cabins on the east side of the island, and went canoeing on a large dam there. Owen and Annie loved the chance to go out on the water…
That day, our other American friends, the Sonnenbergs, Nozomi, and Elizabeth, came to play as well… after canoeing we all went to the nearby beach, which was beautiful! It was also the lowest tide day of the year, so there were lots of locals who came out to the sea for a rare chance to gather clams and fish and other specialties from the low tide. Our kids had just as much fun with this rare chance to find shells and their own special treasures.
Olivia was a wannabe snorkeler… the kids had fun later doing bubbles with their friends Charlotte and Luke…and the last 2 days they were able to go swimming in a pool, which just added to their delight.
One definite highlight was staying near the Okinawa Aquarium, and getting to use some of their free facilities. We had a chance to see the dolphins fly, and all 3 kids enjoyed running through the kids’ fountains on a hot day.
The last day we went to an amazing pizza restaurant at the top of a long, winding road that we thought could only lead to a dead end. It was well worth the drive – it’s worth a trip to Okinawa just to experience the pizza and ambiance of this restaurant!
We loved each day… each part of our time. Thanks, Wilsons, for making our time so special. Sonnenbergs and Nozomi and Elizabeth- it was so great to see you and we appreciate your carving out time to see us. Even with typical kid mishaps (Olivia spilling her juice into my purse on the plane, etc etc!), I realized how much I love traveling with our family. This trip had the unexpected benefit of preparing me for our upcoming home assignment, which will hold lots of travel, and lots of adventures (both the fun kind and the juice-in-the-purse kind), with three little ones. God really used our days in Okinawa to take away the dread and fear that I had and to replace those with excitement and anticipation for what is ahead. More adventures, here we come.