Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mom's Visit to Okinawa...

I was so blessed to have my mom visit Okinawa for half of my spring break and into her spring break the following week. It was so great to show her around and have her meet the wonderful people that have touched my life while here on the island.
We started our touring the day after she arrived, Thursday, by taking a drive up to the tip, Cape Hedo. We had a rainy start but the day ended up very nice! First, we stopped at Ryukyu Mura. It was set up with a very traditional Okinawa feel. I got to pet a bull, yup about as exciting as the picture looks! haha There was a little room with the giant rope used for the Tug of War...I don't know much else about it cuz most of the signs were only in Japanese. Here is my mom and I.
From Ryukyu Mura, we headed straight up to the tip of the island. God was testing my patience on the way up as there was a car going 10 kph slower than necessary. Keep in mind that when you're only supposed to be going 50kph, 10 is a lot. I mean seriously, we're only going less than 35 miles per hour anyways! Ah gotta love the one road highways! Oh well, I managed okay and since the view is gorgeous I survived the trip! The wind sure was movin up there, but we had a great time and I'm pretty sure my mom was wowed by the view that is my home!

Alison snuck a picture from behind, since usually, yes it's true, I walk ahead quite often :) I blame my legs!
From the tip we drove across the way to the National Park with the huge geological formation. We had a great time walking through the large and obscure rocks course then into the Scenic View course. Alison and I had previously just done the Scenic view course so we thought we'd branch out and do something new ;)
Here is my mom and I in front of the Goku Rock.

From the National Park, we headed down south to the Nago Pineapple Park. We had a blast taking the little motorized pineapple cart, taking the cheesy quiz on the tour, and finally trying all of our favorite treats!

Friday was a nice and relaxing day. I took my mom to the sea wall during the day only to find that the waters had receded so much that a good portion of the way out was now land. Crazy! Alison and I usually go at night, apparently we miss so much! But we sat and chatted about how we could solve all the world's problems, haha not really, but you get the picture! In the evening time, we dropped Alison off at Kim's to babysit for the evening and my mom and I headed to Cape Zanpa to trek up the lighthouse. It was, again, windy, but beautiful!
Saturday was a busier day for us. We headed down South this time to the capital city of Naha, where we did some shopping and ate lunch, then headed to the Ryukyu Glass Factory, the same place we had previously gone glass blowing. It was great showing off all the really cool stuff that comes from this place! Afterwards Alison and I decided we would show my mom how a typically historical walk goes. haha Good times. So we were headed to find some rice paddies and some castle ruins. On the way down and around the southern tip we saw that we would be passing by the World War II Peace Park, and since it was GORGEOUS, we made a pit stop to take in the breathtaking view and walk the park a bit.

So we left the park and headed around the southern tip, somewhat new territory for Alison and I. Alison of course had the tour book in hand guiding us. Well, we got a bit turned around and couldn't exactly find that all too important rice paddy field, or whatever it would be called, so we pulled over so Alison could point to our book and see if we could get off in the right direction.
Here is Alison waiting oh so patiently for the people to congregate and figure this out.
Well, after this group decided they couldn't exactly help us they apparently made a phone call to the man in this car. He came and had us follow him. Yeah, seriously, follow some random guy down the road. Okay, we did it! Turns out there was another car following us, apparently going to the same place but we didn't really know cuz we couldn't communicate with any of them. This is the road that random guy took us down. hmmm, interesting...and somewhat sketchy.
Well, i'm sorry to say that in the end we saw nothing but another beautiful view. We think we were close to the rice paddies but it didn't happen on this day. We were all so exhausted from driving, or maybe that was just me, that we somehow missed the castle ruins as well and I decided we'd had enough and we headed home. Another tour book day! We had to inform my mom that typically we find exactly what we're looking for! Oh well, it's all part of the adventure.

Saturday night we took my mom to the Flashing Light Place, it's our own special name since we can't read the signs and there are literally tons of fluorescent flashing lights on the building outside after dark.
It was really exciting to have my mom with me for Easter Sunday! Church was great and we were invited over to Rocky and Gina's afterwards where we spent the afternoon/evening eating great food and playing the Wii! Always a joy! :)
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, my mom came with me to school. My new aide also started this week, and while I'm sure there will be more on her later, I must say that she is great and this will be a better end to the year! Anyways, my mom got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. The kids, especially the girls, just loved her and she was definitely a huge help during rest time! It's funny she said to me, "Ya know, when you would talk to me on Skype about how much the kids don't listen, I would think to myself, well how bad could it be? Then I came, and I know exactly what you're talking about!" haha Yup she saw it all! :)
I took Thursday off of work to spend my mom's final day just relaxing and being together. We did some shopping and headed out to the Botanical Gardens. I had never been there but will definitely have to make another trip there with my Japanmate before we leave. It was amazingly beautiful! I was in awe of all my surroundings, just gorgeous!

I got to climb a palm tree! Cool huh?
Gotta love self timers on our digital cameras! :)

I had a blast with my mom here and am so thankful that she too will have a picture in her head of the wonderful things and people on this island! I truly am blessed! Thanks for coming mom!!!! :)


  1. That's so cool that your mom got to visit you! It looks like you had a great time together!

  2. What a wonderful experience for your mom to be with you in Okinawa. I bet you all talked almost 24-7. Once again beautiful pictures of God's world. On another sure to have Alison climb the palm tree. Of course, you will take a picture too.