travel

Domo Arigato–Thank you, Sisters in Oki & Beyond

Domo Arigato–Thank you, Sisters in Oki & Beyond

I’ve been challenged by a fellow blogger, the lovely Jaci at Happiness Backpack, to blog about what I’m thankful for. Last November, I shrugged off doing the “Today I’m thankful for. . .” posts on Facebook every day leading up to Thanksgiving. Although it’s a great idea, I just don’t like to do what everyone else(…)

Golden Week, Part 2: There Be Dragon Boats!

Golden Week, Part 2: There Be Dragon Boats!

Golden Week: more people on vacation, more traffic, more festivities. Also, this: Why are there Christmas lights up during Golden Week, you ask? Ahh, my dear Westerner, that is where you’re wrong (don’t worry, I made the same mistake). Those aren’t Christmas lights. Those are GOLDEN WEEK lights.  So what’s the difference between Golden Week(…)

Golden Week, Part 1: National Days of Rest

Golden Week, Part 1: National Days of Rest

Happy Golden Week! Um, what’s Golden Week, you ask? It’s a handful of national holidays packed into the end of April and beginning of May, of course! China celebrates it, with its own holidays. These are the holidays (as they currently stand) for Japan: I say “as they currently stand” because there’s been a lot(…)

Driving in Okinawa: Unofficial Rules of the Road

Driving in Okinawa: Unofficial Rules of the Road

So you may have read about my adventures in learning to drive on the left. In the driver’s ed class to get my Japanese license, I also learned some of the nuts and bolts of driving, like the only place in Okinawa you can turn on red is on Kadena Air Base, or the meaning(…)

You say Potato, I say Ben-imo

You say Potato, I say Ben-imo

If there’s one thing I really like to write about, it’s food. Whether it’s a restaurant I’ve discovered, or some exotic cuisine I’ve never tasted before, I think my decades of eating, enjoying, and even being picky (I prefer the term “particular”) about what I eat help me write somewhat informed food and restaurant reviews.(…)

Cold hearted snake: Okinawa’s habu

Cold hearted snake: Okinawa’s habu

Whew–you’re still with me. I wasn’t sure after that heavy post on whales last week. This week, we move through the animal kingdom to those slithery creatures you know and love: Whoops, not that guy! What is his deal? I still haven’t figured it out, but he nevertheless gives me the giggles! The most famous/notorious(…)

Whale song

Whale song

The major news on island this past week is, unfortunately, bad news: Beached baby This beached baby humpback whale was found on Torii beach on Wednesday, March 20th. Those who first saw the calf at sea wanted to try to rescue her, but she was already dead. No one’s really sure what happened, and it’s an(…)

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Walk that goat! Okinawa’s Bios on the Hill

Have you ever heard someone say, “If you don’t like the weather in [name of city], just wait a few minutes, and it’ll change”? I have. In fact, I’ve heard this same expression used to describe Chicago, Los Angeles, Valparaiso (Indiana), and parts of Texas. As if these were the only places with frequently changing(…)

Oki End to End: Mini Geography Lesson

I just couldn’t wait to share this with you–I recently saw it in my feed. It’s a time lapse video of a person driving from the southern tip (Cape Kyan) to the northern tip (Cape Hedo) of Okinawa Island. Since Okinawa is only 67 miles (107.8 km) long, the trip takes 3 to 4 hours,(…)

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

100 Yen Stores: The Most Fun Consumers Can Have!

It’s fun to visit another country and find little cultural differences, or learn that there may be a different way to do or say things than what you’ve always known. I take it another step, and admittedly get a little “judgy.” Here’s my running tally on “Who does it better–Okinawa or the U.S.?”                                             (…)