Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two male cheerleaders

Daddy dressed Zach this morning. In celebration of the Giants winning, he put Zach in a onesie we got in the States representing Dad's team. I noticed Ann Marie outside this afternoon and went to say hi. I realized when I got there that Jude was wearing the exact same onesie but representing the Browns. They look so cute together. Zach is very touchy feely.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Presenting- The Japanese Car Show! Featuring... American cars & crazy outfits!

When I think of Monroe, CT I think small town.  Though I did not like my hometown, I do enjoy remembering certain aspects of my home.  The pathetic lighting of the christmas tree on the town square (5 strands of lights on a 4 story tall tree), Pumpkin picking at Jones, the St. Jude carnival, Breakfast with Santa, and the strawberry festival are some of my top memories as a kid from my rural home.  Another memory I have of my childhood was getting ice cream and going to the weekly car show at Bill's.  I distinctly remember running away from a man chasing us because my brother dropped his ice cream cone into the hood of his car.  
So when Louise mentioned there was a car show in my new home of Okinawa, I had to jump on the idea.  But silly me, I was expecting a car show like the ones back in Monroe, with old fashioned cars.  Not in Japan! 
I thought this was really funny.  A Toyota tundra... with the wheel on the RIGHT side of the car!  In America, this is what people would be driving TO the car show!
A chipmunk driving a motorcycle.  After this happened dima ran up to me and said "Please tell me you got a picture of that!"
Some 50's style dancing.  I love the Japanese Fonz!
Is this kid the cutest or what?  
pink!
SLUG BUG BLUE!
Only in Japan do we have this many tv's and electronics in our car...  What's sad is he probably watches TV while driving.
I don't understand how this person makes it down streets in this thing. 
I had to take this photo.  This is what Dima used to drive back home... a BMW x5
Knight rider's plate.  I kept wondering how he drives this car around because clearly he's not from California if he's living in Japan.  And there is no Kanji characters on this plate!
This didn't make any sense to me... an anorexic looking spiderman was driving the Knight rider... I think we're a little confused. 
Lino and Putin were driving this car
Hot wheels cars for 150 yen each.  The adults and kids were going nuts digging through these!
I always hear that Americans dress so horribly, after living in Japan I have to disagree completely.  This woman had her overalls on with a belly shirt and heels.  I've been here for a year and a half now and I still am shocked every time I see the women walking out in town.  
Emmy getting a lollypop from a chipmunk!

Afterwards we found a great farmer's market.  It was nearby a benimo field where you can pick your own benimo.  This little girl was posting in front of the purple potato!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great finds

On our way to a computer store today we found some great finds along 58...
I thought this was really funny... A tattoo parlor with the word "boobies" on the sign.  I'm not sure what the connection is unless someone is getting a tattoo on their boobs?
Dima was hungry so he stopped at Lawson's for some food.  I love these meals!  
I was really thirsty and wanted a green tea, I found this one and figured it sounded interesting.  It didn't taste too crazy.  It just tasted like a Japanese green tea.  
This farmer's market was near the computer store.  They had some great food (though the tomatoes I bought were bad) at some great prices.  They had a bag of zucchini full of about 15 zucchinis for 398 yen!  That's about $4.50!  I will be visiting this little stand next time I plan on making some zucchini soup.

Awaiting Zachariah

Click here to view this photo book larger

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A trip to Japanese Russia!


Before we even moved to Okinawa, I had already discovered so many things to see and do via Okinawahai.com. I had made myself a very long list of things I wanted to do. Of course, having a baby was NOT on that list, but it is without a doubt the best thing i’ve done on this island. Unfortunately, having a husband who was deployed for 8 months got in the way of that list of mine. Now that he is home for awhile, I’m finally able to go out and see a few of those things.

One very large part of that list was restaurants I wanted to eat at. I love discovering different cusines and was dying to eat some yummy Japanese foods. What I did not expect about Okinawa, was just how many OTHER kinds of restaurants there were. In fact, that day we arrived in Okinawa, we went out to eat Italian food (it was actually very good Italian, in fact).

So of course, I was skeptical about going out to eat at a Russian restaurant. After all, considering my husband is Russian, I’ve tasted real Russian food! I was a bit unsure how a Japanese Russian place would be. But, hey, it was worth a shot for a night out of the house!

Thanks to my great neighbor, I had a sitter for Zach. Of course he was already asleep when we left and we just gave her the monitor while she babysat Steve & Louise’s kids too. Before we left, there was an almost eerie look to the sky outside. This is one thing I will miss about okinawa... Our stunning sunsets up on Lester Heights!

isn’t that something? I did not edit this photo at all. This is what our view is at home.

And so it began, our adventure to a Japanese Russia!

After a trip to Naha, a view at a garage that actually uses a car elevator to put your car in the garage, and a walk down some small streets, we had made it..

Perestroika... the Japanese Russian Restaurant.

Just walking into this place reminded me of Dima’s family. It even smelled like his Grandma’s house! The decor was very well done, and the staff were all Russian.

Hand paintings on the wall

This was at the bar. I love the one with the toothpicks

I thought this doll was really freaky!

Outside the building

A freaky looking sign!

The food was just as great as the decor. We all got the “The Russian Course” which included a salad, borcht, peroski, a main course of our choosing, ice cream, and a cup of tea.

Salad

peroski

Yummy Borcht

Because I’m not a meat eater, I always struggle with Russian food. Not much on the menu for me- especially with a strict diet of low carbs & dairy. But i ended up giving in and ordering the perogies. After all, it was a special occasion and i’ve been so good for about 3 weeks now!

My perogies- blichinki

Dima’s dinner- Golubtsi This looked great and the veggies were awesome

So we all had a great meal. But the best thing about this night was probably watching the Russian music videos on the tv next to us! I couldn’t get over how funny they were. They were not appropriate for children at all! I was shocked at how riskey some of these videos were. But the random assortment of music was what got me. They switched from kids songs, to rap, to rock, to r & b. And they all had very interesting plots behind them. It was similar to something you would see at Bollywood!

Russian Rap video

Steve, enjoying his Beef Stroganoff and the videos!

Dima struck up a conversation with the waitress and found out that we needed to stay a little longer after our meal for a show. So we sat for an extra 15 minutes to watch some Russian dancing. This was very similar to what i’ve seen before at weddings and balls, but the second act was more of a Gypsy take on Russian Dancing. It was interesting all the same, and the costumes were very pretty.

A gypsy take

And so ended our Japanese Russian night. It was a great evening with great friends. The food and entertainment were great. Dima even said that the food reminded him of his grandma’s cooking. Guess we’ll be making it back if he ever gets homesick!


When it rains, it pours

Who says a little rain will dampen your day? Certanly not us! Today we ventured to the beach again, only this time with more people in tow. We had to take two cars, so the McDaniels and Stepanoffs packed into the Delica and headed on up to the beach. No sooner then we pulled out of the gate did the skys open up and pour rain. We called those who were already there and it wasn't raining there! That's Okinawa weather for you! it could be pouring in one place but not 2 feet away. Go figure. So we continued our journey up to the beach. No sooner then we parked the car did we look up to see dark clouds again. Of course, the skies opened up once again and poured down on us. I suppose I was half expecting everyone to pack back up in the cars and continue on home, but the kids kept playing and the adults simply moved their things into their cars. I mean really, everyone was already wet so who cares? It wasn't storming- just raining. In America, everyone would have packed up the moment it started to look cloudy, but not in Japan! We continued playing. Zach got into his floaty and played in the water while the kids had fun splashing around. No sooner then it started did the clouds disappear and a beautiful sun emerged. So even though the rain "dampened" us, it certainly did not dampen our day!

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<em>The calm AFTER the storm!</em><img title="IMG_1087.jpg" src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/--jiIkSpgzrk/TnwlQSoKP3I/AAAAAAAAC-4/thQxEf_g-ls/IMG_1087.jpg?imgmax=800" border="0" height="400" alt="IMG 1087" width="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; -webkit-user-drag: element; -webkit-user-select: none; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 20px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 20px; background-color: rgb(123, 123, 123); background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; " />

Joey playing with Eric's skim board.

IMG 1110Eric letting the hermit crabs climb on his head.


London playing in the water. He is so cute!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Zach the ladies man-at it again!

So today I offered to watch a friend’s daughter, Kiera. Kiera is just 2 weeks older then Zach and her mommy and I met at the airport picking up our parents who came to visit our newborn babies. Turns out our parents were on the same flights to Japan and Okinawa together, we had a lot of friends in common, and ended up bumping into each other many times since. Mandy dropped Kiera off this morning to play with zach. He was down for a morning nap at the time but when he woke up I brought Kiera up with me to greet Zach. He was all smiles when he saw her. They were so cute together playing. Zach was thrilled to have her. I look forward to many more playdates with her.

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Kiera & Zach

Monday, September 5, 2011

Just another day in paradise

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It's funny, you live on a tropical island but never really appreciate how absolutely beautiful it is but once in a blue moon.  I mean really, I can see the ocean from my home.  I can make a short walk to the beach right by my house, but I get so caught up in the craziness of life with an infant (mixed with unbearable humidity) that I never make the trek there.  Today we decided to take advantage of the beautiful island we call home.

The Coats found this beautiful beach up by Camp Hansen not long ago.  The real trick to finding great beaches here is just simply taking out a map and finding  an area that is not overly populated.  And that's how they found this beautiful gem.

I really needed to find some shells and seaglass to fill the apothocary jars I recently purchased at the Navy gift shop and Louise told me this beach was perfect for that.  Boy was she right!  I found some pure gems to put in my home and i'll always remember just where I collected those shells.

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It took some time, but as I combed the beach, I found some gorgeous shells!

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Louise and London helping me find some shells.

 

But that's not all that was cool about this beach.  This beach had crystal clear warm water with lots of neat little critters to explore.  The kids had fun trying to catch the hundreds of fish that swam in the water with us.

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The Coats family playing in the water.

 

This was the first time Zach was able to really appreciate the ocean.  Just like the dog, he had to find out the hard way that the water wasn't edible!  Neither was the sand!

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Zach & Daddy enjoying the day together.

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This trip reminded us of how we need to take advantage of the little time we have left on this pure Gem of an island and take in the stunning views!

 

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The kids walking back to the car after a very enjoyable day...