Thursday, September 12, 2013

Never could get the hang of Thursdays...

After another plane ride on Jetstar Airlines, only 3 hours this time, I arrived in Okinawa. Okinawa is a nice little island a few hundred miles south of mainland Japan. It is a sweet little tropical island and I have heard talk that it has some excellent beaches.

Lucky for me my friends Hollie and Adam are stationed there. Unlucky for them, they have a couch that is exactly one Sky sized. I landed at 6:30 pm and was promptly whisked away by Hollie in her sweet, right-hand drive Honda Stream. Sitting in the passenger seat, that should be the drivers seat, driving on the wrong side of the road while on coming traffic is in what should be your lane melts your brain just a little. I then got a guided tour (we got lost) in downtown Naha. They got me a pass to get on base and within minutes I was on their couch. We chatted and caught up on each others lives. We finally wrapped it up at around 10:30. A mere hour and a half later I was asleep. 
I woke at 4 in the am. That's right a solid 4 hours of sleep for this guy. What do you do at 4am? You wait for 6am then go for a walk. So I grabbed my camera bag and set out to see what Okinawa does for sunrise. So I strolled around, unescorted, and got a few pics.

Then I was caught! Or rather I walk to a gate and asked if I could get back on if I left the base to go to town. As it turns out, if you are a guest on a US military base you can not be unescorted. (Dumb mistake and obviously a dumb one on me, poor Hollie and Adam had only lived on the base a few weeks and didn't know, the pass paperwork doesn't mention being escorted, and the officer handing out the passes didn't mention it.) Anyway, the officers at the gate said I needed to find my sponsor ASAP or I'd be heading to the brig... If there is a bad way to start a day, this is probably it. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. Adam and Hollie saved me after having to rouse their 3 year old son and 6 week old daughter at 6:30am. Oh the times we had.

Once the "good times" were over, me and hollie headed to a beach near their house. It was a great beach but it is very hot. If we have met, you have heard me cry about the heat when it is anything over 68 degrees. So you may not trust me when I tell you it is hot here. You should. Today it was 91 degrees, dead calm and 75% humidity. It was literally hotter then Dickens. (To prove I ain't just whistlin' Dixie here is todays forcast for Dickens, TX.)

Those temps and that humidity together make it feel like you are wandering around in a sauna. Unlike a nice steamy sauna, in this scenario the sun is also melting the skin from you face.
 I found a crab.

For tonight I am staying smack in the middle of downtown Naha-shi. I am usually pretty excited with a 3 star hotel, but I decided to live a little and book the loverly Rihga Royal Gran Okinawa. believe me when I tell you that the 4th star is worth it. (I didn't take this exterior picture. It is too hot to stand around taking long exposure photos.)

There room pics are all mine.
The 6th and 7th floor is Ocean themed.

 The flash made this look sketchier than I meant it to.

 The liquor cabinet is lined in velvet...

And now the sun is down. I still fear for the bit of liquid water remaining in my body. But I feel the need to go wander in the night and see what I can find. So, Enjoy these sunset pictures I took from the 14th floor lobby of my lovely hotel.

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