Friday, September 22, 2006

The Wrapup

So much for daily blog updates. Here it is, a full week after our return to the States, and I'm finally writing the wrapup. Anyway, if anybody cares, this is how the final days in Okinawa went down.

Wednesday, September 13 - We're all excited to get to Camp Foster, where Teena's arranged an aerial tour of Okinawa island for us. After a quick breakfast on base, we head to the airstrip to meet up with our pilot, a cute Korean girl named Jo. She hands us our headgear and we walk out to the awaiting Cessna four-seater. She also warns us not to snap photos until we get to the plane, or cross the painted red line separating us from the fighter jets stored in nearby hangars. We're in the air for a good hour, taking in the entire coast of the island. Great views of the coral reef and crystal clear water. What a beautiful place.

We head back to our waterfront cabin on base, change, and hit Oura Wan beach. A bit disappointed that we can't snorkle or rent a boat, we lay out in the sun for awhile. I find some hermit crabs. I realize that we'd just seen this very beach from a coupla thousand feet straight up.

Thursday, September 14 - This morning, we're off to meet Masa and Yumi at the world-famous Churaumi Aquarium. "Churaumi," I assume, can only mean "Big Ass" in Japanese, because the tank there is frikkin' GINORMOUS. We take in the Seaworld-esque dolphin show, check out some manatees, turtles, then whammo, we get a peek at the piece de resistance - the Big Tank. Man, words cannot describe this marvel of engineering. According to Wikipedia, this thing holds 7,500 cubic meters of water and features the world's largest acrylic panel, measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters, with a thickness of 60 centimeters. It's also chock full of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays the size of horses. Big, flat horses.

We end the day back on base with Masa and Yumi. They're excited to visit the Military Excange, where we stock up on Coronas, chips, pizza and tacos. Good times.

Friday, September 15 - A sad day. Time to head back home. After meeting up with Masa and Yumi one last time to exchange goodbyes and gifts, we're off to Osaka for a 4 hour stopover. A little shopping and grubbin', then Nana and I hop our last flight of the tour, back to LAX. Man, I had a blast. An unforgettable trip. A big thanks to Teena, Nana, Deb, Hiroko, Masa and Yumi! I love you all.


Blogger The Nord said...

That is awesome, Dano... I would have LOVED to see the Sumo match!!!

6:47 AM  

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