Friends, Associates, & Other Stuff Jan 12 - Apr 12

Apr 12

My trip to Miyako Island

Arrival- Pai Base Resort: beautiful place away from all the hustle of tourists.  I recommend this place to everyone. lol  http://okinawahai.com/2011/12/miyako-jima.html Loved the little crustaceans.  Amazing how many and how small they are.  Every time you go to the beach around here you're literally stepping on hundreds of them. LMAO

Day 2: Health Fureai Land Park, Miyako Pony Park (ponies looked sick and didn't want to come out of their enclosure), Ikema Island (huge bridge, Ikema March Wetlands), Shimajiri Mangroves Promenade, Tropical Botanical Garden, Higa Road Park, Cape Higashihennazaki, Nanamata and Muigaa Costlines, Imugya Marine Garden, and Ueno German Culture Village (this was pretty disappointing...I'll assume it was just "off season". Place was desolate and lots of construction)

Day 3 (weather started going south, but still a good site day): Sunayama and Sunset Beach (second more of a park / also can see the bridge being built to cross over to Irabu Island), Monument of Hisamastu Five Braves, Maehama Beach, Kurima Island (with several nice look outs), Shimoji Yonaha Bay, Uipya Yama Ruins, Upukaa Mangroves Promenade,

Departure: Yeah so it rained a lot this day.  Good thing I got everything in earlier.  Underwater Park and Nakasone Tuyumya Grave

Easter Weekend Exploring: White Beach, some ruins, a few islands, and a cave...some bruises, cuts, aches, torn clothes, and extreme fatigue.  Yes, great weekend!

Ikei and Hamahiga Islands (possible couple shots of Henza and Miyagi Island also)

Yabuchi Cave Ruins on Yabuchi Islnd http://okinawa0.tripod.com/cgi-bin/first_okinawans.html

White Beach

Katsuren Castle Ruins (World Heritage Site)

Wandering around the backyard...Araha Beach. lol

Mar 12

Drive along Highway 331

Gushikawa Ruins & Cape Kyan

Peace Creation Park

Oki World Cave

Chinen Castle Ruins & Cape Chinen

Random stop

St Patty's Day in Okinawa.  My fav part was the hip hop dancin'.  Those kids brought it x3.  lol 

Yeah, me not doing school work on the last Sunday of a class.

18 MXG Maintenance Professional of the Year (MPOY) Banquet.  Medallion ceremony the day prior to recognize all the nominees. MOS did well taking home 3 or 4 awards.  I was blessed to take home Indirect Sortie Maintenance Professional of the Year and Maintenance Analyst of the Year (not presented at the event)...woot, woot!! 

Feb 12

Trip to Tokyo for Snow Monkeys and UFC.  Met meet up with Keo & Damian. 

UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan.  Didn't think I'd be allowed to bring the dSLR...was pissed at myself when I saw folks with theirs.  Used my Canon S90.  Not very happy with the outcome, but better than nothing & luckily I was so close.  That and my battery started to die...you'll notice fewer picks as the event went on.  Overall though a great experience. 

Ate some "if you don't cook this right you'll die" blowfish (Fugu, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugu).  Was pretty good. 

Snow Monkeys in Nagano

Odaiba Island

Senso-ji Temple

Tokyo City View

Random shots from being out and wandering.  Met up with Kristina and Grace (Damien's friends).

20th Annual Okinawa Marathon.  Got some folks from work and volunteered to hand out water and cheer.  Then grabbed by camera.  You'd think by some of the faces they were finishing the run.  No, the smiles were from how we bring the cheer.  LOL  A portion of the 26 miles cut through Kadena AB, in gate 2 and out gate 5.

Hiking Kushi-dake with Outdoor Recreation...domo Naoki!

Jan 12

Cherry Blossom Festival in Nago.  The day started beautiful and then it rained.  Literally started raining as soon as I got to the festival...boooooo! But, I stayed dry 'cause I move with the swiftness...I dodge drops. lol  Anyway, it cleared up and ended up as amazing as it began.  I used pretty much every lens I own on this trip....heavy a$$ bag was worth it though. 

 Hiking Mt. Yonaha.  Okinawa's highest point at 502 meters (1,650 feet), but the sign said 498m. lol  Oh and if you didn't know I'm a hero...I saved a caterpillar from web that was sure to take it's life. :)

Chaperoning Battle of Okinawa with Kadena AF JROTC

Shuri Castle New Year Ceremony- re-enactment of a traditional New Year ceremony held during the Ryukyu Kingdom era.  A three part ceremony:

Part 1- Ninufanuunufe is a ritual to pray to the gods which is attended by the Ryukyu King and royal family, high ranking officials, and ministers as well as local community leaders.

Part 2- Chounuunufe is for the people to celebrate the longevity of the King and the prosperity of the kingdom at the beginning of the year.

Part 3- Otori is the ritual wear the royal officials partake in awamori (Okinawa liqour).  I didn't get photos of this event 'cause we left for lunch. 

We came back for the performing arts celebration.  The first few photos are of Yotsudake.  I don't recall the names of the rest.  Accompanying videos are on my youtube channel.

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