Posted by: popsgurl44 | April 3, 2009

Upcoming Post Subjects —

First and foremost, I would like to thank all of you for reading the randomness that is, ME!  This site hit over 200 views for yesterday alone! Which is  huge deal to me. Being that I didn’t post yesterday, that’s even more amazing. Anyhow I just wanted to say thanks!

Here’s a bit of a teaser for upcoming posts that I am currently working on-

The on-base crafts–Not going to give away which craft I picked yet 😉

The Aquarium, Cave exploration, The Zoo,  and a few other things already in the process!

I did want to let you know that tonight is going to be hugely busy – I hope to post at least one of my blogs tonight!  They all are in the edit process.  Had a bit of writers’ block yesterday– Yeah, Amy was without words! I know-some thought impossible, huh?

Ok–Headed off to EXPLORE and ask my questions!  Thanks to All !!

Posted by: popsgurl44 | April 1, 2009

Nakijin Castle Ruins and Museum


Najikin Gusuku walls.

Nakijin Gusuku walls.

Nakijin Castle or Nakijin gusuku – castle (Ryukyuan). In the Fourteenth Century, the Ryukyu Islands were broken into three sections.  Nanzan to the south, Chūzan in the central area, and Hokuzan in the north. Nakijin was Hokuzans’ fortress. The fortress now mostly in ruins is home to groves of what the Okinawan people call Utaki-or sacred places. These are places for the worship of gods and ancestors, much like a Church or Temple today.  (Special thanks to Wikipedia and Yahoo Translation-I am a research freak! ) 



Our Great Wall

Half way Views.

 The Ruins site is beautiful and basically untouched by modern architecture. You can walk through and climb the steep steps all throughout the castle. There is a full scale model at the bottom of the entrance. I do recommend sneakers or hiking boots, due to the nature of some of the walkways and steps being untouched or rebuilt.

Only part of the steps! LOL :)

Only part of the steps! LOL 🙂

During February, Okinawa and Mainland Japan are in bloom with “Sakura” or Cherry Blossoms. Festivities are found all over Okinawa celebrating the “Sakura”, as well as witnessing the beautiful trees in bloom.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

This alone made for great photo opportunities!  Being the very much camera crazed tourist, I jump at moments like this!



The girls sniffing the "Sakura" flowers!

The girls sniffing the "Sakura" flowers!

We were lucky enough to enjoy the Cherry Blossoms, in bloom, during our visit. Added Bonus. The Ruins itself was breath-taking.



There also is a museum on site. The musuem is filled with all kinds of interesting things. Pictures of the excavation, tools used during the 14th century, artifacts found on site. Most things are solely in Kanji, but give you great photo ops and interesting stories about what you think it is!   We didn’t stay too long, for the sake of bellies craving lunch after our castle hike. 




Tools found at the site. Najikin Ruins Museum

Tools found at the site.

Our exploring buddies and good friends (Cindy, Brandon and their kiddos) took the trek with us to Nakijin Castle. It is a bit of a drive from our base, but I think the pictures will prove, very much worth it! We made a day of it. We even stopped by the Pineapple Park on the way home and bought some Pineapple Wine. (I’m saving that for another post….Ooo..the suspense!)

One view from the top.

One view from the top.



It was so busy, the day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, that they had shuttle busses to and from parking. That was another added bonus, with 4 adults, 2 excited kids, 1 toddler and a 1 week old! I do recommend a baby sling or carrier because you cannot bring strollers through the Ruins sites. The museum, on the other hand, is stroller accessible.
The site can take a bit out of you if you’re not used to it. You should really see how many steps there are. It’s amazingly still very much intact!  Definitely, great for the thighs! Our Marine husbands had no problems, of course! –hint of sarcasm…. nah!

On the way back down the steps. Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms.

On the way back down the steps. Surrounded by Cherry Blossoms.

Again, I tell you, the view from the top is worth it! (and I am very much terrified of heights, so this means a lot) Plus we got that much needed workout. See how many added bonuses we got on this trip!

What the girls called "The Great Wall"

What the girls called "The Great Wall"

 I will be returning to the site soon. I forgot to buy my souvenirs from their little gift shops. Also, we did notice tours going on. We are unsure if there are English tours but I will try my best to find out on my next visit. I would really like to know more on the sites history. It would also be great to see if we guessed right, on some of those artifacts in the museum!




Green and Serene

Green and Serene

Due to my camera not arriving here the way I expected it to.(It’s in much need of repair)- I called in for re-inforcements.  With permission to steal her photos, Cindy has so graciously added some of her great shots. I was using the hubs iffy, not like mine, type of camera.  Yes, I’m that picky when shooting photos. OCD-ish even! Thanks for all your photos Cindy!




The entrance/exit and random couple.

The entrance/exit and random couple.

 If you are interested in more info on the site let me know. I don’t remember how much it cost to get in but I’m pretty sure it was no more the 500 yen per person. Kids were cheaper. I will be putting in my edit after our 2nd visit up there. Hope you go check it out!

At the entrance/exit--Konnichiwa! Arigato Gozaimasu!

At the entrance/exit--Konnichiwa! Arigato Gozaimasu!




Posted by: popsgurl44 | March 30, 2009

What To Do in Oki?

I have grown so accustomed to my “introverted-ness*”.  Leaving adventuring and exploration to find me through books and movies. Sad I know! However, there is a part of me that used to be daring and fearless. You’d say explore and I’d jump up and say, “Let’s Go!”

I have always had a taste for cultural exploration and history. That’s why moving here  to Oki was so exciting to me! Culture, history, Island life, food, Oh my! 

Being here for such a short time I haven’t explored as much as I like, yet. Again I say YET!  As, the days go on I my health has improved drastically. (See previous post to explain health issues Why I haven’t been myself ) So there definitely has been more exploration. Things I have done and want to do.

The next few posts are going to be all about those types of things. If there are questions and or suggestions feel free to comment and/or email me!  Look out Okinawa – Here I come!

Foot-note* – I know this isn’t a word 🙂 I tend to run on my own language from time to time.

Posted by: popsgurl44 | March 29, 2009

Swimming with Sharks!



Taken a few years ago at an aquarium in NC

Taken a few years ago at an aquarium in NC


What do you say to one of your best friends when they say, ” I need you.” ?

First, you have witty banter;

“Hop on the next plane!”

“Oh,  because I have 3 thousand dollars in my back pocket!”

“Well, then swim, I’ll pay for at least the life jacket!”

“Oh, gee I get  to swim the pacific and you just paid 3o bucks for me to be eaten by sharks!”

“Nah, you’re strong enough to fight them!”

….And it proceeds… babbling about when I make it to the states with severed limbs and such. All because they broke up with their overly attached, too young, needy, crazy like a bad 90’s movie, boyfriend.

You’re immediate response is to want to be by their side.

Ah, but alas, you cannot. It’s somewhat heart-breaking.

They have been through so much with you already. So feel like you are letting them down.

AND THEN, you wake from your one track emotion induced state.

Crap, what about my husband, my other best friend?

 Your emotions change direction. You have been through all of this with him. Plus, deploying, PCSing, kids, daily stresses ecetera.

Not to mention, you are having an neural meltdown, by this point because your kids just dumped cereal on the carpet!

Your husband needs you because of his daily stressors and added personal reasons.

Your child needs you well because they all do.

You have more then one friend going through crisis mode.  Some may be trivial things that have just set them off. Where as others you can’t help but to sympathize with them.  All your friends in their own right are suffering.

Added bonuses:

Your family is not well.

Your sister-in-law had a baby and you forgot to send the gift.

You have a pile of sewing notions that you started and haven’t finished.

It’s almost noon and the commissary closes early on Sundays.

There is tension brewing on the base you live on.

There are rules not being abided. Complaints being made. People bickering.

You are starting to plan a baby shower for a single Marine who could really use your support.

Again, your husband needs you.

Your child just was told to wash her hands and decided to flood the bathroom.

You live in base housing where the flood could cause problems with your downstairs neighbors!

You want to scream at the top of your lungs….but..YOU CAN’T!…’re neighbors will call PMO because they think your husband is beating you or you are beating your kid! (Okay that was overly dramatic! but you get the picture now!)

Your only good friends here are sick and you feel bad.

You can’t play a damn video game with out being mad!

Your dryer isn’t drying clothes and your microwave crapped out.


Are we getting the picture yet? You just want to be able to drink a super serum and run around with a cape and heat vision. You want to be there for everyone you can be, but can’t. It’s frustrating! It hurts. It’s hard somedays.

All that and I can’t imagine why my husband volunteers to deploy!! Sometimes I think that may be the easier way! Haha!

In end you, just want to cry because all your friend really needed was a hug.

Now,  you need one too and the vicious cycle continues!

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