Memorial Day weekend brought Ben and I the best weather since we've been in Okinawa. This gave us a perfect opportunity to test out our snorkeling gear and GoPro at Maeda Flats which is Okinawa's go-to spot for beginner snorkelers. We enjoyed it so much we went on both Saturday and Sunday! Since Ben and I had never snorkeled anywhere other than a pool, we were definitely impressed by the variety of sea life that inhabited the East China Sea. Some notable marine life included hundreds of sea urchins, surgeon fish, damselfish, clown fish, eels and many more! Feeling a little guilty for eating tilapia later Saturday night... But such as life 😋
After two years of being a "butter bar" 2nd Lieutenant, Ben finally promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The ceremony took place at his battalion headquarters infront of about 20 of his colleagues. I had the honor of pinning his new sliver bars on and to follow with Marine Corps tradition, I made sure to "hit" his bars on after they were pinned. Apparently, in the old corps days Marines would get pinned without the backs of their bars or chevrons. The person pinning them would then hit the bars/chevrons after they were placed so the pin would go into the chest of the Marine... Some good old fashioned USMC hazing haha. In all seriousness though, we couldn't have asked for a better promotion ceremony. Unlike a lot of other Lieutenants that we know, Ben was fortunate enough to be able to promote by himself which allowed the ceremony to be more intimate and personal to Ben and I. I really liked how the Commander (Ben's boss) gave a little history lesson about May 23rd because he knew how passionate Ben is about history. I am also thankful for everyone who took tons of photos of the event, you all rock!!
Notable events in this past week in Okinawa include my 23rd birthday and a never-ending week long monsoon. It's unfortunate that these two events coincide, but luckily I was able to spend two sun soaked beach days last weekend so no complaints here. Ben and I also discovered the seawall, well, the good part of the seawall. The Sunabe Seawall down the street from AFB Kadena is the go-to spot for beachside dining, bars, snorkeling, scuba diving, and running. Needless to say, Ben and I were hooked from the moment we went! We ended up going two days in a row over the weekend and on Sunday we ended up celebrating my birthday a bit early since my birthday fell on a Wednesday. We started out with tropical drinks at the Transit Cafe. I wish I would've taken more pictures of the cafe itself because it had the most stunning view of the sea. We then headed over to Sidelines Bar and Grill to get burgers and brew. This place is perhaps the only sports bar on the island and unsurprisingly Ben was immediately a fan. My birthday celebration ended at the Shake Shack where we attempted to finish our monstrous "freak shakes". I've always wanted to try one of these insane milkshakes and now that I have, I think I'll stick to smaller desserts... They were delicious, but for the first time in my life it was just too much dessert 😂
Ben and I hope that we will be able to snorkel off of the seawall this weekend, but the weather forecast is looking quit grim with non stop rain for days on end. Monsoon season has got to go!!!!
I realize that I talk about the heat/humidity here quite often in my blog posts, but I need to mention once again that this place is HOT. Hotter than Hell, hot enough where I'm absolutely terrified for summer to come. I'm not sure if people enjoy being the bearer of bad news, but everytime the weather is brought up in conversation there is always that one person who reminds me to "just wait for summer, it's even hotter." How it could get hotter than a 101 degree "real feel" is beyond me, but I guess I will have to wait and see.
Although surrounded by crystal clear water on every side, the beaches of Okinawa are few and far between. Most of the coastline consists of rocky, super-sharp cliffs that make entry into the water pretty much impossible. On Saturday we challenged the terrain and decided to head up the west coast to search for a sandy little slice of paradise. After a bit of investigative work, we discovered a very small, secluded, and apparently relatively unknown beach. The only other people on in sight were Okinawan children and a pair of scuba divers.
We're Kara and Ben, a Marine Corps family currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Enjoy our adventures, travels, photos, thoughts, and life together halfway around the world!
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