On Sunday night Chris' mom, Sheron, and her good friend, Sharon, came to visit. We are very excited to have our first visitors. This is Sheron's first time out of North America and we were a little nervous about her 30 hour travel day. Going from Baker, FL to Okinawa takes a lot of time and requires a lot of changeovers. We didn't need to worry though. Whenever I make the trip, I'm a zombie coming off the plane barely functioning, but these 2 were still making jokes and having a great time.
We were worried that Chris was going to have to leave for a typhoon evacuation, but despite getting called in a couple times he never actually left the island. YAY! Tuesday we took them up north to the aquarium. It is such an awesome place and the setting couldn't be better.
This is about 12 hours before the side effects of the typhoon were supposed to be their worst. Pretty nice day, huh?
Not only is the aquarium amazing, the landscaping is fun and beautiful. Here Sheron, Sharon, and Chris are riding a topiary whale shark. The next one is me and Sheron with a sea turtle - I love the baby.
The tanks are great - the set ups are beautiful and the fish look fat and happy. Here Sheron and Sharon are taking the plunge.
Here's a little Japanese humor. Next to the water fountain there was a fountain for gargling only:
What a waste you say. Certainly no one uses that you say, but au-contraire-mon-frere! Here you go:
Right when I was going to take a picture of the fountain this young man came up and started gargling. I'm pretty sure Chris was mortified that I snapped a picture, but I tell you I'm pretty good about doing it on the sly these days.
This was our favorite part of the aquarium. It is an absolutely massive tank that has manta rays, eagle rays, sharks, whale sharks, and an assortment of fishes. It's breath taking.
There's also a cool part where you can be under the glass and watch them swim right over you:
Wednesday I went to work while the rest of them went to Ikei Island (no pictures - sorry). After work we went to Genki Izakaya to give them a typical Japanese dining experience. Check it out:
This was their first experience with sake (called Awamori here on Okinawa). They both liked it alright, but admitted that it was pretty strong.
Before the food arrived, Chris gave a quick chopstick lesson:
Sheron was a little doubtful, but she caught on fast:
I love this picture because she looks so happy that she was getting a decent size bite of her beef and bell peppers.
Both Sheron and Sharon got shrimp tempura which was delicious! Here's Sharon with her noodle dish and shrimp:
Chris got the house sushi roll:
Holy Yum! I could eat sushi every day!
I got the eggplant and seafood stir-fry. It was heaven. I don't know what they use for marinade, but it is so good. I also got some nigiri with unagi (freshwater eel) - it's my favorite!
We finished the dinner with chocolate tempura. That's right! They have fried chocolate! Mmmmm...
It's kind of a Nestle Crunch kind of chocolate and was served with a raspberry sauce. It was wonderful.
I'm sure more posts are coming so stay tuned. Here are a couple of unrelated pictures. The first is Chris after a 12 mile training run as he prepares for the Izena Triathlon. Rana loves helping him stretch and really wanted to share his water:
This last one is the craft I did with the kids at the Youth Center yesterday:
Happy Fall Y'all!