It was an action packed 4 days and we filled them with memories to last a lifetime. The Lehano’s visit to Okinawa will not soon be forgotten.
(Leroy is a legit photographer and let me use some of his gorgeous pics for my blog so this is me giving him credit for his beautiful pics scattered through out this post)
They arrived on Friday, March 17th and we didn’t waste a second!
Straight from the airport to make little Emma’s dream come true of making her own Hi-Chew at Hapinaha.
We had a snack and I think this was the moment we realized there is absolutely nothing that has changed in the 8 years since we had seen each other. We are both just as weird now as we were then.
Leroy bought the kids the most beautiful cotton candy.
We watched as they devoured that beautiful work of art in the most vicious way.
Our friends arrived and before we knew it, we were off on a ferry to Yoron Island to make Kulia’s dream come true.
It was a longer ferry ride so they had mats available for napping.
We grabbed a bite from the vending machine. It wasn’t bad!
With our bellies full and an attempt to rest, we reached Yoron!
Going to an island with star sand wasn’t exciting enough for us so we decided we needed to camp to make it more exciting. That’s a lie, the hotels were full. Since we had so much stuff and there were so many of us, we decided to ferry our van over too! Nevermind that there weren’t enough seats, we made it work!
Checked out the beach then set up camp.
Then, the time had come. We boarded a tiny boat and it took us out to a sandbar where Kulia’s dreams of finding star sand would come true!
With our mission accomplished we headed back to camp, changed out of our wet clothes and hit the town in search of dinner. We found this neat little place…
Where they served us pork face.
The kids LOVED it but not everybody found the idea of pork face very appetizing.
The food was good, the service friendly and the company was the best there is.
So, we finished our dinner and headed back to our campsite. We had a perfect day and most definitely weren’t expecting what was waiting for us back at camp. We had hung all of the kids wet clothes on a tree like the hillbillies we are and as we checked them, I can’t remember who but someone noticed that they were moving. Ahhhhhh!
These gross little insects were EVERYWHERE!!!! All over the tree, ground, tent…EVERYWHERE! Everyone was freaking out and the kids were completely traumatized so I put my brave face on and cleared the entry to the tent. We quickly piled in and tried our best to shake the creepy crawly feeling. Kulia did a little research and found out they are called beach hoppers.
By morning they were gone but the trauma will last a lifetime.
The next day we packed up camp and did a little site seeing before taking the ferry back.
Dallin and Emma’s expressions accurately express how tired we all were on the ferry back.
Even though we were tired we couldn’t let this special day end without a little celebration. It was Leroy’s birthday!!! We stopped by Jimmy’s, which is a Japanese bakery, and Kulia picked out a couple of cakes and even had them write his name in Japanese.
Next day, we drove back up to Nago to the aquarium. It’s a must when you visit Okinawa.
Best part of our aquarium visit, to me, was the picture they take when you first walk in. They told us to say something, I’m pretty sure it was “Shisa!” and they caught us all with our mouth open! Love it!
After the aquarium we went to Daiso and Don Quijote because Kulia had a crazy long list of things she needed to buy for everybody and their neighbors. Apparently it’s a Japanese/Hawaiian thing that when you take a trip you have to bring back gifts for everyone you know. I’d get kicked out of that culture I’m pretty sure. She’s pretty amazing. The entire trip she was thinking of others.
She checked everything off her list and we rushed back to make it to our Cocoks appointment! I couldn’t let her leave without her souvenir.
Then just like that, our time was up. The next morning I took them AND Rich to the airport. They were headed to mainland Japan to continue their adventures and Rich was on his way to San Francisco on a TDY.
This was the visit of fulfilling dreams. Emma dreamed of making her own Hi-Chew…check. Kulia dreamed of going to a star sand beach…check. I dreamed of Kulia and her family coming out to visit…check! I loved meeting her kids and watching them build a friendship with my kids. I loved joking and laughing with my friend as if years hadn’t passed. We all look forward to a reunion in the near future.