Saturday, August 08, 2009

Getting to Okinawa
Since Eric and Etta were going to be on summer vacation for the entire month of August we decided last second to do a vacation. Since we could not get a local itinerary to work we looked into flying to Okinawa for a little R&R through some military facilities. We found that we could get a couple of nights here and a couple nights there and wanted to take a chance at getting there for free (rather than the $2900 it would have cost to fly locally).
We drove the family up to Yokota AB Thursday after Japanese lessons. During the drive up we noticed Etta's irritated left eye was so swollen you could only see part of her eye. Plus is was so crusty. Ok, the only time I've seen something like that is when I had pink eye. So, we decided Etta would take a trip to urgent care after we checked in at the base hotel. We were not going on a vacation with a possible case of pink eye (untreated at least). Eric and Etta arrived back at the hotel darn near 11pm! Turns out the doctor thought it was viral and that it would have to run its course. More than likely the rest of us would get it and it would also spread to Etta's right eye. Great. But, he did give us medication just in case it was bacterial and couldn't get to a doctor while on vacation.
A base plane was going from Yokota AB to Iwakuni, then on to Okinawa Friday morning. Eric had put in his leave orders with Air Mobility Command to get ourselves on the list of potential passengers. We showed up at 5:15am to check in and wait to see if there were enough seats for our family. Turns out...there was! We left Yokota at 9:20am on a DC10 operated by World Airways. It was a short flight to Iwakuni (only 55 minutes), with an hour wait on the ground, then an hour and 15 minutes more to Kadena AB. Etta took a nap on one of the legs and was relatively easy to please on the rest of the trip. Can't say the same about Chloe. Granted, she was tired since we were up super early that morning. Eric was the lucky one to sit next to her and had to constantly deal with her kicking the seat in front of her as well as keeping the whining to a minimum. Only worked when she fell asleep for part of the flight.
Etta's left eye a little red and swollen, but looking better
finally, quiet Chloe
After getting our luggage we turned in our leave paperwork for a possible flight back to Yokota. We found out a plane would be leaving the following Saturday. Ok, 8 days in Okinawa! Eric picked up our rental car from the base then headed for the BX and commissary. We picked up beach toys and food for our four days at Okuma Beach and Rec Center. Obviously after WWII the American military picked the choice spot for their own. Located almost two hours north of Kadena AB on the west side of the island. Studios, suites, cabins, and even places to pitch a tent right off the beach. Free movie rentals, and tons of activities for the family: parasailing, sailing, tubing, boating, biking, golf, miniature golf, and who knows what else we missed. We were lucky enough to get 4 nights at Okuma, unfortunately having to change rooms darn near daily. That was our only problem with planning a vacation last second.
Our first night was in a suite which was sweet! A bedroom with two queen beds and a big TV...

A family room with a pull out sofa...
and even a little kitchen and fridge.
Our room was just a hop skip and a jump away from this beach.
The girls were up early the next morning and had the beach to ourselves for quite a long time.
A new blow up ring with sun shade for Chloe. Turns out I should have bought two because Etta loved it too.
Girls busy digging in the sand

We had to check out of our room later than morning to check into another suite. Not sure why we couldn't just stay in the same suite, but oh well. We had to move all our stuff into the car and keep the kids busy for several hours. We rented a family bike, played at the playground, ate lunch at the restaurant on the premises, then miniature golf. Pictures of lunch and golf in the next post.
It was fun biking around the facilities, however extremely hot and humid
We rode the bike by this place and Etta wouldn't stop asking about it until we finally got off the bike. It's great, but after about 10 minutes the kids fizzed out since it was so hot.

Etta said everything was too hot
That's all I'm typing for today. I'll continue where I left off in the next post.


Jill said...

The beaches and ocean look beautiful there. . not what I imagined. I am looking forward to a beach vacation in the next couple of years!!

Jen said...

Oooo...I would love to be at that beach!!! The suite looks awesome too.