Thursday, August 13, 2009

Torii Station, Okinawa
After visiting the aquarium we headed for Kadena to do a little more grocery shopping. We knew we had a fridge, microwave, and a grill at our cabin while staying at Torii Station, a small army base. We picked up some turkey mignons for us and some chicken nuggets for the kids. It took us forever to figure out where to check into the cabins, you'd think it's be right next to them but it wasn't. Once we got to the cabin we were slightly disappointed. We were expecting cabins like Tama Hills (near Tokyo) which were darn near decadent. This cabin had a small bedroom with 4 twin beds. Hmm, we were thinking it was going to be a queen bed that Etta could share with us. We had to mentally figure out sleeping arrangements and in the end it was fine, just a little inconvenient (Eric and I sleeping on the pull out bed while the girls slept in the bedroom). Etta was enchanted, she loved the place. She kept calling each bed hers and would climb up and down the bunks. She finally settled on this one pictured below.

Since it was late by the time Chloe woke from her nap and Eric returned with clean clothes (a laundromat on premises), we decided to skip the beach. We got the grill going for dinner. Here's Chloe after dinner.
Eric came back from running around with news that a typhoon was on the way to Okinawa. Great. Here is a beautiful sunset picture.
Eric enjoys a cold one during the nice sunset

The next day was cloudy and super windy. We figured this was signs of the tropical storm on its way to Okinawa which was supposed to turn typhoon. So, we went to the beach to enjoy what we could before the storm came. We like to avoid sand near our cameras so we didn't have them on hand for that outing. The waves were pretty good but not so bad we wouldn't go in. The girls mainly had fun playing in the sand and looking at all the shells and coral I'd bring back to them. By 10am everything there at the beach opened up, including a big water slide and water fountain. The kids ditched the beach to play in the fountain. We went back to the cabin to get the camera, couldn't miss this photo opportunity.




Eric and I enjoyed this slide. Etta could have gone on it, but figured she would say no by the time she reached the top and decided to to just say no to her.

My favorite picture

Video of Torii Station

video

That was pretty much all the excitement we had on our first day at Torii Station. The next day was possibly the first day of typhoon so we hadn't planned on much. It rained all night so I was hesitant on going to the zoo which we all wanted to do. Eric had read of a place highly recommended with little kids, called Mora Kids Jungle (or something like that). Near Camp Foster and a good 30 minute drive (thanks to all the stop lights), we finally arrived. Of course the information we had said it opened up at 10am and it really was 10:30am. So, us with a handful of other Americans waited outside for it to open. To our dismay the kids are required to wear socks and the girls were in crocks. Have no fear, they sell socks at premium prices! Whatever, it wasn't that expensive to get in. It was kid heaven. Think of Chuck E Cheese but 100 times better. It's an entire jungle gym for kids. You have to purchase your food and drinks there but they don't gouge (I hate that!). We had three hours of entertainment. The best part, Eric and I got to sit back and talk while they played! Ok, Eric did go in one time with the girls to the second floor. Check out the video to see what it was really like.
standing on the roller slide, not very smart
tight rope walking
going through the tunnel
tight rope walking...one handed. She would carry balls back to the right room

Daddy had to have some fun too
Video of Mora Kids Jungle
video
Of course it didn't rain that day and we should have gone to the zoo that day. However, if we would have gone to the zoo it would have rained. That's just the way it works! None the less, we all had fun that day. So, we figured the weather would be worse the next day. But, we got the news that the typhoon was going to miss Okinawa (ended up hitting Taiwan and doing some damage there and China). We figured we'd still have crappy weather (which we did) and heard from another American mom that Round1 was even better than the Jungle place for kids. Ok, we got a plan for the following day.
Turns out our cabin roof is made of tin and kept Eric and I up throughout the night. We headed for Round1 and were worried it wasn't open due to lack of cars. I suppose 10am is early for the locals. We found out that the top 3 floors were for us. We paid a hefty fee to get in for three hours. However, the place is pretty cool. Check out the video. Eric makes me a little dizzy in the first part of the video but he shows a lot of the fun stuff.
Round1
video
Etta in an electric car, it was running pretty slow by the time she was done with it.
Eric pushing Chloe around the track on a tricycle.
Etta had her hand at boxing.
Eric shooting, I even got to try it
The arcade was a lot of fun. The girls particularly liked the whack em games
"Where are they?"
Mom's turn
I think Eric was the winner on this one
While waiting for lunch the kids kept busy with the pool table. Who would have thought putting balls in a hole and retrieving them would be so entertaining. Kept the kids happy the entire time we ate lunch.

Had a good seat for little motorcycle race. We thought they would go faster than they really went.
Had to buy another set of chicken nuggets because the girls kept dropping them. What a waste.
The process of ordering food at many places in Japan. Bring tickets to counter, attendant gets the food. Lots of English in Okinawa; must have to do with all the American military bases.
This was much longer than I inteded. I still need to talk about our last night in Okinawa and getting back to Yokota. I'll also talk about my thoughts on the trip.

4 comments:

Jen said...

Looks like lots of fun! We taught Jade to play pool the other day...she really enjoyed it.

klstowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
klstowe said...

I have to say that Japan looks like it has some of the most unique and elaborate playgrounds/amusement activities for kids. They always look like a lot of fun! I'm curious to know what kind of camera you have. I like mine overall but always have trouble with low-light night or indoor shots, and particularly couldn't get any good ones at the aquariums I've been to. Yours always turn out so well :)!

Stacy B. said...

Oh, I love having internet again so I can see all the fun places you go. So many aquariums! Do you have a favorite? Joe gets to take some college students to Japan next spring so you'll have to let us know what is the best stuff to see. :)