Saturday, January 19, 2013

2012 Updates (BIG ones!)

I've developed this bad habit of saving up stories until I have too many to share. Feeling completely overwhelmed at the prospect, but going to attempt it anyway. The good news is that a post FULL of stories is more likely not to bore you to tears! ;) SO here is what happened at the end of 2012.
 In honor of the new year, I will do it in countdown style! 

10. Zoo Day! 
Javier and I took a road trip to the northern part of the island and visited Neo Park zoo! It's a unique zoo because most of the animals are wandering freely and you can feed them, pet them, whatever! No lions or anything like that, but some really fun creatures (mostly birds). 

Little nervous!

fishy kisses!

I really wanted to pet this guy but he was a little weary. Bummer!

  9. Kouri Island 

Javier and I also went to visit one of our favorite places in Okinawa: Kouri Island

We made sure to be there at sunrise to enjoy the beautiful colors.

We searched the beach and found lots of sea glass!

You're not supposed to eat it!

It was a great day!

8. New Friends! 
I've decided that I love having couple friends! Bonnie and Brandon are a married couple who came to the island in August. They are so much fun to be around! I am so glad they came!


7. Ice Skating! 
Speaking of new friends, we invited them along to celebrate the Christmas season 
and escape the sudden heat wave with some ice skating! 


Bonnie even taught Javier to skate backwards.

 6. Sanshin
I had to take a little break from sanshin lessons in December, but I am rearing to start up again.  
My teacher expects me to pass a sanshin test in June, so I better get to work!!


5. Trace Adkins Concert 
 Apparently the USO hosts a bunch of concerts on Okinawa that are free for military (and their friends). I am bummed that I've never made it to one before, because this one was so cool! It was rainy a lot and the concert was outdoors, but we still had a great time!   

 Bonne and Brandon came with us, of course!

Such a fun time. I was only disappointed that I didn't hear him sing 

4. Maternity Photo Shoot, Take 2!
Last year when Kazuno was pregnant with Dion, we went to Toyosaki beach to take some fun maternity pictures! Now is she is pregnant with a little girl and we decided to take Dion (Now more than a year old!) and have another fun photo shoot, this time on Ojima (their home island).

He looks so chivalrous holding that umbrella. ;)

Beautiful momma

I was lucky to have Javier with me for this photo shoot! Whenever I wanted to take pictures of just Kazuno, Javier would play with Dion. Those two were laughing sooo much! It was adorable!  

3.  Leaving Japan
I signed the papers and it's official, this is my last year in Japan. I've been here three and a half years so far and it's been the best experience of my life! But I am certain that it's time to go. As much as I love my job, I am afraid that it's just not challenging enough anymore, and as much as I love living in Japan, I feel I've grown as much as I can here and am ready to continue growing on my next adventure! Stay tuned to find out where! ;)

2. Puerto Rico!! 
 Javier is orignally from Puerto Rico and he wanted to take me home so I could meet his family! \
We had been planning this trip for months when, at the last minute, his job kept him from leaving Okinawa. I still had my ticket and decided that I would go anyway--alone.

Luckily two wonderful friends that I had met here in Okinawa were also home visiting
 their family in PR so I got to meet up with them for a few days.
They even invited me to celebrate New Year's Eve with their family!
Some days were pretty amazing and some were a lot tougher, but overall it was totally worth it. I am hoping to post another blog all about it, unless I forget or run out of time. ;) 
1. Engaged! 
Javier finally popped the question!
And of course I said yes!