Monday, July 23, 2012

Third time is the charm (6-20)

     As I am sure you can tell from the title we were able to make it out!!  I checked the flight information the night night before and found a flight that was going to Anchorage, however they didn't know how many seats were going to be available and show time was at 6am.  So like I said previously our main goal was to just get off the island.

     We woke up and headed to the terminal, and found out the flight was actually going to Washington state!  So that works out even better.  They still didn't know how many seats were going to be open, but we sat and waited.  They announced that there would be 20 seats and I got nervous.  But low and be hold we made it!!!  We flew out on a C130.

Google image of a C130 (not our exact plane)
The boys in our "jump seats"
     So, our plane went from Okinawa, to Misawa, Japan, to Anchorage, Alaska, then on to Whidbey Island, Washington.  We stayed with the same plane and same flight crew the whole time.  The plane was loud, and pretty cold.  If anyone is planning on taking a Space A flight, I suggest bringing a blanket.  So our first flight we were in the air for about 4 hours, the kids were great, not a problem at all.  Once we land in Misawa, we realized quickly that it was COLD there compared to Okinawa.  It was about 55º F.  So the people at the terminal were really nice and drove all of us over to lodging, there were about 5 families with us.  We got checked in and the lady said she would be back at 7am to pick us up.
    We left Misawa, and started our long leg of the flight to Anchorage, Alaska.  It wasn't really that bad.  We were able to get up and move around.  Anyone taking flights like this though I suggest that you pack your own lunch.  They didn't have the box lunch option for us for some reason, and they gave us some food that we didn't care for.  Going to the bathroom there was a bit awkward for sure.  Basically it was in the back of the plane behind a shower curtain.  I had to get up and take Wyatt one time and figured since I was already back there I might as well go myself.  I will defiantly try to hold it if we fly that that again.  I kept feeling like someone at any time was going to come back there.  Anyways.  We landed in Alaska around 4:30 am, and it was daylight out.

The view from the terminal at 5:00am
     So when we landed we were told that the terminal would only be open about 30 mins.  This being said we (all families continuing on) had not been able to make lodging arrangements.  So they gave us 30 mins to line something up.  And of course the TLF was full.  So they kicked us out and we had to wait outside until about 5:30 am, when they opened back up.  Let me tell you the misquotes are HUGE!!  It was kind of funny people that are from there that were showing up for flights were wearing shorts and tank tops.  It was about 50º!  We were all freezing cuddled up with blankets and what not.  Apparently this was hot for them.  Finally around 7am I was able to make a hotel reservation that wasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg, only problem was check in wasn't until 11, well 2 but they let me check in early.  I also got news that my friend from Fairbanks was going to drive down to see us!  So around 10:30 I called a taxi to take us to the hotel.  That ride costed me $16!  Anyways I walked in and they knew who I was before I even said anything.  They were super nice, although not the best hotel ever.  As soon as we go up stairs the kids racked out.

    My friend go there around 5:30pm, I haven't seen her since we lived at McConnell AFB, in Wichita, KS back in 2008!  We spent some time catching up, then we went to Red Robin to eat, then to Target!!  Which if you live on Okinawa, you know how exciting Target is!  We went back to the room and hung out until around midnight.
View from the hotel at 11:30pm!
   The next morning she took us back to the Terminal, and one of the other girls that was traveling with us walked out and said hurry up they are trying to board the plane!  This was around 7:00am, they told us they weren't boarding until around 8.  So I hurried and said my goodbyes and got checked in.  Thankfully the crew was late!  So then we started our next journey to Washington.
Goodbye Alaska

     This leg of the trip was the coldest!  We were covered up, and yet still shivering!  This flight was only about 4 hours so, I don't really remember too much about this as I was watching Walking Dead, and sleeping.  However when we arrived to Whidbey Island it was cold, 55º and raining.  And for some dumb reason they didn't bring us a shuttle like the other places did we had to walk in the freezing rain with our luggage!  Was was horrid, and on top of that they had the terminal freezing cold, and there was no wifi, and they didn't have phones that you could dial out on.  So I had to have some random guy call the shuttle service we had reservations for which if you are flying the through here I recommend this shuttle service it was very pleasant.

     Ok, so this ends the Space A part of my travel, I will update more on the rest on my journey, and vacation soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Space A attempt number 2

     Well, our second attempt to fly "space a" ended in yet another fail.  Looked pretty good, but the closed the flight with just 9 people ahead of me.  So, we will try again, and hope for the best.  Main goal at this point is just to make it to the states.  Then we will deal with getting "home". So tomorrow we will try yet again. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Space A flight attempt #1

     As I am sure you can tell from the title of this we did not make it out.  We found a flight going to Alaska, then on to Oklahoma that had about 30 seats available.  We arrived early and signed in, and things looked pretty good.  They actually called our name for a flight.  Only problem was it wasn't the flight that we wanted to go on.  So they put us back in the correct folder.  Then it seemed like everyone and their dog came in. Needless to say the seats went fast, and now we have to wait a few more days to see what opens up next.  Guess it's better luck next time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cakes that I have made

     Since coming to Okinawa I have spent some time making cakes for friends of mine, then friends of friends, and then people I don't know.  Basically I am self taught.  When I was growing up my Memaw use to decorate cakes, and I got a basic knowledge from her, but everything else I have learned from experience and or online.  So here are some of the cakes that I have done so far.  Will be updating as time goes by.

Baby shower quilt using a cream cheese BC

Baby boy blocks using BC

Baby girl blocks using fondant

Batman using BC and BC transfer

Ben 10 design with BC, my 7 yr old drew up

Black and white with BC, cream cheese  BC, and gum paste bow 

XL roller derby with BC, rice transfer, and helmet covered with fondant

First attempt at Topsy Turvy, Dr. Suess Birthday, fondant with royal icing figures

Dragon boat covered with fondant, head and tail formed from RCT, then coated with candy melts, BC accents

Roller derby helmet covered with marshmallow fondant

Baby rump jungle iced with BC, using fondant accents

Jungle theme with BC, figures are cake toppers customer purchased 

Roller derby track with BC, piping gel, and fondant figures

Lighthouse with BC, gum paste figures, RCT house and light house

Lion smash cake

Lorax covered with fondant and BC accents

Pac-Man with BC

Penguin cupcakes

Announcement cupcakes with BC

Promotion with cream cheese frosting

R2D2 done in BC

Baby shower quilt with BC

Skatepark with BC, piping gel, and rails in gum paste 

Thomas with BC, train was a lego toy

Tron covered in BC, light cycles are gum paste

Winter party cupcakes with BC and glitter

Bee, covered with fondant and BC accents

Owl with poppy flower covered with fondant cutouts 

Purple scrolls done in BC and gum paste scroll

Skateboard deck with BC and BC transfer

Under the sea covered with fondant, and using fondant/gum paste mix for accents

Monday, June 11, 2012

Attempting Space A travel

     So, yesterday I came up with this "brilliant" idea of trying to "HOP" home for part of the summer.  For those of you who don't know what a "HOP" is, basically some military bases allow you to catch a ride to a location the base is going if there is space.  So with that being said, things can change at a drop of a hat.  Basically when you see a flight that you would like to catch you show up and sign in, and if they have room for you they let you on.  Did I mention they only give info 72 hrs out?  So you pretty much have to have a bag packed and ready to go pretty much at all times.  You continue this process until you get where you want to be, or where you get on a commercial flight.
Basically we would fly like this. (Photo from Google Images)
     Today we turned in our paperwork to start the process.  Hopefully we get that back and can turn it in to the terminal soon.  I have a plan that will get me pretty close to home, and then I have a backup plan incase the first one doesn't work out.  Now lets just hope that they work out, and that I don't go crazy flying over 7,000 miles with 2 kids.

     I will try to update as I found out more.  Hope to see my family soon...

     Well as of today, June 15th, our plans have already changed a few times.  Still waiting on the first flight to be confirmed.  Hope to know more soon.  We are all getting a bit excited and ready to go.  More updates as I have them.

IE Trip

     So, I have just transferred previous posts to this blog, and I am just going to start again.

     Over Memorial Day weekend my friend, Cherry, set up a weekend camping trip to IE island, which is located about 6km NW from the Motobu Peninsula.  In Japanese, it is called "Iejima".

Photo via Google Images.
     It was about a 30 minute ferry ride from the Motobu Port to IE Port.  We had never been on a ferry, so that was a new experience for our family.  The weather on the way out there was slightly rainy, but still pretty enjoyable.
 Here is our ferry.
Pretty sure they loved it.
Hubby and kids getting in the car while on the ferry.
     So once we arrived we found the perfect camp site, and began setting up.  I could pretty much build a house right where our camp was, and never leave.  It was absolutely beautiful!

Our camp site.

View back towards Okinawa.
Another view of Okinawa.
Our beach.

     On our second day we went on a little adventure to explore the island.  Turns out this island is not built up, it's pretty much two resorts, the camp grounds, and farmland.  
Every year the island has a Lily Festival in April.  We didn't come for that, but we were able to see a few flowers that were still bloomed.  

     There was also a pretty cool cave, Nyatiya, that is located about 3.5 km west of Ie Port.
View looking down toward the cave.
Walking down toward the cave.
 In the cave there was a "Chikara-ishi" stone.  If infertile women lift the stone it is said that she shall have a baby.   

     Here is the mountain you could see from the ferry, Mount Gusuku, which is about 172 meters high.  We didn't climb it this time, but maybe the next time we go.

     Our last stop was the Wajii, which means "Spring" in the Okinawa dialect, the steep cliffs along with NW coast. 
Absolutely breath taking view.

     That day, three of us went SCUBA diving, and were able to see lots of beautiful fish and coral.  Sadly, I didn't take a picture of the actual beach we went diving at, but I did take pictures under water.  I won't post all of them here, but here are just a few.  We also did a night dive just off our camp site, but my camera died at the end of our first dive.  Maybe my dive buddy will post some soon so I can share those as well.

Well, hello there.

Pretty cool Nudie Branch

Pretty awesome coral.
    The rest of the trip we pretty much stayed in the water.  Lots of swimming and snorkeling.  The kids loved every bit of it, in fact as soon as the woke up (with the sun) they were ready to head back to the water.
Wyatt ready to go.

He loved it!

Lion fish we found.

Trigger fish.


Star fish.
   Over all we had a blast, and are going to be planning another trip sometime.  Hopefully soon, because this was amazing!!!