Another EPIC week with my wife!

 

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As some of you all know my wife and I live in different countries. It’s difficult at times but it makes seeing each other that much better! In just 5 days we jammed packed our schedule. We went to two waterfalls, the aquarium, Kokusai Dori Naha, Okinawa World, and to many great restaurants! We used Airbnb to rent a small studio apartment, it was perfect for us and close to all the fun.

 

Emily arrived on a Friday and the next day was her BIRTHDAY! We spent most of the time at Kokusai Dori trying to see sights before Typhoon Noru. Kokusai Dori is translated into “International Street” which means it has a little bit of everything. Lots of cool little shops selling Okinawa items and a huge fish/meat market. We stumbled upon the market just by walking into a random door. I will have to go back and buy some fish to try because it looked delicious and fresh! That night we found small Japanese karaoke bar and celebrated her birthday with some friends! Unfortunately we were having too much fun having tequila and singing to take pictures. But the next day was another windy cloudy day so we spent most of it recovering.

Monday we had to make a stop on base to get Emily her military dependent’s ID then it was off to the 2nd largest aquarium in the world, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. For being a monday it was crowded and jammed packed! We looked at some of the small exhibits but we were focus on seeing the 1.9 million gallon tank with TWO whale sharks swimming in it. That was truly an experience seeing creatures that large swimming at eye level with you. There were three outdoor exhibits that we looked at with dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees. What lives below us in the ocean is amazing, some of the most colorful and interesting living creatures.

That afternoon was very interesting going to Pineapple Park… A whole park dedicated to pineapples! You go in through the park entrance and get into a self driving jeep that takes you through a tour of the fields and gardens. Once that is over you are able to walk around the park and see everything up close, they have lots of beautiful plants and decorations. The trails lead you into the area where they make pineapple wine and you even get to try some! It’s good wine to pair with a desert that had some pineapple in it. Then we discovered a whole new world of pineapples… THEY HAD PINEAPPLE EVERYTHING! I am not even kidding if you can think of it they made it with pineapples. That evening we walked to sea wall and took some awesome pictures then had the famous CiCi’s chicken and waffles.

Okinawa has quite a few waterfalls that are a must see! They take a small hike to get to but the fresh cool water and views are worth it! We left early in the morning to have breakfast and get on with the two hour drive. Unfortunately we were delayed due to being rear ended on the highway, it’s not like the United States where you just swap information and move on. Here they have to bring out the Japanese Police and since I was involved I had to call the military police. Aha Falls have a big deep swimming area with two small cliffs to jump off of. There is a small waterfall that you will see first but the big waterfall at Aha Falls is extremely dangerous to be on top of but it’s cool to look at how the rock has formed. Fukugawa Falls are nice because they are shallow and offer better relaxing areas. The waterfall itself is true natural beauty in how it flows and the nature surrounding it. On our way home we witnessed a perfect sunset and stopped to take pictures at a seawall.

Last day here we saw that Okinawa World had good reviews to go see so we decided to check it out! It was very reasonably priced for all the activities and sights you get to see. They have a snake exhibit that has snakes of every kind to include the viper on Okinawa and the deadly sea snake. They’ll even put on a show where they bring out a cobra and smack it on the back of the head. Not sure the meaning behind it but the guy had some balls to smack a deadly snake. Emily and I had been through underground caves before but I think we both can agree that this one was the largest and most interesting. Going through it seems to be never ending and every new area brings new formations of rock. They have traditional Ryukyu Island song and dance with dragon costumes. I wish I was able to take pictures/video of it but they were strict on no cameras.

(Will update last day with pictures, didn’t realize I couldn’t upload Canon RAW images)

Low light Photography

This is one of my favorite pictures taken with the GoPro Hero 5. I took this with my wife at her family lake house at Table Rock Lake in Missouri. First time really messing around with long exposures. I played around with different angles to get the campfire in the right position along with facing the dam over the lake.

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Photo taken: 12-29-2016

Storm Rollin In

I was able to capture a perfect picture of a storm rolling in from the East China Sea! Watched in on a small sea wall in Naha city. 

New camera! New adventures! 

Ordered a new DSLR camera off Amazon a bit ago but had to ship it to my wife’s apartment then she shipped it to me. It was something weird with international shipping. It’s the Canon Rebel T6i with an 18-55mm lense, it also came with a wide angle lense, macro lense and a magnification lense.

I was able to take it out yesterday and play around with a couple different locations! We were also able to go free diving/spear fishing (if we were relying on our ability to spear fish we would had starved) off the seawall. Here are a couple shots I took!

The photos below were taken with the Gopro Hero 5 Black.

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Not much to post right now. Extremely busy with Sgt course. Picture was taken at Chatan seawall. 

FIGHT NIGHT OKINAWA!

Last night was AWESOME! Some straight underground fight club type of shit. The event was put on by the MATURI Pride of Ryukyu. For ¥4000 we got great seats and ended up getting a refund due to the fighter we came to, his opponent didn’t show up so for his penalty he had to pay for our seats! The fights were in a club down in Naha that we had to go upstairs into. On the fight card there were 24 fights from some guys first fight all the way to almost pro! One United States Marine fought and Completely destroyed his opponent! For the main event the fighter brought out an Okinawan rapper that was actually really good even though I wasn’t sure what he was saying. Some fighters had signature entrances like getting slapped before getting it the ring, throwing their warm up jacket into the crowd but my favorite was the guy who rode a bicycle down the catwalk then got into the ring. It was a pimped out bicycle. The venue was nice with local food and a bar, also the turnout was great! I’m guessing about 200-300 people showed up. I took video of most of the fights and will be uploading the good ones and when I get the time I will make a highlight video of all the fights. After the fights I got in touch with the promoter about getting set up to fight at their next one November 12th. Hopefully not too hung over from my birthday on the 11th and the Marine Corps birthday on the 10th.

 

Big things happening!

Goodevening!

All photos are originals and posted at the bottom of the this post.

So some exciting new first is I was able to buy a van here in Okinawa. The process for military is a little different due to being in a foreign country and having United States and Japan agreements. I was approved for a license and a couple days later I bought a Nissan Elgrand for $500! Now I will be able to do the adventures I have been wanting to do more easily. I am excited to share them with you as they come about. My goal is one new adventure/post a week now.

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Secondly I bought a set of snorkeling gear that came with a wetsuit, felt bottom boots, fins, gloves, snorkel, and a mask. I went with mid-level gear due to starting a dive certification course after I get back from some training in July. the wetsuit, boots, and gloves are AROPEC brand and the fins are MARES brand. The day I bought all of it we decided to go test it all out at the kind of hidden spot called Mermaid Grotto here in Okinawa. It’s about 35 minutes North of Futenma. Getting there was easy but the entrance to the water/beach area doesn’t look like much, mostly a trail cut through the thick brush but once you get into the actual area it’s absolutely beautiful! Clear waters, giant rock formations, and tons of coral with crevasses in it. Starting off getting to the water there were sea urchins everywhere so luckily I bought those good felt bottom boots! Once getting out into the deeper water it was filled with colorful fish and blue starfish. At first I wasn’t sure how I would like diving but now that I had a little taste of it I want to go back and explore the cravasses with an air tank on. I am definitely going to check out a few other spots that I have been researching. It is like looking into another world that not many people take the time to see.

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Back after a small break!

Good Evening followers,

I took a small amount of time off due to being busy and really wanted to think I wanted to accomplish with my brand. Since last I updated I have been working hard towards getting my professional boxing license here in Japan! The fight is set for mid September so I will keep you posted on the training and how that is going! Today was announced that the Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor fight will be August 26th, I love both fighters but I am going to have to put my money on Floyd Money Mayweather. Something else I engaged in was my very first mud run back in April up at Camp Hansen on Okinawa. Myself and two other coworkers ran the 10Kilometer course which brought us over the ridges of some beautiful mountains! Also I went deep sea fishing with a group of guys I work with and ended up catching 68 total tuna. That was an experience of a lifetime being out on a small Japanese fishing boat catching fish after fish, a little weird not seeing any land at all. After we got off the boat we paid a couple of the locals to clean the fish for us for ¥300 a fish. We had them cut a couple up into sashimi and we ate it right there on the fishing docks. You can’t get any fresher than that! The rainy season is here now so getting outside is hard especially when I am at work on the one day it decides to be sunny a week. I am going to start updating more now that I have decided this is how I want to go about things! I appreciate all who engage with me and look forward to my next post.

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Top of the ridge up at Camp Hansen!

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Farm area on the way to the beach I run to.

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Shurijo Castle Written by my WIFE

Hi everyone! This is Carl’s wife, Emily. I was in Okinawa for six days visiting Carl and getting MARRIED! Today, I’m going to write about the last day I was there, Wednesday, March 15th. It was a gorgeous day out, sunny and warm. We decided we wanted to go see the Shurijo Castle, home to the Ryukyu Kingdom. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was blown away when we first entered the castle. The first thing we saw was the actual Shurijo Castle Seiden (picture 1). This building was the main structure for the Ryukyu Kingdom for over five hundred years. The castle was restored in 1992 based off of pictures and references. To enter the castle, everyone must take their shoes off as a sign of respect. There is an $8 entry fee to get in, which I thought was a great price to see so much history. We walked through the Bandokoro, which was where visitors to the castle would send messages to the king. The Bandokoro led right into Nanden, which was used as an entertainment area for the officials of the kingdom. Now, these two buildings are used to showcase artifacts and artwork. Next was Okushoin, a smaller building where the king rested. Connected to Okushoin, is Kugani-udun, a private place for the king and his family. Inside all of these complexes were prayer mats for visitors and officials. My favorite part of the castle was inside the Seiden. We got to see a restored throne of King Sho Shin, who was the king from 1477-1526. His throne was facing the garden so he could watch his officials during the New Year ceremonies. The colors in this room were incredible. Vibrant reds, golds, and hints of black made the feeling of royalty stand out. Inside the Seiden, several ceremonies and celebrations took place. The ceilings were built high to make the room feel more formal. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the buildings, so there is another reason to go visit it!

It was a great experience to see the castle and how structured the Ryukyu Kingdom was. In all, it took us about an hour to walk through each building and look around at the artifacts. I would recommend this trip to anyone who visits Okinawa. Not only does it take a short amount a time, you will also learn so much about the kingdom and structures of the castle.

After the castle, it was time for our wedding pictures! We met up with the photographer at the Gala. There was a gorgeous red Japanese structure sitting right on the beach. I couldn’t have picked a prettier spot to have our pictures done. We will post a couple of pictures once we get them back.

For dinner that night, we went to Chatan Brewery. Carl ordered a seafood mixture that was sitting in a broth. It had clams, mussels, octopus, a full fish (head included), and a few other things. I had sautéed shrimp with caviar on top. We each tried a different Chatan beer. I would recommend this place for a fine dining option. It was a little pricy, but the food was definitely worth it.

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