We arrived on Okinawa almost a week ago and I can’t stop pinching myself! I didn’t realized I’d have so much to share and yet in six days we’ve already found a house, bought phones, looked at cars, seen the squadron, checked out parts of town, made sushi, gone on two dives, been snorkeling, and have spent time at the beach. I guess a good place to start would be the beginning. 🙂
Our flight from San Francisco was rather uneventful. The woman checking us in for our flight tried to help us out by giving us exit row seats. Normally I’d be thrilled to have all that leg room on a super long flight……but when the exit row is right by the bathrooms, all that “leg room” just becomes a continuous line of people waiting their turn. So, while it wasn’t ideal, we really did have extra space. Sometimes. The same cannot be said for the poor man next to me who had the inflatable emergency slide in front of his knees! I think he had less space than everyone else on the flight. We also (unfortunately) had an incredibly old plane and therefore couldn’t control what we watched. While The LEGO Movie and Monuments Men were shown (and both were fantastic), I spent the remainder of the flight reading Les Misérables and trying my hardest to stay awake. (I really wanted to get ahead of the jet lag!)
We touched down in Tokyo with almost two hours before our connection to Okinawa. My overall impression was that Tokyo’s Narita Airport is the quietest International hub I’ve ever been in! I honestly felt so self-conscious talking that Hoban had to ask me repeatedly to speak up. It was also very clean and very well organized. Going back through security was a breeze – I didn’t even have to remove my shoes! A receipt is printed for you at security that has your flight, gate, and seat number printed on it – which is really great since I didn’t need to pull out my ticket and chance dropping it each time I wanted to make sure I was going the right way! I definitely would love to have that in the States.
Our flight to Okinawa was fairly short and the view of the island from the air was incredible. There are almost no lights on the Northern part of the island except for the coastline – I wish I’d had my phone or a camera on me so that I could have taken some photos! After grabbing our bags, we were picked up from the airport by a guy in Hoban’s new squadron. He took us to our temporary lodging at the Shogun Inn on base where we met our sponsor’s wife (our sponsor was gone for work). She had stocked the kitchenette for us and left laundry detergent as well – which was super thoughtful and amazing! Our hotel has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and small living space. Check it out.
It’s basic, but it’s also very clean – and more room than we need considering we’ll only be here for a grand total of 10 nights before we move into our new home! Check out my next post to see our new digs! 🙂