Sunday, April 17, 2016

17 April 2017 - The Traveler Returns

Another Epic Journey draws to a close.

17 April 2016 - Sunrise on United 33

This is almost real time as Jack and UAL 33 cross into the light of day for 17 April 2016, for the second time.  Only fair since he missed last Friday almost all together!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

17 April 2016 - At Gate 37 at Narita and beyond!

This is Gate 37 at Narita while Jack was waiting to board United Airlines Flight 33, with a scheduled 1700 JST push which can be tracked HERE.  Sadly, the were an hour late, getting airborne at 1802 JST for an estimate arrival in Los Angeles at 1116 PDT, with any luck.  On the other hand, he has a fairly long layover before the flight to San Diego, so no worries.  The biggest news of the flight is just ahead of him boarding was the creator of Star Wars George Lucas.

17 April 2016 - The Epic Return Journey Begins!

Jack is safely airborne out of Naha, more or less on schedule.  Looks like he will be in to Tokyo - Narita a couple minutes early at 1401 JST.  He is on All Nippon 2158, which can be tracked HERE.

The next leg will be United Airlines Flight 33, with a 1700 JST push which can be tracked HERE.  That puts him in to Los Angeles at 1259 PDT, with any luck.  They have been getting in about 30 minutes early this time of year, so we will see.  Given the push time is 0100 here at Current Operations, unless Jack posts something, there will be no update until after mid-flight.

Then on Sunday afternoon, Jack boards United Flight 5416 which can be tracked HERE at 1526 PDT for his final leg into SAN, arriving in San Diego at 1737 PDT according to Flightaware.  On the other hand, UAL says the times are two hours earlier.  Guess we will find out tomorrow!

17 April 2016 - The last day on Okinawa for a while!

Beni Emo Ice Cream to cap off the Okinawa Visit at Naha Airport

Getting a nigiri and a drink at Naha Airport

Kurt, Jack and Mary at Naha airport!

On the way to Naha Airport, driving throughh the area of the Shuri Defense line.. This was where the Japanese Army made their defense against the American advance 71 years ago..

On the right of the photo where the water tank is, is I believe Sugar Loaf Hill, a major battle site during the Battle for Okinawa.

The start of the Shuri Defense Line.. Fighting went from ridgeline to ridgeline for as far as the eye can see.

The view out the window, different from home.  I am going to miss Okinawa and my friends there!

Friday, April 15, 2016

16 April 2016 - The Earthquake

Last night in southern Japan, on the big island of Kyushu, there were multiple earthquakes, the biggest being a 6.2 that struck at 9:26 PM. There is no tsunami danger resulting from these quakes, and Kyushu is about 400 miles from Okinawa. This means that all of you on Okinawa need to prepare yourselves for a massive tidal wave that will take place over the next 24 hours. This tidal wave will take the form of an enormous deluge of phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages from friends and family in the USA and elsewhere, all desperately seeking confirmation that you've survived the terrible earthquake and non-existent tsunami. To help everyone on Okinawa, OTPI is providing this handy graphic that will help to reassure everyone you know that there was no earthquake in Okinawa, that you are in no danger, and that this event has no connection whatsoever to Andy Richter (as of this time we can neither confirm nor deny that Conan O'Brien may have somehow been involved). On a serious note, our thoughts and prayers are with the all people in Kyushu who were directly affected by these earthquakes. We hope that the damage to their homes and businesses can be repaired soon and that there are no further injuries or fatalities. Whenever these sort of things happen, people always ask us where they can send donations. In this case though, none are necessary, as it seems that the Japanese government and their disaster response teams have the situation well under control. - Angie Gross

15 April 2016 - The Day's Events

Yesterday was a pretty interesting day. Got up around the usual time after a restless night's sleep and had my usual coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. 

We hung around the house until about 1000 and then went down the hill to near Naha for Jaiden and Emme's dental appointments. When we got down there, there were only three parking spaces in front of the dental place and only about the same in back. And the parking areas down there are limited to each business, so we couldn't park in the next door burger area for instance. We waited for a gentlemen who was finishing up his dental appointment to come out, move his car and leave, which he did.

We went inside and waited and eventually Emme and Jaiden went back. It turned out that Emme had gotten a tooth pulled, which meant that she would be having a liquid diet for some time, which meant we would have an ice cream stop! 

After we left the dentists, we went to this amazing shop called Don Quiote, which is like a Japanese Wal Mart, full of amazing things and it has a grocery store in there too! We were there to acquire some candy for me to bring back. I found a whole bunch of epic candy to bring back! I promise you it will be epically delicious! We drove back to Camp Foster to pick up Kurt and we went down to the Spot, which has a cleaners, a pizza hut, and a Baskin Robbins. We went to the Baskin Robbins and I had an Oreo Cookies and Cream Ice Cream which was delicious!

After eating our ice cream, we went back to Kurt's work to drop him off, then we headed home. We just hung out at home for the rest of the day, and I had delicious shasmi for dinner and rice and triple spicy wasabi. Little did Kurt, Mary and I know there was already a dab of wasabi on our rice, which was under our shisimi, so when we ate the shasmi, we got double spiced! And I also had some ramen for dinner! Then afterwards, Nyah, Jaiden, Emma and I played a game of Monopoly. After about an hour into the game, we were all fairly tied up in property/money value, though Nyah had the most money, so we declared a tie and ended the game. I went up and got ready for bed and went to sleep after another epic day at the Thomas household!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

Thursday, April 14, 2016

14 April 2016 - A fun day at Fukushu-en Park!

Yesterday morning I got up at about 0645 and went downstairs and had my coffee. I had a breakfast of filling oatmeal along with my coffee. I then learned we were going to meet our friend Angie Gross and her husband Greg and her son Peyton at a ramen noodle restaurant near their house, then go to this cool place called Fukushu-En Park, which would turn out to be an epically beautiful place! We hung around the house until it was time to leave, then we we had to get gas and yen for Mary along the way, and hopefully delay our arrival until 1100.

We got to the restaurant sooner than expected at 1030 and sat in the parking lot and awaited the Gross' arrival. The time flew by and before we knew it, we saw Angie and her family drive up. The restaurant was very interesting with Japanese art hanging on the walls and it was a small restaurant, but there were quite a few choices on the menu. I ended up going with Angie's recommendation of spicy ramen soup, level 3 hot! It was sure very good for cleaning out my nose locker, that is for sure! It was extremely delicious!

After we ate and talked a bit, we split up and Greg went home and Angie and Peyton went with us to Fukushu-en park. Fukushu-en Park was one of the most awesome parks I have ever been too. It is a large park that you walk through, around a large pond, which is surrounded by awesome towers and pagodas. It definitely had a bit of a feudal Japan vibe. The park is at least 600 years old from what I hear. We got to feed furtles, fish and pigeons with fish food from dispensers! It was pretty awesome! We spent about an hour there just walking around and looking at the fish and turtles. There was also two very cool towers, which you could go inside and look up from the bottom!!

After the park, we stopped by Angie's house to drop her and Peyton off and also to paint sand dollars for her to bring back to her house in the States when she moves this year. I also got to have my first Okinawan sea salt cookie, which reminded me of Walker's Shortbread! 

After hanging out at Angie's, we said our goodbyes and headed home to a wonderful dinner of stuffed shell pasta, with delicious meat inside the shells!

It was definitely a fantastic day!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

13 April 2016 - A relaxing day!

Today was a pretty relaxing day, so this will be a shorter post than usual. I had my usual 0600 wake up and my morning coffee with Kurt and Mary. Mary made us eggs and toast for breakfast, which once again was epically delicious. Some of Jaiden's friends had spent the night, so they got up later and had their breakfast. Kurt left for work, and we just hung around the house for most of the day. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich for lunch and played a Disney Movie song trivia game with Nyah, and had a lot of fun. When Kurt got home, he, Wayne and I had a walk on the beach while Mary was preparing our dinner. It was nice to have a walk on the beach in the evening, which was during low tide. Our dinner was ready when we got back, which consisted of mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and chicken. It was all epically delicious!

I am not sure what we are going to do tomorrow, but whatever it is, it will be epic!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

addendum to an Epic Day at the Thomas Household!


One final note. I got to meet/see again a couple of the Thomas' neighbors. One of them, Bill, plays guitar/bass, but mostly bass. He invited me over to his house to view his guitar collection. He had among other guitars, a Les Paul, Gibson Flying V, Gibson Explorer and SG. It was awesome. He also invited me to come over and jam while I am here! So epic!

Posh Kandaroog

Epic candy!

12 April 2016 - Another epic day at the Thomas Household

This morning I awoke at the usual hour, 0600 after yet another restful nights sleep. I went downstairs and got my computer and iPhone and Watch plugged in and charging and checked my mail and sent messages to my parents. I also made my morning coffee and read my email. Then Kurt and Mary joined me for morning coffee. Kurt and I had eggs and toast for breakfast.

Kurt left for work, then we hung around the house for a bit. Then we left the house at 1130 to go and get Kurt lunch and bring it to him at the office. We stopped at a FamilyMart locally to get nigiri, our favorite lunchtime treat. Emme ate her nigiri before we got to Kurt's office. We got to Kurt's office around 1145 and we ate lunch and hung out with Kurt. After a while, we headed out and ran errands on Camp Shield, then back to Kadena, where among other things, I got some yen to buy more souvenirs. We headed back home, but stopped at the commissary to get taco materials for Taco Tuesday, and we got some treats as well.

For my treats, I got chocolate/graham cracker triangles which were delicious and we got this lemon/lime soda drinks with a marble inside. It was epically delicious! We had tacos for Taco Tuesday, which per usual Mary's epic cooking, was absolutely fantastic!

I am not sure what is planned for tomorrow, but it will be epic whatever it is!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

Sunday, April 10, 2016

11 April 2016 - Ice Cream Monday!

Bright Sunny Day in Okinawa!
Today I got up at the same time as I usually have been getting up, at 0600, after a really good restful nights sleep. I went downstairs with my laptop and checked my email and made some coffee. Then Kurt and Mary came down and joined me, and we had some coffee. We had a walk on the beach to see what had washed up, and the only items of interest we had found were a couple of balls, one of which we brought back with us.

I had eggs and toast that Mary cooked for us for breakfast. They were extremely delicious! Then the girls were awake, and I played checkers/chess with Emme and Rae and other games. Then we went upstairs and played a bit of Jenga, then I did a drawing contest with Rae, drawing animals with our eyes closed. It was tough! Then after hanging out around the house, we left at 1300 to go to Family Mart to get some nigiri for lunch then onto Naval Base Kadena to shop around and look for tape and plasti dip items for Kurt, which we ended up not buying. Then after we had looked around, we went over to McDonald's to get ice cream. My ice cream cone was the largest I have gotten from any McDonald's in a while! It was extremely delicious! We then headed home, where the kids went to the park to run off their excess energy from their ice cream, and I went back to my room to rest.

I believe we are having leftover potato soup for dinner tonight, which should be extremely delicious!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

11 April 2016 - Monday Morning in Okinawa!

From the Thomas home

Another bright sunny day in Okinawa!  It may rain later.

10 April 2016 - Origami that I made!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

10 April 2016 - Sunday Funday!

Last night there was quite a thunder and lightning show. And I understand there was also a fireworks show going on at American Village. Despite all of the above, I managed to get a good restful nightsleep and got out of bed at 0600. I got dressed and went downstairs to have my morning coffee with Kurt and Mary. Kurt is recovering from a flu like disease and some of the kids are also sick. I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast, this time it was of the maple variety instead of the blueberry flavored one like yesterdays.

At 0930 we left the house to drive to the last day of the antique fair in Awase. Like yesterday, it was filled with a variety of interesting trinkets, though this time I did not see anything remarkable. Mary has suggested that we stop during the week at Pottery Village in Yomitan, which has some wonderful souvenirs of fine Ryukyu pottery. Kurt and Mary's friends Sarah and Mike joined us to go to the fair. It was a pleasure to meet them. We had a wonderful time at the antique fair, and then about after an hour there, we parted ways with Sarah and Michael and returned home.

We stopped at a FamilyMart, (like Okinawa's version of a 7/11) and Mary got us nigetti (a triangle seaweed wrap, with rice and mayonaise inside.) and drinks. I had apple tea, Kurt had a caffe latte, and the girls had apple juice. We then returned home and I started on my game filled day with Rae and Emme. Before we started on the games, we rode bicycles outside in the Thomas' driveway. It was so good to ride a bicycle again after not having ridden one for many years. First Rae and I played chess. This was the first game that I had played of chess in many moons, but I had a lot of fun. Rae and I had fun re-discovering the game of chess. Then we played a game of Clue with Nyah and Emme which was fun. After Clue, Rae showed Emme and I how to make some origami hats and cups! Very cool!

Then Rae suggested we watch a movie, so we went over to the Thomas' movie cabinet and I picked out Spy Kids 2, which was a very funny and cool movie. After the movie, we went back outside and rode our bicycles for another while longer. I am not quite sure what we are going to have for dinner tonight, but I am quite confident it will be extremely delicious!

Over and out,

The Posh Kandaroog

9 April 2016 - Today's Rainy Adventures

This morning I awoke after a wonderful nights sleep at 0555 and went down to the living room and had coffee with Mary and checked my emails. After catching up on my emails and charging my devices, I put my laptop away and joined Kurt and Mary outside on their porch, to watch the rain fall. It rained off and on during the day, but there was also thunder and lightning as well. I had oatmeal with honey on top for breakfast. At 0930 we left for the Antique Show in Awase, which runs for three days starting on Friday.

The antique show had a lot of very interesting and cool things. It was like a swap meet, but housed in a building like a general store. There were rooms full of interesting antiques, that dated from Samurai days, such as a pair of Samurai stirrups. Or there was also a neat vendor who had a lot of items from WWII, all of which had come from Okinawa. These were items such as helmets, canteens, dog tags, etc. These all definitely had a connection to the Battle for Okinawa in one way or another. There was also other vendors with interesting objects, what looked like an early pair of night vision goggles, a lot of zippo lighters, silver dollars, and a whole variety of cool little trinkets.

Canteen for Uncle Tuck

Canteen for Uncle Tuck

Japanese Soldier's Diary

Japanese Soldier's Diary

Japanese Soldier's Diary

After we browsed the show, we left and returned home. After staying at home a while, Mary asked me if I wanted to come run errands with her. I agreed and we took a nice little drive to Kadena for the first errand. It was pouring rain at Kadena like you wouldn't believe. Mary had to get out of the car, and in the ten seconds she was out of the car, she was absolutely soaking wet!! Then we headed to another location on the base and again Mary had to hop out of the car. We then headed to a FamilyMart and met another person who Mary had bought things from. Then we headed back towards Kadena, but took a shortcut, as we were advised there was an accident by Gate One.

After dropping off Jaiden and her friend at their friends house, we headed straight home. I hung out some more with the girls, and I also rode one of the Thomases' folding bicycles, and had a blast riding up and down their driveway with the girls. It was really great to ride a bicycle, after not having ridden one for a bit. I just had two delicious pieces of pizza.

Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings,

The Posh Kandaroog

Friday, April 8, 2016

Arrival in Okinawa

Last night I arrived at Naha at 1820 local time. I made my way to the baggage claim area, and called Mary and let her know that I landed. I walked outside and crossed the street to the area where I would be picked up.

I soon saw Mary's Delica van and I was very happy and excited to see her. It was her and Emme that picked me up. On the way home, there was an incredible lightning and thunder show in the sky. It was constantly lighting up the evening sky and was a very impressive sight.

We stopped on Kadena AB to first get dinner, at Burger King and then to get medicine for Kurt, who is battling sickness. It started to pour rain when we arrived at the Exchange, so we dashed inside. We had burgers for dinner, then we went upstairs to the Exchange and got medicines.

Then we headed home and we arrived around 2020. I got myself settled into the room upstairs, which Mary had showed me. I took a shower and then went to bed at 2045 local time, this concluding a very long and epic day!

Sent from my iPhone

Okinawan donut!

9 April 2016 - In Okinawa!

It was raining and thundering and lightning all night last night!  Still raining this morning.  Awake after Epic Sleep!

Running through Osaka Airport

We got into Osaka at 1515, about a few minutes before approach, someone had a seizure and they had to call for medical professionals. Then some ANA people came onto the plane and asked if anyone was going to Okinawa. I raised my hand and they gathered a group of people with 3 guides. There was an older lady going to Okinawa and she, the guide and I ran through to the train to immigration. We just missed the train but luckily another one came right after. We then got a fast lane pass from the guide through immigration which really sped it up. Then we went through customs which went pretty fast. Then we headed to security and we did that in record time too. We made it to the gate and our airplane had just rolled up! What an adventure!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, April 7, 2016

7 April 2016 - United 35

Lunch time just below Portland, Oregon about 300 miles out to sea.

Vegetable Ravioli!  Looks very yummy!

7 April 2016 - United 35

Jack is on UAL 35 for the next 12 hours in Seat 18C!

But the great news is Seats 18A and 18B are EMPTY - Jack has the whole row to himself!

7 April 2016 - United Flight 35

Jack is in Seat 18C on United Flight 35.  Track it HERE!

7 April 2016 - SFO Airport

Jack is at SFO ready to board United 35 Seat 18C to Kansai, then after clearing customs and scurrying to the next gate, he boards All Nippon 1737 for Naha in Okinawa. 

United Club - SFO

Breakfast at the United Club at SFO

My plane at Gate 95!

The Big Fella is headed to Seoul

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

6 April 2016 - Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn

Jack is safely ensconced in the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn by the San Francisco Airport.  More tomorrow!

6 April 2016 - SWA 3029

Seat 23C
The emergency exit and aisle bulkhead were taken and there were 40 empty seats on this flight! No WiFi,  though, it was a Boeing 737-300!  The last of the breed!

On the other hand, there was an EPIC Sunset just before landing.