Katsuren Castle Ruins

I’m more than ashamed that I have lived on this little island for two years and have just visited my first castle ruin.  I could give a bunch of excuses like I had a newborn when we first got here, I didn’t know anyone and wouldn’t want to go alone, my husband has a crazy schedule, I started working the second year…I could go on and on, but they’re just excuses. The truth is it was just so easy to settle into the daily routine of things and a little bit scary to venture out into a world full of unfamiliar Kanji symbols and people that didn’t speak my language.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve been to lots of neat places here, but mostly the touristy ones that have lots of English options like the Churaumi Aquarium. And that’s great, but Okinawa is full of so much history it really is shameful that I haven’t started getting around to see it all sooner.

Keegan and I started meeting up with a group of other moms and kiddos for a weekly play group and it’s been decided that we ought to visit all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Okinawa. There are a total of nine sites here that are collectively listed as “Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu.”
Last week we headed to Katsuren Castle Ruins, which was only about a 15 minute drive from where we live. The site is open 24 hours and has open access, though there is a visitor center located directly acrosse the street.

It probably doesn't strike you as the most kid friendly place, but honestly it was great for them to just be able to run around... K was knocked out no more than 2 minutes into the car ride home.  Plus it was free.. and you know I love free!!

There was quite a large hill and plenty of stairs, but I was 39 weeks pregnant and I did it with my two year old, so don't let that scare you... although it's likely that I was just trying to get my water to break.

The view was gorgeous! The ruins are located on a peninsula so you could view the Pacific on both sides.

You might not be able to tell, but there is a rather large hole next to this shrine. I wonder if they made sacrifices here...? hmm?

While we we're there they seemed to be excavating a portion of the ruins. I thought that was pretty neat. It seems crazy to me that there are still hidden treasures from the 15th century!

An here is some information about the castle in it's hay-day!

If you want to know even more, here are a few links that might help you out:

Keep an eye out for future posts on other sites we'll visit!


He's here!

He's finally here!

Meet Baby Ronin.

Born: Monday September 24, 2012

9 lbs 7 oz, 22 in long

I'm so excited my baby is finally here. I now have 2 crazy boys to look after and though I'll still be keeping up with the blog, it might not be as much as you or I would like.

 Be patient with me as I transition from a mommy of one to a mommy of two!


Are we there yet? : 39 weeks

Seriously? Are we there yet?

 I am the most impatient person in the world, and pregnancy recieves no special treatment! I am ready to be done with pregnancy and more importantly, welcome my new baby boy.
Today I am 39 weeks, officially. ONE MORE TO GO! And of course I'm hoping it is less.
I started my maternity leave from work earlier this week and am eagerly waiting.
With K I tried every gimmick I read about online to get him to come early.. except castor oil. There is no way you'll ever find me drinking that. I did eat three whole pineapples in one sitting though, and I'm pretty sure that worked...and it left my mouth raw and numb for a week.
I haven't tried so many this time around, but I've definately been walking and seducing my husband more than usual! I'm told those are the two best methods to get the baby out.. I obviousy haven't had any luck yet.
As impatient as I am, I cannot complain. This pregnancy (as well as my last one) has been easy. There were days where I honestly forgot I was pregnant until little guy would kick me square in the ribs.
Morning sickness was minimal and late night cravings never existed. Yes, yes... all that cake that I blamed on the baby... well, I just needed an excuse!
I've only gained 20 pounds and have suffered no swelling! I can still do the daily things I did before, and just yesterday I hiked up a castle ruin (post on that coming soon!).
I suppose I am lucky because pregnancy has not ruined my day to day nor has it made me overly uncomfortable.
I am just impatient. I want the excitement now. I want my baby, now. 
And in two weeks you will find me saying that I miss this.
I will miss the baby rolling around in my belly.
Oh pregnancy, the things you do to me.
What about you? What was/is your pregnancy like?
Anyone as impatient as me?
Did you try to "self-induce" labor? How?


Linked-Up: Me, Myself and I

I'm still a little lost wandering around the blogging world.. who knew it could be so big and full of all things wonderful and crazy?
Every blog I visit I find "linky" posts or something to that extent. Just another way to network, but HOW COOL!
Anyway, here is my first linked-up post.

1. When you're feeling down, what do you do to pick yourself up?
Easy. I bake, because baking means eating something delicious! There was never a brownie or peice of cake that couldn't cheer me up.. I guess that's just the inner fat kid in me! =)
2. If you had to live in another time period, which would it be?
I love the 80's, the big hair, spandex and cutoff sweaters.. but I'm totally a hippie at heart.
I'm also a romance novel addict and I get so wrapped up in the one that take place centuries ago! I'd love to live by candelight and travel everywhere on foot or horseback, sometimes I think our lives are just too overcrowded. We miss so much by being bombarded with technology.
3. What is the most creative halloween costume you've ever worn?

I'm so proud of my toga!! This was a few years ago when I first got married and had no money!! I put the whole outfit together myself, using a sheet I already had and a few cheap accessories from Michael's. I think I spent less than $10.00 and it was CUTE!
4. FIVE Wierd things we wouldn't know about you without being told?
1. I am seriously scared of the dark, I still sleep with a night light!
2. I wash my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.. my only germophobic habit.
3. Since I moved to Japan, I've developed a weird obsession for elephants... I'm not even sure why I love them so much.
4. I am self-concious about my height. Sometimes I make my husband measure ourselves against the wall and mark with a pencil just to make surehe's still a quarter inch taller than me =)
5. I have no wisdom teeth, lucky me! They just never came in.
5. What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Everything is worth it, even if none of it makes sense.
Nothing is going to go as you planned, be okay with that.
Keep dreaming.. Channing Tatum still lives there =)

Daiso: THE 100 Yen store

I'm a sucker for anything cheap and if it's even a little bit decent quality, even better!

 Here in Japan, the current yen rate is going between 76 and 78 yen to the dollar. That might sound like a lot for a dollar, but it's not. One yen is comparable to one penny, and so 100 yen would be about One dollar.. or 100 pennies. Except the Yen is worth more, so 100 yen is about $1.25 give or take with the daily fluctuation of the yen rate.

This can make shopping a bit frustrating since everything off base seems to be so expensive! Lucky for me the Japanese also believe in THE DOLLAR STORE!!!! Yay! Here it is the 100 yen store or DAISO. Unlike most dollar stores in the states, Daiso carries a wide variety of very decent quality items... all for 100 Yen!!

Yen always seems like fake play money to me, so I rarely keep any on me since it just burns a hole in my pocket.. but when I do, here's my favorite place to shop!!

There are many "100 yen" stores in Japan, but Daiso (seen above) is my favorite. They always seem to have a better selection.

Keegan also loves Daiso, there are so many colorful things to play with. The good news is, everything is only 100yen so he usually walks out with a few goodies.

Here's a sneak peak at all the usefule things you can find at Daiso.


I love the kiddie cups and plates! They are so durable and even dishwasher safe.. I think. At least I've put them in the dishwasher and they haven't melted, yet!

Consider yourself warned: Daiso is a children's wonderland! Most of their items come in a variety of vibrant colors! I spent mretime chasing my child than actually shopping.. but hey it wore him out right?

Happy shopping!!

Let me know about your favorite local finds!


Take a vote: Our Maternity Photos!

Back in July I won a photo Shoot with Simply Ania Photography. She was incredible and so awesome to work with. If you're in Okinawa, she's definitely worth looking up!
 We took our pictures in August at Fukushen Gardens, near Naha and they're finally here!!!
 I am so excited.
I hope you're ready to be bombarded with pictures!

















She even got some of little man by himself, which I love!

Seriously, look at this kid. Little dude with a 'tude!




I have some favorites but I'm still deciding which ones I want to frame for the homestead.
Let me know what your favorites are!