Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Okinawa Getaway: Okuma Beach Resort

It's been quite a month!  We went down to Okinawa the beginning of November, but right after that we took family pictures, celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary, went on a quick trip to Sendai and then a long trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, so, with laundry and Christmas shopping in between, I haven't had a chance to sit down and blog about all of our fun adventures!  But, we're home now, with not much to worry about before Christmas, so hopefully I can get all caught up.

We've been wanting to visit tropical Okinawa since we moved here (especially since it's one of the places that we could have been sent to instead of Yokota), and so we booked a few days at the military recreational installation, Okuma Beach Resort.  And it was AMAZING!!!!  For about $60/night, we had stayed at a beach-front hotel!  But, before I get to all of that, I have to mention HOW we got to Okinawa . . . we took a hop in a KC-135!  Or, in other words, there were a few available seats on a cargo plane heading down to the AF base, Kadena, so we grabbed them and flew down for free!  It was awesome.  We strapped into the jump seats and it was super fun.  Peter even brought his hammock and the airplane load master let him hook it up to the walls, so he and the kids relaxed in it the whole way down!

The beaches were absolutely beautiful, with great sand and mellow waves; perfect for our kids.  Plus, the water was warm, so we were able to swim even though it was November!  The facility offers everything from miniature golf, to actual golf, go-kart racing, tennis, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat tours, jet skis, and probably a bunch of other things that I'm forgetting.  The property really offers so much that there's hardly any need to leave!  We did, however, but only after making sure that we took full advantage of Okuma first!

This is the beach that was directly out our front door!

And a picture of our lodging.  They also have cabins and campgrounds, but these rooms worked out perfectly for us.

We spent tons of time at the beach . . . 

And one morning we woke up early to take Christmas pictures for my parents' Christmas card.  The sun was already so bright at 7am!  But the kids looked pretty cute in their matching jammies :)

Seriously, the beaches (and sunsets over the beach) were so beautiful!!!

Besides swimming and playing at the beach, one of the first things we did was schedule a glass-bottom boat tour of the reef out from Okuma.  While it wasn't the Great Barrier Reef or anything, we had a great time and saw some really cool fish.  Lots of star fish, some sea cucumbers, "Nemo" fish, a few blowfish, and a bunch of others that I have no idea what their names are!  Will and Clara were totally into it, and it was fun to see them get so excited about every new fish and type of coral that they would see.

At the point of the Okuma property, there's a short trail that leads up to an incredible look-out point.  So, we embarked on a mini hike to check it out.  The views were breathtaking.

William, Clara, and Peter also took advantage of mini-golf one day while Bennett and I took advantage of our beds for nap-time :)  And, there's no way that we could stay at Okuma without going go-kart racing!  Will just wouldn't have stood for it!  That's pretty much all he wanted to do all weekend long.

We were worried that Clara would be too short to ride, but the guys at the reservation desk (who we think were actually just a bunch of lifeguards that would go and man the different stations when there were customers) said she was close enough so it was okay for her to ride with us.  Then, when we got over to the go-karts, Peter asked the lifeguard working the area if he could watch Bennett while we raced together, or if Bennett could just come along with us.  The guy just waved us on and told us to hold on tight to him!  Haha!  So, Will was on Bennett duty and we put on our protective eyewear (except for Bennett who had no seatbelt and no glasses--eek) and started racing!  It's a small course, and we really didn't go that fast, but I can't believe how much the kids loved it!  Clara kept saying to me, "Mom, this is really fun!" as we were driving and trying to pass the boys.  And, it's just so funny to me still that they let both our little ones ride along.

Besides hanging out at Okuma, we hiked Hiji Falls, went to the Nago Pineapple Park, and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, but this post is long enough, so our Okinawa report is to be continued!

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