NYC food

Here are some random photos of the food I ate in NYC. Not the most glamorous of food, but totally comfort food all the way!

Fatty tomato and cheese toastie

NYC Pizza!
Soup and Salad combo at a lunch I was taken to by NYU


Steak and Fries from Les Halles
I Love Snapple!

I love how you can order a half grapefruit at a diner for breakfast.

Greek Food. I miss it so much in Japan!

Delicious beer

Amazing Mac n Cheese at a New Orleans restaurant.

Different Bagel toppings!

Everything Bagel with Scallion Cream Cheese

The cereal options in the supermarket. Diabetes aisle.

Glad to be home

Although I absolutely LOVED New York City, and had a great time getting to make some amazing business connections, exploring a new city, hanging with my best friend and shopping, it was so nice to get back home to the amazing Okinawa weather and getting to hang with my wonderful lady and our little guy. Next time I wanto go back with them.

I love the NYC skyline
Seeing squirrels is such a novelty for an Australian

I woke up to this amazing weather on my return

Griffin's first go at Hungry Hungry Hippos, one of his many presents from NYC

New York City!

Since Monday I have been in New York City for work and it's a pretty freaking amazing city.
It's my first time to NYC and my first time to the US and although the purpose of this trip is work related, i've managed to have bits of time to spend on other things.

I met with the lovely lovely staff at NYU yesterday for the day and afterwards I got to meet up with my best friend Kristy who now lives over here with her husband. It was awesome!

I've been trying to get out and about to see some things with any free time I have, as well as trying to get past the horrible jetlag i've had. It's been hardcore! Today I ate "Soup Nazi" soup, chicken gumbo, and it was delicious! This afternoon I had Mac n Joe (sloppy joe and mac n cheese together) at Schnippers! Mmmm!

If you have any recommendations on what I should see/do with the limited time I have left tomorrow, let me know!
View from the Marriott rotating bar
Channelling Liz Lemon

Sunset over Manhatten
M&M world

Soup Nazi

more 30 Rock

5 days in NYC

On Monday i'm headed to New York City for work. I can't wait! It will be my first time in New York and i'll get to hang with my best friend who is living there, as well as see this:

Bjork's Vulnicura Tour

My friend has told me she'll be taking me to eat this:

Frozen S'more

My days will be mostly work related, but if you have any suggestions for night time activities, let me know!

Snorkelling at Maeda Cape

Recently the stars aligned (perfect weather, no work, child free) and I got to have my first snorkelling experience in Okinawa.
Randomly we headed out to Maeda Cape, only about 10 minutes drive from our house to see whether we could hire some snorkelling gear and get in the water. We ended up at Take Dive, the nearest dive shop near the Cape, and they were fantastic. The owners were so friendly and spoke great English. Since we were a group of 5, and 2 of us wanted to dive, we were all taken out on a boat to the cape. 
I had heard that it was the most popular place for snorkelling and diving in Okinawa, but was so much more impressed than I was expecting. The colour of the water was crystal blue and when I put my mask into the water, I was blown away by the fish I saw! So many tropical fish in amazing rainbow colours!
I want to go back every weekend. We also went inside the famous blue cave, and the water was an incredible colour.

I've heard that during the summer and busy holiday season Maeda Cape is like "people soup", but I would definitely recommend people to go at this time of year.
Not too crowded

Maeda Cape

I'm now planning on getting my own snorkel gear so I can explore more of the Islands here.
Amazingly clear water
I will follow with some of the underwater photos soon.

Southeast Botanical Gardens

About a week ago when I was reading numerous websites to see what things there were to see and do, I stumbled across a blog entry about the Southeast Botanical Gardens in Okinawa City. It wasn't the gardens themselves I really cared about seeing, but the exotic petting zoo, which houses one of my all time favourite animals, the Capybara! I first fell in love with the capybara, when I was living in Japan about 8 years ago, and one of the popular character toys at the time was Kapibara-san. I went a bit nuts and still have a decent collection of Kapibara-san toys.

Aaaanyway, I nearly lost my shit, when I found out there was a place I could pet and feed Capybaras so close to my house!! So after a week of excitement, we headed out on Saturday morning to the botanical gardens to meet these cuties! It didn't disappoint. Usually I find petting zoos really depressing, but this one was actually pretty nice, and realy well kept. They only limit a certain number of people in at a time, and only during certain times, so the Capybaras (housed with some cute little monkeys) don't seem to be constantly pestered by kids.

We were the only ones there, so we had all the Capybaras and monkeys to ourselves. Griff had a great time feeding the animals and I loved patting my new capybara friends!

Hanging out with our new animal friends

The monkey's had super soft hands, and were very cheeky.

The goats were a bit full on and tried to escape when we wanted to go in and feed them

I loved this guinea pig

My dream come true!

Apart from the petting zoo, there was also a bunch of jumping castles and slides, that were free to use (included in the 1500 yen entry to the gardens). Griff had an awesome time and didn't want to leave. From what I could tell, the jumping castles are there every weekend (but maybe not weekdays).
That's me at the top of the slide

Griff did not want to leave the jumping castles

After the gardens, we searched out Indira Indian restaurant on the way home, and it was absolutely delicious! The naan was super fresh and huge and the curries were so tasty. We will be back!

Yomitan and Manzamo

This weekend was what I've been after since I moved here 6 weeks ago. Even though I've been sick (again) with some sort of hacking cough, I made an effort to make the most of the weekend and play tourist in my new home.

Friday night we went to dinner at a new izakaya that has opened up about 2 minutes walk from our place in Nakadomari and it was delicious! The drink driving limit in Okinawa is basically zero so this was the first time we got to go out for a meal and both have a drink. They had a decent amount of vegetarian options for Helen and some "super melt in my mouth" tuna sashimi for me. I envision many a night eating out at this local in the future.

Tuna Sashimi

Saturday we ventured to Yomitan, the next town south of Onna to check out the pottery village and Cape Zanpa. The pottery village was cute, but not the best with a toddler if you want to relax and check out all the shops and galleries. Still, I bought a pair of mugs and a cute little vase.
Yomitan pottery village - Yachimun no Sato

The building was full of kilns

Cape Zanpa was much more Griffin friendly, considering there was a lighthouse that we could climb to the top of for only 200 yen! Griffin loves lighthouses and he loved actually getting to climb to the top of one. The weather was windy and a little rainy, but we made it to the top and got to see the amazing, almost black water surrounding the Cape. The water was so dark compared to what we see from our house it was almost scary. I felt like, if you fell in there, it would swallow you and you would never escape. We will definitely go back though in warmer weather because we drove past a gorgeous looking beach on the way there.
Zanpa lighthouse

View of the black water from the top of the lighthouse

After the lighthouse we were starving and finally got to try Dechibica, a little cafe I had read about on numerous sites and it didn't disappoint. It's mostly vegetarian and vegan (apart from a couple of chicken curries) and delicious. We will be back.
Curry set from Dechibica

Sunday the weather showed signs of sun for the first time in what seems like forever, so we ventured out in search of a playground in Onna that a colleague had told me about and it was fantastic. It was huge and Griff loved it! It also had a little grass field next to it for our puppy to run around in. It was the first time our dog has had a good run on grass since we got here and he LOVED it. I can see us spending a lot of time there. 
Onna playground

Ollie enjoying the grass

After the playground we wanted to make a quick stop at Cape Manzamo as it was right there. It was very crowded, but the weather and the view was beautiful. I think it's probably best to get there early in the morning to avoid the wait for a car park, but at 11am it only took about 10 minutes for us to get a park and it was worth it.


Amazing blue waters

It felt great to spend our first weekend being tourists in Okinawa rather than constantly at shopping malls trying to find much needed supplies. I look forward to many more weekends like this one.


Once again, the weekend wasn't long enough, but I did get to spend a decent amount of time relaxing.

Last Saturday we resolved to spend the day at home, around our neighbourhood, having some quality family time. Since we moved here, we have spent at least half a day of every day on the weekends at the shops. It's like we have a never-ending list of things we still need to purchase, and because Japanese shops have everything you could ever think of, we go for one thing, but 3 hours later come back with much more. I LOVE SHOPPING HERE! However, Saturday was spent making waffles, taking the puppy for a walk around the neighbourhood, playing with the little human, napping and snacking. Perfect.

Home made waffles for breakfast

Sunday I managed to convince the family that we needed to venture to the Tokyu Hands store in Ginowan, which we did, and it was awesome. I picked up some little gifts for one of my best friend's new baby and his big brother, as well as more random household items from the never-ending list we have. I also purchased myself a 1000pc Totoro puzzle, which will take over my life until i've finished it. There's something about puzzles that are so incredibly addictive to me, and once I start them, I realise why I can't let myself do them more than once a year. No matter how sore my back gets from hunching over the box of pieces, to how many hours pass without me realising, I just can't stop! Argh!

The puzzle's beginnings

Next weekend i'm hoping for some nice weather (for a tropical location, so far the weather has been average at best) so we can go and explore some of the nature and scenery around here rather than the inside of shopping centres!

One fantastic and cheap thing I discovered while shopping was that Daiso (one of the 100 yen shops) stocks battery powered shinkansen train sets that you can piece together however you like. We bought one for the little man and he's played with it consistently for weeks, and cost under 1000yen (around $11) for all the pieces

One great thing I love about working at OIST, is that , not only is the cafe cheap, healthy and amazing, but they also have visiting food vendors in the afternoons most days of the week. For example, there's a guy selling fresh made cheese every Tuesday afternoon, and last Friday there was a man selling dutch baked treats. I bought a tasty spicy dutch waffle for afternoon tea to have with a sweet can of hot coffee. Mmm

Also, i'm very excited because we finalised plans for some of our besties who are coming to visit us during Golden Week (end of April - first week of March). I cannot wait to show some people around our new place!

Neighbourhood hanging garden.

These guys have the art of relaxation down to perfection
Dutch waffle and Boss coffee

Shinkansen tracks from Daiso