Love in the Time of COVID-19

5DBC7799-2B97-44F7-AD01-8F48158B2505Hey Kittens.

I hope that everyone reading this is actively engaging in social distancing, for the greater good. Your excuses of youth and vibrancy mean nothing to the elderly, the healthcare workers, the immuno-compromised, the asthmatic. Stay home, if you can.

I know, this is all so very, very strange. And I honestly hope that social distancing and quarantine will ultimately prove “alarmist.” But, I’d rather that be the case, than the alternative of under-reacting and increasing the number of illnesses and death.

The hardest part, in some ways, is that it’s springtime in DC! There are so many things I had planned, and now everything has been cancelled or closed. What that means is more time at home, and more time to write, share, reflect. Soon, I’ll share a much belated recap of my trip to Italy! And Utah! I’ll also likely share some thoughts on the virus and its various implications, because I certainly do have thoughts on the matter.

In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, watch out for the more vulnerable, don’t go crazy at the supermarkets, and take your vitamins! Last but not least, enjoy these pretty photos of springtime in DC. Parks and gardens may be closed, but I am blessed to have magnolias, daffodils, and other blossoms in abundance in this sweet little Capitol Hill neighborhood ūüôā

 

Okinawa: Eating Our Way Through the Last Stretch

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Cafe Pipineo is about 10 minutes from my apartment and serves the most luscious cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had my whole life.

Welp! We¬†are just about 6 weeks from our presumed rotation date, and¬†the Marines still haven’t given us orders for the next assignment. Never mind that pretty much everyone else in our lives knows where they are going. Chuck and I are masters of the “hurry up and wait” philosophy, at this point. That said, I continue to¬†assume that we will depart Okinawa this spring. With our time here drawing to a close, I am hoping we can squeeze a few more adventures into our remaining weeks – however big or small.

One thing I will surely miss are the darling cafés that dot the island.  They typically offer just 2-4 menu items at any given time, which sounds limiting but actually ensures a more memorable culinary experience. Of course, the ingredients are always fresh and local, and the décor is consistently unique and charming.

I won’t mind having more options (especially vegetarian and/or gluten free) when I return to the States, but I don’t know what I’ll do without a hearty guarantee of savory Japanese curry, garnished with local vegetables known to bless¬†Okinawans with the longest lifespans on the planet.…¬† Continue reading

The Earth Laughs in Flowers

I first visited the Cosmos Fields in Okinawa 2 years ago, and I had a great time frolicking in the sea of pink as¬†Chuck humored me with a couple of cute photos. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having more photo-shoot oriented fun when I took my friend Sally to see them for the first time.

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Wanderings in Uruma

Now that Chuck and I are settled into our new apartment, I’ve had some time to explore the town of Uruma. I bought myself a used, Japanese-style bike (with a basket!) and I just love it. It has truly maximized my adventuring potential, as it covers more ground than walking yet¬†gives me the freedom and visibility I would lack if driving a car.

So, even though the weather has been rather¬†blah,¬†I hopped on and turned left outside of our housing gate. I turned again onto¬†the main road and wandered for several blocks, occasionally venturing¬†down side streets¬†that looked particularly intriguing. Of course, I couldn’t read any of the signs or storefronts, but I still managed to find multiple restaurants, bars, grocery stores, bakeries, spas, and even a florist. It’s certainly a quieter, more residential area of Okinawa, but it clearly has a lot to offer. And, despite the typical gray, concrete architecture, there are oases of beauty everywhere you look…

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Excited about all the new places to try (most especially the food), I finally turned around and biked the river walk, where I couldn’t resist snapping photos of the pretty¬†flowers. Even on a gray day, the colors just POP. I love all the flora and fauna around here.

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Of course, what’s exploring an island without a beach within easy reach? Uruma has that covered, too! If you turn right out the housing gate, you get a completely different experience: the most lovely specimens of Pacific blue. To date, the majority¬†of the beaches we have visited are on the East China Sea, but our very own Courtney and Uken Beaches are on the Pacific side of the island and are very¬†beautiful indeed!

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The beach route is significantly less urban, and a fun change of scenery from the more built-up side of Uruma. There are fewer restaurants,¬†shops, and cars, but more fields, unpaved paths, ornate family cemeteries, and… THIS:

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…Yep, that’s a bull. Walking the streets of Uruma. Can we be friends? ūüôā

My favorite color palette captured in one photo! Peaches‚Ķ pinks‚Ķ yellows. Wish I had found this before I planned my wedding. I think I got close enough though ūüôā