Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Japan Days 2-4

Here are some quick updates.

Day 2:
We went to Zanpa beach and went snorkeling in the morning, followed by wonderful massages at this really cute little spa place. After that we went to this sushi restaurant where the food goes around on the conveyor belt and you pay by the color of the plates. We also went to the mall and to this little shopping area (it kind of reminded me of Oceanside).

Day 3:
We visited the Kadena Air Force base, where we went to the Commissary (it's like a department store). That is where most of the American soldiers and their families do their shopping because everything is from the states but the prices are a lot cheaper. After that we went to this really cute little cafe/shop for "Okinawa's best grilled cheeses." They were very good and the lady that owns the shop is very nice (I think she was Thai). We met Jeff at work for a few minutes to see his office and we even got a behind the scene's tour of where the soldiers get their gear and where the food is stored if they go to combat. If I am correct, Jeff is in charge of sending things out if the troops get send somewhere. After meeting Jeff when he got off work, we tried to go to Maeda to go snorkeling again, but the conditions were awful. The tide was way high and the wind was making the water dangerously choppy so we decided to go out to dinner. We wanted to go this really cute place called Jam's (sort of like Benihana's) but when we got there they were completely booked until 9:30 p.m. We asked the host for his recommendation of another restaurant and it was fabulous. We walked right across the street and down this alley and out popped this great restaurant with a live Okinawan band. The food was very cheap and gourmet and the atmosphere was priceless. It turned out to be a great night. For the past few nights we have been staying on the Army base (Torii) in these little cabins near the beach. I am not really sure of the reason, but we are having fun none the less.

Day 4:
BEACH!!! We spent the whole morning at Torii Beach (on the base) just laying out, reading, and relaxing. Now we are off to the cabins again and then we are going back to Jam's (this time with reservations) for dinner.

We are enjoying our time here and are looking forward to Hawaii. Love and miss you all lots!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Day One in Okinawa

Konbawa from Okinawa (good evening from Okinawa). We started the day off by sleeping in a little (only till like 7:00 a.m.). John's mom, Liz, took us to the light house by their house at Cape Zanpa.

After taking a look at the light house we went over to the other side of the "park" and took some pictures with the shiishaa dogs.

On our way to Torii Beach we stopped at this little gift shop/bakery/cookie factory. The biscuit looking cookies were very tasty. They sort of tasted like peanut butter cookies. We met Jeff on the base where he works to pick up our snorkel equipment. If you rent on Monday, you pay for one day and you get to use the gear until Thursday. Pretty sweet deal. We also found out that the SCUBA locker is closed this Thursday so we get to keep it for an extra day. We are planning to go snorkeling quite a bit this week.
From there we split off, girls together, and guys on their own. Liz and I went to Starbucks and got a really cute little Okinawan coffee mug and drinks and then went shopping at this really cute little strip mall. She was so nice, she even bought me some new clothes. I think she has always wanted a daughter to spoil and I don't really mind being that. I have great in-laws! From their Liz and I headed to this great little spa place called Feliz Salon where we got the best pedicures EVER! These young girls were great and the massage lasted forever, no timers either. While the girls were getting pampered, the boys went snorkeling at Cape Maeda and saw some great fish. They were even able to go swimming into this sweet little cave.

We joined back up at Liz and Jeff's pad and headed right back out to this cute place called Ryuku Mura. It is like a traditional Okinawan village. They had all these really old Okinawans doing the work like their great ancestors once did. While we were walking through the park we stumbled on a cute little show. Here are some pictures of the dancers and drummers we saw.

We also got our picture taken dressed in traditional kimonos. John made a very good king. It was bloody hot with those kimonos on.

From the park we went to Okinawa Hollywood and Malibu Beach. It was nothing to write home about, but I thought it was pretty funny. At the top of this little hill they had the Hollywood sign with a small replica of the Statue of Liberty. I think they got their American states jumbled together.

We also went to this little market on the way home to just see the traditional foods and fish market. Now we are just hanging out at the house relaxing and drinking some beer. Oh, speaking of beer, I forgot to mention the Habu Sake that we saw. The Habu is one of the most poisonous snakes and they fight them against the mongoose. What is really odd, is when they make alcohol with the snake in the bottle, Habu Sake. It is disgusting, but I guess a lot of people think the Habu snake has a lot of health benefits (also similar to viagra). We didn't buy any, but I did take pictures of it.

Today was a great day, but I think tomorrow is going to be better. Liz, John and I are going to go back to Zanpa beach tomorrow morning and hang out and maybe snorkel a little bit and just relax on the beach while Jeff is at work. Liz has also scheduled a couple's massage for John and I tomorrow around noon time.
Sayonara and oyasuminasai (goodbye and good night). More to come later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


We are officially in Japan now! It was a long flight from LAX to Tokyo but we survived. We had a long wait at the Tom Bradley International Terminal where we actually saw some guy get arrested.

It is now 11:00 p.m. and I am ready to sleep. I will try to keep posting things as our adventures in Okinawa continue. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am trying it again. Not drinking soda that is. On Monday night, after Bible study, Dustin Rhoads came downstairs and was chatting with the ladies and I about his diet and some other things. I don't know how soda came up, but we both mentioned that we needed to cut back on our caffeine intake because we are both addicted. Well cut back we did. Both Dustin and I decided then and there that we were going cold turkey. I have done this once before during Lent one year and it was pretty painful. This time I am not quitting for just a short period, but hopefully for good. Yesterday wasn't too bad. I did end up with a really bad headache, but I pushed through it. Here we are at day 2 and I am feeling confident in my ability to quit and help motivate Dustin in his quitting. I will keep you updated on my progress.

John and I are very excited for our upcoming trip to Japan and Hawaii. We talked to his mom, Liz, last night and got all the details that we needed for our travel. After talking to her we decided to go to and check out the "local" forecast for Okinawa. It said 90 degrees, but feel like 104 degrees. That sucks. I hate the humidity. Oh well, we are going anyways. Oh ya, I forgot to mention there was like a 60% chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms for everyday that we are there. YAY! Oh well, we are going to have to push through the rain because I want to see things. I am not going just to sit around their house and not see any of the country.

I am also very excited for the Hawaii portion of our trip. We are stopping there for 5 days on our way back to Los Angeles. I want to show John my family's old stomping grounds and a few of the main highlights (like Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center) but I also want to just relax on the beach and enjoy being alone with my husband.

I will try and post while we are in Japan, but don't get mad if I don't. See you in September!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New House

We made it! We are finally all moved in and pretty much unpacked. We are not online yet at "The Mouth" (our new name for our house). The Dish Network guy came out yesterday and was wonderful. Props to Dish for great customer service. He even gave John and Amy a tutorial on how to use the new remotes and a few main features of the network. Already so much better than Time Warner, sorry.

The move day was a huge success. Thank you so much to all those who helped us. I think we had somewhere between 16 and 20 people helping us at the 3 places. Our friends are great and we made the move in half the day. By 2:30ish all our furniture and boxes were at the new house and we were already beginning to unpack boxes. A special thanks to the ladies who put together our kitchen, that was fantastic (although I am still trying to find a few things).

Our first few nights in the house have been good. We haven't heard Adelaide screaming in the middle of the night or even in the morning. I think it is because we are running our fan in the bedroom and it is pretty loud, but whatever works. On Sunday, we had our first dinner as a family. Amy made baked potatoes and Justin made his family's green beans and linguica.

It has really been nice not having cable tv for the past few days. While I do miss having the down time, we have really been productive and have actually had some conversations. I am sad that I have missed some of the olympics, but I was able to watch some of the tandem diving last night with Amy.

Here are some pictures of the new place (before we moved everything in).
our bedroom
our living room
the front of the house from the sidewalk

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Happs

Here is what is happening in the life of John and Val:

1. Camping this weekend in Ojai with friends
2. Hollywood Bowl tickets on Sunday (reggae fest)
3. John begins another 2 week intensive at Fuller on Monday
4. Val will be packing away during the week
5. Dinner with the Youth Elder and other paid ministry staff
6. Move to our new home on Saturday the 9th (come help if you can)
7. Pack our suitcases again for Japan
8. Fly to Japan on the 23rd of August and return on the 6th of September

Somewhere in there we also have SURGE events and another night at the Hollywood Bowl. Our lives are crazy right now. I think John is getting a little stressed out with all the packing and moving and doing things and having to be in school and write papers.

It is very fun to be able to hang out with friends for once, but it is just a little bit too busy for our taste. Hopefully we don't lose sight of each other in the hustle and bustle.

Got to get on the road. See ya!