This past week I can say that we definitely started the countdown toward leaving Okinawa. Ahh, alas the event has been in the process for the past two plus year, and Stevie and the kids have been ready for a while, but now it's beginning to feel real to me. And I can say that I feel ready - don't get me wrong, I will miss this place immensely, but it's also our time to go.
On Thursday, I sat through the TMO class which allows us to officially set our move dates. Mark your calendar, folks, and may I hear a drum roll? Well, this doesn't really affect you, but it's all I can report for right now as we'll probably not have our actual flight dates for a while. Our main furniture shipment will be packed out on May 8th and then our "express" shipment will be packed out on May 29th. We're hoping to fly out on June 2nd. Having our furniture and belongings packed out early means living bare bones for almost a month, but it also means we will have our stuff sooner on the Washington end.
The kitties and I will be flying to the States at the end of this month. We decided it would be easiest to get the kitties over to the States when I go back for house hunting so it will be one less thing to worry about in June. Although negotiating the way to get these furry friends on the flight with me has not been easy. Of course, it didn't help that United decided to drastically change their pet policy right when we wanted to fly! Anyways, fingers crossed, they will fly with me and stay with our good friends and former neighbors, the Paynes in Anacortes, WA until we get there and get settled in. Mike and Kelly were Obi's surrogate parents here in Okinawa so we have no worries about them during their temporary sojourn (only that they'll give us Obi back!)
Entering the final countdown led me to ask the kids and Stevie about what they want to do before we leave the island. We've hit it pretty hard trying to cover all things Okinawan and Asian since we've been here so I don't feel like I've missed a lot. Saying that, I always have a list of things to do! Here's our Okinawan "Bucket List":
Cannon - go to Forest Adventure (zip lining through the forest!)
London - go to the Coral Garden (a new living museum about the coral in the seas)
Emmy - go to Monakids Jungle (a crazy indoor play area for kids)
Stevie - go tuna fishing one last time
Me - hike Todoki falls, go to Okuma, go snorkeling in the Keramas, go to "our beach", snorkel off the sea wall, have a family photo shoot, eat at Laxmi, go to karaoke, eat sushi, see Mt. Fuji (at least from the airplane!)
Like I said, I ALWAYS have a list!