Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day Six Okinawa/ Ie Island

DAY SIX OKINAWA: Tuesday September 10, 2013

At seven am Okinawa time the car was loaded and headed for the Ie ferry out of Motobu bay.  The drive was about an hour and a half (even though the majority of the trip is on the expressway which is the road with the highest speed allowed on Okinawa, 80 km which is 50 mph).  With a quick stop at Lawson (equivalent of a 7-11 mart- no gas pumps) to grab a few snacks, the ferry tickets were purchased and the ferry loaded.  The ferry features several levels including a car port area, interior seating with TV, or an upper deck outdoor viewing area.  From the viewing deck there was a nice breeze and view of several out lying islands in the East China Sea.

The ferry ride took about 30 minutes and we arrived at our destination port of Ie Island.  Once we has disembarked, an employee of the YYY Club resort was waiting with a sign to pick us up and take us the the rest of the way (about 5 minutes).  That is when we arrived in paradise.

The trip to YYY Club Ie Resort was intended to be a restful and relaxing break for myself and two traveling companions (a girls trip of high school friends).  We arrived to a beautiful ocean view, simple hotel and an extremely friendly and helpful staff.  Since it was mid-week and after the start of school there were a limited amount of people staying at the resort.  Many times it seemed that there were more staff then guests.  

After checking in at 10 am (the staff was seriously awesome) we headed to out suite and I will admit it took me a minute to pick my jaw up off of the floor.  Truth be told, I have never been to a resort of any kind so all my expectations were based on American upper end hotels were it seems everything is "extra".  Boy howdy was I wrong.

The main room provided a large screen TV (three channels in English), couch, fold out bed, and a full body massage chair!  Each of us took turns throughout the stay to enjoy the awesomeness of this chair.  Then you had the in suite washer/dryer combo (laundry soap provided) that we of course had to use just because.   Above the washer was a basket that provided lotion, toothbrushes, razors, toothpaste, cotton body wraps, and a variety of other items.  The Shower was a combo room where you could bath or shower.  Large bottles of Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash were provided (Flower Wind Aroma).   Then in the smaller vanity room were additional products: facial cleansers, lotions, colognes, q-tips, cotton swabs, etc.. That was not all- There were also slippers and pajamas provided for each guest.  Mind... blown.

After adjusting to the new digs we changed and headed for the beach.  The official swimming area was a bit of a hike from the hotel, but it is safer to swim inside the netted area.  Although it is the tale end of jellyfish season, none of us were wanting to press our luck.  The resort offered parasols (umbrellas) and floating mats which we carried, but worth it.  I managed to find a nice assortment of sea glass, shells, and coral on the beach to bring home.

After swimming in the Ocean for a while, frying in the hot sun on the white sandy beaches, a quick lunch at the hotel, a nap, and then we were off for a glass bottom boat tour.  Unfortunately the sky was overcast so the water was a bit murky.  The tour was just the three of us so the boat guys were really cool and took pictures for us.  Our boat and captain for the trip is pictured next.

A poster for the types of fish we were most likely to see.  I think I saw most of the top two rows and few from the lower two.

The next two pictures are from the underwater glass boat so they are not real clear; however, you can make out the jack concrete pylons. (Similar ones were pictured above sea level on Day 5 at sunset beach) The other picture you can just make out a coral reef and see a few fishes swimming around it.

After the tour we headed back to the hotel and I took a break as I was starting to get a bit of a head cold while my traveling companions hit the pool to work on their synchronized swimming routine (I mean hay what else are you going to do with a pool all to yourself and a lifeguard on duty?)  Then we all got a bit dressier and headed down to our fancy multi-course dinner.  There were three options: Japanese, Western or BBQ.  I selected Japanese while my less adventurous traveling companions selected the Western (One hoping that would mean avoiding fish- but alas that did not pan out quite as planned).  First is the Western Dinner.

Seven Course Western Menu
Table Settings- can you figure out which utensil goes with each course? (Even our knowledge of Pretty Woman did not help with this). 

Course 1: Salsa Infused Fish Cocktail- Tuna, Squid, Octopus with Cilantro, lime, and Mango Salsa
Fresh baked bread rolls and baguette
 Course 2: Pan fried Chicken on bed of Greens 
Course 7: Dessert Selection On the right is a Roll Cake (Nutmeg based) with coffee; on the Left triple layer chocolate cheesecake with hot tea

Some of the other dessert options were: apple tart, New York Style Cheesecake, Beni-umo cheesecake, White Chocolate and Beni-umo Cheesecake, and Chocolate cake. All of them looked fabulous and sad that I could not try them all.

Multi-Course Japanese Menu

I was extremely excited about this meal and could hardly contain my enthusiasm.  I tried every item although there were a few that I did not eat much of.  

First Tray- Starting from Bottom center and working clockwise: Squid Roll, Octopus, Seared Duck, Tuna and Squid with Wasabi , dish of soy (Octopus and plain squid was a bit tough and chewy- all else delicious) 

After dinner was finally concluded (90 minutes later) we headed back to the room to sit on the deck and chit chat until sleep overtook us.  Great day with great friends even with an oncoming cold.   More to come!