This weekend was the first time I've put my bathing suit on in Japan, and I did it twice! I'm so glad Nadine and I had arranged to hang out on Sunday, because when I called she'd been invited to the beach with Shiho (remember Shiho and family from Christmas?) and a few other friends. I picked up another friend - Dani - on base, and headed to Hayama. Josh stayed behind on this one, since he doesn't like the sun, or the beach, or picnics, or really people. He had a nice day working out and playing around on the computer.What a day. The five of us - that's Dani, Nadine, John, Justine, and I - piled into the van and drove to Morito Beach. After a long search for parking and a couple heroic moves by John behind the wheel, we arrived and walked onto that gorgeous beach. We shared a sand-seasoned lunch and conversation with a few other work people and some of Shiho's friends before losing our tee shirts and entertaining Juju on our towels. That's Justine, Nadine (with new baby cooking under that bathing suit! Eeee!), and Dani, enjoying the sun.
All five of us (including John) swam, too, or at least waded. Justine was almost scarily fearless in the water, laughing and plowing into the waves with abandon. I got about hip deep when I felt something sting my ankle - I don't know what it was, and it's not red anymore, but it freaked me out, so I didn't stay in the water too long.
Luckily, there was entertainment on the beach too! Band members Daryl and Jose came along, as did Daryl and Shiho's son David. He just keeps getting cuter! David, that is......although Daryl looks pretty funny in David's hat, too.
Those few hours at the beach were the perfect counterpoint to the stress of moving. Then today Josh joined me at the pool on base, where we splashed around with Nadine and family and went down the waterslide. We had hot dogs for Labor Day, too - my first American holiday hot dog since I was about ten years old. What fun!
It's starting to sink in that this is our last week in Japan. I've had my last weekend, my last Monday, my last night in our house and my final home-cooked meal. My first and last trip to the beach was bittersweet and lovely, and I was kind of glad to have felt a little sting.