Katsuren-jo Castle/my birthday

The Monday after we arrived was Columbus Day and so Duke had the day off! It also happened to be my birthday that day. We didn't have a car yet, but our sponsor family invited us to tag along with them to see Katsuren-jo Castle. It's really just castle ruins and was built in the 13th or 14th century. Pretty fancy. It's on a hill on this little peninsula and so the view at the top is gorgeous with pretty ocean on both sides. It's cool that it is still around because so much was destroyed during WWII, but this little gem escaped destruction!
 After walking around Katsuren, we drove over to a nearby Navy base called White Beach. Hence the Navy ships below. It was our first beach visit here and I was surprised how coral-y the "sand" is!
 See, lots of coral^
 definitely don't want to go barefoot on this beach. ouch.
I had to use the bathroom at the castle visitor center and I opened the stall door to this. Wasn't really sure how I felt about it, so I opened another stall door and they had a western toilet. Most places have regular toilets-this is actually the only one I've seen so far like this! I suppose they are more sanitary bc you don't touch anything, but still a little different than what I'm use to!
This might be the time to talk about Japan and their strange love for vending machines. There are SO MANY vending machines EVERYWHERE YOU GO. It's kind of crazy, but you will never die of thirst in this country, so at least they have that covered. Anyways, the only familiar drinks in the machines are Coke and Coke Zero, but I was feeling adventurous so I got this Aloe & White Grape drink. Sounds delicious and refreshing. What I was not expecting was chunks of Aloe in my drink. It was too weird for me and I couldn't finish it. Good, but who really wants floating chunks in their drink? Not me. I don't even like concentrate in OJ, sooo this really wasn't my cup of tea. Or juice. 
 I think we pull the Japanese look off very nicely.

The hotel we were staying at on base has a Macaroni Grill right next door, so we decided we'd celebrate my bday over there since we were car-less. (which is the worst!)
We also got this little cake from the commissary. The only mistake was that it was gluten free. It was absolutely horrible. So much for that. Anyways I turned 27. Which sounds like a good age. So cheers to 27!

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