I think we have been on more dates this month than we have in the last year! Okay, so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration... it certainly seems true, though. I promise we don't usually go out like this all the time! With Nathan working 11-12 hour shifts every day for the past two weeks, this month has just made it more necessary, it seems. When he comes home, we eat dinner, he shines his boots, I make sure his uniform is creased properly, prepare his lunch, and we head to bed. We almost have to take these weekends to go out, so we can actually talk and see each other! I imagine you know what's coming next... that's right! Pictures!!! :o) (and a lot of babbling in between, LOL!)
We went out on a triple date with two couples (one married, and one courting) from our church: Patrick and Andrea, and Brandyn and Alicia (we were their ride and their chaperones, lol) We followed Patrick and Andrea to one of the beaches in the Hachinohe area, and ate at this quaint little burger place that overlooks the water. I actually can't remember the name of the beach or the restaurant we visited, but I'm sure we'll visit again, so I'll find out the names then. The food was delicious... I never thought I would eat a burger and fries that actually tasted healthy, but I promise they did! That's one thing I love about Japanese culture; they have such a healthier lifestyle than most Americans, and I don't feel guilty eating the food. :o) The view was beautiful, and we had such a great time fellowshipping (is that supposed to have one "p" or two?) with each other. It truly refreshed our spirits to be with like-minded couples; it was just all-around fun!
This picture actually doesn't look as scary as it did in person. We had all climbed up some steep steps where there was a stone-wall-lookout-thingie (nice architectural term, huh?) high above the beach with a gorgeous view. Just across from the viewing area was this peak... of course, Nathan and Brandyn both wanted to climb it. Alicia and I were totally against the idea, as there weren't steps or any sort of support railing for them to grasp, and it was covered in slippery foliage; of course, the boys won, and climbed anyway. 8-| I have to admit, it is a pretty neat looking picture. (If you'll look in the left corner, you'll see our little crow friend who didn't want to be left out of the spotlight. :P)
The sunset made the clouds turn a beautiful shade; I think this is our favorite picture of it.
After the boys made it (safely) back to where we were waiting, we looked around for a few more minutes, just breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the sound of the waves. The stone wall had rectangular openings for "little viewers" all around the perimeter, so we decided to take a picture from a different perspective. (You can see the stones around the edge of the pic)
After a while, we hiked down a trail leading to the rocky area you see in the above picture. It was pretty steep, and all of us (women) were wearing flip-flops/sandals -- what were we thinking? It took quite a bit of maneuvering and balancing on tiny, slippery, moss-covered rocks to get to a large sitting area (Patrick ended up dropping his camera in the water during his jaunt across the rocks; thankfully, it was just a cheap-o film camera they had picked up on the way to the beach). Other than the camera, Brandyn was the only other one to fall into the water (well, just up to his shins), but he dried off pretty quickly.
We sat on the rocks and read from Philippians together. Afterward, we pointed out how the scenery reminded us of what it must have been like to sit with Jesus on the shores of Israel. How many times does the Bible talk about Jesus being on or near the water? Amazing how simple our Lord's ministry really was, and yet, He regularly had huge crowds clamoring for Him everywhere. It makes me think that many today (who "need" large buildings; lots of activities, fellowships, and outings; comfortable seating; etc before they'll commit to an assembly) would not have been so faithful.
Each couple took a picture on the ledge (where Patrick and Andrea sat while reading the Bible). It was getting dark, so they turned out a little grainy; when we used the flash, the background pretty much disappeared. Oh, well. It's still good for memories, even if the quality isn't exactly perfect.
It wasn't long before the tide began to rise, so we hot-footed it back up the trail. Brandyn picked a lily that had been blooming among the rocks, and I caught him pinning it in Alicia's hair. Everyone say it now, "Awwwwwwww!"
Because of the flip-flops/sandals, all the ladies' toes were a lovely, earthy shade of brown by the time we made it back to the cars. ;o) We drove to Lapia Fantasy Dome, and finished off our evening with some delicious Gelatto (my first taste of it... someday, we are going to Italy to have the real stuff! Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that we have Japanese-Italian Gelatto?)