When I mentioned that we were planning a trip to Guam for fall break, I was a little taken aback when multiple people seemed surprised and asked, "What is in Guam?" It's a tropical island! What more does it need to recommend it? As I did some research on tripadvisor, I found mixed reviews, but it's a popular destination from Japan and everyone we talked to here that has been there had good things to say. We embarked on our trip on Wednesday, and for my first tropical vacation, it did not disappoint!
Just off the ferry from Kobe to Kansai Airport
We have become accustomed to Bear waking up in the wee hours of the morning because he is excited about something. This time it was Beaver, too. At 4:30 Wednesday morning, I awoke to Beaver calling me from his room. "Mommy! Mommy!" When I went in to check on him, he announced, sleepily, that he was not tired. As I tried to settle him back into bed, Bear popped his head in the door. "I'm awake, too." he said. "I've been awake since 3:48. I'm trying to go back to sleep, but my head keeps filling up with things about Guam!" I tried going back to my bed, but I was planning to get up at 5:30 anyway, and by then both kids were in our bed, whispering, so I didn't have too much trouble rousing myself. Once we were settled on the airplane, Beaver's early morning caught up with him, and he slept for an hour or so.
Wednesday night we went to the Chamarro Village Night Market to see the sights and have some local street food. A few guys were there displaying their local pets.
They had these coconuts sitting out at one booth, and you could buy one for $3. The vendor would then take a big old knife, whack off the top of the coconut, and hand it to you with a couple of straws. It tasted like slightly coconut flavored water, but I am crazy about coconut, so I enjoyed it.
Bear and I sampling coconut juice.
So, a quick recap: We had a great time. We stayed at a resort with a water park, tennis, badminton, putter golf, snorkeling and scuba lessons, a swim-through aquarium, sea kayaks, wind sailing, and more, in addition to being only a few steps from the beach. Bear took a snorkeling lesson in the swim-through aquarium, and then went out to the ocean and explored all around the coral reef with his snorkel. Mr. Mike went on a dive tour in the ocean and loved it, and even I took the scuba lesson at the resort. I think I would have liked it more if I had been able to equalize my ears better, but I couldn't seem to, and they hurt. Snorkeling was awesome, though. I had never done it before. I experience a moment of panic in both snorkeling and scuba diving when I first submerge and gasp for breath to reassure myself that I really can still breathe. It was pretty amazing to swim over the coral reef. The best part was being out there with Bear the first time he snorkeled in the ocean and hearing him yelling his excitement through his snorkel. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but his delight was certainly contagious. Beaver was afraid to go down the water slides in the park, but Mike finally just took him anyway - screaming all the way - and he ended up loving it. I asked him tonight what his favorite part was, and he said the big slide and the little slide at the water park. Bear's favorite part was snorkeling in the ocean, Mr. Mike's was his dive tour, and mine was Ritidian Beach.
Mike's dive site
The view from our hotel room
Kid's pool at the water park
Ready for his snorkeling session
Off through the swim-through aquarium
Our islander friend
That is a flower in my hair. It looks like a butterfly landed on my head.
Sea kayaks! I love paddling.
By Friday, we had pretty much done all there was to do at the resort. We kept waffling about whether we wanted to rent a car to see more of the island. Saturday morning we finally decided to go for it. We wanted to visit a beach on the northern shore of the island that I had read about on Tripadvisor.com. After getting rather lost for awhile and driving through some very run-down areas of Guam (honestly, I was rather afraid!), we found our way there. Ritidian Beach is part of a wildlife sanctuary, so it is completely undeveloped and absolutely gorgeous.
Mike is always making friends wherever we go, and Guam was no exception. He got talking to a couple of fishermen out with a group of kids, and we spent a good hour or so watching them fish. The kids were more than happy to show off their various catches. We got to watch them reel in the biggest one. My boys thought it was awesome.
We ended our trip with a (shockingly expensive!) shopping spree at Kmart, where we stocked up on Cheerios, Pantene mousse, and Adam's peanut butter, among other things. We also bought the boys some Guam t-shirts. Beaver's barely fits and will probably shrink when I wash it, so he will possibly never wear it again. Of course I should have tried it on him, but I didn't. Someday, perhaps I will realize that he is always bigger than I think he is.