Tuesday, April 12, 2016

We Went to Guam

Oh boy. So, so many pictures of Guam. Especially for the amount of time we spent there! I swear I didn't think I'd taken that many pictures (and compared to some trips, I know that I didn't!), but the editing has still been a little overwhelming. I think I took about 400 pictures that I narrowed down to about 90 in the first cull, and closer to 75 the second time through. Now, I have to figure out how many of those to actually post. And to be honest, no else thinks my trip photos are exciting as I do, right? I could post an album of 75 pictures and some of you might click on it, and look at the first 5-10 and then be done. Most of you wouldn't even click on it! And yet, I edit all of them. I guess it's just for me and that's okay.

Now, the thing about this trip was that it was very impromptu. And short. We flew out Monday morning and flew back Thursday evening, and because of that (or in spite of it--I'm not sure which), I spent an inordinate amount of time planning our short time on the island. Way, way more time than I spent doing any research for our trip to Cebu this time last year.

Of course, one of the biggest differences between these two trips was the fact that we didn't have a 4-month-old, but rather a 17-month-old. We let having such a young baby hold us back in Cebu, but we were fine with that. We were looking for a lot more relaxation than we were adventure on that trip.

I wouldn't say that we were particularly adventurous on Guam, either, but because we found that it was cheaper to rent a car than get a shuttle from the airport (and public transportation is not great there, either), we had a lot of freedom in terms of leaving the resort whenever Reece happened to wake up from his nap.

Since I'd spent time researching beforehand, I already had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to go (and I should add that a significant amount of this research time involved looking stuff up on Google Maps and then taking screenshots so that we would have driving directions), as well as the restaurants where I thought we should eat. But, of course, best laid plans...

The flight went pretty well considering the only food we were given on a five hour flight were some very Korean snacks that Kennedy wouldn't even touch. Picking up the rental car went smoothly, as well, and soon we were on the road. I thought we were going to be good to go, especially considering I was able to get wifi at the car rental place and was able to get directions from where we were to the restaurant, as well as the grocery store, on the way to the resort. We were all set in our cute little Rav4.

Unfortunately, we hit the road and very shortly discovered that what Guam has in blue skies and perfect temperatures, they are lacking in road signs. It was the strangest thing. As it turned out, nearly everything is signed in highway numbers but our directions were provided in strange street names that didn't seem to reflect anything we had seen. As a result, we were not able to find the restaurant we were trying to find. We did, however, quickly acquaint ourselves with the tourist district of Tumon, found a Subway, and headed out to picnic on the beach of Tumon Bay.

It was starting to get dark when we finished eating, and we figured since we had to find our resort in the mountains with no street signs, we'd better get on the road. Because we were staying in more of a condo than a hotel, we had a full kitchen, so we also had to stop at the grocery store to stock up on breakfast, lunch, and snack stuff. As it turned out, we were much more successful in finding the resort than we were the restaurant--what a relief that was!

The next morning, the kids were up early, excited to head to the pool. Unfortunately, it didn't open until 9am, so Kennedy and I had time to scope out the actual hotel (that we weren't staying in), pick up my wallet that the grounds crew found early in the morning (it had fallen off the luggage cart the night before when we were unloading in the dark!), and get a cup of coffee while checking out the pool and grounds in the beautiful sunshine. As luck would have it, by the time we were heading to the pool, the clouds had rolled in, and it was pouring down rain! ha!

It didn't bother the kids at all since the temperature was still pretty comfortable, but Eric and Reece and I weren't really up for a swim in the rain. So, after an hour or so at the pool, we headed back to the room, had some lunch, and loaded up the car to drive to the Inarajan Pools at the southern end of the island.

One nice thing about the location of our resort was that as soon as we started driving away from it, the weather cleared up and was warm and beautiful again! It turned out that I was actually grateful for that little rain shower, because it meant that we were more motivated to get out of the pool and on the road! (And there was no more rain for the remainder of our trip.)

The pools are naturally formed allowing fresh water to combine with salt water and providing nice calm pools to swim in, as well as lots of opportunities for exploring! Eric and the kids swam through the pools to the other side where coral blocks the crash of waves from the ocean. They made the unfortunate choice to sit on the coral and wait for a huge wave to come--which then knocked them off the coral and covered all three of them in a variety of cuts. They all came back bleeding and ready for some rest in the shade. Reece and I had just been hanging out in the shade, since he wasn't feeling great and had no desire to even get out of the stroller. Upon their return, I finally got a chance to go for a swim and was able to explore without coming back bleeding.

After our swims, we trekked up onto the bluff to get a glimpse of the view, which was pretty spectacular.

And then we were back in the car to find dinner at Jeff's Pirate's Cove, a unique little place on the eastern coast of the island, on our way back to the resort from the pools.

There was a basketball court for the kids to run around on while we waited for dinner. The kids' meals were unimpressive (hot dogs--yuck!), but Eric had one of many "Guam's best burgers" and I had the fish of the day--parrot fish. One I'd never heard of, but it was pretty good!

It turned out that we timed everything pretty well, as the restaurant was closing just as we were leaving, and Reece was able to stay awake until we returned to the room rather than having to attempt the dreaded "will he stay asleep?" routine. (Although, due to a lack of communication, our biggest snafu of the whole trip was that we didn't have a crib for Reece for the first two nights. Rather, he slept in the closet (of course!) with a toddler bed rail keeping him inside. He wasn't a fan.)

We had a great first full day in Guam, though yes, the kids did get pretty good sunburns on their cheeks after the lengthy trip around the Inarajan pools. Aside from that, and Reece's nasty cold, we were doing pretty well, though! And hey, look at me. I narrowed this down to just a portion of the day's photos!

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