Saturday April 4th (California Time)
This morning I awoke the kids and we dressed in preplanned plane travel outfits (packing is another post in itself). We enjoyed a brief breakfast at home before piling in the car. We drove to my Aunt Betty’s house, as she lives five minutes from the airport. Aunt Betty joined the kids in the back seat, dropped us off, and drove the car back to her house. Isn’t she sweet?
We enjoyed checking our passports at security. Guam is a U.S. Territory but we would be traveling home via Japan, therefore passports were necessary. It was a five hour flight to Honolulu, Hawaii. The flight was pleasant and we enjoyed the entertainment app, streaming videos. In Hawaii, we enjoyed a quick pizza lunch and a hunt for available outlets to charge some devices.
The next flight would be direct to Guam: 7 hours and 45 minutes. It is long, but manageable. Meals and snacks were available for purchase, plus this mama had bunches of snacks for us. My hubby had requested that our girl be his seat buddy, as she is the smallest and that would give him more room. I smiled inside, wondering how long that would last. She’s also the most likely to require comforting. My son and I used a headphone splitter so we could both watch a movie together. He chose Night at the Museum 2. Delightful. Soon afterwards, Dear Hubby requested a kid switch. No worries. Dear Daughter enjoyed some activities I’d packed in her Wonder Woman backpack, and I started making a friendship bracelet. Years ago, my sister and I had endured the long flight to Guam by making friendship bracelets. So I started one, and soon she fell asleep. I can usually knot one up in about an hour, but I was starting to get Kitan (Chamorro for cross-eyed) so I struggled through it. I actually took a nap myself before I was done. With the bracelet in progress still pinned to the knee of my jeans. #NoShame
Sunday April 5th (Guam Time)
When we landed, it was 6pm local time, Easter Sunday. Happy Easter! We had crossed the International Date Line in flight. The sun had set and my parents and cousins came to greet us at the airport in two cars. They brought us to the Westin where my mother had already checked us in, so we went straight to the room, dropped bags and walked to Outback Steakhouse across the street for dinner.
Our hotel was in Tumon Bay, which is like little Waikiki. Hotel Row and Tourist Central. Many American chains are represented. Guam thrives on tourism, and Japan loves it. Guam is their wedding destination and their taste of Hawaii and Vegas, only a three hour flight from Tokyo. This part of the island is catered to tourists. It was lovely to see my parents and my cousins and enjoy our time together. And then we went back to the hotel and collapsed.
Monday April 6th
This day we would meet up with my childhood friend and penpal, Shana. Two of her children are my kids’ ages, so we wanted to get all of us together, while they still had one day off school. Shana had suggested a Chamorro Fusion restaurant for our breakfast, and we all loved Pika’s Cafe. It was loud and pumpin’, you could tell the locals love it. Hubby had a Chamorrican burrito with Chamorro sausage and I enjoyed Kahlua French toast with caramelized bananas and coconut syrup. Mom dropped us off at the Water Park and we met Shana and her two youngest kids.
The water park was so much fun. It was delightful to reconnect with Shana. For after writing faithfully for ten years in our youth, we’d lost touch in college. I found her on Facebook a few years ago, and we reconnected. She is a beautiful Chamorrita soul and the perfect island guide for us. Hubby took he boys on all the slides as the girls chilled in the pools. At times it would rain softly upon is, and we’d just stay there, as if it was normal. Shana said, This is normal!
After we had showered at the water park, we were showered down upon. The sky grayed and the rain blew sideways and my denim shorts stuck to my body. I hadn’t brought the umbrellas I’d packed, but Shana had a bunch of towels. She explained that in Guam, you don’t need an umbrella. You just towel off and go about your day.
We went to Zip Guam. Hubby and I ziplined along with Shana’s son. This was a really awesome experience: 6 zip lines, two over jungle and one oceanside. It was thrilling, and I was also more than a little scared. I knew I wasn’t supposed to hold on with my right hand behind my head, but somehow I couldn’t get myself to not hold on. I had to literally let go. I remembered to ask the ancient ones for permission to fly across their jungle, and thanked them. I felt that they were with me as I flew.
This night we enjoyed a family dinner at Cappriciosa, an Italian restaurant with menus in Japanese. The portions were family-size, and we enjoyed sharing. The pasta was cooked perfectly Al Dente, not mushy. I particularly enjoyed baked salmon over linguini in a light white sauce. Dear Daughter’s kiddie meal included strawberry ice cream with red glittery sprinkles atop. Perfect ending for the girl who would awake at 5:30 am for the next three days, conking out at 7pm.
Didn’t mind the light gray day, it was wonderful reconnecting and the clouds prevented any sunburn.
More on my trip, later!