Archive for the ‘Guam’ Category

Guam: Fadian Cove

Fadian Cove
Fadian Cove, Guam

Ague Cove
Ague Cove, Guam

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We opted for a private boonie stomp for our finalé since the organized stomp yesterday was rated VERY difficult and didn’t end at a beach. My daughter stayed with her favorite sitter rather than head out to the boonies with us. It was probably just as well since it was a hot, long, and definitely “in the boonies” kind of hike and she had more fun playing with her friends. John and I were rewarded with this:

My favorite thing after a long hike was jumping into the cool, refreshing ocean waters and that’s the first thing I did:

Double Reef is one of the more remote beaches and, by far, the best snorkeling we’ve encountered on Guam. The ocean was very calm and we were able to swim quite a distance out to a “drop off” ~ there were so many fish and a variety of coral. I was mesmerized by all the vibrant colors of coral.

The beach itself is surrounded by a rugged, limestone forest (think “Predator” the movie) and there are giant binalo trees whose branches extend completely over the beach thus shading almost the entire length of the 150 feet long white, soft-sand beach. Absolutely gorgeous!

Much to our dismay, and I’m sure the other couple’s dismay as well, we weren’t the only ones there. We caught up with them on the hike and arrived at the beach at the same time. They went out for an even longer snorkel then we did, so we enjoyed a little time alone on the beach.

Along the trail, we came across wild pigs. I decided to carry a stick to ward off any attacks. Now that I look at it in the photo, my best hope would have been to poke it in the eyes with that lame stick:

I had heard many people tried to make it to Double Reef but couldn’t find it. I can see how that could happen. I highly recommend any one living on Guam, who plans on Boonie Stomping, buy the book “The Best Tracks on Guam” by Dave Lotz. It is very detailed and gives step by step guidelines to all the best hikes. And thankfully, there were markers along the way so we knew we were heading in the right direction. We did get off track a couple times but thankfully I was with John who has a great sense of direction. Not to mention he’s spent a lot more time in the woods. This is John standing next to a major marker ~ if you don’t turn right here, you’re way off course:

For anyone interested in hiking to Double Reef, be sure to park at this sign and start down the dirt road:

As the sign says, be sure to check in with the security desk. They will let you know if the beach is closed due to training ~ heed the warnings, you don’t want to get ‘shot’ accidentally. UPDATE: I’ve been advised, in the comments below, that hikers must sign a “release” prior to hiking to Double Reef beach.

It’s a rough hike but worth the reward at the end! Take lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray and snorkeling gear.  I’m trying to figure out how we can fit one more hike there before we leave.

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We continued our tradition of visiting Tarague Beach on Sunday afternoon. It’s so nice to be able to hop in the car and be at a beautiful beach within 10 minutes. This time we decided to explore the Tarague Trail and ended up hiking 3 miles along the water.

We found these guys along the way:


One crab was in desperate need of a new shell ~ I’m always fascinated as to how they find their new homes.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful view along the route:

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UPDATE: It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Guam. Feel free to leave your top 5 Favorite restaurants in Guam in the comments!

Itzy Bitzy tagged me to “Pick 5 of your favorite places to eat in your current location.” There are so many yummy restaurants here on Guam and, unfortunately, our short year here didn’t really allow us to get to all that many but I did find some gems. Here’s my current favorites:

  • Proa Restaurant in Tumon.  Very delicious grilled eggplant salad and the best coconut banana fritters I’ve ever had.
  • Thapanee Thai Restaurant in the Hafa adai Exchange. The BEST ever Grilled Tofu with lemongrass. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Their vegetarian spring-rolls are the best I’ve ever eaten as well.
  • The Mermaid Tavern in Hagåtña. Good salads and pasta. I particularly like the varied selection of beer.
  • Outback in Tumon. Can’t beat their YUMMY bread and the Chocolate Lava cake dessert.  Plus, next to Hard Rock Cafe, Outback is FG’s favorite place to eat.
  • Jamaican Grill  in Tumon.  A little spicy, a little tangy and consistently good.

To be honest, one of my favorite places to eat, is right here at home. I’ve been a lot more adventurous with my recipes and some have turned out pretty darn good 🙂

I tag: Heidi, KBGJess Mobb

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After several weeks off, mostly due to rainy weather, we returned to Boonie Stomping. We explored the southeastern coast and ended in the village of Inarajan. It was a beautiful day ~ sunny, clear and, most importantly while hiking, not too hot. The drive to the area is spectacular. Gorgeous views of the ocean and the southern part of the island is much less developed. Our hiking guide got permission for us to park at someone’s house which sat right on the beach ~ so lovely.  As always, we were welcomed by the local hospitality.

The entire five mile hike to Bear Rock, at Agfayan Bay, was along the coastline in water up to my knees. Talk about a good workout for my legs. Can you make out the “bear” in the photo below?

There were a few waves which made me a little leery and concerned for my eight years old but we were able to time it so we made it through without getting pushed around too much by the water.  Being from Hawaii, I have a healthy respect for waves and never turn my back on the ocean. Sometimes there are rouge waves lurking…

On our way back home, we stopped at a fun seaside restaurant called Jeff’s Pirates Cove for a late lunch.  It’s a tourist stop but you can’t beat the atmosphere, beach-side location, good food and fast service.

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Bees! Part Deux

Both FM and FG were not overjoyed with my post yesterday about the bee attack. FG doesn’t like to remember and FM thought it was bad mojo to talk about it. So it was strange when FM took the dogs out for a walk around 5:30 pm and got attacked by  “boonie bees”. These boonie bees look like small wasps to me because they are darker than regular honey bees and have a wasp shape. While on the walk, FM stopped to talk with the neighbor across the street and was standing near a palm tree.  One of the dogs must have brushed the hive and they went after FM, stinging him about 10 times, mostly on his scalp. He said the one on his lip hurts the most and feels like he just got a shot novocaine. Lovely, eh?

On the positive side, the neighbors have three young children and I’m glad FM found the nest rather than one of them.  FG had a chilly response when I told her what happened, she said “I guess you’re next, Mommy.” You can bet I’ll be checking carefully as to where the dogs stick their noses!

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Days of Summer

The days of summer vacation are fast coming to a close for FG. She’s more than ready to get back to the classroom even though she is still having a blast with snorkeling, playing with her friends and her favorite: staying up late and sleeping in.

The other day, FG mentioned how she liked the German school schedule a lot better. I have to agree. The Germans have a year-round school schedule and it allows for time off throughout the year not all at once during the summer. They start school in September, have a week off in November, two weeks in December/Jan, two weeks over Easter, two weeks in late May or early June and then the month of August off. It allows the children breaks throughout the year and they don’t get bored to tears with three months off in the summer.

We don’t find out who her teacher is until Friday at 5 pm when the school will post the classes on the front doors. Hmmm….I got a little spoiled with the Würzburg school which had a open house BEFORE school started so all the parents could meet their child’s teacher. And since FG loved her teacher so much last year, she’s anxious to see what her new teacher will be like.

Now that she is back to school and we’ve unpacked the boxes, I guess it’s time for me to get serious about working again…

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Where America’s Day Begins…

In the last week, I’ve had three calls in the wee hours of the morning. The first one scared me, since a call at that hour usually means bad news, but as soon as I heard my sister’s perky “Hey, whatcha doin’?” I just said “It’s 3 am here, I’ll call you tomorrow.”  FM and FG sleep through anything including ringing phones, so I’m the only one awake after those calls.

It’s hard to get the time difference down since Guam is across the International Dateline. Once you leave Hawaii and head west, you cross the line and lose a day. Guam is a day ahead. One of FG’s favorite things to tell people is “I already know tomorrow’s a great day.”  If I weren’t such a “Betty Rubble” of the blog world, I would put a clock on my site with Guam’s current time.

I love getting phone calls from family and friends but, since I’m too out of it to talk at that hour, I’ve listed a guide for the time difference between Guam and a few other time zones.  Guam is:

  • 14 hours ahead of the Eastern time
  •   8 hours ahead of Germany
  •   7 hours ahead of Kiev
  • 20 hours ahead of Hawaii
  • Same time zone as Sydney Australia

As you can see, Guam truly is “Where America’s Day Begins!”

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Once I got over the surprise of moving to Guam, I started researching the island and talking with anyone who had been here.  FM had spent a month on Guam back in 1999, so he knew a little about it and everyone we spoke with had only good things to say about the island. I also read the local newspaper daily as well as several Guam blogs to get a feel for island life.

Most of the advice we got were along the lines of get out and enjoy the island, don’t limit yourself to the base and, if you see something you like at the commissary or BX, buy it because it won’t be there for long.  All good advice that I would give to anyone moving here.

The biggest obstacle to our move was the transportation of our two dogs. We had to plan 120 days prior in order to be eligible for the 5-day quarantine as opposed to the 30 day or 3 month quarantine.  It was a complicated, frustrating and more than a little worrisome to move the dogs here. They ended up flying from Frankfurt, via Seoul, to Guam on Korean Airlines. I got more than my fair share of jokes about how Koreans love to eat dogs and my mom was nice enough to call the Korean Airlines cargo in Seoul to check on the dogs during their layover.  The cost was crazy but there was no way we were parting with two members of our family. 

As both dogs are curled up at my feet as I write this, it was so worth it! Needless to say, I’m already saving for our next move.  

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A tropical storm is expected to hit Guam by tomorrow afternoon with sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. We closed the storm shutters and FM had to make sure our lawn gnome was safely put in the house. Sure glad we upgraded our typhoon supplies to include Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine!

UPDATE (as of 9am on Sunday): The storm has been named “Tropical Storm Saomai”. Not a a good sign because that means it’s big and bad enough to have a name. Brave Ulysses has great updates on the storm over at his blog including video – check it out.

FM summed it up well last night when he went out for one last thing (more beer), he said “You know it’s going to be a bad storm when you see your Baptist neighbors buying a bottle of rum.” 

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