Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guam Getaway

Guam was on my list of places to visit while living overseas. Just a 3 hour flight away, I really had no excuse for not traveling there. So, when Nick informed me that he was to pull into port in Guam in October, I jumped at the chance. (Literally booked my flight 3 days before leaving)

I flew there with another spouse from Nick's squadron and her two young girls (our husbands were on the same boat and due to arrive together). It was nice having a travel buddy (or 3)...there are never any guarantees with the military...we have to always be prepared in case the ship doesn't pull in, and we don't get to see our spouses. That being said, having a travel buddy is all the more imperative, someone to hang out with, in the event that the unexpected happens! Also, our hubbies were only going to be in port 2 days, but we most definitely wanted to enjoy the island longer than that!
There are two military bases in Guam. We stayed the first few nights at a friends house on Anderson Air Force Base. It is so beautiful! I got up every morning and went for a run, just to smell the ocean and take in all the lush greenery that inhabits ALL of Guam, the base being no exception.
We enjoyed the beautiful beaches and yummy food while waiting on the ship's arrival.

I loved how clear the water was...and so warm, seriously felt like bath water!
The boat did in fact pull in and Nick and I got 45 precious hours together! Such a sweet reunion!

We stayed at the Pacific Islands Club, right on the water.

The hotel was very family oriented, and though we don't have kids, we enjoyed the awesome water park that was connected.

Nick and I, about to go down one of the water Amusement park slides, not local pool slides...very fun!
Dinner for two at Al Dente in the Hyatt...delicious Italian cuisine.
Our last night in Guam we met up with one of our good friends Sam (another Navy pilot whom we've known since our early days of flight school in Pensacola).

This is the view from Sam's house. Can't complain about waking up to that every morning!

We ate at one of Sam's local favorites....Caliente! (Sam's from Texas as well, we like our Mexican food different than other parts of the US, this restaurant didn't disappoint and made me feel closer to home!)

It was a short trip and even shorter time with Nick, but a few days of sunshine by the sea made this beach girl very happy! A repeat is hopefully in my near future!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hello Holman, Hello Fall

My favorite time of year is here and thankfully, so is my husband. Nick has been home about a week now, and the crisp breeze of fall has as well!

After a long year of deployments, Nick is home to stay (at least we hope) for a while.

Home just in time for Halloween, we decided to take my Japanese students trick-or-treating together. Of course normally when I meet my students it is at their house or mine, to learn English (and even when I teach at home, Nick is always deployed or at work). But, they always ask me about my "otto" (husband), and were super excited to finally get to meet him.

Halloween is an American holiday (if you can even call it that), one that is not traditionally celebrated in Japan. Of course many Japanese try to adopt some of our Western traditions, and therefore it isn't uncommon to see a bit of Halloween decorations in a few of the stores. One of my students even had her house decorated for Halloween/Fall (though the Japanese are minimalists so her decorations were very spare, albeit adorable!)

Considering Halloween isn't a Japanese holiday, the children here don't trick-or-treat on October 31st like in the US...but of course we have our American base here, with hundreds of families who's kids shouldn't have to miss out on an American past-time just because they live overseas. Therefore, every year our base puts on a big trick-or-treating event.

My friend dressed up as favorite Japanese character (he's like the Mickey Mouse of Japan)...she made the costume herself, very impressive!
The event is "open base" which means non-military are allowed on base, as long as they are with a "sponsor". In other words, I was allowed to take my Japanese students on base with me, so they could go trick-or-treating with the American children.

Though it wasn't their first time (they went last year with the girl who taught them before me), my students enjoyed dressing up in costume and getting candy....Two little witches, Mini Mouse, and Rapunzel!

I've always loved Halloween was fun to show my students how we celebrate Halloween in the States and finally introduce them to Nick. (Being girls, they all thought he was "hannndsome" and were very shy with him....super cute!)
Happy Fall and Happy Homecoming!