"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"
-Guatama Siddharta

Over and under and up and down...sunshine and thunder...a laugh and a frown!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I carried a watermelon...err. Papaya.

4/25/11

Today I had one of my more brilliant ideas. To go running on the beach in the blasting heat of the day at 3pm. Two things are wrong with this: 1. I'm not a runner, and 2. have I mentioned that hell must feel like Alaska compared to Guam?!

So I hit about the 1 mile marker and just about collapse on the sand. A friendly local comes out of his home to the fence along the beach to comment on how it's too hot to run (yeah no kidding), how he is going later (do I look like I want to get mugged, raped, killed), or that he usually goes in the morning (yes I prefer that too but I have to leave for work by 6:45 am and it doesn't get light until 6am). As I'm walking away from this friendly fella he shouts down the beach at me "hey, do you like papaya" to which I respond "yes" although let the record state that I have no idea if I like papaya or not. I know that I don't like that dried kind. He then proceeds to cut a fresh papaya down from the tree in his yard and I kid you not the thing is the size of a mini watermelon (the papaya not the tree). I was so excited about my exotic piece of fruit that I didn't contemplate the next problem...transporting this torpedo down the beach to my hotel.

This turned into a workout that I never intended on having (in the dead heat of the day)! I ran (if that's what you call it) alternating arms/hands that were carrying this massive fruit. Let me tell you as I sit here typing this blog entry, my arms are killing me, and my face is still bright red and blotchy.

If I keel over and die, blame the papaya. and the sun.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guam Photopia

4/25/11

So I finally took my memory card out of my camera so here are some of the first photos I took here in Guam...pretty swell!









Most were taken from my balcony. Tough life I know!





Two Lovers Point

4/24/11

I went to Two Lovers Point today. This is a very famous place in Guam that was once the scene of a Romeo and Juliet-like story. Two teens wanted to be together but their parents wouldn't let them, so they jumped from the cliff together to their death. Today it's a place where many people go to remember the importance of love. Many weddings are held here each year. It costs $2-$3 to get out onto the actual cliff (depending on if they give you a discount. I got one!) and the view is phenomenal. They have a huge Monitor Lizard in a cage before you go out. I was thankful it was caged. Although I'm told they are free roaming on the island and can get to 6 feet long. No thank you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/24/11 Happy Easter and such

4/24/11

Today started off marvelously. I went for my morning workout (walk/run) on the beach (since it's the only time of the day when your skin wont scorch off). Not 10 feet into my walk I find $10 on the beach with not a single soul around. Mine. Continuing to walk on my peaceful journey I was graced by a double rainbow (of course I didn't have a camera)
I saw all of my morning "beach regulars" out there too, the Japanese woman who has zink covering her entire face so she looks like a mime, the very tan shirtless running man (probably in his late 50's) with a nipple ring (today who introduced himself to me as Harry), the people who "reside" on the beach in a tent and have tiki torches out and laundry hanging from part of their tent who almost always have a bbq going (no matter the time of day), and the morning net fishermen (who catch these fish that look like large minnows)
Pretty good start to a Sunday

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Obligatory Earthquake

4/20/11

At 3:48am there was an earthquake here in Guam. It registered 5.1 and according to several sites Guam is 40 miles from the epicenter. This quake shouldn't come as a surprise, these things are common practice for me whenever I seem to be in a new location!
Quake Link

I'm guessing this won't be the last one. I was informed a day or so ago that Guam gets earthquakes pretty regularly. Nothing like your hotel swaying in the breeze (when there is no breeze)!

Guam

4/20/11

I've been here for a few days so it's about time I post to let you know my current coordinates! Guam it is! This place is hot. For instance like a really intense sauna. You walk outside and are instantly covered in sweat. St Louis has NOTHING on this humidity!

The water is beautiful, much like Okinawa, but the only difference is that it's really warm. I walked in up to my knees and it felt like bath water!

Here are some fun random discoveries (some less fun than others):

-There are wild boar just roaming the streets and side of the roads
-There are wild deer on the side of the roads
-There are LOTS of stray dogs. Everywhere
-There are wild chickens along the sides of the road
-The island DOES have snakes despite what people have said prior to my arrival. They are brown tree snakes, they are poisonous but not lethal to healthy adults (just potentially lethal to babies and elderly). They don't have fangs so if they bite they try to gnaw you to break the skin and inject the venom
-Guam is supposed to be one of the best places in the world for diving/snorkeling
-EVERYTHING here is expensive.
-At the Marriott (where I'm staying) you have to pay $320 a month for internet. A meal is no cheaper than $11, and it is unlikely that you will get a room that doesn't at least have a vague smell of mold.
-It is nearly impossible to take photographs because my camera (that has been inside all day in the AC) wont unfog

Despite all of that, here are some pics that I took on my journey to Guam. Oh yeah did I mention, I got the upgrade to first class from Houston-->Tokyo and from Tokyo--->Guam. The sweet life! All thanks to having Elite status on that airline!













Friday, April 8, 2011

It's good luck for a giant red dog to eat your head

4/8/11

This picture was just sent to me, so I figured I would share. It was from my dinner experience at En Okinawa (the restaurant that had the drummers and the big giant scary dog). The Okinawan's say that it is considered quite lucky if the dog chooses to eat/bit/put it's mouth over your head. Here's to luck...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oki Random

4/6/11

As I prepare to depart my personal paradise I figured it would be a good time to unload some of the photos I've been stockpiling on my crap-o-matic iPhone camera...enjoy!

warm towels, delivered before every meal

The "Okinawan Parfait" with complimentary pyrotechnics


Ikebana (the art of flower decorating)

more Ikebana

Thumb art (my manicure)

My manicure (my last appointment at Cocok's)

Ikebana again

close up of a beautiful flower (lilly ?)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Maeda Point

4/3/11

Maeda Point is best known for it's spectacular scuba and snorkeling. You literally walk down the stairs and right into the ocean. I didn't go today because the water was freezing and I didn't have my wetsuit (it was a spontaneous trip!). Best of all, it's free to go there (except parking which is 100 Yen per hour)!

Aside from the snorkeling and scuba there are also some walking trails and you can hike (attempt to not die) on these big volcanic mounds that will lacerate your foot/leg with one wrong step!

Checking the sea condition, the tide charts, and making sure to watch out for the shark attention are all necessary things when going in the water at Maeda Point!

Shark Attention (it even gives the months that he frequents)

The only bummer is that there is no real "beach" right there at Maeda Point, so if you don't want to snorkel or scuba, you have limited options for lounging around! I can tell you from personal experience that the grass is not soft and comfy, instead it is crunchy and feels a bit like faux grass/astroturf.



Okashigoten, otherwise known as Beni-Imo Pastry Factory (ie: sampling mecca!)

4/3/11

After a failed attempt at venturing to Ie Island (missed the boat...no really, too much traffic!), this little purple sweet potato wonderland popped into the picture! I've seen it several times while driving down 58, but never knew what it was and certainly never stopped. Today being a bright sunny day with nothing on the schedule allowed for some spontaneous side trips!

This place has music that sounds like the Japanese version of "It's a Small World" playing constantly. You enter into a shopping portion of the store (with the production line way in the back, glassed off, of the purple sweet potato pastries) and there is no shortage of samples to be had. Literally I felt like drinks and snacks were being shoved in my face (similar to a favorite childhood movie "have a popover froggie...")




On the second floor there is a little cafe/restaurant. The menu is limited. Not in English and with pictures that aren't clear so you take your best guess when you point and order. Really what you go there for is the view. The restaurant has a panoramic view of the ocean, and on a beautiful day (today) you can stare out into the turquoise horizon.

view from restaurant

After eating you can walk around the side of the building and down to the beach. The water was cold so I couldn't force myself to go in, but I did collect some nice shells and enjoyed the sunshine (since it feels like its only the 5th day of sunshine since I got here in January!)





Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zip Lining (take 2) at Forest Adventure in Onna

4/2/11

So, of course after the amazingsuperfantastic time last weekend at Forest Adventure, I just couldn't resist going back this weekend! What a perfect day for it too, the sun was out (it wasn't too hot though) and the sea was turquoise (which you see constantly because the course overlooks the sea)

Being that it was my second time doing the course, I had a little confidence in my step, and decided to do some horizontal ziplining (rather than just letting my legs dangle freely) and some upside down zip lining. Of course it was amazing, next time I go I will let go of the rope and try all of those things! I was happy that this time around I didn't have as many crash landings, yard sales, or back landings!

upside down zipping

Me making a typical Laura face!

Running jump from the platform

so tight it cuts off circulation!