It goes without saying that, if you’re not from Guam, Christmas just isn’t the same. December is the beginning of dry season and has some of the most beautiful, sunny days. So, it’s hard to get into the spirit of the holidays. Each Christmas I’ve spent in Guam has been very untraditional for me. My usual Christmas, at home in Oregon, consisted of family and food. In Guam, we’ve spent the holidays hiking, BBQing at the beach, swimming, and this year eating at a buffet and visiting the aquarium. We try to make it fun, even though it’s not a traditional way to celebrate the holidays.
On Christmas Eve we drove to Agana where the governor’s house was decorated with Christmas lights. We were allowed to walk throughout the property. It was beautiful!
Because there are so many tourists and military people away from their families, nearly everything remains open so it’s easy to find some way to celebrate. Most of the hotels hold holiday buffets and we chose to go to Sea Grill. Our favorite duo, Jesse & Ruby, were the entertainment. We also got discounted tickets to the aquarium and won a gift certificate to eat at Sea Grill again! This Christmas, it rained throughout the day and wasn’t very nice-looking outside, so the aquarium was the perfect place to go.
After that we went home, watched some Christmas movies and fell asleep after all the eating we had done. When we woke up, we watched The Hobbit at the theater.
There’s something about aquariums that make me feel calm and peaceful. It’s probably the low lighting, the reflection of the water, and the sea creatures swimming by. When I lived in Oregon, my sister and I loved visiting the Oregon Aquarium. I always thought it was the best aquarium I’d ever been to and it was once home to Keiko the whale! That’s why I was a bit uninterested in visiting the Underwater World in Guam. I didn’t think that any other aquarium would be better than the one in Oregon, so why bother. During my parent’s trip to Guam, we decided to check out the Underwater World Aquarium one rainy morning. We were able to get 50% off of our entrance fee with our local ID, so it turned out to be about $11.50 per person (slightly cheaper than the Oregon Aquarium but that aquarium also has a zoo which is included in the fee, Guam does not). Maybe I’m a cheapskate but every attraction on Guam seems to be double the price of what I think it should be. If it weren’t for the local discount, I probably wouldn’t do anything!!
I think I was expecting Guam’s aquarium to be the same as the few aquariums that I’ve been to, Oregon and London. At those aquariums, I saw similar or the same type of sea animals in both. Guam’s Underwater World is about double the length of the Oregon aquarium, is home to many different types of fish found in tropical waters, and for an extra fee you can dive in and swim with the sharks. I was surprised, in a good way, by the variety of tropical animals it housed and the length of the aquarium. If you’re new to Guam, this is a great place to go! Some people will never get to see most of these animals in the wild, so the aquarium is the perfect place to go. There are sharks, sea turtles, manta ray, and other tropical fish throughout the aquarium. They were all very active and easy to see. Once we finished walking through the aquarium, we entered another section that had separate displays of sea creatures including sea horses, eels, water snakes, and TONS of other fish that can be found in Guam’s waters. It took us about an hour to get through the entire aquarium. Definitely a great experience. In the evenings, it opens up as a bar so you can have drinks inside the aquarium and watch the animals swim by! I enjoyed this and had a great time. It was actually better than the two other aquariums I’ve been to!