guam parks

Snorkeling and Walking on the Reef

This morning I called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He randomly asked me if I had been swimming and told me to watch out for sharks. I said to him, “Dad, there’s a reef, so it’s hard for the sharks to get in. But now you’ve scared me!”

This whole weekend was spent at the beach. No complaints here. On Sunday, Peter had a gig at Jimmy Dee’s Beach Bar to play during a beach rugby tournament. It’s been SO hot lately, and Sunday was no exception. I had a good time, it was relaxing and fun! That evening we swam in Tumon as we watched the sun set. Beautiful rays shot out through the clouds making another breathtaking sunset in Guam.

DSCN5653

Today (Monday) we had brunch at King’s then headed to Ritidian. As if I didn’t get enough beach time from the previous day, I wanted MORE. And why not? The weather has been perfect, hot, but perfect beach weather. These are the type of days that made me fall in love with Guam. ❤

DSCN5668

We’ve had low tide for a few days now and the usually rough waters of Ritidian were calm, shallow and HOT! Because the water was so shallow and the sun was working hard, the water warmed up. Warmer than I’ve ever felt it.

We snorkeled near the shore and saw tons of cool fish. Then I noticed that the tide was so low that the coral was sticking out all the way to the reef. We decided to walk to the reef. The water went from ankle deep near the shore, to no water at all. For most of the walk my feet were out of the water, that’s how low the tide was. After a long walk, me slipping on all the bumps and crevices in the coral, we made it to the edge of the reef! I’m so scared of going out to the reef because there are so many stories in the newspaper about people being swept away into the depths of the ocean after falling over. I made sure Peter and I stay away, but today was an exception. It was great! If I had a bucket list I would have crossed off “Walking out to the edge of the reef.” I looked back to the shore to see how far we’d come and it was a little further than the length of a football field. I said, “So this is what’s on the reef!” As I looked down at these strange sea plants that had long stems with big things that looked like bubbles on the tips. We walked over them and let some of the water splash on us from the waves hitting the reef. I looked out to the dark blue water  and  got an eerie feeling, thinking about what my dad had mentioned earlier. The ocean is both beautiful and scary to me.

As we walked back to the shore we found a deep pool of water that we thought would have some stuff to look at. We put our snorkels on and saw that the pool was filled with sea creatures. I saw a very LARGE spiky sea urchin, tons of black fish and some other larger multi-colored fish with lips that looked like they were kissing, baby needlefish AND my worst fear of all a small sea snake! After that we walked back over the coral and headed into the shade.

What a wonderful weekend. All the worries that had been on our minds were cleared away as we explored the waters of Ritidian.

 DSCN5686DSCN5695

 

 Note to self: First trip back to Ritidian (just the two of us) after our engagement. 6-16-2014

 

Photos at Latte Stone Park

A few months ago Peter and I decided to check out this small, dark park in Agana that we often see. It’s shaded by tons of huge trees and very well maintained. There are latte stone and a cave from WWII. It would be a nice, quiet place for a picnic or to relax during your lunch hour. Definitely stop by if you are in the area!

Villages in Guam: Agana/Hagåtña

I’ve passed by this park many times but never really thought about stopping to walk through it…until recently. Located in the center of Agana, the San Antonio Bridge is directly across the street from the beach. Unlike most of Guam’s parks and historical sites, this park has minimal litter and is in relatively good condition. I thought it was really cool to be able to see such an old landmark from when the Spanish landed in Guam. According to the plaque describing the bridge’s history, it was constructed by the Spanish in 1800 to cross the Hagatna River. The bridge survived WWII and was moved when the river was diverted.

In addition to the bridge there’s a mermaid statue next to it that represents one of Guam’s many legends. The story of the Sirena (Mermaid) is that she was once a young girl who loved to be near or in the water. One day her mother was looking for her but couldn’t find her. The mother knew that the daughter was down by the river and in a usual motherly way, she cursed her daughter and said she might as well be a fish. Not knowing that her curse had come true, the mother never saw her daughter again because the daughter turned into a half girl half fish creature. Some people have said that they have seen her in the river.

After visiting the San Antonio Bridge and seeing all the pretty tropical flowers and learning a little more about Guam’s history, I walked to the park next to the large cathedral. The Plaza de España has many histories to it. First the Spanish built structures and after WWII, when the Americans took over, much of it was destroyed. Only a few structures are left. As you can see in the pictures there is a small white structure with the typical Spanish red roof. This was known as the Chocolate House, which is where the Spanish would have their afternoon cup of hot chocolate. Within this structure were two Spanish plaques that I couldn’t believe were just left out in the open! I was both in awe and disappointed with the park. It always makes me sad when historical things are forgotten and left to rot. I can see so much potential in this park if only it was better taken care of. I just hope that someone steps up and tries to salvage what’s left of this magnificent park before it’s too late!

This is a nice place to visit in the late afternoon-evening because it can be very hot outside and you might get to catch the sun setting across the ocean. Both parks are within walking distance of each other and provide a lot of good information regarding Guam’s history. A Must See!