Chamorro Village is a night market with music, food, animals and local vendors. During the day there are a few restaurants open, but only on Wednesday evenings does the real fun take place. I’ve heard that it’s also open on Friday evenings but every time I’ve tried to go on a Friday, it hasn’t been opened. Recently it has been extremely overcrowded, which hasn’t really made my experience too fun. It’s so crowded and hard to walk, there’s no place to sit and eat and you have to wait in line to do/see anything. Aside from that, it’s a nice place to go maybe once a month and enjoy the music and food!
Locally owned businesses serve food, drinks, sell crafts and souvenirs. You can ride a carabao, drink from a coconut, watch traditional Polynesian dancers, dance the Chamorro cha-cha and hold coconut crabs, snakes and monitor lizards! My dad would LOVE this place because he loves dancing. Every time I’ve gone to watch the band play, there has been an older man dressed similar to Elvis. He usually wears a red shirt that says, “Thank you Elvis” written in sloppy writing on his back. He and his dancing partner are quite popular with the tourists and very fun to watch dancing.
I go for the food honestly! It’s delicious! I always get a few BBQ chicken sticks, red rice and a rice ball or two. Also, the fruit slushy drinks are AMAZING and the flavored popcorn is good too. The last time I went I tried something called a Latiya (pronounced Lateeza), which is a cake with pudding on top sprinkled with cinnamon. It’s very, very good!! As I mentioned it is crowded so I just go to whichever food stand has the shortest line. This week I decided to see why so many people wait in the LONG line for food. Sometimes the line is so long it wraps around the building. Anyway, I ordered the Fiesta Plate (in Spanish that means Party Plate) which is the standard Chamorro food plate. This was enough for Peter and I to share. It came with red rice, BBQ chicken on a stick, BBQ pork on a stick, pancit, some fried shrimp thing and fina’ denne. I soon realized why the lines are long and why people don’t mind waiting. The food tastes SO much better! Better pieces of meat, better tasting and all for the same price. So just wait in line and you will be happy!
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but Guamanians really love their choreographed dances. At any party, including Chamorro Village, you will here The Cupid Shuffle, Wobble or any other song that has a dance to go with it. People of ALL ages know the dances. Most of these I had no idea came with dance routines ha! One of my favorite things to do is watch the dancers old and young!
If you visit:
Bring cash! Most souvenirs are overpriced like the swimsuit coverups and some of the jewelry. It's in Agana near the baseball field
YOU MUST EAT EVERYTHING!
Last week was one of those weeks where bad things just seemed to happen outside of my control (car accident, job, relationship). I am a big proponent of making your own happiness, but it felt impossible to stop these things from happening. I decided to take a break from my blog for a little while until the bad luck went away. I didn’t know how much happiness my blog brought me until I neglected it! haha. Thank you everyone who followed me and liked my posts while I was away for a week. So I had my cry, I felt sad, I talked to people who loved me and could make me feel better and I moved on. I don’t know what my future holds or how long I will be in Guam, but I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts (life and living in Guam). I’m going to play at the beach more often, post more regularly on my blog and take a ton of pictures even though the memory on my laptop is almost used up!
Anyway, I created a new blog because I really wanted to participate in some weekly blogging activities that have nothing to do with Guam. Well, now that my horrible week is over, I am committed to restarting that and getting caught up! So if you’d like to read less about Guam and more about me (haha) please head over to my other blog 🙂 yay!
As usual, my animal-lover boyfriend found this little creature at work. During the day I received an excited text from him stating that he found one of those bright green lizard things. I didn’t think much of it because he usually finds animals and is a very curious person naturally. When I came home I noticed a large, clear, empty juice jug sitting on my kitchen table. Inside the jug there was something moving around and yes, it was this little guy. I inspected it from the outside and noticed that it was very different from the lizards and geckos I frequently see all over Guam. For one, the intense, bright green color was unlike anything I’d ever seen and its feet had, what looked like, claws. Peter took his jug outside and let it crawl out, and guess what…the little creature was very calm and didn’t run away! It just walked out and stayed put! He didn’t seem scared or scurry away like geckos. I was warming up to him. We put him back in the jug and decided to do some research on him. We originally thought he was some kind of Chameleon because he could change colors depending on his environment (brown to green). This is when we found out that he is a Green Anole and very fragile. Even though he seemed calm and possibly like a good pet, what we read told us that he took a lot of care and could die easily. I don’t see these very often, but when I do they are very eye catching. They seem much smarter and more curious than geckos or lizards. Knowing that he’d most likely die if we kept him, we set him free in the jungle near our home!
While hanging out with the girls in the lunchroom they would talk about their children, referring to them as “my boy” or “my girl.” Peter told me that when he talked to his co workers about me, he’d call me his girl and they thought he meant his daughter. I always thought that was strange and wondered what they called their boyfriends or girlfriends. Then I heard it…
my other half.
It’s rarely husband, and never my man or my girl. It’s my other half. That’s the perfect way to describe it. I always felt weird calling Peter my boyfriend because that term didn’t describe what he really was and it felt a bit juvenile.
For the past three years, Peter and I have been in each other’s lives in some capacity. We met at a New Year’s Eve party, where my New Year’s resolution was to say yes to everything and live with an open mind. He made me want to be a better person and live life without fear! Although we were both heading different directions in life, we remained friends throughout his first year on Guam. Somehow our separate paths led us back to each other.
Despite all the changes in my life over the past year, it has been well worth it to find my other half.
So happy three years of friendship to us!
Time flies when you’re having fun and it sure has flown by this past year. So many things have happened in just the last 12 months! I’ve visited a few different countries, got a new job, moved across the world, partied ’til the sun came up, swam in the clear blue ocean water and so much more! Where I will be in a year, I have no idea. I’ve found so many things I love about this island and some things that I really dislike. Sometimes I imagine what I will tell my future kids about my life in Guam!
I remember when all we had was the scooter and we’d pack it with our laundry to take to the laundromat or the times we went grocery shopping and forgot we had the scooter, so we’d have to figure out ways to load all of our groceries on the scooter. I remember the first time I saw the ocean and how I couldn’t believe it was real. I remember how I went swimming in the warm water and watched the sunset over the ocean thinking, “I must be in heaven.” I remember falling in love. The first time I saw a coconut crab and had one as pet, I remember being terrified when it escaped from its aquarium! I remember the first month I arrived, my body couldn’t adjust to the humidity! Yes, it’s gross but I sweated like a man for WEEKS! haha I remember so many good times here and now I can’t really imagine going back to my other life. I think I’d like to live on an island forever. I’m an island girl now!
After Yokohama, we had an incredibly long journey carrying all of our luggage to Kyoto. When we made it to the last train stop, it was raining and dark! We had to somehow hold an umbrella, carry our bags and find our way through the streets of Kyoto to our hotel. It took us longer because we had to stop every once in awhile to reposition our bags and check the GPS on our tablet.
Eco and Tec Hotel was actually very easy to find, if we didn’t have the tablet to navigate us, we’d probably never find it. There wasn’t a big sign for the hotel and it was down a residential street that didn’t look like there was anything more than just houses. We also got off at the further train stop, not knowing that there was one about five minutes from the hotel. When we made it, we were so relieved and happy! As we checked in they asked to take a picture of us to put on their Facebook page. I guess they take pictures of all their guests. We looked beat down, wet and miserable!
After we had unpacked, we went downstairs to the community room. This is a really cool hotel. There is only one employee at a time who cleans the rooms and checks in guests, because of this and an effort to stay green, they don’t change towels or clean rooms often. If you want those services done regularly, you have to pay extra. We were only there for about two nights so it wasn’t a problem. The community room had free water and tea, free wifi, and massage chairs! We both jumped in the chairs and enjoyed a much needed massage! I was exhausted and hungry so we ordered a pizza and called it a night!
The next morning it was a little grey outside but we had mapped out everything we wanted to see. We walked down the main road in Kyoto to a coffee shop, where we had breakfast and decided that we wanted to rent bikes!
Our hotel had an affordable bike rental rate, so we decided to do that. GREAT idea!! I had so much fun and it was much easier than walking. My feet were hurting after all the walking we had done in Tokyo. I was wobbly at first and afraid I was going to hit a pedestrian, another biker or a car!
We rode through a market with a lot of shops that we visited later for souvenirs. I loved this about Japan, everyone rides a bike. You’d think with Guam being so small that more people would ride bicycles; but I’m sure with the heat, uphill roads and distance between villages this wouldn’t be such a fun experience. Our first stop was the Kyoto International Manga Museum! I’m a fan of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Totoro…) so I was really excited. The museum was made in an old school building. There was a mixture of Manga art and history and history about the school and Kyoto. Very interesting. There were TONS of comic books that you could lounge around and read, unfortunately we didn’t see any that were in English so we just looked through the pictures. My favorite part, well two parts, first was the “How to Draw Manga” section where you could learn the Manga drawing process and then there was another room where they had artists from around the world draw something based on the word peace. It was so creative! Most of the art rooms had a no photos rule so I didn’t get to take many pictures.
After the museum we realized that it was pretty late and we still wanted to visit another museum. We used the map to find our way to Nijo Castle. We rode through the quiet streets . Getting used to driving on the opposite side of the rode was a challenge, but fun!
For a small fee we parked our bikes in the bike lot.
The park where the castle was is HUGE. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the castle nor could we wear shoes. There are many beautiful gardens and ponds.
In one building, where we couldn’t wear our shoes, the floors were called Nightingale floors and made a cricket sound whenever stepped on. This was so the Shogun could hear if anyone was trying to sneak up on them.
It was late when we got back to our hotel, but we still wanted to explore! We’d gone back to the shopping area where everyone seemed to be. I found an all you can eat pizza place and Peter had some bad tasting beer which was all you could drink for an hour. At the end of the night we stopped at Pig & Whistle for a drink before heading back to the hotel for bed.
The rest of our trip we explored Kyoto. There are so many parks and beautiful historical structures everywhere. Even walking down the narrow roads we found shrines and Japanese style homes.
On our last day we took a walk and saw this bright red bridge thing. As we walked toward it we came to another park.
Here we found another shrine and garden.
We saw these fountains everywhere and weren’t sure of the meaning. We watched as school children went to them and washed their hands with the water. It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day on our last day in Kyoto. I didn’t want to leave.
We had some extra time to kill before we needed to head to Narita, so we went to the Kyoto Handicraft Center. I’d spotted it on the map and really wanted to go there. At the moment, the original building is under construction so everything has moved out to a different building except for the craft center. Peter and I decided to do some arts and crafts! I painted a clay doll bell and Peter did the cloisonné key chain. It was SO much fun! You get some guidance from the craft center helpers, watch a video and learn about the history of your art work. It was so relaxing and peaceful.
If you want to go to Japan, but you don’t want to navigate the busy rail system or deal with the city life, then Kyoto is the perfect place to relax and go at a slow pace. I wish we had more time here to see more sights.
Goodbye Kyoto and Japan. Hope to see you again!
It was a bittersweet goodbye to Tokyo; although, I was looking forward to the rest of our trip I still felt like I hadn’t seen all of Tokyo. We boarded the train to Yokohama on a somewhat gloomy-looking day. In addition to the dark skies, I wasn’t really feeling well. Peter had a lot of energy and was excited, but my body was dragging and I felt like I needed to just rest and recoup. I tried not to be a party pooper, but I was ready to just get to Kyoto!
Yokohama is another large city but has it’s differences from Shibuya. More easy going and less of a city feel, it was even more organized and clean (if that’s even possible). We walked to the Yokohama Bay Quarter where we took a bridge to the Nissan building. Peter sat in his favorite Nissan car the Skyline GTR. From there we went looking for the Landmark Tower and the giant ferris wheel.
On the way, we discovered a Krispy Kreme and stopped for a snack. I felt a little bit better but I was still dragging and freezing cold. Coming from the comfort of 86 degree temperatures year-round and going to Tokyo’s colder weather was not an easy adjustment. We found both the tower and ferris wheel. The tower had an entrance fee of 500 yen, which we skipped. It is one of the largest buildings in Tokyo. Instead we rode the 15 minute ferris wheel where we could see all of Yokohama. It was incredibly high, the highest ferris wheel I’ve ever been on. There was a large amusement park that looked fun.
With a long journey ahead of us, we boarded the bullet train that took us to Kyoto!
Even though this was a birthday trip for Peter, one of my dreams came true. It really was as magical as everyone says. I made it to Disneyland!
When I got off the train and saw the Tokyo Disneyland sign, tears came to my eyes. I didn’t understand why I was reacting this way, but I was overwhelmed with happiness and felt like a kid again. Of course as soon as I entered the park I made a beeline straight toward the Mickey Mouse ears, which I wore the entire day and train ride home.
We rode Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, It’s A Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Alice’s Tea Party, Haunted Mansion and Grand Circuit Raceway. We definitely missed a lot but the lines were ridiculous and we only spent one day at the park. Tickets were ¥6,200 per person (about $80.00). I had such a great day and sooo much fun! Hope you enjoy the photos!