Thursday, September 21, 2017

Guam Trip, September 2017...

From Sunday September 17th to Tuesday September 19th. The kids (Branden and Noah) and I were in Guam. As you know, Noah had his Sports Day, Saturday September 16th. It went off without a hitch. Beautiful cool weather day, with not a drop of rain. I will get that post up next, but considering I have to white-out the name of school on a ton of kids uniforms. This is an easier post for me, to get up. So, I am doing this post first. So because Noah had school on a Saturday. That meant he got off one day of school during the week. Plus add to that... Monday was a national holiday in Japan and all kids all across the country in Japan, were not in school Monday September 18th because it was a holiday. Called. "Respect for the Aged Day." Granted, "Respect for the Elderly Day" sounds better to American ears. Or even "Respect for Senior Citizens Day" sounds like a better translation too. But...it is.. what it is...so it is called "Respect for the Aged Day" So considering I had some Fall/Winter food stocking up to do. And with Noah not having school until Wednesday. And Branden not having school until Tuesday. So we decided this would be the perfect time for the 3 of us to get ourselves to Guam and back. Branden did miss school Tuesday. But honestly...I think he missed maybe 1-2 days of school his entire JHS life. And he has not missed 1 single day of his high school life at all yet. So we thought 1 day would be okay. So we took the morning flight from Narita to Guam Sunday morning. And by 3pm we were already in sunny tropical gorgeous Guam. A pic of Branden and Noah waiting at the gate in Narita, Japan. Waiting to board the airplane for our flight to Guam.
A typhoon had hit Kyushu first and then went up Japan next getting Osaka. The typhoon always has the most strength and impact on Kyushu first. And loses steam as it makes it's way to Osaka. So lucky for Osaka people... they always get a way gentler typhoon than my friends in Kyushu. And by the time it finally hits the Chiba area... most typhoons are like so weak. They're like just heavy to mid amounts of rain and no real huge gusts of wind. By the time they get to Chiba...honestly they're like the... Diet Pepsi version of a typhoon. Just a 1 calorie amount of the typhoon. So we're lucky in that respect...where we are located. And us Chiba people were expecting the typhoon or heavy rain to finally hit mid Sunday. However as we flew off in the morning. It was just scattered light rain by the time the boys and I flew off. And no wind at all. Which was awesome, that it had zero affect on our flight. 

Rolling down the runway. Which is why you see streaks of rain. 

Bye Japan. Love you. But we'll be back. 


Going up above the clouds.
The choices for lunch in first class that day. The kids and I each picked the grilled chicken breast. We were given many side dishes and a mighty fine salad. Garlic bread. The whole shebang. And we were given ice cream for dessert too. Yum.
We arrived and the kids were hungry. They're growing boys. So Bran ordered a combo. 3 crunchy tacos. Noah picked 2 crunchy tacos and my dad also ordered 2 crunchy tacos. I picked 2 bean and cheese burritos. 

We ate, we talked. We then checked into our hotel. And then we went to 2 Cost u Less stores and called it a day. We did go to Wendy's for supper. We kept Sunday very light. Very mellow. With very little to do. We were all glad we made it to Guam. And had such a restful Sunday. 
My room. I had a spare bed in my room. I slept on the bed where my Jansport backpack is sitting on. 

Aha, I see groceries from Cost u Less. I forgot to take pics when I first arrived so took them after we shopped.

Room #2. This is a connecting room to mine and the kids slept in here. 

Noah, sitting on Noah's bed. And Bran had the bed next to Noah's bed. 

I snapped this pic during our shopping at Cost u Less and sent it to Noboru via Line. Not sure why I sent it. LOL. I'm a nerd. But, oh well. After shopping we 4 went to Wendy's and called it an early night. I was exhausted. We all were. 
Noah looking at grandpa. My drink was a Vitamin Water XXX, in fact everyone at our table picked that drink. My drink was larger..I just picked a different type of combo, but I shared with both the boys too. Branden and my dad picked the combo Double Junior bacon cheeseburger. (2 patties of beef) plus a side of chicken nuggets plus fries, but my dad switched his fries to a potato. And it came with a small drink for just US$5. Noah just had a single with cheese. And I had a spicy chicken sandwich with potato. The guy accidentally gave us an extra order of french fries, but we took it back and he said just keep it. It was his mistake. So Noah ate them. Cool.

Dinner was great. We got back to the hotel at around 8pm. The kids showered in their room taking turns. And I showered in the morning. I stood awake until 9:30pm Sunday night watching TV though in my room. We kept our connecting rooms open the entire time, so we could talk and go back and forth the entire time. : ) And no...most hotels in America allow 4 people in 1 room. But this place did not. And they contacted us and said 3 people were not allowed in 1 room. So that's why we got 2 rooms. @_@ So that's why. Noboru did tell them. It's a mother and her 15 year old son and 12 year old son. The boys would share the 1 bed. They said sorry...only 2 per room. @_@ So whatever. But yep that's why we had no choice but to get 2 rooms.

The next morning. I quickly showered and got ready for the day. We all did. We went to breakfast. Mickey D's. Bacon egg and cheese biscuit. OMG, I love these. The kids do too. 

Bran got 2 breakfast biscuits. And Noah and I, each got 1. My dad got a breakfast combo. 

We hit 2 Payless grocery stores. And then hit Kmart and were done 100%. By 1pm. We were done totally and completely. The rest of the trip was now just pure pleasure now. So we decided to go to the 2:45pm showing of the movie IT.  And yes Guam now has Olive Garden salad dressing. : )

Halloween candy was overflowing at Kmart. And at Payless grocery stores. 

My kids as you know... love scary movies. When they were little. They watched Coraline and Hocus Pocus. But as they got older, they started watching scarier movies. Again. Some kids can’t handle scary movies at all. But my kids 100% can. I think it depends on the kid. How they handle it. My kids even when they were little. I would tell them. When we were watching the Wizard of Oz and Hocus Pocus for example. "You know this is fake right?" She’s really not flying on a vacuum. It’s all fake. She’s an actress." And you know he’s not really a man made  out of tin. And she’s not really the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s an actress and that’s green face paint and she's really not mean, she's probably very nice. So from a very early age. They understood completely movies are for fun or for suspense. Or for comedy. But they're actors, it's fake, just for entertainment. Transformers movies and Terminator movies never even registered for my kids as being even remotely scary. It just wasn’t scary for them. Perhaps they’re totally boys. And testosterone and all that. But they loved the action and sci-fi in those types of movies. My kids being age 12 and 15. Don’t think the Exorcist was scary at all. Don’t think Annabelle or the Conjuring as scary at all. They liked them. In fact they seem to really and truly like scary movies. But again...they have an understanding going into it. It’s all bull crap. It’s fake. So just wanted to say that first.  So anyways...we have been watching the commercials for the remake of the movie IT. Trailers have been playing constantly on American TV. And my kids have been dying to see it. However there is no plan for that movie to be showing in Japan anytime soon, my husband checked. Will it make it to the movie theater in Japan? My husband says maybe not. They have also been replaying the original IT miniseries with Tim Curry and John Ritter like 3 times a week for the past month and a half. Perhaps because of the release of the newer version at the movie theaters. My kids recently saw the original on TV. Though they had seen it before last year for the first time. Now they have been really wanting to see the movie. With us being in Guam. The boys were able to enjoy seeing the remake of IT. How did we like IT? Well. To be fair. At first I wrongly thought, the "It"  clown should always be the fabulous Tim Curry. As you know...how slowly I warm up to people. Hence I wasn’t 100% on board with the new Wonder Woman until I saw the movie. Same for this one too. So, I saw the remake of IT. I loved it! This new Pennywise the Clown is as scary as hell! This whole movie is tons scarier than the original. You actually see... some of what happened to the little brother Georgie. And this movie just rocked so much. How did my kids like it? They loved it. Absolutely loved it. Branden researched it and said in the original... they didn’t want to show any violence towards... the kids in the movie. However in this one. You will see what happens to Georgie right away. And the director said in this version...he made Pennywise hurt Georgie like that right away...because he wanted the audience to fear Pennywise every time they showed him during the movie. And that was a good call. This movie was freaking amazing. So well done and this new Pennywise gets a thumbs up from me. He was fantastic. Also at the end of the movie it said...Chapter 1. So you know there will be a part 2. And if you saw the miniseries from the 80’s or whenever... then you know...they come back to Derry as adults. Now Branden is currently reading It by Stephan King on his tablet, right before bed every night. And he told me the other day. In the book, Georgie lost his arm too. @_@ I’m like...he did? And he said, yeah! So...it’s nice my son is reading a massive book in English for pleasure. For fun. So awesome. : )
Yep we caught the early movie at 2:45pm and given it was a weekday and not a holiday in Guam like it was in Japan. All kids and people were at work. And so there was only about 4 people in the movie theater besides us. See how this movie place has stadium seating. It says on this ticket. Anyway, they have awesome seats. We each got a snack from the grocery store. We had large sodas and a large popcorn too. 

Final meal in Guam. Monday evening. We went to KFC. 
I had 2 chicken strips and 2 mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit. 

Branden had 5 chicken strips, 2 sides... which he too chose mashed potatoes with gravy for both his side dishes and he also had a biscuit. Noah had 2 chicken strips, 2 sides of mashed potatoes and gravy and 1 original recipe chicken breast. My dad had chicken strips and macaroni and cheese and coleslaw. My dad dropped us off at our hotel rooms around 7pm. We had the earliest flight on the planet. The plane took off at 6am. So we needed to be at the airport by 4am. Which means, I woke up Tuesday morning at 2am. Jumped in the shower. Got dressed. Put on my fave foundation Koh Gen Do. Some Koh Gen Do face powder. Did my eyebrows with Anastasia Brow Wiz. And slapped on some Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker. And called it done. Blow dried my hair. Looked like I wasn't wearing a dot of makeup, but that's okay. Woke up the kids at 2:30am. My dad picked us up at 3am. My dad is amazing to pick us up at that insane hour. Thank you dad. We checked in. Zipped effortlessly through TSA. And went and sat near our gate. All before 4am. We did such great timing. 
Our 3 breakfast choices to choose from Tuesday morning. The kids and I each picked the blueberry pancakes, with crispy bacon, grilled peaches and syrup. We had amazing sweet fresh fruit. Fresh croissants with butter and jam too. And Starbucks coffee. I absolutely adored my blueberry pancakes. So did the kids. After I ate, I zonked out for the entire flight. I only woke up when the captain started speaking on the intercom... that we would be landing in 20 minutes. Boy was, I surprised. LOL. : ) Happily surprised. 
Huge bag of ricotta cheese stuffed ravioli.

A massive haul of foods and goodies brought back from Guam.

Look at all those seasonings. And Halloween candy. I needed to stock up and boy did I ever!!!

My magic number for the beans was 14 bags. I know how often I make pork green chili and a huge pot of beans. Or how I make a side of homemade refried beans to go with taquito night. So knowing how often I use these. 14 was the right number to bring back. Considering I also have to consider the weight of everything else too. 

Anybody remember Chick-O-Stick? These are so delicious. Like the package says crunchy peanut butter and toasted coconut. OMG. These are amazing. 

Pumpkin pie M&M's. There were only 2 bags left on island and I took 1. But, I left the other. I only took 1. : ) You know how Americans *love* pumpkin flavored everything and anything, right? LOL. Yes, we do. : )

Pumpkin shaped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Yes or should I say...Yassss!!!

Reese's Nutrageous. 

Plus 2 packs of Mr. Goodbars. Plus Almond Joys. Plus Top left hand corner are Reese's fall colored minis. 

Plus the M&M's Lovers pack. Plain, peanut and also peanut butter. 

Plus Butterfingers. Plus Reese's Pieces. Plus a massive bag of misc bubble gums. Branden and Noah have 12 bags of Halloween candy. Being in Japan there's not really trick or treating hard core like we do in the US. But, I still make sure my kids get a huge candy haul every Halloween. : ) I never want my boys feeling left out. I'm a good mama. : ) I always try my best.

Two packs of chocolate chips for cookie baking. One is milk chocolate and one is semi-sweet. And yes, I always buy brand X. Store brand. If it saves me money...why not. There is no shishi poo-poo fancy attitude here. Nope, we're not about that! : )

Rice Krispie treats will be happening. And yes, I did buy store brand cereal and marshmallows. That's just how I am. Ya'll know that. : ) 

Bought 4 more cans of enchilada sauce. 2 green and 2 red. And I think I have 2 cans in the pantry already. So Fall/winter 2017-2018 will be very enchilada-y. And also full of pork green chili too.  : ) 

2 pumpkin pies. This makes 4 pumpkin pies in my pantry waiting to be baked. And I will bake them.

Did I buy 1 of these in Denver or 2 of these in Denver? So, I either have 4 of these two packs total or 5 packs of these total. And I only need 1 box for Thanksgiving. 

Remember how I tried and tried to find pot roast seasonings all over Denver/ Arvada, Colorado but only managed to find 4 or something in Grand Junction, Colorado? Well, Guam had tons in stock. So, I bought them. Woohoo. Tons of pot roast will be eaten in Fall/Winter 2017-2018 too.

Overflowing amounts. Now I'm super happy.


Italian bread crumbs. I usually buy Progresso name brand for my meatballs or chicken parmesan. But they had this generic store brand and they also had Progresso, too...love having choices. And they were a dollar cheaper each package. So umm...obviously, I went for it. Worth a try. : ) And garlic spread. This is the best and I never stray from this brand. 

You know, I have brownies from Denver and cakes in the pantry already. However...if I get the chance...better not waste it. So, bought 2 extra yellow cake mixes plus 3 chocolate frosting's for that. I have extra yellow cake at home needing a frosting. And 3 extra boxes of brownies, so I think I now have 5 brownie mixes. And bought 2 red velvet cake mixes so now I have 3 red velvets waiting to be baked. I also have a strawberry cake at home waiting to be baked too. : ) 

The cream cheese frosting's are for the red velvet cake mixes. : ) To me...Fall and Winter means baking. A bunch of yummy numminess. : )

Two Crisco tubs because I bake a lot and need to grease my baking pans. 

Breakfast stuff.  Two bottles of buttery syrup for pancakes or french toast, yes I bought store brand syrup. 2 different types of Pop Tarts. And 2 boxes of Peanut Butter Crunch cereal. 

I love these so much. 

Nothing quite beats hot fresh baked cornbread drizzled with butter. 

Graham crackers. 

This pic needs info. I am pretty laid back with brands or buying store brands. You know that. I'm not picky...like at all. However...I told Noboru, when we were in Denver, we needed to buy parmesan cheese for pizza. And he was worried about the weight of our luggage, he was right to worry... so he said just buy it in Japan. Since it's available there. Well, I said...okay. And so we bought some in Japan at Costco. It says it's from America. But the package is totally in Japanese. And the taste is horrible. It's Kraft. But it tastes so bad. It tastes strong. That's what gets me. It's so strong. I told Noboru...when I go to Guam...I would be buying one in Guam and he said fine...that he'd finish up the 2 huge ones from Japan. So that's the plan. I am happy now...that I have American Kraft parmesan cheese. The Kraft one at Costco in Japan is weird. I do buy generic or save money when I can. But the one from Japan tastes too strong . Just not for me. Too strong. This one here is very mild and good. 

Cheetos Puffs. Cheetos Cheddar Jalapeno Crunchy and Hot Wings flavored Ruffles. 

Tropical trail mix.

Costco sized seasonings from Cost u Less. 10 of these. Holy crap. That's a lot.

Buffalo Wings seasoning. Chili seasoning so I can make a huge pot of that Wendy's type of chili. I am admitting to you now...that I think because of the huge enthusiasm my chicken soup received last week. I might have gone *a lot* overboard buying chicken bouillon. This is 1 Costco sized amount of chicken bouillon right here. Next is...Chicken rub. I have bought this once before. Figured would be a nice healthy meal, coating some chicken breast in the oven with this. Some sides and some salad. Would be nice. Also bought a huge amount of carne asada seasoning. I have seen this there every single time and have never bought it. This time I said to myself. Buy it gosh darn it. Couldn't hurt. And considering these huge sizes are $5.99-$6.99 each. I figured this could only add to my meals, I already have on rotation. 

Down below, I have a huge container of Poultry gravy for Thanksgiving or a Sunday roast chicken dinner. Brown gravy for tons of pot roast dinners. Another container of chili. Huge container of taco seasoning. And finally garlic salt. 

Also picked up this Asian stir fry seasoning. Yes it's a very American-ized version of a stir fry, but I thought it sounded lovely and worth a try. And the same container of chicken bouillon powder I bought in Denver and my family loved. This one I saw last. Or else I would have just bought 3 of these. Oh well. I'm not perfect...what can I say. I saw the other brand first and bought that first. 

Sweet ginger garlic. I hope this is as good as I hope and imagine it is. I'll update you all later. 

This, I saw second. And this was called base. The wording got me. For me...I look for words like bouillon or soup stock. And I know what a base is. A starter is. To me that also means a soup stock or base too. And I knew the one my family loved was by Knorr. But again it didn't have that word bouillon on it or soup stock. So I bought it. Because again it was like 6 bucks. For that huge honkin' enormous size. But I kept having this 1% lingering doubt. What if I opened it...and by a 1 in a million chance it was not chicken soup stock at all. Wouldn't that be the weirdest? And I kept wondering about that. And then on Monday when I saw the one on the right...I said...gee whiz wish I would have seen this from the start. But again...time's a factor and I wanted to enjoy a movie with my family. I do think the one on the left is probably the same. I *hope* But if it's not...at least I'll have 2 others for back ups. Either way...we will be having chicken soup on heavy rotation Fall/Winter 2017/2018. 

Homestyle popcorn. 

What I buy for 1, I buy for the other. They both have rockin' hair and now they have 2 different pomades each. : ) Good mom...good mom. : )  They got to pick theirs out themselves and figures they pick exactly the same.

Toothpaste. And a travel toothpaste. 

Life Savers for me, in wild cherry and butter rum.

Hair protection spray for when I use my flat iron. 

3 deo's. One for each of the boys and 1 for me. 

And 3 tabloids that I read whenever... I pick up the kids. I am only half done with one right now. : ) So anyways...if my blog was quieter than usual. It's because we were not in Japan.