Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 2017 Guam trip...

Sunday, March 19th, Noboru, Noah and I flew to Guam to spend 2 nights, 3 days there. We....as you know were hoping like crazy for Singapore. But we also know how flying stand-by goes. And so we knew we needed a backup plan and ya'll knew Guam was our backup plan. A few days before that, it was obvious that we would not be able to get seats for Singapore. We were extremely bummed about not being able to go to Singapore. However the bright side is...we were going somewhere! And so there was no real reason for sad feelings! : ) Also...important to note. Branden was invited about a month ago to a 2 night sleepover at his best friend Genki's house along with 2 other kiddos too. These 4 were so close all through the first grade at elementary school all the way through JHS. And we know they are not going to the same high school any of the 4. Branden said yes a month ago, that he could go to the sleepover. And then we he learned the date of his sleepover. Which was the same days as our travel dates so....Bran just said...that he might be able to go to the sleepover. Keep in mind this would be his first sleepover ever! : ) Branden was very pumped for Singapore. But about 3-4 days beforehand...when we found out Singapore...was sadly...no longer an option. And Guam it was!!! Bran asked me privately first...."since I go to Guam all the time...can I go to the sleep over instead?" I thought about it and came to the conclusion... that there is absolutely...no reason why he could not go to the sleepover instead. I talked to Noboru about it. And we're very good friends with his parents....well duh! They let us take Genki to Guam 2 years ago. So they trust us...we trust them. We've known them since our boys were age 4 and in yochien. So...we agreed. We dropped Bran off. With a mega ton of snacks to share. A couple 2 liters of drinks. And I was thinking to take a Costco sized pizza but his mom said...when we asked the day before...she said...no worries. They had dinner and everything handled! We also picked up Branden at 10am Tuesday morning. And we called him via LINE and messaged often. So that's why he did not go. He wanted and asked to stay because it would be a very important sleepover for him. The 4 besties last hurrah, I hear they went to karaaoke and all sorts of fun stuff. : ) So anyways. back to the post. A pic of Noah swiping his passport into the ticketing machine at Narita airport. We always want our kids to know how to check in for a flight...even when they go with us. You know...just small little stuff like that. Noah's been swiping and checking in for so long...he's very good at this already. : )

And we 3 just went through the TSA check point and were about to go downstairs. 

We're making great timing!!!

Every time Noboru and I travel together. He always wants to go to the private Delta Sky Club. As for me....I like people watching. And hanging near the gate. But sure...I like the people watching and the vibe near the gate is always fun for me. : ) But Noboru always like the privacy. So if the kids and I travel to Guam just us...me and the kids... we hang near the gate. Although...yes I could go in there to the Sky Club by myself with the kids too. It's just... I prefer not. But if the hubby and I are together...I will often go with him up there. 

Up up to the club we went...

They were having a special Hawaiian theme with food too. You did need to have ID or whatever to get in.

Inside we went...

An all you can eat buffet and all you can drink.

They had a whole row of regular buffet foods. And they enjoyed some. But they also had a row of "Hawaiian themed foods" @_@ I just nibbled on this...the Hawaiian pancakes and mango cake. It was delicious.

About to board the plane.

First class has a menu you pick from. There were 3 choices. I had the herb chicken breast. Noah had the penne pasta and Noboru had the fish. Good thing, I didn't eat too much upstairs at the sky club. I just grazed and nibbled on the pancakes and mango cake. 

Noah taking a little afternoon nap after his lunch on the plane...

We made it...let's change our clothes. Open our curtains and kick it...around the island!!! Awesomeness!!!

Three hours before we were in beautiful Japan. And now we were in sunny gorgeous tropical Guam! Sunday March 19th!


This red car was our rental car...

Shopping at the grocery store. Noah helps so much. He wheels the cart around. Helps me out by checking for dates on products. He's such a good kid! Very good helpful kiddo! : )

Lunch break! Taco Bell for the 3 of us. We were in a food court and could pick anything we wanted...it's funny though... that we 3 all wanted stuff from the same restaurant though.. : )

Cost U Less. Our 2nd store for Sunday. This is like a Costco, versus a regular store. Most things here are in bulk. We were mainly getting things for Easter baskets for the kids this trip. That was the main focus. Sure...a few food things or spices in between. But the main focal point was most definitely Easter goodies for the kiddos!
Mid shop cart pic at Cost U Less courtesy of my lovely Noah! You can even see his little Crocs in this pic as he snapped this pic. #besthelperEVER!!!

Taco seasoning...well well well..Taco Seasonings you were not here my last trip to Guam when I was here in February 2017! But lucky for me...it was in stock in March! Plus Buffalo wing seasoning is bomb, so had to get that. And ya'll know I make my famous pulled pork sandwiches every Spring, Summer and Fall. Topped with coleslaw! So amazing and good. So picked up a huge bottle of Pulled BBQ rub for that. Gearing up for some Spring cooking. : )

And as Noboru and I walked and chatted to the rental car. Noah said.."I can carry the stuff mama." And I was like....man...you are seriously the kindest coolest best kid EVER! Like seriously! I hit the kid lottery with this kid. Both my kids are sweethearts though...both of them. : )

Kmart. Middle of my shopping cart pic. Tons of noodle packets. And tons of Easter candy! This is most definitely an American mom's shopping cart! Hahaha. Those pasta side dishes are so amazing and good. And for sure...we have to get Easter goodies. We celebrate Easter big time at our house.

A quick pic as we were checking out. Yes those are Red Velvet Oreos with cream cheese filling. 

We only hit 3 shops. And we called it done! I'm an amazingly FAST shopper. Plus, I was just in Guam the month before. And before that in October or November. My point being...I know exactly what I am looking for. I know what I am not looking for too. So...I can go right in. Scratch things off my list and be out of a Cost U Less for example in 10 minutes and back to my car. I can zip in a Payless grocery store and be checked out and back in my car within 20-25 minutes. Kmart does take me longer. Granted...it does. But honestly...I was out of the store in about 40 minutes. I did stroll there the longest. But...I was relatively fast. And it was still broad daylight, granted we left Japan *very* early in the morning and plus it stays light and daytime longer in Guam. And we went and had an early supper at Panda Express. 

Noah enjoying his sweet and spicy chicken breast bowl. I had the same thing as Noah except I had noodles versus rice. Noboru had a 2 scoop adults meal. Plus he had a hot & spicy soup. 

Yogurtland. You can see the flavors...New York Cheesecake and caramel machiatto...

Birthday Cupcake Batter. March is my birthday month. But...I just had coconut fro-yo.

Noah deciding which flavors to pick.

Noah's fro-yo... The next day. We spent swimming at the hotel pools and sliding down the slides. We also got together with my dad for dinner too. I didn't take pics from Monday because...we just wanted to chill. And sort of be free...from the camera for a change. : )
Tuesday morning our flight left at 6am. Which was 5am Japan time. So we were back around 9am-ish. This is what we brought back. When I go there every 30 days or so...the table pics are less filled. Because I am going there more frequently now. More often now. Ykwim. : ) 

Easter candy haul. This isn't all of it. Just the main parts of it. 

I don't like just regular plain jelly beans that just taste like gum syrup. Like sugar. Ykwim. I like to buy the kids flavored jelly beans. Like some years it's tropical jelly beans. Or sweet and sour. Or something. But not just plain ol' sugar flavor though. So, I picked these up for the kids. Hot Tamales cinnamon jelly beans. My kids love Hot Tamales. So I know they will love these. Plus they're jelly beans... so super Eastery too. : )

Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. 2 packs. The whole household loves peanut butter. And Reese's so we had to get 2 packs of these. 

Peanut Butter M&M's. Super yum.

Jolly Rancher flavors are so good. And so I know these will be delicious jelly bean flavors for the kids. Plus Snickers Eggs. 

Plus Easter egg shaped Tootsie Pops. And Hershey's miniatures too. Plus Butterfinger eggs too.

Plus the Lindt carrots. 

Plus everyone needs to have a great big foil bunny. And I always get one for myself too. 

Plus an egg coloring kit. And we're done Easter candy wise. So yeah...just for this reason alone...it was such a fantastic idea to go to Guam when we did. Singapore would have been best. But you know...what can you do. If it's not in the cards..it's not. Might as well... go someplace though. And at least get the Easter candy scratched off the list. : )

You know...if name brand cereal is on sale, I'll buy it sure! But if it's not. I'll buy generic store brand. I do not mind 1 single bit! 1 huge bag of generic Apple Jacks. These are for me! I love them. And one big bag of generic Lucky Charms for Branden and Noah. They love these and I love that buying store brand saves me a couple bucks! : ) 

3/4 cup which is plenty for me. Is just 110 calories. And there are a lot of vitamins and iron in there. 

There are so many flavor Oreos in Guam! Perfect for a little treat. 

Breath mints. I will be carrying 1 of the raspberry packs with me on entrance ceremony day in April. These are so delicious. 

And they're sugar free. Not that I mind either way...: )

Cinnamon toothpaste. The huge tube size. See it says Value size. This comes from Cost u Less.

Beans. For Texas style chili beans. Or pork green chili. Or for tostadas. Just for anything really. And I am glad to have added 6 packs to my stock pile. 

I have 4 yellow cake mixes and so now I have 3 frostings to go with them. Plus I have brownie mixes and blueberry muffin mixes too. 

This is the best (most authentic) enchilada sauce in the US. I always bring this back. 

Alfredo, Butter and Herb and Butter. I use these as main dishes versus side dishes. I add 1 or 2 chicken breasts diced up and add some broccoli florets too. 

These needed to happen. So again...these 3 alone...made the trip there... worth it for me. Not to mention the recharging of my batteries...plus the visiting time with my dad. We're so lucky we can see each other so often.

I hate when people bash American food and call it unhealthy. Cereals now days in America have no high fructose anymore. Salad dressings too...no longer have high fructose in them either. Everything now days is reformulated and companies are trying to make foods healthier and I see that. So yeah...it irks me... when folks just say..."American food seems so unhealthy" I often wonder...have you been to an American store recently? Because I see the effort. I see the positive changes. And I appreciate it. : ) 


And 2 new magazines. The only sad/bad thing about Guam and there's nothing really negative at all. I love Guam so so much. It's just their magazines are often 1 month or 3 weeks delayed. And it is *not* their fault. It's just...that happens when you live on an island. But the food is super fresh. And they have amazing fantastic restaurants and frozen yogurt shops and amazing people and the whole vibe there just rocks. So the magazines...are no problem for me. The bright side is...at least it's new to me!!! And I still get to read something. : )  Anyway that was our Guam trip for March 2017...We all feel so relaxed and recharged and happy. Getting to take a 3 day getaway outside of Japan, was such bliss and sometimes it's so needed, you know. And to be able to just chill. You know what I mean....plus eat fantastic food and visit with my dad too. So such a positive fun trip. I feel so recharged now! Plus the Easter shopping is done and I am relieved about that. So all in all...it was no Singapore. But...ehhh. We still totally had ourselves a blast! : )