Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tropical fun in the sun...our Guam trip

March 4th to March 6th, we were in Guam. It was Noboru, Branden, Noah, Genki (Branden's best friend since, forever) and myself. : ) Here are the 3 kiddos near our gate. Genki often tells Noah, I remember when we'd get off the yochien bus and you were a baby still and eating a baby senbei in your stroller, hahaha. So Genki feels pretty protective over Noah too. Sorta like having 2 older brothers for Noah. : ) 

Awww! : )

Two best friends. And they had it all planned since days before, which games they would be playing on their 3DS. Etc. Noah meanwhile sat near Branden but across the aisle and I sat next to Noah. Noah's choice was a window seat or closest to your brother and Genki, he picked Branden and Genki versus the window seat, lol.  Noboru sat alone right behind Branden. But he loved it, because he got to read, nap, eat his meal. I watched the movie on the way to Guam, it was the movie called "Enough Said" with the late actor, James Gandolfini. Loved him as Tony Soprano on the Sopranos, anyway this movie was pretty good. It also had the actress who used to play Elaine on Seinfeld, Julia Louis- Dreyfus.
First time for Genki! : )
Excitement! Genki went through the American line with us, because technically I was his temporary guardian, so yeah that's what we did. We showed his note and he zipped right through with us. : )  After getting our rental car, and were on our way to the hotel, we stopped for a snack. Taco Bell.

I had a small nachos minus the meat. It was so good.

Genki's first time to try a taco. Noah enjoyed his so much!

Branden looking through Genki's mom's camera, to see what pictures Genki took so far, lol. : )

You have to go through security to get to the Leo Palace Resort, where we stayed. 

The grounds are massive.


Noboru's and my room. And the boys had a room right next door. We all quickly changed and we left.

This bumper sticker, just cracked us up!

The plan was watch a movie and then have dinner. However as luck would have it, the movie didn't start for 2 hours. @.@ So we walked all around the mall trying to kill some time. And then after about an hour, we had a very slow dinner. Genki was surprised by all the choices. Branden ordered for him and Genki. I meanwhile went and ordered for Noah and I since we wanted to eat the same thing, from the same place. And Noboru wanted to eat something totally different, which is fine... so he went in a different line. This way... us 5 were in the same food court, just in different lines, ordering different stuff. : )

Branden and Genki had Burger King. 

We went to see the Lego Movie. The choice was this or Robo Cop. And Robo Cop is coming out soon in Japan and Robo Cop will be easy to find in English since it's not a cartoon or movie specifcally for kids...however The Lego Movie... will more than likely be Japanese dubbed only... in the area of Japan where we live...unless we drive all the way to Ikspiari. So we picked this. It was actually funnier than I thought it would be. We had popcorn and sodas. 

Noah holding the popcorn, and Genki playing a game at the movies before we left. We went back to the hotel and went to sleep, we all knew the next day, would be a full day of swimming at the PIC/ Pacific Islands Club. 

Spending the day at the Pacific Islands Club is so fun! Branden and Genki trying to knock each other off the rolling log thing. 

Now it was Genki and Noah's turn to battle it out. : ) Noah went kerplunk, right into the pool! : )

Go, little one, you can do it!

Hey.....2 against 1? That's not fair! ; ) However, because it was 2 of them talking and both trying to control that 1 side....well... they both ended up falling into the pool! 

There were quite a few kids from Korea. The kid on the left waiting his turn was from Korea. Also there were quite a few kids from Russia. And also a few scatterings of American kids too. And also a good amount of kids from Japan. Branden and Noah are used to making friends with kids from all over. Especially in an environment like this. One time, Branden and a little blond American boy, at the Hilton in Guam spent an entire day going down the slides together. :  ) For Genki, this was a first...and by the end of the day, heck... he was friends with lots of different kids from all over too. :  ) So, I think this experience was really good.

The tug-o war game! Noah was pretty good at this, go figure. He pulled Genki in, once and Branden in once too. : ) 

Branden and Genki had quite a few matches on this thing! It was such a cool day! Everyone just chillin' have fun!


Noah walking on water! Well, sorta, you know what I mean! : ) Noah made it all the way to the end, many times, could be because, he's so light though.: )

Genki fell right in, Noah was swimming near Genki and yep he fell right on Noah! : ) Noah was fine though so no worries... and it was an accident. He wanted to make it all the way. But this is hard! I tried it a few times and I could not make it to the end at all! 

Branden couldn't make it all the way either. Hahaha. But my gosh...the fun they had trying this thing all day long, you guys! 

Go Noah, go!

Noah sliding down one of the slides. One of these slides is super speeds, which is this one they were all on and the slide to the right is mellow. 

Branden sliding down the slide.

Genki sliding down. 

I took pics of everyone, then would put my camera away and we'd all go on the slide for like 30 minutes or so at a time...like a bunch of times throughout the day. 

Kayak time! Noah's an old pro, by now. He's really good at this!

By the end of the day Genki was an expert however... the first time that morning...errr...umm. He wasn't sitting dead center, see how his kayak is sort of slanted right now in this pic? He's leaning to 1 side too much. 

Yep he fell right out, here he is climbing right back in. : ) But he smiled and he tried real hard and he did real good! Was very proud of Genki. He gave it the ol' college try! : )

Noboru holding his kayak and advising him to stay centered no matter what. Don't tilt too much. I'm meanwhile saying in Japanese..ganbatte...you can do it...just stay in the center. And I, gave him the thumbs up. 

And he got it! Yeah he did! : ) Like a pro! It just took a little practice. It's not hard at all. : ) Genki now loves this!

A smiling and happy Noah and Noboru. 

Branden is so fast at this, he went 1 full lap, while they were just getting things sorted and situated. Branden and I are both strong at this and we always have races when we kayak together. 

Now though Branden and Genki were just chilling and talking. 

Well, we had to get pics of each of the boys in a hammock. 

My smiling Branden. : ) He had such a great time with his brother and his best friend. 

Noah! Hamming it up for the camera! : ) His legs, poor thing.... are as white as a ghost. You'd think being on tropical Guam as often as he is...he'd have a nice tan or something, lol. But it's okay... we love you... exactly as you are. : )

Okay 3 smileys! Let's go and play at the beach and ocean now!

Branden was dancing in this picture. 

Branden, Genki and Noah. 

They saw so many colorful fish under the water. We also fed the fish our popcorn. 

Chit chatting. Noah meanwhile playing in the sand.

From 8am-ish to 12:20pm we played and then we took a break for lunch at the buffet at the PIC and then we went right back to the pools again to spend the rest of our day there. 

Fresh pineapple, fresh cantaloupe. They have a huge fresh fruit and salad bar area.

This is only a part... of the salad bar area. They have a huge salad and fruit area.

The dessert area. It is a big dessert bar and they have everything. Even an ice cream machine too.Cakes, cookies, pie, cheesecake, you name it, they had it. 

I had a ham sandwich on white bread, that I cut diagonally and a mini baguette ham sandwich. I picked swiss cheese, lettuce and a pickle spear on the side. I love the "make your own sandwich" buffet section. I also had fresh fruit and an orange soda.

More of the dessert bar.

I had a tiny slice of chocolate cake and a half a cookie.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate lava cake. 

Carrot cake.  They also had a variety of Italian pasta dishes, a huge Japanese food area. This buffet is awesome. The boys were in heaven.  After we filled up, we went back to have more fun in the pools.

Genki and Noah and Noboru would spin them. Me, being a typical mom, said..."don't spin them too rough they just ate" hahaha. Oh me! : )


The kids said they felt fine, so I said, then go for it. : ) And round and round they went. 
And then a Noboru monster came and picked up the inner tube and they went flying and laughed and laughed. I smiled and thought...you know...he is such a great dad! A really good guy! : ) So involved.

Then the 3 went to play on the crab!


Then they played on a snake.

 Genki went to chase Noah.... run Noah run!!! : ) Branden was just relaxing on the snake.

Noah's smaller than Branden and Genki...so it took all his might... to get on that blue tube. But he did it! 

Branden in the yellow tube, Genki in the red one!

And Noah standing on his tippy tippy toes in the blue one. 

3 inflatable inner tube type things, all following each other. What sorta of game did they invent to play here? You got me! But I watched and boy did they have themselves a blast. : ) 

Then it was back to the slides. Go Noah! : )


Yay Genki! 

Right on Branden. : )

They went kayaking again. Noah in his own kayak. He's an excellent swimmer, he also, has a good amount of experience of kayaking at both this PIC and the one on Saipan too so, I have no worries.

Three kids, in three kayaks. Oh these 3, went chit chatting all over the place. 

Noboru chillin'! At 3pm, we left the PIC. We spent the whole day there. We then went to Kmart. Genki bought omiyage, for his class, his parents and grandma. Branden bought some omiyage for his class, Noah bought some omiyage for his class as well. Meanwhile, while Noboru and the 3 boys were in Kmart buying omiyage, and also looking at the toy department. We said, in 45 minutes we will meet back up at the entrance. so, I had a small list... but I went and picked whatever was on my list. Toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant. Pop Tarts. Believe me, 45 minutes goes by in a flash. But no worries, because I always tell myself...at least you ended better than you started. Meaning I at least.. got some thing scratched off the list, versus nothing scratched off the list, if you know what I mean. : )

Just a random pic while at Kmart. : ) 
We went to dinner after Kmart...we picked Pizza Hut. Like the sign says...dough made fresh daily on Guam. And it really is so fresh. 

We had 1 medium pepperoni and 1 medium pepperoni and mushroom, both were pan pizzas. And drink bar for everyone. 

Noah and Genki eating. Noah was talking to Noboru in this pic. : )

Branden and Genki eating. We went to the Payless grocery store to get Easter Candy since Kmart didn't have the Easter candy out yet, though they had the baskets and dye kits out already....after the Easter Candy at Payless we went back to our hotel and called it a night. And the 3 boys went to their room. Watched TV, played their games (DS and Nexus games), took showers 1 at a time. But they were exhausted too though... a whole day of swimming makes you physically tired. : )  We also took showers in our room and I watched a little TV before going to sleep. 

Aha, I see Branden in the reflection of this sign. : ) It was Chamorro heritage month. The people native to Guam.

This was very interesting and also educational for the boys. They got to see things native to Guam or things found on Guam. : )

Picture of the inside of our hotel.

Again the grounds are just so huge!

Looking at the fish in the water.


Looking at the fish in the lake.


Even though it was now March 6th and we had a flight to catch at 3:40pm, so had to be at the airport by 1pm, to beat the crowds. The boys wanted to have some last minute water fun. And I agreed. : ) So, though Noboru and I did not swim the last day, March 6th, we did take the boys to our hotel pool. The Leo Palace Resort has a nice pool area. 

About to ride the slide.

The hotel and a bit of one of the pools.

I love this picture of Noah! He's so comfortable in the water, he has absolute no fear...completely relaxed. : )

Branden cruising down.


Genki


Going backwards looked scary! : )

But Noah was fine and Genki was meanwhile cruising down the slide. : )


Genki sliding backwards. Boys are such daredevils, you know! : )



Branden had to try too. : )

Genki having a blast.

Big smiles from Genki. : )

I love this picture so much...it's of all 3 of them. And Noah's giving the peace sign...because he's from Japan, of course. And that's just the way we roll, over here! : )  The boys swam for an hour and a half and then they changed and we went to lunch and then directly to the airport.

Branden wanted to eat KFC, so Noah went with Genki and ordered for Genki.....in English. : )  I am so happy my 2 boys are both totally bilingual. They can live in the American world or the English speaking world, just fine. And also live in Japan as well, just fine too. And Genki appreciated it, because he didn't have to stress out... what to order or what to say to the cashier. And the kids are so tight with Genki, so everyone felt really comfortable this way. 

Noboru and I, meanwhile had Panda Express. Panda Express just happened to be sandwiched between the 2 restaurants the boys were both at.... meaning to the right was Hot Dog on a Stick...where Noah and Genki were and KFC was on the left of Panda Express, where Branden was at and my dad was also there, so we all kept our eyes on the kids.  And this might be a bit off topic of vacation but...I have never wanted my kids to depend on my English skill, I wanted them to develop their own skills too....so I have always made them order for themselves, even when they were yochien/kindy aged..., I'd stand next to them of course and tell the cashier, "hope you don't mind, but I want my child to order" And they would always smile and say no problem. I am so glad I took the time years ago, to do that! Because now at the age they are, they are comfortable talking to anyone in English and ordering and reading the menu, or whatever. They ordered food in Bangkok 2 years ago, Hawaii every Summer. In Denver. It's truly no big deal for them now. And their first language for both Branden and Noah was English, because their mama/ me... is American and that's the language I speak. They don't call it, your mother tongue for nothing! : ) Plus we have always only spoken English in our home and made English a priority at home. Though they did do Japanese and English at Kumon from age 3 (reading and writing) and heard Japanese at yochien and at elementary school. And are fluent in both languages but yep, their English is native. But I didn't want them to be comfortable speaking English with only me or only my parents/their grandparents which is why I always had them order food. Or go and buy the movie tickets, with me standing near by. For the experience. Experience of talking to other people.  Anyway back to the vacation...

Noboru and I ordering at Panda Express.

Branden ordered KFC for him and Noah. Noah meanwhile, ordered Hot Dog on a Stick for Genki. Noboru and I ordered at Panda Express together, he picked his and I picked mine. : ) 


I had noodles, a little white rice and breaded chicken breast in a spicy sauce with veggies. Noboru and I shared this char grilled chicken skewer also from our fave Korean restaurant. The marinade is so good on this. 

Noboru had beef and broccoli, fried rice and orange chicken.  My dad had lunch with us and before we knew it, it was time to head to the airport. We got checked in, went through the TSA and waited near our gate and then boarded the plane. 

Dinner on the plane. I was still full from lunch so I just picked at my meal. It was delicious, but I was still full and didn't want to over eat, ykwim? I did have my salad, and my dinner roll. 

The view out the window. It's so breathtakingly beautiful always. The sun is setting, the clouds are all fluffy looking. 

I sat there thinking...and don't laugh but...I thought. You know life is so good. Everyone in my family is healthy. Including extended family. The trip was wonderful, Genki had himself a blast. My two kids had a lovely time. My husband is happy. It was a great trip. Spring break is almost here. I truly have no real complaints. So, I looked out the window of the airplane and sighed...a happy sigh. : )

Then we broke through the clouds and I could see the twinkling lights of Narita. And I thought...well back to our regular "everyday" life now. : ) Hahaha. I had a meeting March 7th, the very next day at 1pm, just the Pres, and us 2 VP's. We were to make the games for our welcoming the ichinensei party this coming April. All in all, it was a wonderful trip to Guam. We spent the majority of our time, pool side or beach side. Though we did go to 1 movie. It was just...a really nice little get away. : )