Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our November 2017 trip to Guam...

Sunday, November 12th, Branden, Noah and I flew to Guam. Branden's school was closed on the following day/Monday. So Bran would just be missing one day of school Tuesday. And now that he's already in high school, it's okay to miss a day or two of school. Unlike how it was in JHS in Japan. Where attendance is pretty much expected. And Noah being only in elementary school...means he could most certainly miss school Monday and Tuesday especially since his grades are such that he's one of the top 5 kids... grades- wise in his grade/class. The flight would begin boarding at 9:25am but the flight wouldn't take off until 10:10am.

I snapped this pic as we were rolling down the tarmac.

As we were rolling down the tarmac. The kids started picking out their movies. I started doing that too. I took the worst pics of the movies. I'm so sorry. Super blurry. The newest Planet of the Apes movie... that we saw in Denver this summer. Nope...didn't pick this movie.

Annabelle 2...we just saw that in October at the movie theater...so nah...nope didn't pick that either. I did check out Beatriz at Dinner. I watched 10 minutes of it. It was so mind numbingly boring. That I had to just stop the movie and say...well that's 10 minutes of my life that I'll *never* get back. I love John Lithgow, he's so super talented. And I love love love Salma Hayek. But this movie was so freaking slow. This movie... just didn't move along. Like for 10-15 minutes it didn't go anywhere. Just boring conversations between boring characters. Until I couldn't take it anymore and I stopped this movie. What did I watch for my flight? Another movie with Salma Hayek in it. I watched How to be a Latin Lover. OMG! So funny. It's just a comedy. An excellent laugh for 2 hours or however long the movie was. It's light. It's not rocket science or super deep. I really enjoyed that movie.

Some other movies. There were about 100 movies to choose from. 

Up up and away....

Bye Narita airport. See you in a couple days.

Good-bye beautiful green Narita...

My 3 choices. Do I want the chicken or pasta or beef curry? Hmm.

I picked the chicken breast. 

We landed in Guam. After the kids and I checked into the hotel. We went to Taco Bell for lunch. I had a meatless nachos. And a bean and cheese burrito. 

Both Bran and Noah each had the taco supreme combo. 3 taco supremes and a drink. They picked Vitamin Water XXX. And I shared their drinks with them. We went to 2 Cost u Less stores. I found Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life Cereal. I found Oreo flavored candy canes. And also basics like ravioli and stuff. I just went to 2 stores. Both Cost u Less stores. After that we 4 went to supper. 

I had the Monterrey chicken sandwich and cheese potato. And a Vitamin Water XXX for my drink.

Branden had a combo that had a cheeseburger and nuggets and fries and a Vitamin Water too. Noah had the new chicken strips Wendy's is selling with their S'Awesome Sauce. LOL. That's what it's called. My dad wanted a salad. And we talked. And the boys adore their grandpa. And it's mutual so we 4 all talked and talked and talked. It was so nice. 

Monday morning. Kids were still zonked out in this picture. And yes this time I was smart enough, sneaky enough to just say 2 people total... were staying here so, no need for 2 rooms this time. Yep didn't make the same mistake twice. I quietly got up. Showered. Blow dried my hair and put my makeup on. And got dressed. I can do it all in 30 minutes. I woke the boys. They got up. Brushed their teeth. Splashed water over their faces and we left. Boys are luckier than us girls...regarding how fast they get ready. We went to breakfast. And then the 4 of us went to Payless. 2 Payless grocery stores and then Kmart and that was it. The rest of our day was for rest and relaxation.
Pumpkin Spice chocolates. I bought a pack.

Baking stuff. Butterfinger baking bites for cookies and pumpkin spice chips. However I did not buy these. I just wanted to show you these. I did not buy these. 

Guam is so gorgeous. 

Kmart. By 12 noon we were done shopping and that was Monday. We didn't even fly out of Guam until 4:10pm Tuesday. So the majority of our time was spent as a family...with my dad...just chilling. Spending time together. Sight seeing around the island. Doing fun stuff. And I only spent 20 minutes in Kmart total. And yes that says Little Caesars. 

Monday night for dinner we went to our favorite Italian restaurant on Guam. 

I had my favorite dish they make. The Lasagna. It's so good! So good. We all had iced teas. 

My dad and also Noah... had the spaghetti and meatballs. And Branden ordered their homemade pizza. 

I do *not* say this lightly. I make amazing pizza. My homemade from scratch pizza that I make at home is a 10 out of 10. My crust...the flavor totally on point. However...the pizza at Vitales....beats mine. Their pizza is just seriously THAT good. Mr. Vitale is an Italian American man from the mainland US. While I would say our pizzas are almost neck and neck. And Noboru says he prefers mine. But...I am 100% serious....Mr. Vitale's is 1 dot better than mine. It is. And there's no shame in that. I also had a slice of Branden's pizza. Because he ordered a large and had 4 slices left. I had 1 slice. But he left 3 slices. We made sure grandpa took them home. : ) 

Strolling back to the parking garage. All full of lasagna (me), pizza (Bran) spaghetti and meatballs (Noah and my dad). And non sweetened iced tea. It was like 8pm. And my dad dropped us off at the hotel. The kids showered. And I washed my makeup off and preferred shower the next morning. We 3 watched TV until past 10pm. We zonked after that. Tuesday we all woke up. I quickly showered and got dressed. Since our flight that day wasn't until 4:10pm. We decided to make sure we were at the airport at 1:40pm. We also decided to not have breakfast but instead we wanted lunch instead. Noah wanted Panda Express and I promised Noah he could have it. 

We went to Panda Express. I got Noah a kids meal. Noah didn't bring his hair products so his hair was a mess. Fresh hair cut but not styled at all. And that's okay. Sweet and spicy chicken breast and rice for Noah. The rest of us wanted MickeyD's. Bran had a Big Mac combo. I had the buttermilk chicken strips combo and my dad had a southwestern chicken salad.

Noah loves the sweet and spicy chicken breast so much. And he was on cloud nine getting to eat this. 

I ordered 6 strips because I knew 2 would go to my kids. I gave 1 to Branden and 1 to Noah. And then I gave 1 more strip to Branden too. So, I ordered 6 buttermilk chicken strips but I only ate 3. But they were delicious. And I only had a bit of fries. My kids ended up with 90% of my fries too. : ) We rarely ever eat fast food in Japan. Not that we're snooty about it or anything. Which is *not* even the case. It's just in Japan where we live...there's just no fast food places around. So...it was a nice change of pace while in Guam. At 1:40pm We arrived at the airport. We checked in quickly. And went and sat near the gate. I was relaxed because waiting at the gate is the easy part. Oh interesting story.... As we were waiting in the long line at the TSA in Guam. Everybody in line was either 100% Japanese or 100% Korean. Either flying to Korea or to Japan. And then there's just me 1 western mama in line with my 2 hafu kids. And I rarely realize or give much thought.... if I am the only non Asian. I guess it's just because I am used to being in Japan. Anyways...as I finally gave my passport to the lady at the TSA wanting our passports. She told me..."You made it, I have been watching you in the TSA line all this time" I chuckled and said..."oh really? Okay." And she was looking at my passport and she said..."You're from Colorado????" Because passports say place of birth. And I said politely..."yep born and raised" She said...I lived in Colorado Springs for 5 years...I *love* Colorado. I said how amazing...I said kids show her your shirts. Both Bran and Noah's shirts said The Denver Broncos. She was all smiling. And said. "Right on!!! You have a nice day!!!!" I told her..."thank you, you too" : ) How funny. You never know...who in this world...will relate to you. Have a connection to you. That just made me smile. I'm a Denver, Colorado girl...and I will always be one...no matter where I go to or travel to. And I'm always polite. But always authentically me.

Bye Guam. We love you so much!

I picked Kidnap to watch first. Kidnap was okay. It wasn't fantastic and I would never want to watch it again in my life. And I also watched. The House with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler. #1, I love to laugh and I think Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are so funny. I wish I had time to finish The House because it is a great movie. Much better than Kidnap. 
I still see tropical gorgeous Guam... but am starting to see clouds too. I keep looking until all the land is out of view. : (

Almost completely out of view...but still see a small strip of green still...so I am still looking.: (

Sigh. Now just clouds. : ( So, I close the window shade. Time to order my meal. Fantastic time in Guam. Kids are so happy they spent time with their grandpa. I am happy I spent time with my dad. And he was happy to spend time with us too. : )

Chicken breast with a mushroom cream sauce. Gratin potatoes. Steamed veggies. Creamy Italian salad. Dinner roll. And for dessert....

Ben & Jerry's.  Noah and also Bran had the Americone Dream. And I picked the Strawberry cheesecake. Mine was heaven! I had mine with a hot coffee on the side.

I see the gorgeous twinkling lights of beautiful Narita City. Yay that means I can see Noboru soon! : )

Noah finishing up Despicable Me 3. Meanwhile I was trying to finish up The House. 

Call me dorky...I don't care. But I still smile widely and wave every time I come through the doors exiting the International area and see my husband. My very best friend. Anyways...we went to dinner in Narita. We went to Coco Ichiban Curry. 

We ate and talked and talked. So many good happy stories to share. 
Table pic. Remember...I was JUST there September 25th or so. So, things I needed were just like cereal in bulk and a few misc things. Like tons of pumpkin flavored items. As you know...I have a hardcore love for anything and everything pumpkin spice.
Like 6 pounds of ricotta cheese stuffed ravioli.

Winter at my house growing up in Denver, Colorado always meant tons of fresh baked homemade multiple variety's of from scratch cookies. Chocolate dipped pretzels. Pizzelles. And always always always there were...chocolate covered cherries. So...I always buy chocolate covered cherries too. Our whole family loves them.

Mrs. Butterworth's in bulk thanks to Cost u Less. We're not going to need any syrup now...that's for sures.

I brought back 2 boxes of this in September. And I also picked up these 5 boxes, November 13th. 7 boxes of cornbread total in my food pantry right now. So very right on! I love cornbread!!! We all love fresh hot buttered cornbread at our house. 

Butter noodles and cheesy pasta too. 

Cinnamon crumb cake.

11 boxes of peanut butter cereal. Oh hell yasss! Clearly there is an American in the house. There's actually 3. But all 4 are welcome to this cereal. : ) 

If my kids or husband or myself... is feeling like a bowl of Cap'N Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch, we're all set now.

Stuffing. This just added to my winter stock pile of stuffing. Another huge container of McCormick Taco seasoning. And 2 huge containers of buffalo seasoning. 

20 bags of pinto beans. Yes that's 20 pounds. Stocking piling for winter. And I still have some of my stash from my September haul too.

Baking cakes, cornbread. Crisco necessary. Prefer the huge tubs of it. But the smaller tubs pack better in my suitcases. 

Best garlic spread on the planet and Italian breadcrumbs for chicken parm and for meatballs.

2 turkey pans. Gobble gobble.

Oreo flavored candy canes. Yes please!


Holiday seasonal flavors out in America. Limited edition. Gingerbread Spice cereal. There was only 1 small container of these left. I think maybe 10 boxes left...for the whole island. I brought 2 boxes back home to Japan for my family. It will taste like Christmas, on mornings that we eat this.

More American seasonal tastes and flavors for this time of year. Pumpkin flavored or pumpkin spiced everything and anything. I brought back pumpkin spiced caramel corn. Yum. And pumpkin spice crisp bread. Sorta like Stacey's Pita chips. Perfect for this time of year especially since it's pumpkin spice. 

Pumpkin spice truffles.

Limited edition pumpkin pecan granola. Made with real pumpkin. Noah *loves* snacking on this healthy treat after school. 

Holiday seasonal Limited Edition flavors. Pumpkin spice. Super yum.

And pumpkin spice hot oatmeal too. 

Cute Thanksgiving plates and napkins and cups... just mean an even easier cleanup after wards. Super appreciated.

Chex Mix. Love these. Wanted to try the Larabar's They're popular right now. And made from Denver, Colorado. However I only tried the pecan pie one so far... and didn't care for it. At. All. Super creepy jelly texture. And didn't taste like pecan pie at all. Not even 1%. So...I will wait on trying the other one. 
Corn Nuts for the kids. They're so good. 

Milk chocolate chips for cookie baking.

Nasal decongestant. 

Toothpaste. The Colgate one is a family sized travel sized one. And the Close up is regular sized. 

Pear and cinnamon. Sounded really good.

Things to toss in my bag one or two at a time...should last me a long while now......Nice to have a mint or something while I am out and about.

Coffee Nut...

Strawberry nut...

Mango Mentos gum with a liquid center...the kids loved this so much.

The M&M's are treats for the kids for movie nights at home. The gum they chewed and loved.

I always let the kids pick the yearly calendar and this time they picked Grumpy Cat.

I love watching the Pioneer Woman on the cooking channel, the Food Network. I like her personality. She's very polite...very ..."down home"...I like that a lot of her recipes have short cuts like she'll use a cake mix from a box for example...like most of us... normal busy people do now days. And she can still spruce up said cake and show you how. She seems very down to earth. And I just like her cooking show. Some cooking shows..they make it sound like they're experts and you are so beneath them. And how everyone should be roasting their own spices or whatever. And I just have to roll my eyeballs. I hate hoity toity...expert type personalities. That's like one of my biggest pet peeves. I hate "holier than thou" types. I just immediately find myself shutting off my listening ears. And flipping the channel. But for me...I enjoy the Pioneer Woman. I always watch her show and think...wow she's someone I could hang out with. I also read her blog and go back and look for recipes on there. So anyways...I was extremely shocked when I saw this on the front page of this magazine. Horrified almost. How could anyone hate the Pioneer Woman, I thought. Holy freaking cow! But my curious mind got the better of me...what if she's hiding something. LOL? Could she? Would she? No...not *our* Pioneer Woman. So...anyways I had to get this magazine.

I am glad and also relieved I bought this and read this. There was no smoking gun here. She was very sad when her parents divorced. That must be the misleading..."painful divorce headline" Sounds like click bait if you ask me. She has a lot of speeding tickets way out in the middle of nowhere. Okay. Wow. It doesn't sound like she's a serial killer or anything. She has a lead foot. Okay...perhaps she should drive slower. Her controversial past? The only negative thing I could read was...they said she tried to imply she's a city girl married and moved to the country. But she's originally from the country too. But did live in California for a few years. I don't think she deserves to be called out on the front page of a magazine though...for simply being raised in the country too. And implying she's from the city. Good grief. I still like you Pioneer Woman. I am still a fan. I will still watch you. And buy your cookbooks from time to time. I adore your laid back personality. And I frankly don't mind where you grew up. It isn't anybodies business anyways. But gee whiz...you'd think she was super bad...the way this article tried to verbally tar and feather her, like they did. 

I have been slowly reading these magazines every time I go and pick up Noah from school. Anyways...that's the long and short of our November 2017 Guam trip.

What am I doing today? I am baking 2 pumpkin pies today from scratch. Like I said, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And the kids do not have have school tomorrow. Which will be so nice to have the kids home with me all day tomorrow. They always help me with holiday meal prep when they're home. Noboru does too. : )