Hafa Adai! That’s pronounced like “have a day” and is Chamorro for “Hello!” This Thursday we’re throwin’ it back to last week and our winter getaway to beautiful Guam, USA! This trip was longer than most of our trips–over six days in one place! I almost didn’t know how to handle that much time in one place, but after a few days, we really got into this whole relaxing vacation thing. If you’re looking for an itinerary for your trip, here are some options, along with some missteps and lessons that we learned so you don’t have to!
Day 1: Thursday
We left DC on Tuesday around 12:30pm and landed in Guam around 10:30pm Wednesday. By the time we got through customs, took a ride to the rental car location, drove to the hotel, and checked in at the hotel, we were exhausted! But thanks to jet lag, we were up around 4:00am and ready to take on Thursday! After a wake-up work out at the hotel gym, we walked back into our room and saw our view for the first time:
As you might imagine from the dark clouds, rain was in the forecast all day. If you read Monday’s post on what to do on a rainy day on Guam, you know we found a few ways to fill up our time. Most notably was the War in the Pacific National Park and War in the Pacific Museum. Here is a cool blacklight representation of World War II and the countries affected by it:
After a most educational and interesting visit to the museum, we headed back to the hotel to relax by the pool as long as the sun would last, since it had just come out! But maybe not for long.
When big rain drops and strong winds came up during our poolside relaxation, we headed under the hotel’s canopied restaurant for lunch before deciding it was a nice afternoon for a nap. Can you blame us?
Day 2: Friday
Still jet lagged? No problem! After a workout and a morning run with the sunrise, we headed to breakfast. I had my first ever ham and cheese French toast!
We needed the fuel for our big hike to Tarzan Falls in the middle of the island. We knew we got to the right place because of the shoes on the phone lines:
Thank goodness I had read about the shoes just that morning! Other wise we would have missed it. The signage on Guam is not the best. We usually passed what we were looking for the first time around and had to go back! We started the hike, but thanks to the previous day’s rain and some confusing paths that all looked like the right trail, we turned back. Next trip to Guam (pending no rain), we’ll have to try again!
Next stop: Two Lovers’ Point! Legend has it, two forbidden lovers couldn’t live on the same island knowing they were forbidden to be together. They went up to the high cliff and jumped into the Philippine Sea.
They sell “Love Locks” here, but we found out about that in advance and brought our own! I even had it engraved, and it came without a key, so we really are locked there forever!
After an active morning, we opted for rest and relaxation at the beach. Tumon Bay is utterly beautiful! That’s where all the resorts are located and for good reason. The water is clear and calm, and the white sand beach stretches on for about a mile and a half.
I could look at that view for hours–and we did! Until time for supper. Sushi for us! As usual on our trips, we picked up take-out and watched the sunset from our balcony! To find out what we ate on our trip, don’t forget to check out yesterday’s What I Ate Wednesday post!
Day 3: Saturday
It’s driving day! After a morning dip at the pool:
Two years ago, I was having my second of two foot surgeries. This day I got to run around Guam! Time for a drive around the beautiful southern half of Guam. There are beautiful vistas and cute villages along the scenic road around the southern half of the island, and we recommend renting a car so you can drive it while you’re there. Check it out:
We saw unique Chamorro villages, lovely water and palm trees, and the site of Magellan’s landing from 1521. We also learned that Guam was a major stopping point for Spain when their ships would go between the Philippines and Mexico hundreds of years ago. We had no idea, but apparently Guam has always been geographically and economically important.
The drive took up the better half of the afternoon! We made a stop at Micronesia Mall (Guam is known in Asia for its duty-free shopping!), but since that’s really not either of our thing, we grabbed some take-out and headed back to our hotel to eat and watch the sunset again.
Day 4: Sunday
Sunday was another on-and-off rainy day, but we really made the most of it! After an early church service at 6:00 am (apparently some islanders like to wake up early!), we set out to find some of these historic Latte Stones. We had read that they are only found in the Mariana Islands, but we still didn’t know what they were use for.
Here’s the explanation: They’re support stones for important buildings in the Chamorro culture. Like this:
There are not many left after the Spanish occupation from the 16th century and from destruction in World War II. Speaking of World War II, we found this in the same park as the Latte Stones:
During World War II, the Japanese invaded and made slaves of the Chamorro, Filipino, and other nationalities living on Guam. One of the projects made by slave labor was a network of caves like these. They were used by the Japanese during World War II, then as fallout shelters during the Cold War, as you can tell from the fallout shelter sign at the top. Now they are too unstable, so they’re all closed off.
Next stop: the beach!
As you can tell from the sky, it was an overcast day. The best part about that? The many many rainbows we got to enjoy as a result! The clouds kept rolling out and away from the beach, so my sweet husband Steve took me for a long, romantic walk on the beach. And we made a friend!
I promise, I did not mean to pick up a live animal! We thought the shell was pretty and wanted to take it home for our annual Christmas ornament filled with trinkets from our travels, but whoops! This guy came out to say “Hello! Put me down!” So I snapped a picture and set him down quickly! In other excitement, we see some beautiful, tropical colors on our walk, too:
Guam’s national flower, the bougainvillea, were everywhere! We enjoyed lots of color and peacefulness that afternoon by the beach AND the pool!
Day 5: Monday
Monday promised to be another drizzly day, but we had some plans to manage that. The sun was out in the morning, so we took advantage of that and had some outdoor fun:
It actually did sprinkle on me when I was out on the paddle board, but I was already on the water, so who cares, right? All in good fun! They make you sit first, then get on your knees for a while, and then stand up. It’s a balancing act with the wind and the waves for sure!
Now for some exploring. We heard there was a nice lookout point up on a mountain not too far away, so that was our objective:
It was quite a view! And we caught it at a bright time between rain events! On to the Chamorro Village, which wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. There were a few stores and restaurants open, but apparently it really comes to life on Wednesday nights with lots of vendors and maybe even performers. Next time! We did get to see a different part of the shore, however, with crashing waves and high surf!
As the clouds started to roll in again, we made a beeline back to the hotel and walked just down the block to the Under Water World Aquarium. It started raining big drops on us on the way, but we made it!
It’s a small aquarium, but I could have stayed in the tunnel for hours watching the sharks, fish, and even a sea turtle swim all around us! After a quick coffee break…
…we headed back to the beach! The sun had come out again, and we were ready for a bit more Vitamin Sea!
Guam is truly beautiful, tropical, and romantic!
Day 6: Tuesday
This was the day we dreaded. Our jet lag had finally begun to subside, and it was time to leave! One more run on the beach:
One more relaxing hour by the pool:
And we were off! So long, Guam!
So, are you ready to plan your trip to beautiful Guam? Don’t forget to check our tips and helpful info on Guam before you go!