Thursday, September 10, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a week since my last post, and what a week it has been!

Lots has happened over the past week, so I'll try to highlight the good things and get us all caught up with what's been happening to us in Guam.

The biggest news, and the reason why it has taken so long for me to blog is because we have moved into our house! The hotel was lovely, but we are so happy to be in our house (even if we are living on borrowed furniture- more on that later) and getting back into a routine and on a schedule!

I guess the last time I posted anything, we were heading into the long, Labor Day Weekend. Honestly, it being a weekend didn't mean much to us because Don wasn't working and well, living in a hotel kind of makes every day feel like a long weekend day. All of our days were kind of blending into one another at that point.

Don knew I was going stir crazy (even with frequent trips to base and down to the pool for fresh air, I needed a change of scenery and pace). He could tell, and he was right, that I felt like my world had shrunk and consisted of car walls driving back and forth to the base and hotel walls. So Friday, after taking a load of stuff to the house, we went to the base's Labor Day Festival. It was HOT!! It was the first day that it was uncomfortable to be outside, but I think that was because there was no shade and there weren't a lot of clouds to give us any relief from the sun. We saw some folks from his flight and chatted with them for a few minutes, but decided to head down to the "Strip" and have a nice dinner. We went to a local Italian restaurant, Vitales. It was really good. It was so nice to be eating at a non-chain, non-hotel restaurant. After dinner we walked around a bit....

Guam is a crazy juxtaposition of things. On The Strip you will find Chanel, Ferragamo, Cartier, Tiffany, etc. It's like Micronesia's version of Rodeo Drive. But then, on Marine Corps Dr. (the main drag that gets you from one end of the island to the other) people sell their wares under tarps along the road. You can buy fish, fruit, brooms and get your tires fixed. You will also see chickens roaming freely (everywhere) and Boonie dogs (feral dogs that roam the island in packs), you might even see the occasional Carabao (water buffalo). These two streets are just one example of two worlds colliding. I think that's one of the things I like about living here and yet prevents me from feeling truly comfortable here. Things that I think would feel comfortable because I am used to them from home are not really what I am used to, so I feel unsettled. Don't get me wrong, this place is truly growing on me and I really know that I am falling in love with it- it's just like a flower blossoming and revealing itself to me little by little.

Anyway... back to our weekend. Saturday we decided to walk over to the beach next to the hotel. I wanted to finally dip my toes in the ocean that I had been looking at for a week. It was nice, I can't wait until we go swimming/snorkeling. We also decided to drive to southern part of the island to check out the Navy base. (Andersen, where we are, and Naval Base Guam are at opposite ends of the island, about 20 miles apart- about a 45 minute drive from point to point). The drive to the base was gorgeous, we could see the Philippine Sea out my window pretty much the entire time. We saw lots of places that we want to go back and explore. The Navy Exchange is way better than our Exchange (which isn't bad),but I think we'll probably head to Big Navy once a month or so to do shopping.

Sunday, we had a nice relaxing day. We hung out at the pool and watched the surf. It seemed like a storm was coming in,but no rain ever materialized- just clouds and huge waves. Sunday evening we went to dinner at one of Don's NCO's homes. It was so great to eat a home cooked meal. We also had great wine and it was good company. I love Don and Price, but it was nice to talk to someone else for a change. We learned more about the base, the flight, the island. It was just a good night.

Monday, we decided to head to the house and clean it up before we received our unaccompanied baggage and temp furniture. It was a good thing that we did because we found many dead critters- a frog, several lizards/salamanders, gnatty ants, a roach. We also discovered that our a/c wasn't working, but the maintenance department was quick to respond, especially since it was a holiday.

On Tuesday we said goodbye to the Hilton and headed to our new house. The movers arrived shortly after we did and delivered our unaccompanied baggage. Price's crib had some damage to the paint and we didn't receive one box (of toys), but other than that everything is in good shape. Our temp furniture is pretty dingy! But I am thankful to have couches to sit on, a table to eat at and a bed to sleep in. The bed is REALLY uncomfortable and we are sleeping on it funny. Our heads are in the middle of the room, at the end where our feet should be. This is all due to a crazy animal chirping noise we heard as we were falling asleep- I was so fearful that this critter was going to crawl up the wall from under the bed or come in through the window, I refused to sleep with my head under the window. Don thinks I am nuts, but very sweetly agreed to sleep with his head at the foot of the bed. I also forgot to send pillows ahead, so we filled pillow cases with beach towels and random articles of clothing to serve as makeshift pillows until we get some real ones.

We also were blessed with a cable installer in the neighborhood who finished his scheduled jobs for the day earlier than expected so he squeezed ours in and we got phone, Internet and TV a day sooner than we thought we would.

All in all it's been a good week. Don is back at work and I am just trying to get Price back into a routine and on a schedule. I think Don is feeling better about the decision to live on base and things are going well.


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