Tuesday, 12 July 2011

celebrating summer where it's always 'summer'

Summers have always been full of grandiose adventures. Family vacations, adventurous weeks at camp, hiking with friends, mission trips that span the seven seas, endless hours spent at the pool, night after night of ice cream cones and more festivals than anyone could possibly enjoy. Well, this summer is no different.

Okay. It's a little different. Our 'family vaccation' will be in September when we celebrate Grant and Patricia's wedding. Our hiking no longer include gazing from the top of mountains, instead they offer breath taking views of the massiveness of the Pacific Ocean. Our mission trip is a 10 minute drive to base each Thursday night to love on our youth group. We have yet to venture to the pool, instead we enjoy our time at the beach. Ice cream cones have been replaced by "shaved ice surprise" at Mt. Lam Lam. (Basically like the Hawaiian shaved ice you get at Myrtle Beach, but in the middle is a 'surprise' of soft served vanilla ice cream. Heaven on earth on a hot summer day.) We set out on search each weekend for a different festival, complete with all the great classic food. All the while, poor Ryan is still listening to me complain about how this is only the third summer since I was in second grade that I am not at camp.

We have taken full advantage of exploring our island. There are no long road trips. No honking the horn when you cross the state line. No rest areas or freeways. Just us. We set out, supplied with a full tank of gas, a semi-descent map, and an idea of our destination. Armed with a camera we laugh about how our friends and families would react to the sights we see, people we meet, and adventures we have.

One might think that after a while the beach is no longer relaxing. It's no longer peaceful. The nostalgia must be gone. That is not the case for us. Nothing will ever replace the enjoyment of an afternoon nap at the beach. If you ever decide to drop by and we aren't home. Head to the closest beach. You'll find us there.

Two of our new friends, Nate and Ann Marie, took us to the Navy Base to hike out to the Spanish Steps and spend a few hours snorkeling. It was the most peacefully place I have seen on the island. Besides the 4 of us there were only 2 other people there. The cove was flanked by towering cliffs. The coral came in every shape and color, fish were everywhere. Yes, that is an actual starfish in the picture above.

The hike down only took a few minutes but felt like we were in the film "Honey I Shrunk the Kids". The jungle soared above us. The fallen palm branches felt monstrous. The baby coconut trees seemed like gargantuous blades of grass. Even the wild life seemed abnormally huge!

The Spanish Steps were constructed to gain access to a fresh water drinking well. After surpassing the well and concluding it is simply a pile of crumbling rock, the jungle opens up to a beautiful scene of cliffs. The channel leads out to the ocean and shipping lanes.

felt like I was in Indiana Jones

To celebrate 4th of July we headed to Navy for Freedom Fest. It offered the food every good festival has. Hamburgers, Hot Dog, Cotton Candy, Sno Cones, Popcorn. Different military vehicles from the past were on display.

Bounce houses galore for children and adults alike. There was a live band and prizes to be won. Unfortunately, we did not win the 'grand prize' of 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in Asia. How fun would that have been? But we enjoyed all the festival had to offer with the company of several friends.
This is our dear friend Deb. 

I think they were both a bit excited about their cotton candy! It took about 30 minutes of standing in line, but seemed to be worth the wait.

50 cal machine gun mounted on a helicopter

July 9 was military appreciation day here on Guam. To honor those who served the military sets up displays at Asan Beach and invites the public to come and learn about the different jobs and equipment.

Sniper riffle (like the one the Canadian used to make the longest shot in Afghanistan)

Since Ryan volunteered to man the REDHORSE area, I ventured down to see what I could learn. Not so sure I learned much, but I can promise I fit in with all the other kids climbing on the equipment, examining the guns, and taking in sights.

When people ask Ryan, "what do you fly?" He always laughs and responds, "I drive big trucks." He's not kidding. He drives really big trucks.

For those who are concerned, Ryan never left me unattended. I said, "Don't worry. I know what I'm doing. My dad let me drive the tractor when I was 5." He didn't really seem to care.

We were fed lunch by locals. Traditional rice, noodles, bbq chicken, fried chicken and egg roles. DELICIOUS! but a bit spicy.

To top off a lovely Saturday we headed down to the beach club on base, Bamboo Willies, for a concert by 12 Stones. They are out of New Orleans and have toyed in the Christian Rock scene a bit. It was a wonderful way to spend an evening relaxing, people watching, and enjoying some live music.

Until next time, enjoy your vacation, go on a hike, find your mission field, indulge in an ice cream cone and explore a new festival. 

~From our rock in the middle of the Pacific.

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