I miss celebrating Christmas on island! The Professor and I had such a good time last year, between the snorkeling, the lights, the fiesta-ing and the Hagatna decorations. Wishing the best to you and yours.
Christmas on Guam was definitely not what I am used to. I was very okay with the BBQs, the Xmas eve morning snorkeling and all the decorations, though! And the best part was feeling so popular, with all the cards and gifts arriving from the mail fairies. Above is a beautiful shirt from the awesome Umbrella Designs, a gift from my bro Morgan. Thanks!
The bevy of cards and assorted fan mail! My other bro hooked me up with The Essential New York Times Cookbook. (This will be a change from my old Craig Claibornes!) Not pictured is another awesome cookbook (Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food) from my folks. A few of Carrie’s handmade cards (and impressive crafty gifts!) aren’t present in this shot, either.
My folks also sent some classic SF goodies my way: a shirt from a favorite website of mine. If you don’t know BurritoEater, then just thank me now. And there was another shirt for The Professor! We can totally be like the Japanese tourists in Tumon that have the matching outfits! Please help me convince him to do this, as he swears it’s a Terrible Idea. Just leave your comments and reasoning below…
Thanks to everyone for all the postcards and love from all around the world! My parents get a special shout-out for the seemingly-excessive-but-perfectly-normal (take that, Professor!) stacks of New Yorkers.
I gave a co-worker a ride home the other day and was treated to a number of island highlights: goats, boonie pups and nativity scenes.
This is the cutest puppy I’ve seen yet, and I see a ton around. He was a scrappy one, barking ferociously in his little voice as I drove by. Now that I’m looking at him, he has a collar, which means he’s not a true boonie dog, but rather someone’s pet. That line is often blurred and it’s reassuring to see evidence of ownership.
Fuzzy cell phone photos prove it; Guam gets love all the way from the Bay! This shot comes from my father’s office, where everyone is reminded that he hearts Guam. Or that his daughter wants him to heart Guam in the form of a Christmas present.
Not to be outdone, I imported to Guam my I heart Frisco mini-mug. It was I heart NYC, but that just had to be undone for obvious reasons. (Obvious in that clearly I printed out some Courier New text to appropriately outfit my personal shot glass for an awesome shot glass party I went to a few years back.) And yes, it came on a plane with me. I’m really attached to my Q-tip organization, which is already a carbon positive habit, so there you go. Oh, AND if you’re cringing at my calling it Frisco, let’s take this outside.
In what will hopefully be my penultimate holiday-related post, I think I’ll sum up our Christmas Eve. First, a group of us went out for some Chomorro BBQ. I forgot how hearty the portions would be, so the onion rings were superfluous. But the smoked pork and red rice were spot-on, not to mention the mac sal.
We all caravaned down to Tumon to check out the fairly ridiculously cheesy lights and Christmas displays. A Christmas eve playground for yours truly!
A group of us —neighbors and friends— decided to potluck on Christmas day down at the complex’s Fiesta Shelter. On Guam, a fiesta is any party with lots of food, and I think we certainly came through! I’m pretty sure each family brought enough for everyone, so it was quite the spread. Lots of yummy dishes all around, but the first step, of course, is to ensure that the keg is properly set up in the shade.
Of course bacon provides the perfect tone to our fiesta. Cue the devils on horseback! Our Festivus plans kind of fell by the wayside and we just focused on the eating, drinking and staying cool.
Drinking beer in the pool is my new Christmas tradition!
A shame to waste the heads, perhaps, but the atulai we picked up the day before was delicious anyway!
Some coconuts had to be sacrificed for our fiesta purposes.
My chicken was good, until the minor grill fire created some extra charring. All in all, it was a great way to get together with everyone who was far away from their usual Christmas crowd.
…fresh atulai. On Guam, people say “mackerel” in English, but I believe it’s big-eye scad. After a morning of snorkeling down in Agat, we thought we’d visit the stand and pick up a few pounds to throw on the grill the next day for our Festivus party. And hey, since it was caught the day before in Pago Bay and Seafood Watch says it’s not bad, I finally found a fish I could feel good about.
While Hagatna does all kinds of fancy big-city Christmas decorations, I much prefer the smaller village set-ups. Agat does it right, with a great double-median Winter Wonderland AND a nativity contest. Score.
After a mad rush to the post office to make sure I met their mainland-by-Christmas deadline, I was ready for a relaxing walk. What better place than Skinner Plaza in Old Hagatna, among the Christmas decorations? Well, I guess it’s even more exciting at night! Luckily, The Professor’s always up for a photo shoot as long as he’s behind the camera. As usual, clicking through will lead you to the picture on Picasa.
The Professor’s co-worker’s family is on island for the holidays, so we all took a field trip to Ritidian Point (part of Guam National Wildlife Refuge) to see about some snorkeling. The waters were quite rough so we didn’t venture out, but seeing this scene a week before Christmas was pretty soothing.
I will soon share some Christmas decoration gems from around the island, but I’ll start close to home: Our Rental Office is in the holiday spirit! You have your Christmas giraffe and your Christmas palm tree. This season’s going to be interesting, especially since we’ve reserved the Fiesta Shelter for our Festivus celebration. So much more to come!