Friday, September 18, 2009

Souvenirs from Guam

Yes I've made gonig to the malls almost a focal point of my wedding trip to Guam if you've noticed in my previous posts. But I actually ended up bringing home only what I thought were the necessities - some souvenirs for families and a few snacks.

From left to right:
-"I Love Guam" mug from ABC Store
-Tootsie Roll inspired purse from JP Superstore
-Junk Food T-shirt from JP Superstore
-Guam ABC Store Men's T-shirt in charcoal from ABC Store
-Guam ABC Store Men's T-shirt in sky blue from ABC Store

And here're what I got from K Mart (left to right):
-2 packages of Pepperridge Farms Chocolate Chip Cookies ... because I couldn't yet find these in Taipei.
-2 large packages of chips ahoy... because the US version is much better with more chocolate.
-Mac & Cheese... also hard to find and more expensive in Taipei
-Neutrogena Visibly Firm Night Cream ... because it's not sold in Taipei
-Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleansing Pads ... nope not sold in Taipei

I also stocked up on a few bottles of vitamins and supplements from Vitamin World and K Mart for my dad. Vitamin supplements are more expensive in Taipei.

If you're heading to Guam...

Before our wedding/honeymoon trip to Guam, I had had to do an extensive research on the web. I thought I'd share a few websites that I found to be the most inform and helpful for visiting Guam.

The must-read Guam related websites:

1 Guam Visitors Bureau (This serves as a great intro to Guam.)
2 (This offers a wealth of info on where to stay, where to eat, where to shop, transportation, and an excellent hotel map)

And if you're planning a wedding in Guam:

1 Naoco Wedding (We singed on with this Guam local wedding service company through our travel agency in Taipei. But you will most likely save on money by directly contacting a local wedding service company, this is just one of many companies to choose from. Don't worry if you can't read their all Japanese website. Go ahead and contact them directly, the people in their Guam office speak perfect English.)

Ginza Couture Naoco, Guam
P.O.Box 7959
Tamuning, Guam 96931
Tel: (671)646-1242
Fax: (671) 647-0479

2 Dream Weddings Guam (A local wedding service that turned up during my search on the web, specializes in smaller, or last-minute ceremonies for couples.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Guam: Day Three & Day Four

We woke up in our beautiful hotel suite to the early sunshine of Guam for the first time. And this day happens to be the Labor Day holiday, as well as our chapel wedding day.

After breakfast at the hotel, the local wedding service company that we signed on for drove us to their salon. While I was being pampered by the stylist for almost two hours, hubby waited and tried to familiarize himself with the chapel ceremony process. At noon, we arrived at the beach side chapel in a limo. With help from the pastor, the wedding coordinator, the photographer, the vocalist, the pianist, we said our vows. We also had a photo session by our photographer at the nearby beach following the ceremony. I've not seen these photos as they've yet to arrive from Guam by mail.

This was taken by the coordinator using my dc.

At 2pm, we arrived back at the hotel to change into more casual wear, then headed out to enjoy the remaining 1 + 1/2 days on Guam by ourselves without a local tour guide.

*It's super easy to get around most of Guam's tourist attractions as the island has shuttle buses that services popular routes.

Me, sitting on the windowless shuttle bus.

We got on the first available bus at our hotel and was taken to GPO "Guam Premium Outlets" within minutes, so we decided to grab lunch at the food court inside the outlet and maybe do a little shopping.

Guam Premium Outlets

Grilled sub, one of my favorite mall food.

Lasagna from Sabarros Pizza.

GPO houses a Ross, a Nine West outlet, a Guess outlet among other lesser known stores. In my opinion, you're more likely to find bargains from GPO than from Micronesia. But the shelves at Ross were more than half-empty on the day we went, I was kinda disappointed. Perhaps they couldn't restock fast enough than the speed at which the goods are flying off the shelves?

After GPO, we got on a shuttle bus again and took a ride down Guam's famous hotel road. We strolled down hotel road, checking out the many high-end shops, such as JP Superstore, DFS, etc. The biggest names, including Gucci, Fendi, Cartier, Tiffany, and many others all have set up locations here. Along with Guam's tax-free status, this area is truely a shopping paradise for the HAVE. Unfortunately for me, these high-end names are out of league. Although I still had a little fun getting souvenirs for my sisters from the JP Superstore.

A snap shot of the hotel road.

We had dinner at a small ramen house on hotel road. Miso Ramen and California Roll for dinner.

In the morning, we stayed within the hotel compound and just explored its garden, taking in the ocean view from its backyard, and visiting the hotel's two on-site chapels.

Aqua Stella Chapel

Nestled at the top of the property is Hilton Guam's other chapel named St. Probus Holy Chapel, the larger of the two. This glass-walled chapel sits on the edge of the cliff line allowing undisturbed ocean view.

At noon we took a shuttle bus to K Mart, where I got myself some items that normally couldn't be found in Taipei. I'll devote another entry entirely to my guilty pleasures from Guam later on.

Guam K Mart is the largest K Mart in the whole USA.

We wrapped up our stay on Guam by taking an evening stroll down a stretch of the sandy beach of Tumon Bay, starting at Nikko Hotel and ending at the Hyatt hotel. We had dinner at a Korean restaurant on hotel road across from the PIC hotel.

Complimentary Korean appetizers including Kimchi

Bulgogi, Korean marinated barbecued beef.


But I still had to get some last minute souvenirs for my brothers and sister-in-law before we had to head back to your hotel to pack. We had to settle for ABC Store - the local convenience store - since our flight would be leaving in a few hours.

Read about Guam: Day One & Day Two

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guam: Day One & Day Two

Since our time on Guam is such a large topic (and picture heavy), it will be broken down into at least 2 posts. Let me get started with day one and day two.

Our flight to Guam was scheduled for 10 PM. Flying time to Guam from Taipei was approx. 3.50 hrs. In addition, Guam time zone is 2 hours ahead of Taipei time. So that meant trying to make ourselves comfortable and getting as much rest as we could on the overnight flight as we'd be arriving on Guam at 4 AM local time with a full day of planned fun ahead of us.

Unfortunately for me, the now less-frequent-traveler, the flight was less than enjoyable as I fought a newly-developed fear of flying and sleepiness. It was when our plane finally landed that I was able to relax a bit.

Me, looking excitedly on a bus on our way to the Taipei airport.

At the departure gate inside the Taipei airport.
Top: Express from years ago
Skirt: local boutique
Gentleman Hat: local boutique
Pink Tote: local boutique

Arriving at Guam airport.

Arriving at Guam airport, we met up with our tour guide and he immediately brought us to our hotel, the Hilton, and checked us in early. Our beautiful 6th-floor suite comes complete with a balcony with a fantastic view of the Tumon Bay. The balcony in my view would have been one of the two best Guam destinations during our stay. The other being the sandy beach of Tuman Bay just steps from the Hilton.

After catching up on some sleep and a light lunch at the lobby cafe, we joined our guide for a city monuments sight-seeing tour.

The afternoon guided tour was a quick and short intro to some of the well-known, must-see city monuments on Guam. I've already forgotten the exact order in which we visited these tourist spots, probably due to lack of sleep and the extreme heat.

Statue of Liberty

Fort Santa Agueda

Governor's Palace

Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral

Two Lovers Point

Our last stop for the day is the Micronesia Mall. It's said to be the largest American style mall on Guam. In my opinion, It's really a small-medium sized mall compared to many others on the mainland. It does not house as many US brand name apparel chains as I would have liked. It's missing quite a number of the usual mall staples such as AE, Gap, BR, Express, Victoria's, J Crew, etc. Here's the website for Micronesia Mall with a link to their store directory. I did notice that Guam does offer quite a selection of swimsuits. I ended up not getting anything from Micronesa except for some vitamins for my dad from the Vitamin World. But we had dinner at Denny's Restaurant inside the Mall. Ooh how I miss eating at Denny's!

Swimsuits, bikinis rack at the Macy's inside the Micronesia mall.

Meatloaf w/ gravy for hubby. Baked fish for me.

Read about Guam: Day Three & Day Four

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back from Guam Wedding!!

Hi All! I'm baaack!! And can't wait to tell you all about my wedding and fun on Guam. And I got sunburned for the first time in my life. (That just tells you how not an outdoor person I am.) I most likely got the sunburn wearing my gown doing the beach photo shoot following our noon ceremony. My shoulder have been hurting ever since, but I would still do everything all over again because not everyday I get to be on Guam!!

I will have more details on my fun in Guam in later posts.

Me still in makeup and gown after the ceremony:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Moving + Shopping Diary

Just want to let all of you friends & followers know that my absence for the past 2 weeks has been due to my busy getting ready for chapel wedding and moving into a new place. Some of you may have already known from previous posts that I'll be going to Guam this weekend for a chapel wedding. It's honestly no fun at all with moving being so close to the wedding.

I have quite a few outfit photos that I should have posted, but are now still sitting on hubby's computer due to our moving. I'll get those posted as soon as time allows. Right now a little update on my recent guilty pleasures.

Gentleman hats are being popularized by all the Japanese fashion magazines. It's THE must-have accessory for Summer. I saw tons of gentleman hats in all sizes and fabrics at the night market, but I felt in love with this one when I tried it on. The color is neutral and will go with just about any color wardrobe, and I love love love the turquoise flower detail.

A nude/powder pink bandaged heels. Need I say more? Bandaged heels is a must this season. I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of this in my future postings.

I hardly ever fall for a skirt, but this high-waisted circle skirt catches my eyes. Besides I can't go wrong with black, can I?

Hubby and I had steak Taiwanese style - steak on spaghetti noodles, with a "sunny side up". Steak sauce is served on the side. The steak tastes different from those in the States, but still tasty.