We arrived into Guam late afternoon, just in time to head to the Sheraton, check in, and have a semi-relaxing evening. It was only around 4pm when we made it to the hotel, and after two weeks on the road our most important mission was laundry. Fortunately the Sheraton surprised us…not only with a suite upgrade, but with three laundry machines in the building. I don’t remember the exact cost, but they were $1 to $1.25 per load – and nice and convenient.
Of course, we needed laundry supplies, so it was off to the most popular place on the island…K-Mart! Those who live in the U.S. mainland probably assume that K-Mart has more or less faded into our past as one of those tragic relics of the 70s and 80s. Not in Guam. K-Mart is the social hub of the island, and packed to the rafters with people. I’ve only ever been to one Wal Mart (don’t blame me, it’s the only option in the middle of Oahu!) and it reminded me of that. But even bigger (both in size, and the size of the patrons.) You could get literally everything here.
Stocked with Tide and Red Bull it was back to the Sheraton, where we joined a member of the U.S. Navy in completing laundry pretty quickly. With that out of the way…what else does one do on Guam?! Not much. We decided after two weeks a little Americana was in order, and grabbed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Guam is definitely one place you need a car, unless you don’t plan to leave your resort…and I can’t imagine a resort vacation on Guam!
Up early the next morning, our plan was to drive around the island before our early evening flight to Palau. Up to the executive lounge for breakfast, which was packed with Japanese package tourists consuming Japanese breakfast. It was nice to have a Japanese option for breakfast instead of the typical sugar and carb-laden US/continental options. Oh, and lots of ice cold Diet Coke.
That done, we were off to drive around Guam. Our first stop was not far from the hotel at the giant rotating statue of Pope John Paul II. Unfortunately, it’s been broken a few years, and no longer rotates. However, the headline story in all the local papers we saw was how a donation had been received, and soon it would rotate again. Yes, this qualifies for headline news in Guam.
Pope statue seen, it was time to head around the island. First major stop was the War in the Pacific Museum, which was also a U.S. National Park. However, unfortunately, the museum was under renovation. This meant the temporary display was all there was to see, but this also made it free. There were actually a few really good posters that told the story of World War II on Guam, and some really cheesy cutouts where you could take your picture. There was also a sub out front where you could take your picture.
From the museum, we continued southwest around the island stopping at a couple of overlooks to get a view out into the ocean. Was a very cool view, and definitely one of my highlights of Guam.
Our final stop before lunch was at a natural cove that had a swimming hole at it. I wished we’d brought our swimming suits so we could have gone in!
Finally we were on the east side of the Island, and stopped for lunch at Jeff’s Pirate’s Cove. This place is famous online as the only thing to “see’ on the east coast of Guam, and I have to admit they made a pretty awesome burger. Really hit the spot since we were starving, and the kitsch factor was high enough that it was highly amusing. I can imagine this place gets going in the evening and is pretty awesome!
After lunch we cut back across the island to the hotel, in order to check out and get to the airport in time for our flight to Palau. Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it was on this drive that I heard the worst song ever on the radio. Well, the worst song since I heard “Chain Hang Low” when driving to get coffee before a marathon a few years ago. I also need to admit that “Gucci Gucci” is now the top of my gym playlist, because it’s so bad that it’s almost good. There. I said it. Moving on….
Check-in was completely uneventful, as was security. Soon we were in the Guam President’s Club . I have to admit, there were quite a few unusual characters in this place. By characters I mean expat Americans who felt the need to share their life stories with you. It was definitely one of those “Asia Moments” and definitely filled the time (well, along with some crackers, cheese, and Sapporro) while we waited for the flight. Flight was delayed about 15-20 minutes while the Pilot argued with the gate staff if he could take a full load of passengers or not (seems there were storms en route) but eventually he agreed and off we went!
Guam to Koror, Palau
Depart 18:50, Arrive 19:50, 1 hour time change
Boeing 737-800, Registration N14249, Manufactured 1999
Seats 1E and 1F
Not too much to say here – flight was completely full, and the 737-800s that ply the Pacific for Continental seem to all be identical. After several flights on them at this point, I definitely recommend row 1 since there’s nobody reclining into you, you get served first, and if you want to chat with the crew it’s easy to do.
…and by chat with the crew, I mean get served first and get plenty of Continental Margaritas!
Yes, the margaritas were the highlight. I barely touched the sandwich, and finished all the fruit. Landing was on time, Palau immigration was efficient (although absolutely fascinated by my 144 page passport) and our hotel had a van waiting for us. From the first moment, I was very very glad we had chosen the Palau Pacific Resort. They picked us up on time, private car, cold water, friendly staff, and honestly…for such a small island…every detail was perfect.
Got to the hotel just after 8pm…in time for a drink at the beach bar before bed. It was to be a busy day the next day, so we wanted to get to bed early. I chose to have the “Shark Attack” drink at the bar…which I probably would have skipped had I known we would actually see sharks on our snorkeling trip the next day!