Archive for July, 2007

Congrats Garland and Greg!

Gwen’s youngest sister Garland gave birth to her first child hours ago in Santa Rosa, CA.  Little Gia was born late in the evening Saturday night.  Mom and our little niece/cousin are doing well.  Yeahhhh!

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Elli’s first musical!

Summer has been filled with various camps for the kids. Elli has found a theater camp at the University near our house. It’s a 3 week camp with kids aged 10-15 or so and they’ve been working on School House Rock. You probably remember that from the 70s or 80s. Imagine all those catchy tunes put to choreographed dance numbers. It’s a great show and I’m trying to put a little video segment on the blog to show you. I’m having some problems but here’s a pic in the meantime.

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Here is a picture that appeared on the front page of the weekly section of the island’s newspaper.

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Liberation Day, July 21

This year marks the 63rd anniversary of Guam’s liberation from Japanese occupation. On July 21, 1944, U.S. forces landed on the island and began the campaign to regain control of the island. The Japanese took over Guam the day after it’s attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time, the U.S. Naval Governor George McMillan surrendered to the Japanese within hours of their landing. Only token defense forces were on the island at the time. The Japanese imprisoned the U.S. military forces and forced labor and detention on the locals. The Chamorros were put in concentration camps and forced to work for the Japanese for over 2 years. The U.S. retaking of the island took weeks as one of the largest collections of U.S. naval ships bombed the island for days before sending troops on to the beaches. Thousands died.

There will be a parade and carnival in the capitol. People have been camping out for spots, setting up tents and kitchens for the festivities.

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Earthquake hits.

Last night, we felt and heard a rumbling, like a truck barreling down on us.  Some were watching a movie, others reading in their bedrooms.  It lasted long enough that we all got up, announced what it was and directed everyone to stand up door jams.  After about 10 seconds, it stopped.  It was reported that a 5.0 quake was centered 21 west of us in the ocean and 25 miles deep.  Luckily, no damage.  We’ve now experienced around 6-7 quakes in the last 10 months.

Presenting our newest golfer…

Davis (Love) Moon.  Yes, Davo has joined the world of duffers, completing his Junior Golf course.  A new set of clubs and now he is talking about using his wedge to get the ball onto the green, maintaining his balance when driving the ball, and lining up his putt.  Dad and Davo will be playing a round tomorrow!!

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Down under.

Yes, we just returned from Australia. We arrived there last Thursday night around midnight. Continental Airlines only flies there and back a few times a week. Our heads hit the pillow at around 1am. We woke to a beautiful sunrise over the Coral Sea. Cairns is in the tropics of northeastern Australia and serves a launching point to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Many come and holiday in the area which accounts for all the growth Cairns and the all the neighboring little towns are experiencing. Cairns is a backpackers heaven. The Aussies are known as world travelers and many other commonwealth nations send droves of young to experience this place. Backpacker hostels, internet cafes and open air markets cover the town. The city built a very green esplanade along the water’s edge with playgrounds, beach volleyball, skate park and running and riding tracks. Since the tidal fluctuates so much in Cairns, the only swimming is in the man-made pool where salt water is pumped in. On sunny days like we had, 100s are laying in the sun.

We explored the city by bike and foot, eating our way through like I did 18 years ago when I spent a couple months tooling around the continent. Lunch was a loaf of good bread, a hunk of tasty cheese and all the ripe fruit you could eat. Ok, Alex wanted pizza too.

The Aussies, like the Kiwis, love the water and it was evident with all the sail and power boats in the harbor. From our room balcony, I watched dozens of boats returning to port during the late afternoon. I’m sure these folks spent their evenings at one of the many bistro restaurants on the boardwalk.

This was all great, but we were really waiting for Saturday. Jim, Cara, Sam and Zack were coming to Cairns after a 3 week birding trip on the Cape York peninsula. They finally arrived in the evening! After all the hugs and tears, we hung out at their hotel hot tub, drinking Victoria Bitters and eating good cheese.

The families headed up north in our rental cars to Port Douglas. Port Douglas is a holiday destination with mostly vacation rentals that has a feel of Roche Harbor in the Orcas Islands. Locals spend time fishing or sailing, and throwing back a few pints talking about it. We used Port Douglas as a launching pad to the less populated areas up north. Some of the things we did: a day cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef for diving and snorkeling; a hike in Mossman Gorge; frisbee on the beach at Cape Tribulation; beers at the dockside restaurant where a 6′ grouper is fed at 515p everyday; and petting kangaroos and koalas at the local wildlife habitat.

We stayed a week in Oz and left the Steiner-rileys for their overnighter in a tree house and adventure to Tasmania. It was a fantastic trip!

Here are a couple sample pics, click on Recent Photos for more.

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What is in the water here?

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This water is freezing!!

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Ummmm, beer.

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Love those playgrounds!

Alex is growing fins!

It was readily apparent that the eldest son has a love and comfort in the water. This past weekend, Alex completed his Junior Scuba Diver certification through PADI. Since we’re leaving for Australia in 2 days, we thought it was time to get certified and me a refresher. I ended up with some anxiety under water, worrying a little about Alex’s safety the tons of water over my head. Turns out the Alex was extremely comfortable and soaking up all the aquatic life we saw. He’s a natural underwater and aced the academic side of the course. When we get back, he’ll complete 2 more modules and get his Open Water certification. Then he and I will dive around the island on weekends. Can’t wait!

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