Guam – A Visit with Gina and Joe

Today we took a break from the sightseeing scene to visit with friends.  Fred was really excited to find out that his friend from high school, Gina, and her husband, Joe, live on the island.  So after going through the immigration process for US customs, we felt like royalty as we bypassed the shuttle, skipped the tour busses, and walked happily past the long lines. We headed straight to the parking lot where Gina picked us up. It was awesome!

It was so fantastic to see Gina – and such a bonus to have her pick us up at the port!

It was around 10:45 when we first got into the truck.  We decided to head over to Hava Java, a local coffee shop that Gina owns with her sister, Carol.  We were hoping to run into Carol, so that we could say hi.  The coffee shop itself is a great little place with a lot of character & seems to attract quite a few locals.  It’s got a really great atmosphere and if I lived in Guam, I could imagine it would be one of my favorite local hangouts.  She offered us drinks, but having just eaten, we opted to just sit and chat with her for a while.

Fred and Gina travel down memory lane and share crazy stories from their high school days.

After Gina and Fred revisited old high school memories and talked about what various people were doing, we said goodbye to the staff (Carol never showed) and headed over to Jeff’s Pirates Cove for lunch.  Joe suggested the spot since it’s got a great view of the beach, a menu that would suit everyone, and a touristy shop worth seeing right inside the restaurant.  He met us there a few minutes after we arrived.

The crew at the restaurant (left to right): Joe, Kayla, Kyle, Gina, and Fred
A better shot (Joe took this one): Me, Kayla, Kyle, Gina, and Fred

The restaurant was definitely a good choice for tourists, since not long after we got our food, an entire busload of people from the cruise ship arrived.  Once of them called out to Fred, greeting him by saying, “Hello, Princess”.  This just served to confuse him for a few beats until he realized it was a guy from the ship trying to recognize a fellow cruise ship passenger 🙂 After lunch, we took a quick walk out to the beach behind the restaurant to get a few photos of the great view.

Kayla and Kyle check out the beach behind the restaurant at Jeff’s Pirates Cove.
The logo for the restaurant is painted in bright colors on the patio outside.

While still parked at the restaurant, we also walked across the highway to see some artwork created by a local artist who works primarily in wood.  The artist, Michael Genereux, wasn’t present, but we met his wife, Virginia.  The pieces are displayed in their front yard, which creates quite a bit of interest from the passing cars, since a front yard gallery is not an everyday sight.  Virginia offered us some water, gave us a printout of a newspaper article about her husband, and talked to us about the various artwork.  

We were too curious to pass up this front yard gallery without stopping by.
Some of the artwork was also displayed outside on the patio as well as indoors. Virginia is seen here on the right holding the printout from a local news article about her husband, Michael Genereux.

After we left the restaurant area, we stopped to grab drinks for everyone.  Then we drove around the island and saw a touristy area with a lot of hotels and high-end shops. I believe it’s called Tumon.  Fred wanted to find some red chimpoy, which is a Chinese treat made from dried plums, so Gina took us to several small local stores until we found some.  We also saw an outlet mall and ran into quite a few more tourist busses.  Kyle recognized one of them from earlier at the cruise port.  Gina just drove us through the lot, since we were really there to stop by a small local market nearby.  We ended up buying some snacks so we have a little variety on the ship.  We also stopped briefly at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park.

The War in the Pacific National Historical Park is also right on the beach.
I wonder how often people need to call 911 to report finding a bomb, grenade, or shell from WWII?!

Afterwards, Gina took us by their house to see the amazing view. It was the highlight of the day for me. They have a gorgeous concrete home, which apparently is a requirement for building in Guam due to the typhoons and earthquakes. They shared their typhoon stories; and having grown up in Louisiana, I shared mine 🙂

This is the view from the balcony at Gina and Joe’s house. It is spectacular!
a family shot thanks to Gina 🙂
Gina on the balcony with Boots

We relaxed at the house for a while and visited.  We were lucky enough to meet Boots and Elizabeth, Gina & Joe’s very sweet hounds.  It was great to just stop being a tourist for a while and enjoy hanging out with some friends for a few hours.  We had a very lovely day.  Thanks again, Gina & Joe!  We hope to see you in Hong Kong soon!