We got puppies! Three little cuties, born two weeks ago.
Lorelei is in love with these little guys…
The family took a short staycation at the Westin Resort in Tumon this weekend. We felt bad that summer vacation was over and we didn’t take the kids anywhere this year. We’ve promised Lorelei a trip for ages now, and it just hasn’t materialized yet, so this was a compromise solution. I had enough points with the Starwood Preferred Guest program for a free night, so why not spend it up in town with the kids?
We checked in Saturday afternoon after Taliea’s book signing event at Navy Exchange, then spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the pool and playing on the beach. The kids loved it, we didn’t have to pack it in and head home at sunset for once. We stayed on the beach until sunset, then went and played in the pool until well after dark.
Dinner Saturday night was at the always tasty Cat Crea Cafe, a quirky cafe located just outside the Westin’s property. We took a short walk down the hill to Paradise Island (do they still call it that?) and through the Plaza, the Outrigger Hotel lobby and into the new Dusit Thani Hotel’s lobby and grounds. The pool looks amazing at night, there are LED lights in the bottom that sparkle and change color slowly.
A couple of adventures later, and we were back at the Westin by 10:00 pm for lights out and a good night’s rest on their famous beds.
Sunday started out early, as we had another surprise for the children. Breakfast at McDonald’s was tasty, they make good pancakes there. Not as good as mine, but certainly a morning highlight. One thing I couldn’t understand was the line wrapped around the building for Eggs ‘N Things, a Hawaii based chain restaurant that specializes in breakfast. Sorry, I am not waiting in the broiling sun for two hours to eat breakfast, no matter how good it tastes.
After breakfast we headed to the big event for Sunday; a surprise trip on Ride the Ducks Guam! The kids have been begging to go on the iconic amphibious vehicle tour for a year now, ever since the Ducks first arrived on Guam. We booked for the first tour of that morning as Taliea thought it would be too hot later in the day. Taliea played it up as a big surprise and wouldn’t tell the kids why we were just hanging out in the lobby of the Sandcastle on a Sunday morning. Just when the kids were about to revolt because of all this boring sitting around stuff, the Duck waddled around the corner of the building and parked outside. The kids absolutely freaked out, Russell was jumping up and down and Lorelei had this huge grin on her face.
The tour started a bit later, and the Duck was fully loaded with Japanese tourists. The overhead audio tour was all in Japanese, but we were provided with headphones and plugged into an audio jack for the English version. I didn’t bother with it after listening for ten seconds to the nonsense, but it was a nice touch. Other languages are available on different channels via the headphones too.
The tour headed south through Tumon and into Tamuning, past GPO and onto Marine Drive. We amused ourselves with the Duck Polka music and the squawking duck noise makers we received back at Sandcastle. After a brief ride the Duck arrived at Apra Harbor, drove past the power plants and commercial port and arrived at the old Cabras seaplane ramp. There the bus driver switched out with a boat captain, who took over and plunged us into the water. The kids loved it, but let’s just say a Duck is not exactly a nimble beast in the ocean. We puttered around the harbor for about a half hour, during which all the kids on board got a chance to drive the Duck around. Lorelei took a turn at the wheel, then Russell too.
After pulling out of the water and switching back to the bus driver, we resumed our tour with a brief loop through Hagåtña, back to Tumon and a swing past the other Baldyga Group property, The Beach. Apparently the Lina’la Cultural Park next to the beach is closed, which is a shame. Taliea said she thought the historical village had been damaged during our recent typhoons. I hope the place reopens soon, that is another place on our bucket list for kid’s activities.
The Duck bus dropped us back at the Sandcastle shortly before 11:00 am, and we headed back to the hotel. A couple more hours of swimming at the pool ensued, followed by a late checkout at 3:00 pm. Lots of fun activities for just 24 hours up ‘in town’ as my boy likes to say.
I recently picked up a couple used Google Nexus 7 tablets for the kids. My daughter had one for about a year, but it got submerged in a storm sewer last November (that’s a story for another day). With the prices being so affordable now, I picked up two about a week ago. Sure the device is three years old, but it is still plenty fast for the kids to use. One for her, one for the boy. They arrived on Saturday, and they were presented to the kids during our brief staycation at the Westin this weekend.
Barely 24 hours after getting his tablet, my son broke his screen. Argh. It was in the biggest, most protective case I could find online for the Nexus 7 too. No stopping an irate 4 year old with no parental supervision I guess.
That evening I assessed the damage and took a stab at repairing the device. I still had the water damaged Nexus 7 from last year’s fiasco; it never worked again, despite being taken apart and stowed in a ziploc bag with uncooked rice for a week to draw out all the moisture. But it was stashed away in a drawer because I figured it could be used for parts someday. I actually replaced the screen and the speakers on that old device last summer after my daughter dropped it and I was surprised at how simple it was to disassemble and replace parts on the machine. A far cry from working on Apple iOS devices like the iPod Touch and the iPad. I worked on several of those the last few years and I don’t relish the idea of doing it again.
So kudos to iFixit for their simple and easy to follow instructions. Kudos to Asus and Google for making such an easy to repair device. After about a half hour of tinkering with the two devices, I was able to cobble together a working tablet with the old device’s screen and the new one’s innards and back casing. Kudos to Asus and Google again for making such a rugged device that the screen still works after being submerged for several hours in rain water. Well done everyone.
So now the boy has a working device again – but I think he will have to wait a few days before it magically makes a reappearance, this time under constant supervision. I don’t have any more of these things just lying around.
PS – Here’s a great tip for speeding up the Nexus 7 after upgrading to Lollipop. Follow this guy’s instructions to delete the upgrade cache files to free up space and improve performance.
You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.
As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man
I’ve linked to this before, but let me go ahead and mention it again. Timeless advice for new parents on how to care for baby.
I uploaded a pile of pictures of Lorelei last week. Check them out on Flickr.
Check out the latest baby photos at Flickr:
My photostream has tons of photos of her, including this weekend’s festivities and shots of her napping with Daddy. She’s so cute, I just want to eat her up.
That little girl is just too cute. I uploaded some more pictures today to my flickr account. Enjoy
I got more pictures of the baby girl on Flickr, plus some crummmy photos of the women’s surf contest at Rick’s a couple weeks ago. Go check it out, cuz I’m too lazy to post the photos here too. Sorry. Tired…
Okay, it’s been a few days – or maybe a week now – and I have not posted more pictures of Lorelei here! Time to rectify that error:
And as an aside, my little girl is a month old today! Happy birthday little peanut – Mommy and Daddy love you so much. Even if you keep us up half the night.
So we are both a bit sleepy these days. Lorelei is keeping us up at nights, hopefully she starts sleeping a bit longer. Right now she wakes up around 4:00-5:00 most mornings and doesn’t want to go back to sleep after feeding. Never would have thought that a girl who ain’t even ten pounds could wipe me out so thoroughly.
She went to the pediatrician for the first time yesterday. In three weeks, she has put on a whole pound, and almost three inches in length. Girl is growing like a weed.
Okay, she’s awake in this one. Just took this video clip this afternoon, shortly before lunch (and shortly before a massive poop on her part).
Here are a couple little videos of Lorelei I took on my camera phone last week.
This first one is in her car seat after visiting the doctor on Wednesday.
And this one is from Sunday morning, while she was sleeping in her bassinet.
Excuse me, I can’t help myself…
I am just smitten with this little girl.
More pictures to follow – these are from my camera phone for right now.
Lorelei. 8 pounds 4 oz.
Dad. Way too many pounds.
Mom. Just lost a bunch of pounds in spectacular way.