Coffee, the war in the pacific, and a fish…

The rest of yesterday was quite varied. After breakfast we started with Bevin wanting to try out a coffee shop we’d driven by.

As usual, Bevin’s instincts were… Very Bevin.

This place is an old bank turned modern coffee and meeting area.

Thuy just opened this week, so they’re still figuring everything out. There was a 30 minute wait just to order. Fortunately there was a lot to look at…

I can’t imagine they found all this antique coffee equipment for decorations ON Guam….

Pretty cool place though. They had an “art exhibit” on the 3rd floor which turned out to be, surprise surprise, more coffee equipment.

The Art of Coffee?

And also printing, and other random antiques.

We finally got our coffee, and croffle and were on our way. Next step a history museum.

Japanese 2-man submarine that ran aground shortly after the liberation of Guam.

The museum was really interesting. Guam was attacked on the same day as Pearl Harbor. We’re here at this museum on December 7th, but that’s actually a day early because Dec 7th in Hawaii was Dec 8th here. Obvious in retrospect.

The museum had some very well done exhibits with stories of the Chamorro people and what happened when Japan attacked and occupied the island. (Dave’s parents and grandparents were here when that happened.)

I read a lot of WWII history books when I was younger, but it seems like Guam was never talked about as much as some of the other famous battles, although it played quite a pivotal role, and nearly as many people lost their lives (and over a much shorter time span) in the battle of Guam as in Guadacanal…

After the museum, and getting some advice on some places to go from the wonderful people there, we went to the nearby Asan Bay park.

Looking across Asan Bay, where the American troops came ashore.
Looking back across the fields at the hills

The American invasion to retake the island landed troops at this field, and they had to get across the flat and up the hill to destroy the Japanese gun emplacements. The air force at navy had been pounding the beach and those hills for weeks to prepare, in the pictures from the invasion it looks like a mud flat. One of the exhibits had a quote from a Chamorro woman in one of the Japanese labor camps who said that they loved the sound of the American bombs because they knew that the Americans wouldn’t stop until they were free. (unfortunately that’s when the massacres started…)

The top of those hills in the background is where the memorial wall of names we went to is, you look down on this park from there.

It’s really quite something to imagine 20,000+ troops storming ashore here, all for this tiny island 30 miles long with native population of around 20,000.

The Grateful Chamorro memorial at Asan Point.

Would be interesting to hike the trail on this Ridgeline to see some of the pillboxes and gun emplacements grown over by the jungle, however it’s too dang hot and we’re not prepared for it.

Went back to the hotel for a siesta. Dinner later was at a Chamorro fusion restaurant called Meskla.

Bevin had the Parrotfish. Not pictured here: the gleeful look on her face as she disassembled it.

Being “fusion” it’s not exactly the native flavors Dave remembers, but they include quite a bit of it, and everything was outstanding!

Today’s plan is to head up to the north tip of the island where Dave’s uncle had a farm, and drive around more of the island to see what we find.

Sun’s just coming up on Friday now, we’re living in the future!

Might go walk on the beach before breakfast, since it’s really the perfect temperature right at sunrise…