The summer of the speedo has finally ended. I survived.
This summer started with a big trip back to the states and closed out with birthday celebrations, beach games, a fresh apartment & a floatilla.
I left the island for almost the entire month of June. My first stop was Boston to see my sister and niece, then up to Washington, DC (Georgetown Law) for an intensive work training. After that I ventured up to New York to spend time with my parents. I went up to Lake Placid to attend an alumni weekend at my old boarding school, and I wrapped up my trip with a few days in New York City before heading back to the Pacific. The trip was amazing yet exhausting and you can read about here: [trip report coming soon]
I arrived back in Guam right in the middle of 4th of July weekend – and a celebratory champagne brunch (that ended at a karaoke bar) for the record books. That crazy day was just the beginning of a summer jam packed with weekend activities.
The Beach Bar, one of my most favorite Guam establishments, hosted the Summer Beach Games. Every Saturday teams competed in random games consisting of an eating challenge, trivia, something random, and a physical challenge. The winner each week won $1000 and a bag of prizes. A raffle went on throughout the day, and for every bucket of beer people bought, they got raffle tickets. We had a great time making fun of each other on said raffle tickets and making the wonderful DJ’s from 100.3 read them out loud. It is safe to say that my friends and I won ALL of the prizes, which included gems like Budweiser chairs, bbq sets, Guam hats, and gift cards. At the end of the summer, all qualifying teams played for a shot at $10,000. The team I played with that day made it to the final four but had some…puzzle issues. My favorite games throughout the summer were Plinko (recovering Price-is-Right addict over here), a marshmallow contest, and beach sprints. Those were the ONLY games I was good at – ok, maybe some of the other eating challenges as well. 😉
My friends and I, at least this particular crew, quickly transformed the games early on in the summer. When the boys showed up in speedos for the first time, each week thereafter we saw the speedos multiply. We also implemented the “unofficial” Beach Games that included a massive flip cup tournament (equipped with the ref and DJ) and even worked in a game of slap cup/rage cage at the finals.
There were several weeks where it became quite clear to me that my team had no shot in hell of winning…so, I would find one person to be my designated arch nemesis and make it my mission to destroy their game, or at least heckle them for hours on end. It was great. For me.
The final weekend of the games was truly exhausting. It was two straight days of games – Saturday was regular, the finals followed on Sunday. Yikes. All in all, we had a great time. I met tons of new friends and had a blast winning stupid prizes and looking like a fool trying to play random games. Additionally, I LOVE the Beach Bar and usually have a hard time dragging my friends there – the games made hangin’ out there all summer SO much easier.
the never ending birthday
I had a birthday this summer! weird! The celebrations lasted for roughly a week and I nearly died but hey, gotta appreciate friends (new and old) trying to celebrate my life. We drank champagne and Jameson at Lindsey’s and then hit the Tumon bars. We played Beach Games and despite getting ditched by our former teammates, Lindsey and I had the joy of playing on a team with two of our other favorite people. There were way too many cocktails and shots involved but I did win my fair share of prizes. Post beach games involved a very, very interesting night out and an encounter with one of the most intriguing people I have ever met. I might have ended up in a strip club wearing a backpack but at least I had snacks? … The celebrations continued at brunch at the Dusit Thani with a cake that said “42” on it and a waiter who told me I only had a week left to live. Thanks dude. My ACTUAL birthday was on Monday – I walked into work to find my office full of presents and decorations from my sweet Lina, had a great lunch at Mosa’s, and found a cute surprise in my office that afternoon. Tuesday was yet ANOTHER dinner at Kitchen Lingo. I was so tired I wanted to die but appreciated the time with my sweet friends. I’m not sure that dinner that Thursday at Mosa’s was considered a birthday dinner, but I am sure that I enjoyed the ahi special, as well as the company, immensely.
This summer was exhausting, sometimes painful, and in true Guam fashion, a roller coaster. Seeing my family and being back east was beyond wonderful, yet sometimes hard to enjoy because I knew it would be short lived. I came back with an aching heart and what appeared to be a long, slow summer. It took awhile to kick the jet lag and let go of the heartache that leaving my family caused. My social calendar was consistently full, although with a forever changing cycle of friends, as this is Guam. Work was increasingly busy all summer and I dealt with some very difficult situations. I still love the work that I do and am so, so, grateful that I took this position.
My favorite thing about this summer was obviously the people I spent it with. Back home, I got to see old friends and family. At my reunion I spent time with my old teachers and met some incredible fellow alums.
At Georgetown I got to study and work alongside some of the most brilliant and passionate Juvenile Defense attorneys in the country. And back on Guam – I made a whole new crew of friends and got closer to the existing ones. New clients came and older ones went, fortunately.
But I think the most interesting encounters were the rare ones that occurred towards the end of this summer; I met someone who might have turned my world upside down and reminded me of an intensity that I have long been longing for. Whatever it is, whether it be fleeting or lasting, I am grateful for it. And finally, the most unlikely relationship to develop is one I found with an adult criminal client. It is so significant to me mostly because it was so unexpected, and I don’t remember ever feeling such overwhelming compassion for someone before.
Summer is leaving us with gloomy days and a lot of rain. I am welcoming it as I try to shift back into a calmer lifestyle, hoping that the coming months bring me travel, a lot of yoga, and even more adventures.
…oh yeah!…North Korea might have threatened to destroy Guam this summer.