Saturday, December 5, 2009

The land of rain and pain

Hubby and I just got back from two fantastic weeks in Tahiti. This was a vacation like none other. My super awesome boss, Andy, owns a house on Raiatea and invited us down for Thanksgiving. We booked our tickets months ago and the time flew so fast. We've never taken a two week vacation before, so we were trying to prepare for a lot of different circumstances! Hubby had no idea why I packed four bathing suits, but I packed all of them anyway!

Hubby and I with our two tickets to paradise. 

The plan was to stay two nights on the main island of Tahiti at the Le Meridian hotel (Saturday & Sunday). As soon as our face hit the south pacific air, I thought, "OMG, it's really freaking hot here!". I thought we were prepared for the heat, but it's been a long time since we hit some really hot & humid weather. We were saved though because the hotel had air conditioning in their rooms!

Andy's friend, Willy, met us at the hotel at 7am to take us to the Papeete market. It opens at 5am and all the locals go to buy their Sunday dinner. Everything in Tahiti is closed on Sundays except the market. They had a very interesting selection of foods there:

Then we took the ferry to Moorea. It's about a 30 minute ride. Moorea is like Tahit 20 years ago. We rented a cute little car and took the one road all the way around the island. We stopped at the InterContiental Hotel Moorea for lunch and some beach time. Thank goodness we packed a little backpack with a towel & bathing suits. The food and beach there was beautiful!!

Monday we went to the store to poke around at local merchandise. We couldn't believe how expensive everything was. I think that, of all things, was the biggest shock to us. We ended up buying some fruit, cheese and bread and that was lunch! We went back to the hotel to enjoy the all sand pool and then drove around the island before catching our next flight that afternoon to Raiatea.

Arial shot from the plane from Papeete to Uturoa.

Welcome to Uturoa, Raiatea!

The next 12 days were very different than the two days spent on the main island. First, the internet was spotty, at best, and when it did work, it was very slow. This is good. It kept me from really spending much time online. I checked my email like 3 times and that was to basically let my mom & dad know everything was cool. The power also did not always work. Andy runs his house on a few generators. And we learned on the second night, they sometimes fail. That was no problem for me! I loved power outages as a kid, and I still do. Also, geckos are everywhere and they have this strange call. Every morning you awake to roosters crowing like crazy. We laughed about it because it sounded like the characters from South Park saying, "They took our jobs!". Because of this the roosters almost sounded familiar to us instead of foreign. We also watched the sunrise to a view Andy said hadn't changed in 30 years! Not one new light on in a new house. Not one new boat docked in the water.

Chilling & enjoying the WiFi we had for about an hour. 

At the beginning of the property. They work very had to keep the jungle away from the house.

Andy has so much fruit growing on his property: coconuts, pineapples, bananas, pomplumous (grapefruit) and pumpkins. Our first morning Andy had a fresh pomplumous and pineapple cut for breakfast. He showed us how to eat the grapefruit and then took the big peal and chucked it over the drop off in the yard! I was like, Sweet! I could get use to chucking food in the yard over the ledge! We did it with bananas too! The other natural composting we did was to take all the coffee grounds and dump it at the base of the dwarf coconut tree! I love this place!

The boat that hung out in our parking lot also made it's way down to Tahiti. We could not wait to get out there and hit the Motu Nao Nao for some awesome beach and snorkeling. So, if I didn't know Andy's wife and daughter joined us there on Sunday, I would have had NO IDEA that the next day was Monday, my birthday. We had to do a double take on the calendar to be sure, but yup, it was indeed the day of my birth, 29 years later. We went to town that day to do some shopping and hubby bought me a beautiful flower and wooden necklace from the market.

Birthday girl.

Birthday dinner where I tried to clean up and look "normal".

Thanksgiving was an amazing event to have in Tahiti. Some American friends of Andy's joined us, Greg & Ali. They maintain a permanent residence in Tahiti and have known Andy for like 30+ years. They validated some of Andy's crazy stories for us! We had a table for about 20 and the Tahitians brought some amazing food. We ate so well on this trip.

The Thanksgiving dinner spread.

The views were just stunning and ever since returning, I've tried to repel technology. My blackberry in particular is depressing. I finally took up the suggestion of like every friend I have to read Twilight. I figured Tahit was the place to do this. I blew through the first book so fast (all 500 pages) that I was sad I didn't have the second book. I had to wait a week.

The moment we got home, I deleted all my shows off the DVR. I didn't even watch them and then I deleted the series recordings for all of them, so they won't record in the future. I decided I wanted to spend less time in front of the TV and more time in the kitchen and reading. It's hard to do because the TV is right there and it's big, but I want to learn to be a better chef, so that's what I did.

Moto Nao Nao

The view from the corner of the yard.

Must we leave? I love it here.

I can't wait to dump today's coffee grounds on a plant in our back yard. Now, I just have to figure out which plant. We should take more two week long vacations and to destinations with out phones and internet!

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