Oh my. We are coming to the close of The Great Rasmussen Travel Adventure. Real life is just inches away, and we’re feeling pretty good about that, I’d say.
Where did we leave off? Oh, the cool Christchurch hostel, the night before our flight to Fiji. We got up early the next morning to catch our airport shuttle, cringed as we paid some extra baggage fees for our wine box (worth it!), and zipped over to Auckland on our first flight.
Then, things got interesting. Our flight was supposed to be at 1pm from Auckland to Nadi, Fiji; we arrived at the international terminal to see a time change to 20:00 (8pm). Bummer.
We decided to stick it out in the airport, instead of taking the bus into Auckland for the afternoon… I’m not 100% sure why, but I think we were just ready to be in travel mode instead of NZ adventure mode. That is my theory.
I snapped a couple pictures of our last views of New Zealand:
(If you look really closely, you can see Frodo and Bilbo’s house in the second one)
Our flight to Fiji was only a few hours, and we stepped off the plane to the same muggy heat we had felt in Tahiti only a few months before, and to the breezy open-air airport and the sound of island tunes being strummed in our direction from some locals.
That was the biggest difference between Fiji and Tahiti for us, I think: the locals. Both of our resorts had a sand volleyball court, and every day at certain times, Fijian guys from the village or the resort would come and play with the guests. (Note: I only participated in this as a viewer, still scarred from 7th grade volleyball).
I actually didn’t take many pictures in Fiji – I mostly had my phone and camera locked away in our room’s safe while we napped, tanned, snorkeled, swam, and read all day (interrupted only to eat three square meals).
We got into kind of a daily routine during our 10-day stay that looked something like this:
7:30 am – wake up, roll out of bed, and sometimes read and/or journal outside on our porch for a few minutes.
8:30 am – walk over to the restaurant for continental breakfast, with our books in tow. Eat, and read for a while over our second cup of coffee (or in Cody’s case, juice).
10 am – go back to our room to change into our swimsuits and beach gear. Head to the beach and grab a good pair of chairs.
10 am to 1 pm- read, snorkel, swim, and nap until lunch
1 pm – eat lunch. Same drill with the reading-at-the-table while our food digested. Both of our resorts had an a la carte menu for lunch, where we could order anything from the fish of the day (our personal favorite) or a salad, to pasta, curry, or the local dish du jour.
2 pm to 5 pm – repeat beach activities of the morning. Sometimes with kayaking around the bay, or participating in a resort activity or excursion, like hand-line fishing (thumb’s down for me) to a manta ray snorkel trip (thumb’s up).
5 pm – shower and change into dry clothes, then head to the bar for happy hour. I mostly drank Diet Coke, though we did have fun sampling some of the island cocktails, but we’d basically engage in some lively card games before dinner.
7:30 pm – dinner at the restaurant. This was kind of exciting, because our resorts did dinner family-style, so we’d sit at long tables with the other guests. We made lots more friends at our Fiji places than in Tahiti, for that reason. One night was curry night with yummy Indian food, one night was traditional Fiji fare, one night was chicken and veggies, etc.
Other fun things:
1. Our beautiful room:
2. Our open-air bathroom (still private, but totally outside):
3. Getting to visit a Fijian Methodist Church on Sunday – the service was in Fijian, but the pastor gave us handouts of the text so we could at least know what verses they were talking about 🙂
There, we got to hear the beautiful Fijian choir as well. As always when I’m at a church service that’s not in English (like in India, the Netherlands, or a Spanish service in Northwest Iowa), I’m struck by the amazing truth that the message is the same, our God is the same, the Truth is the same – just spoken with different sounds and words.
(I have a video but it isn’t uploading, so we’ll try that later :D)
So, after 10 amazing days on the beach (and three rainy days under a roof next to the beach), and a nice walk to a botanical garden,
we boarded our 10.5-hour flight to LA…
and we were back to the US of A!
Tons of awesome family and friend time has ensued, but that is for the next post.