If you aren’t familiar with the term, check out the 2007 movie with the same title starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It’s basically about a list of things that you would like to do before you kick the proverbial bucket. I don’t have an official list just yet, hoping not to need one for a while, but I do have a few things that I would really like to do or see before that day.
That being said, this will be on my list. Tahiti -Done
About once a year, my husband really lobbies for a trip without our kids. As is true with most of you, the end of the school year comes on with a vengence and time was running out. Momma is quite busy in the summer with 4 kids at home. A trip to the beach is always tempting but a trip to the South Pacific? What girl can say no to that?
Let me begin by saying that if you hate to fly, this isn’t your trip. We made the flight to LA, which is roughly about 5 hours and then the 8 hour flight to Tahiti. We are seasoned travelers but I must admit that I started to worry when I noticed that our plane still had the ashtrays in the armrest. We obviously made it without incident but that was not my favorite memory of the week. It really could only get better and boy did it.
We landed around 10:30 pm and headed straight to the ship. The plan was to sail around the French Polynesian Islands on a smaller more intimate ship. It only boasted 300 rooms, compared to say a Disney ship of 5,000. The beauty of a ship this size, besides the obvious, is that it can sail to ports too small for some of the larger ships. There is no feeling of racing to dinner with herds of other guests and the food was amazing. I don’t usually take advantage of the nonstop food fest but I am sure I put on a few pounds. I definitely indulged. The staff was very attentive and seemed to enjoy chatting with you.
We visited several small French Polynesian islands and took in some local excursions. We really enjoyed meeting people born and raised on these islands. Each has it’s own flair but they are all beautiful.
In Raiatea, we snorkeled along a Coral Garden and saw beautiful tropical fish. We were with an experienced guide to help you with the drifts as it was somewhat shallow and a little dangerous with the sharp coral, but it was breathtaking. Loved this experience. Saw tons of fish.
Tahaa, known as the vanilla island, was the next stop. One of the nicest and most luxurious resorts in the islands is located here. Huts that sit right on the water and are somewhat secluded with incredible views of Bora Bora. Perfect spot for a honeymoon or anniversary and was just listed as the #1 resort in the world On ET as a celeb favorite – sounds pretty Smarty to me! We just spent the day here enjoying island life. Not too tough.
Bora Bora was my favorite island. We spent a day on a small authentic outrigger canoe with 2 other couples. We first snorkeled with black tip sharks. I just decided not to think about it or I would chicken out. I DO NOT like sharks but Rapa, our Polynesian guide, assured us they were friendly. We were way outnumbered but none came too close for comfort, otherwise I would have been watching from the boat. Very cool but I was glad we were not feeding them. Next we headed to check out some stingray. All I keep thinking was : Isn’t this how Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, died? There was an explanation of how this was different but I can assure you, I did not touch one tail!! They were huge and surrounded you like you were lunch. Of course, we were encouraged to pet them and feed them. I did, but I squealed like one of my preschoolers. So glad I did it, but it was surreal. Lastly, we visited a private island to enjoy an authentic Polynesian feast. This was a lifetime memory. Pig in the pit and the whole nine yards. Just the 6 of us lunching under the palm trees in paradise. On the way back to the ship, he even stopped for us at a local celeb hangout called “Bloody Mary’s”.
Our last port was Moorea and then back to Tahiti. We enjoyed the beach and just couldn’t believe we were about to leave this picture perfect setting. We made friends from around the world. We will be visiting our new friends from New Jersey to Phoenix all the way to Australia. I can’t say enough about the beauty of this part of the world. If you ever have a chance to visit, you will not regret it.
On an even happier note, our plane home was not only sans ashtrays but a brand new plane. Nice way to travel back to reality and celebrate Mother’s Day with my kids!! Tired but tan and happy.
Ok Smarties, what’s on your bucket list? Please contact me if you have any travel questions or needs.
CEENTA Sunglasses Giveaway!
Smarties, we have a FABULOUS giveaway from our friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates (CEENTA) just in time for summer. One lucky Smarty will get to pick her sunglasses of choice, up to $250 value!! Click here for details!