Throwback Thursday: Fiji Honeymoon
I'd never heard of Air Pacific prior to booking our honeymoon flight to Fiji. It seemed like LAX hadn't, either; our gate was in a forgotten far corner of the antiquated Bradley Terminal, a good half-mile away from the security checkpoint. No big deal, though: after the hot shower I'd had in the airport lounge, the commute was a pleasant way to wind down before the redeye flight. That is, it was leisurely until it was nearly time to board, and I realized I had left my passport behind at security.
Shit. This was bad. So much for my fresh tracksuit and my carefully-cultivated evening Zen. It was time to break a sweat and work on that mile time.
Grateful for my decision to have worn runners, I sprinted through the corridor, slaloming confused onlookers, dodging congested moving sidewalks. After several minutes on the airport obstacle course, I reached security, and, panting, retrieved my passport.
Then I ran back, making it back to the gate just in time. A fresh swipe of deodorant later, I was ready to sleep my way across the Pacific and wake up in paradise.
I'm very fortunate to have many opportunities for exotic travel. Sometimes it seems like each trip is better than the last, but there are a few outliers in my rich travel history that stand out as truly exceptional. Fiji was one of those destinations. Of course, this is to be expected--it would take some supreme disasters to ruin a honeymoon in Fiji--but the passport incident aside, everything went perfectly for a blissful 18 days.
Our resort, Wananavu, was beyond perfect. Absolutely first class. Our honeymoon bure was exquisite, and with it came a private swimming pool. It was imperative that I snap a couple of photos before the room got littered with bathing suits and the pool became our own private dive gear rinse bin.
Attention to detail was superb: every few days, the resort staff wove new palm fronds on every support beam, and we never wanted for cold beers.
We went to all the Fijian culture seminars that the resort put on. This is Evuloni, and so far as we could tell, his job at the resort was to give talks and tell stories. Here, he's teaching us how to survive on coconuts when we are someday inevitably stranded on a remote island.
I was feeling pretty good about our chances, until it dawned on me that one of us was going to have to climb the tree to get the coconut in the first place.
"I am an old man," Evuloni pointed out, "so this boy will climb the coconut tree."
And the kid scaled the tree like nobody's business.
We're totally screwed in the remote-island scenario.
When we weren't joining kava ceremonies, river rafting, or drinking all the banana daiquiris, we were diving. And the diving was exquisite.
We were fortunate enough to dive the Vatu-I-Ra Passage, or the Bligh Waters, nearly every day of our trip. Soft corals bloomed in the currents, diverse fish life inhabited every nook and cranny of the reef, and white-tip reef sharks cruised just out of reach.
As a grand finale to our dive trip, we rented a car and traversed the island to southern Viti Levu to do the shark feeding dive at Beqa Lagoon. Our rental car came with some sick decorations, and our road trip was truly an adventure, given the "construction" on the interior roads.
The adventure didn't stop when we got to Beqa. The shark feeder allowed me to come into the "inner circle" to take photos of this bull shark!
Our Fiji honeymoon wound to a close not long after, and on our last day on the island, we realized that for the hundreds of photos we had taken, not a single one was of us together. Fortunately, a couple sitting next to us snapped this one to round out our album.