Bula, Fiji...
Not half-bad scenery while sipping our
December 30, 2006

Yesterday I got into Auckland and got to see Kat! Exciting stuff!

did see her for dinner and drinks back in February when she was in San Francisco one night. But before that the last time I
actually hung out with her was when I went out to Chicago to visit her…almost 2 ½ years ago.

Within an hour of hanging out chatting in the hotel room, we did what we do best…we cracked open a bottle of wine. Of course
we finished it. Then we grabbed a quick bite to eat before calling it a night and placing our 4:45am wake-up call.

This morning at 4:45am was not one of my happier moments. Never mind that while Kat was sleeping last night, I got sucked
into having E! on our television and felt like I had to take advantage of the shows they were airing. In this case, I am almost
embarrassed to say that it was the ‘House of Carters’ that I got sucked into. A marathon, no less. After three episodes…and
seeing how truly messed up a family can be…I finally called it a night.

I was having the sleep of my life when the phone rang this morning.
Ughhhhhhh. Moments like these are really unfair. I hate
them. It is partly my fault. I should never agree to stay in a place with such a comfortable bed and pillow when I have to wake
up so early.

I made up for lost sleep on the flight. This also meant I missed out on beverage service and the little hard candies that they
passed out at the end of the flight. Oh well. It was well worth it.

Upon arriving, we were taken out to the dock where the ferries leave from. We had to head out to the Mamanuca island group.
We were taking the ferry to Mana and then would be shuttled off to Matamanoa (our resort) by a smaller ferry. The time had
finally come when Kat, me, a newly married couple and many boxes of New Zealand butter would arrive at the resort. By now
it was about 3:00pm and our day had consisted of roughly ten hours of going from one form of transportation to another form
of transportation. Oh yeah…and waiting for all of these forms of transportation.

I was just happy to now be at a place where I could open my suitcase and call home for the next four days.  

We were welcomed to shore by a man playing a guitar (or maybe it was some tropical version of a guitar?) and a couple of his
cronies who were singing some Fijian songs to us.

We were taken up to the bar area where a creamy, fruity tropical drink awaited our arrival (but really…at this point, we were
the ones definitely awaiting the arrival of the drink).

We found this resort online. We checked out the website and we were very impressed. That being said, I must say that the
pool was definitely depicted to be on a much larger scale based on the website photos. I was for sure that we were seeing the
smaller sibling to what I had previously seen. Nope. This was it. The wonders of photography taken at certain angles…

Once I got over that mini-shock, there was no denying that the pool and the views from the pool were amazing. God bless the
person…ahem, I mean ‘genius’…who invented the infinity pool. We basically had this contrast of illusion and reality right in
front of us. Kat and I immediately went to put on our bathing suits – after all, I was hard-pressed to think of something more
inviting than that.

While everybody was saying ‘Bula’ to us, it was now time for us to say ‘Bula’ to Fiji…

And of course, true to the style of most of the places I have visited along the way, rain would be on the agenda a couple hours
after we arrived. The beauty of being on a tropical island is that it goes just as quickly as it comes. There were about three
bouts of this. I was just hoping this wasn’t going to be a daily occurrence. Fingers were officially crossed…

Kat and I had no intentions of really doing anything beyond relaxing, reading and doing a bit of swimming. There was always
time to explore the island a bit more in the coming days; for now, we were going to enjoy doing a whole lot of doing ‘nothing
much’. And how great doing nothing much can be…
Back to Fiji.
Upon arrival...
Ahhh, life on a tropical island.