30 September 2010

Pink & Green: Lilly in Fiji

Now, you all KNOW I wasn't going to travel around the globe to Fiji and not take my Lilly with me! For Pink & Green Thursday this week, I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Walk-in closet of Lilly in our villa.

Lilly up in the air - the jet to the island.
Dining Lilly-style on the beach.
Lounging poolside...
And strolling from our villa to the water.
Cocktail hour at the bar. Bellini, please!
Dinner is served!
Time for the spa! Massage? Facial? Manicure? Oui, oui, and oui!
His and hers...hanging to dry.
I adored dressing up each night.
Going native! Cava ceremony (which is performed for dignitaries, like the Queen of England!)
Lilly under the sea.
And on land in Denaru - the "Hollywood" of Fiji.
Three cheers to leading a very colorful life across the globe! Show us your favorite pinks and greens and play along with the lovely Trish! Happy Pink & Green Thursday, darlin's!

29 September 2010

Fiji: Village Life

Aside from the beautiful beaches, aqua water, and endless coral, Fiji is also known for being home to the friendliest people in the world. After meeting the staff and villagers of Qamea, I can assure you that this is not an understatement. The staff was always eager to do whatever they could to make your stay perfect, and they always did it with a smile and a friendly "Bula!" (Hello in Fijian - after learning "hello", "thank you", and a few other basics, I have now added Fijian to my list of languages that I speak.) They immediately welcome you and treat guests as family members or close friends.

We were also amazed by the villagers' kind hearts, welcoming nature, and humble demeanor. They shared their traditions with us, invited us to celebrate with them in their ritual cava ceremony, and showed us where they live. After one visit to the village and seeing how they live, Husband and I felt we had to help in some way. Our next visit, we brought candy and clothing for the children and had so much fun hanging out their presents to the children. I instantly was drawn to one little girl who warmed my heart with her sweet smile and shy wave. After seeing her in her village twice and her visit to the resort to dance in the Meke ceremony, we became friends. The day before we were leaving the resort, I said goodbye to my little Filo and gave her a big hug. Tears in my eyes as we walked back to our boat, she came running over to me and gave me the shell necklace she was wearing. I was overwhelmed by this sweet gesture, as she was willing to give me her necklace when she has so little and we have so much more. I know that I will never forget my little Filo, and I can only hope that I touched her life with warmth and love in some way. A package is en route to Fiji for her now with a framed photo of the two of us, a card, and a princess Barbie doll from America. I know that it may take months for it to arrive, but I cannot wait for the day when she receives her special package. Welcome to Chief Dan's village in photos!

Beautiful little Filo (wearing the shell necklace)! Aren't they precious?

Just monkeying around.

Our arrival to the village.

Arriving at the Church on Sunday morning for the village services... their Church was destroyed in a cyclone in the Spring, so this building is used for school and worship now.

Look at my little Filo shake it! Meke dancing on Friday night - such fun!They luuuurved to pose for the camera - so stinkin' cute! The adorable children playing outside.

Looking down on the village from above.
A typical village home.
The common meeting room where they welcomed their guests, singing and serving us cava, tea, and casava chips.
I know Husband and I will never forget our glimpse into Fijian life and the impact they had on us. Sending love to our Fijian friends!

28 September 2010

Fiji: Jungle Walks and Waterfalls

With all the gourmet food we were eating each day, Husband and I were sure we were going to come home a few pounds heavier. Think: fresh pineapple and papaya with full breakfasts each morning, fresh fish, crab, lobster, and seafood of all kinds usually cooked in some type of coconut creme sauce, homemade ice cream after lunch each day, and desserts that would rival the best pastry chefs in the world each night. Add the bottles of champagne and wine with dinner and fruity tropical mixtures during cocktail hour, and I was convinced my Lilly's were going to be a little snug by the end of the week. How did we manage to avoid this? Two words: JUNGLE. WALKS.

Yes, we did multiple hikes up mountainous jungle paths, coastal walks, and climbs up waterfalls (followed by jumping off or sliding down said waterfalls).  These were our "adventurous excursions" in the morning, followed by lazy afternoons at the spa. Let's go on an adventure, shall we? I promise, the pampering in the end will make it all worthwhile...
Lovely day for a walk in the jungle.
We had just climbed down this "path" when this photo was snapped.
Our first glimpse of Buma Falls.
A sea of palm trees.
Dense jungle.
Buma Falls, here we come!
A little scary from the bottom...
and the water was COLD!
Our island in the distance.
Ready to jump with me??? (Not from the top... pinky promise.)
Where Blue Lagoon was filmed.
Another day, another waterfall.
40 feet high? Not for this girl, thankyouverymuch.
But our guide had NO problem jumping. Wheeeeeee!
The orange dove, named Bune... Fiji is the only place in the world you will see this beauty.
Reminiscent of Jurassic Park?
Watching the waves crash.
Who's ready for a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure at the Jungle Spa? XO

27 September 2010

Fiji: Snorkeling Adventures

Welcome to honeymoon week on Pink Champagne! Be prepared for lots of pictures and stories from our newlywed adventures on the tropical islands of Fiji. Are you ready? I am!!

In the 12 days Husband and I spent in Fiji, we snorkeled 4 times. Having heard that Fiji was known for the best snorkeling/diving in the world, we were eager to dive right in. (Not a huge fan of the pressure and scary sea creatures that would surely eat me, we stuck with snorkeling rather than diving. You know, just to be safe.)

We put the underwater camera to good use, and clicked away at all the coral, starfish, brightly colored fishies, and reef sharks around us. Yes, you read that correctly - SHARKS. Although they described them as "friendly" reef sharks, we had all seen Jaws enough to swim back to the boat after spending the required 30 seconds floating in the water and snapping a picture just to prove we swam with them. We saw two: one was 5 feet and the other was 8 feet... still too large for my liking, thankyouverymuch. My favorite snorkeling friends were the Nemo-lookalikes, huge bright blue starfish, and pretty coral in all shades. I also adored the underwater tour of the pearl farm, where we learned how they use oysters to make freshwater pearls - gorgeous. Come under the sea with me, and enjoy the pictures! XO
Did you spy the shark, tropical fish, coral galore, and nets holding the oysters with lovely pearls inside? Stay tuned for many more Fiji posts to come! XO