The rope light illuminated the sticky concrete floors as we made our way to the faded red upholstered seats. Back row, left side. I had hung out a few times with him and his boys that summer, but after a rather fateful day on the lake and his infamous line, "you ever kiss a Chinaman before?", we decided there might be more to our relationship than the Provo Town Center food court and an unfortunate Sunday dinner of refried bean tacos. The dollar theater was quite naturally the next step. The Truman Show was on the big screen and as Jim Carrey fantasized about Fiji I began to fantasize about it too. I had never even heard of it before and wondered if it was an imaginative place contrived for the movie. When I realized this place actually existed I knew right then and there that someday I wanted see those white sandy beaches for myself. Sixteen years later, and the dream that hatched on our first date in that dimly lit theater has now become a reality as we celebrated our 15 year anniversary on those white sandy beaches in Fiji. I like when things wax poetic and come full circle in life. We had to wake up at 3:30 am to catch our 6:00 flight, which was fine since we were too excited to get much sleep anyways. One perk to having such an early flight is that we had a birds eye view of an amazing sunrise. I love that sliver of sunlight breaking through the clouds above the city lights.
To experience the true Fijian paradise you need to leave the mainland and stay on one of the hundreds of islands, or so we were told. With so many islands to choose from it was hard to narrow it down, but when Jason came across Navini we knew it was just what we were looking for. A small island with pristine beaches and only 10 bures (beach cottages), so the staff outnumber the guests. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, venture out on their morning excursions or use any of their water sports equipment. Okay, now I'm just sounding like a brochure. The point is, it had great reviews and it lived up to our expectations. From the airport we took a 20 minute drive to the port then a 30 minute boat ride out to the island. As we cruised along I just remember feeling completely and utterly relaxed. It could have been the lingering valium from the plane ride talking, but I loved the feeling of not having a care in the world. Every vacation should start this way. And this right here is our little slice of paradise hidden in the middle of the South Pacific. (As a side note, the second island to the right is where they filmed Castaway. The Truman Show and Castaway are on our short list of movies to rent when we get back.)
We were welcomed by a member of the staff waving to us from the shore and as soon as we stepped our bare feet onto that warm sand I was already dreading the moment we would have to say good bye. We settled in, sampled from the platter of fresh fruit and tested out the hammock and lounge chairs. The rest of the day was filled with delicious food, naps and about 567 pictures of slightly varying angles of turquoise water and white sand.
The view from our front porch. I like what I see.
The only exercise I got that day was rotating from napping in the hammock
To reading on the beach chair. It was a pretty good way to spend a day.
There was this yacht anchored near by that night. Some of the guests were out kayaking and stopped to talked to them and hear their story. They are from Sydney and have spent the last 5 years sailing around the world. This is one of their last stops before going home. They left when their daughter was 3 and she is now 8. Life on the sea is all she has ever known. It kind of hurt my brain just thinking of the logistics of raising a child and living on a small boat for such a long time, but what an incredible adventure. I would have loved to hear their stories.
Sunset walks on the beach sort of became our thing. It only takes 10 minutes to walk the entire circumference of the island and we decided we needed some way to burn off the twice a day desserts. We fell asleep that night to a movie on the laptop, a cool breeze blowing through the windows and a smile on our face. Not really with a smile plastered on our face, but you know, it sounded like an appropriate way to end this post.