From There to Here and Back Again

Hello from the land of the Big Blue!

Kia Orana! Greetings from Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Yes, we are here but first we were there, so let’s start there and go here. Let me take you on a journey, over land and sea, to the South Pacific. Grab your suitcase, don’t forget your sunscreen, take my hand and I’ll lead the way…

We’re waking up early on Sunday morning. You can see by the bags under my eyes I haven’t slept much – partly because of the previous night’s partying at the Roney’s place with a handful of good friends, and partly because I can’t find my camera and I was up until 1 am looking for it. Nevermind, we’ve got a plane to catch, better hurry. Let’s not wake up Martha and Patty Cakes, although we’d love to hug them goodbye.

Now we’re getting on our first flight – Vancouver to Los Angeles. Man, it’s freezing! Have they got the air conditioner cranked up? Wait, now it’s boiling hot. What is this, the Menopause Express?? And no movie? Air Canada sucks – you’d think after charging us $450 dollars for our extra two pieces of luggage they could afford to fix the temperature and entertainment systems, Geez! Look, there’s L.A., wow, is it ever smokey.

Well, we’ve got an 8 ½ hour stopover so let’s get settled. Doesn’t it seem funny to you that for such a major hub, the Los Angeles airport is really grungy and poorly designed? See that spot over there, that’s where Prez and I slept on the floor one night – I don’t recommend sleeping in LAX. At least they’ve got some power outlets in the floor so we can plug in all our laptops. What did we do before internet?

It’s almost three hours before our next flight so we better head over to the terminal and get the whole security check over with. Oh my god! Look at that line up; it’s out the door and up the stairs. Crazy. Shoes off, jackets and purses in one box, laptops out of the pack, check for anything metal, hurry, hurry, hurry, people lined up behind us. Good thing we decided to check in early, that took almost two hours.

Air New Zealand at last. Poor Prez, this plane has no leg room. This will be a long 9 ½ hours for him. But check out the male flight attendants. Yeah, they’re probably gay but who cares…they’re yummy! Time to take one of the Happy Pills the doc gave me – do you want one? Oh baby, it’s kicking in; I am soooooooooooo relaxed. You too? Cool. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Good morning! Oh, we’re almost there according to the display on the overhead monitors. Isn’t that kind of neat how they show us our progress on the map? But where is the island? I don’t see Rarotonga anywhere, and it doesn’t help with all these clouds in the way. Wait I see it. Holy cow, those mountains are spectacular, I had no idea the island was so mountainous. And that water, wow, have you ever seen water so blue before?

Nice landing, I sure hope the Boss is there to pick us up. The weather is perfect, not too hot, not too cold. Mind you, it’s still early in the morning here – not even 7am. There’s the customs and immigration building ahead, in we go!

Where’s that music coming from? Ha! Check out the guy in the corner, with the tropical shirt, playing the guitar and singing. That’s fun.

Whew, we made it through immigration. She was a bit of a frowny face, wasn’t she? All the other Cook Islanders seem super friendly though, thank goodness. We better go get our luggage. One piece, (my clothes made it, hooray!), two pieces, (dive gear, good), three pieces, (the rest of the dive gear, excellent), four pieces, (I guess Prez has to wear clothes now, too), there’s the fishing rods, that makes five pieces, and…

They lost our fishing reels? You are joking. Oh man, well, fill out the form and hope for the best. Nine years of travel and that’s the first bag we’ve lost; that’s not so bad, I suppose.

Aha, that man with the gray hair and mustache, waving at us, he must be Mr. Boss. Here we are! Over here!

Fitting our heap of luggage into this car is going to be interesting. Push it a little harder Prez, yeah, there it goes.

This is the main street that runs around the entire island; does everyone ride scooters here or what! Doesn’t the landscape remind you of Costa Rica? So lush, so green, gorgeous. Here’s the house and this must be Mrs. Boss coming out to greet us. Kia Orana! Nice to meet you. Let’s put the luggage in their son’s bedroom and have a bite to eat. Isn’t this papaya sweet? I don’t usually like papaya – oh, they call it paw paw here, by the way – it always tastes too musky for me, but this one almost tastes like a mango.

Well, time to go get the immigration business over with and see if we can buy a digital camera…sigh.

Can you believe how quickly we made it through immigration? And after they made us jump through so many hoops beforehand. I thought we were going to be stuck in that office all day. I loved how the men there were all wearing bright floral shirts, and shorts, one even had bare feet! Cool. Now we have lots of time to shop for a camera…but, hold on, there’s the exact same model as the one we lost. Might as well get that one. Prez, stop taking pictures of the staff! Thank goodness they’re laughing about it, huh? Oh, you’re hungry? Yeah, me too. I know Mrs. Boss is making us lunch but let’s stop at that little café and just grab a snack.

This sounds good – “Ika Maki”. It is good. Chunks of raw tuna marinated in lime juice with cucumber, tomato, and a coconut sauce – deeeeelish! Dip the garlic bread in, mmmmmm, decadent.

We really shouldn’t have eaten that Ika Maki, now I’m almost too full to eat the Mahi Mahi Mrs. Boss has for us…almost. Do you want to go for a swim? Boss Jr. is home from school – he’s a little firecracker – and Mr.Boss is going to drive us to a nice beach. OK, swim suits on!

This beach is stunning! The water is tiny bit cooler than I thought it would be but that could just be the time of year. Can you believe Mr.Boss says this beach is nothing compared to the ones on Aitutaki? I can hardly wait. It’s a good thing this lagoon is surrounded by coral reefs – those waves breaking out there are huge. It feels so wonderful to be back in the ocean, doesn’t it?

We have just enough time drive around the island, rinse off, and catch our flight. Not that driving around the island takes very long.

Flight number three – yes, I’ll be happy to stop flying, too. Don’t you just love how so many women here wear flowers in their hair. The flight attendant says the flower she’s wearing is Frangipani; I hear they have a beautiful scent. Luckily this is a quick flight…there’s Aitutaki already.

And there is the lagoon! AMAZING!!!!! How many shades of blue do you see? Four? Five? More???

Here’s our resort. I guess we’ll look around in the morning; Mr.Boss wants to take us and one of the guests to the Boat Shed restaurant for dinner.

Dinner was tasty. I am so exhausted, what about you? That’s what I thought. Let’s get some sleep and tomorrow we’ll have a good look at our new home.

Thanks so much for coming along with me on this journey – it wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t share it with you.

*****

I have so much more to write but I think that’s enough for now. I’ll probably post again tomorrow. The high speed internet is not yet connected; hopefully it will be next week – no pictures until then, I’m not going to even attempt to upload on 46 kbs dial up!!!

So, while I have you here…

Martha & Patty Cakes, thanks so much for a fabulous farewell. Martha, I, too, love cooking with you, especially when ciders are involved! Hang onto the camera for now, (the lost camera was found, FYI), we’ll probably ask you to ship it later.

Kozy & Wendy, we had to move to a deserted island to lose all the weight we put on at your place!

Koz, there’s some groovy food here, man, you’d love it. And one of our guests is a chef from a big restaurant in Vancouver…his name, by the way, is Paul. Love you guys!

Sis, tell Dad to tell Emily her Mommy misses her, (she also misses her Dad and the rest of her family, too). Send me a kitty report soon. Thanks for setting that all up, by the way. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!! Hugs xoxoxo.

Chocolate Sista, thanks so much for making time in your busy schedule. Wish we could have had more. Love ya! p.s. – the mangoes are thick on the trees here and almost ripe.

BJ, we already have some of our Cook Islands Adventure Tour put together for you. Miss you girl – glad to hear you are cleansed and happy. Hope the Ripster is home safe and sound and soon…but maybe not too soon? LOL. Xo

Mom, thank you for my substitute kitty, (I’m still working on a name); she is sitting beside me right now. You’ll be happy to know your youngest son is all smiles now that he is once again swimming with the fishies. Love to all the family! xoxo

Guru Terri, here is a BIG hug – SQUEEZE!!!! I hope you’re feeling better now. Sure wish you were here. xo

As soon as I have high speed, I will send individual emails but if I try to use dial up for any length of time my laptop will be found floating in the lagoon!

QUESTION: Did you enjoy our trip?

Until tomorrow, I hope this finds you healthy, happy & lovin’ life!

The Princess

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One Response to From There to Here and Back Again

  1. Cindy says:

    YOU\’RE KILLING ME HERE, PRINCESS!!  You have no idea how much I could use a day in the ocean.  I\’m going to go weep into my pillow now. 
     

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