Don't get me wrong, traveling with Slou and Dela was absolutely fantastic, and my trip would not have been half as wonderful if it had not been for these wonderful friends of mine. But Past Liz had a sneaky suspicion that by the end of four weeks (yes, four weeks, not sure where my blog post title days went wrong), Traveling Liz would need some serious R&R.
Dela and I arrived in Sydney from Uluru, dumped our bags at the hostel, and walked to Circular Quay to see the Bridge and Opera house lit up for the night.
Along the way, we stopped for dinner at some place called Famous Harry's Live Seafood. Neither of us had seafood dishes, but we took a pic of these doomed crabs. #SorryGuys
We said our goodbyes that night since I would be catching a much earlier train than she for the airport. Dela is an amazing woman who is fully committed to her current purpose, and it's fantastic to catch up with her in person once or twice a year! Thanks for coming along, Dels!
I caught my early flight from Sydney to Nadi, Fiji, but it was not without trouble. Why families think Fiji is a great place to take their small children, I don't know, but literally all the kids in the world were on the flight. Literally. #NotLiterallyButThereWereAtLeastTwenty.
Everyone knows how much I loathe children, so this was my personal form of hell. It was bad enough that the kid behind me kicked my seat for four hours and couldn't turn down the damn volumn on his damn GameBoy (or whatever kids play on these days), but he and his brother kept SHOUTING to one another, despite sitting right next to one another. Their mother never intervened no matter how much shade I threw at her. The end of the flight brought a couple moments of turbulence, and you can imagine how all those tiny demons ripped out my soul with their screams. The worst.
Luckily for all those lives, the plane did land, and I scrambled away from them faster than a wombat being chased by a crocodile. It was raining, but I didn't so much care because I was so relieved to had ditched most of the kids through customs.
Here's the view from right before the clouds:
I found my shuttle, and finally, we were off! As we drove farther away from the airport, the rain lightened along with my spirits, and by the time we arrived, I was once again giddy. FIJI!!
I was greeted right away with a shell lei, a cold towelette, and a freshly sqeenzed glass of watermelon juice!
My burra sat on the far end of the resort and was exactly as perfect as I'd hoped. There was nothing between me and the beach execpt a few feet of green lawn and warm air.
The shower was hot and clean and the bed was decorated with peach colored hibiscus flowers.
As beautiful as the sunny beach was, I couldn't resist a hot shower--one that wasn't shared with a multitude of other people. Hosteling is not for the weak at heart, I tell ya. By the time I was done, the storm from the other end of the island was rolling in. I took myself on a quick beach walk and then sat down for dinner just as the rain began to fall.
That night, I lounged on a porch chair and read while a local band played live music for me and the three other people at the resort. If the airplane was hell, then this is my reward in heaven. I fell asleep that night in a king size bed with the screen door open, listening to the waves crash gently, twenty feet from my head, the moon shining a faint glow from behind the clouds.
In the mornig I woke up too early. The clouds hadn't burned off yet, so I took this as a sign to roll back over and catch some more sleep. By 9:30, the sun was shining! I'd missed breakfast, but I found an unopen package of biscuits (aka cookies, but since they call them biscuits then it's okay to eat them for breakfast--not that vernacular would have stopped me. Thus far, I've resisted opening one/all of the twelve packages of Tims Tams in my carry-on.) in my backpack, so I nom those on my way out the door. I grabbed a paddle and SUP board and paddle my way out to the bay.
On the south end are some caves that I explore before stumbling upon a coral reef, swimming with fishies! It's no Great Barrier Reef, but I was SO excited to find it on my own! I let myself float gently and watched the fish swim around.
I continued to float through the bay for the rest of the morning, living my own personal heaven on earth.
Lunch at the hotel was delicious, and half way through my pizza, my head swam with pinacolada bliss. The staff dressed up these cute little boys (who weren't from the plane, so I deemed them OKAY for now) and taught them a war dance!
Then the staff performed a song with Niko on the guitar.
For the afternoon I took myself on a beach walk from one of of the bay to the other. It was exactly perfect, except for awkward hasseling from locals. I had the far end of the bay to myself, so I sat and read for a bit.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Northern Michigan during the summers and so am spoiled enough to have "beautiful beaches" as a no-big-woop attitude. But what saltless, sharkless Big Blue lacks is life. Crabs, eels, brightly colored fishies. I keep forgetting that I'm at the ocean and thus continue to be surprised when the seashells move around on their own. I certainly love the beach and all it's wildlife, but I appreciate that the majority of my beaching is done void of creepy crawlers of the sea.
And then, just like that, it was time to leave. I packed my bags, hopped in the shuttle, and my trip was officially over! I'll fly overnight to LA and land in the morning. My parents just happen to be in LA this weekend, so I'll see them and my siblings for a couple hours before my flight back to DFW.
It's been an incredible four weeks, and I really appreciate all the comments and well wishes I got along the way from everyone following my blog and photos! I hope you each get to have your own adventure soon!