Short adventure to Nadi, Beating of the drums, goodbyes, and VISITS!!
Last week Warren had a Peace Corps conference in Nadi, which is the biggest tourist town in Fiji, about three hours away from our home in Suva. The girls are on a three week break from school, so we decided to tag along for a little adventure. On Sunday we broke up the drive by stopping at the best little cafe on the beach half way to Nadi. (Eco-cafe). We will make it a regular stop from this point forward. It was delightful! The pizza was the best I've had here and the girls got to play with the local kids on the beach while we waited. It's that kind of "We can't believe we live here" type of place that we are so glad we discovered.
After lunch, we drove on to Nadi, getting into town Sunday night. On Monday Warren worked all day and the girls and I decided to go zip-lining through the rain forest, followed by mud baths at the hot springs. The girls LOVED zip-lining! They more they did it, the more they loved it...and the more courageous they became. They started just sitting and by the end of the day they were spinning around and hanging upside down. I wish I could embed videos to show the real effect, but it was awesome! (It was awesome for them anyway....I can honestly say I didn't love it.... I don't even know if I really enjoyed it. I definitely loved watching the girls...but I was nervous...even shaky...the whole time!) I went through the zips (about 10 of them) one time and the girls went through with the guides 5 times! We got the local rate, so the day was packed with fun for a really reasonable price.
Close by were the hot springs and mud baths. Again, I cannot say I LOVED this, but the girls sure did! It was a cool experience and the mud was so warm. I think it took 2 showers before it was completely out of their ears. As you can see from the pictures, Andie was REALLY into the mud!
The next day we went to see Minions (kids loved), got ice-cream, and went to an indoor fun house place since it was raining. That night we went into Denarau, which is a man-made tourist island 5 minutes from Nadi. This place feels nothing like the rest of Fiji to me. It is extremely manicured and 100% catered towards tourists. I felt like I walked into a weird time warp and was in a family friendly Miami for the night. It is definitely pricey, but a fun escape for the evening.
On our drive home from Nadi, we stalked the villa and grocery store near the villa where we are staying when Warren's family visits, I felt like a crazy stalker, checking out the house and the beach while trying to make sure the family staying there didn't notice me. It was worth it, because we found out the place is AH-MAZING!
Once we returned home, we went into full fledged prepare for family visit mode. The next two days I shopped and packed and prepared. In between the preparation, we had a few fun events. (We go to so many more events here than we ever did in Atlanta). One of our closest friends here got promoted in the military, so we got to go to a Fijian ceremony at the military barracks, the beating of the retreat. The Fijian military performed a marching band routine while they lowered the flags. Afterwards, the military band played classics like Purple Rain and Wagon Wheel. We danced all night! I LOVE dancing and wish I had more opportunities to go dancing in my life. It was so much fun! I apologize my pictures are so cloudy....
On Friday, we had our final play date with a family who is leaving this week. This family helped us to feel immediately welcome here and my girls have grown super close with their girls. When we first met, we were together in the Nadi airport; we were arriving in Fiji for the first time. Cyndee helped me carry our bags, talked to me about Fiji life, and was just the friendly face I needed upon arrival. As we were waiting for the jumper flight to Suva, she told me the trick to staying sane in this life where everyone moves, is to not get close to people who are leaving within the year. Well, this may be easy for some....but it's definitely not a lesson I can teach my children. I may know how to keep an emotional distance so the pain of leaving isn't too terrible, (even though I'm not sure that's always best) but there is no way I can keep my children from getting close to kids. Andie especially completely fell for their daughter. We had a painful goodbye which reminded me of the many goodbyes in Atlanta, but thankfully has been cushioned by the impending cousins' visit.
The adults had to get our hugs in too!
LASTLY, the family is here! The family is here! The family is here! We are overjoyed and while jet-lag is slowly wearing off we are having a relaxing stay at the most amazing villa we could dream of. Next post....lots of family amidst beautiful views. Oh, and, I JUST got an email that the Troxwell-Capellos are coming to visit us this December! I am so excited I may be shaking a little! Let the next trip planning begin!!!!