Our family landed back in the states early this morning after 33 hours of travel including airtime, lengthy layovers, and transport to and from airports. I am hoping they feel the long trek was worth the trip, because I know for me it was and will continue to be a highlight of our time here in Fiji. As I previously mentioned, when they arrived we spent a few hours in Nadi, and then moved onto our next location for 5 days. We stayed in the MOST AMAZING villa in Maui Bay along the coral coast of Fiji. It was stunning. The owners and staff greeted us upon arrival, sang a welcome song and placed shell necklaces around our necks. They made the most delicious lovo (traditional Fijian meal cooked in an underground oven) that Warren's family pushed themselves to get through...not because it wasn't tasty, but because jet lag was setting in. The rest of the week was filled with waterfall treks, walks along the beach, kayak and paddle board rides, a trip to the Eco-Park, a birthday celebration, and a bonfire on the beach coupled with a cava ceremony by the staff. It was truly perfect!
The villa also had a resident masseuse who gave massages upstairs on the private balcony overlooking the ocean. Needless to say, everyone loved that! The kids ADORED Josh, the activities guy. He came and got them nearly every day for walks on the beach, scavenger hunts, sac races, and crab races. It helped that he gave them a lollipop every day and carried Zoe for an hour on a treacherous hike. I am constantly reminded how great Fijians are with children. All of these activities were just part of the villa amenities. It was awesome! When we left, they all sang us the traditional Fijian goodbye. I truly hope to come back to this place while we are in Fiji.
|The pier right down the beach from the villa
|Josh brought the kids coconuts... one of Zoe's faves and mine too!
|The Lomani Wai staff with the kids on bonfire/cava ceremony night
|Andie pretended she was one of the staff for the week. She danced whenever they sang and helped out with the cava ceremony. It was awesome to watch her be so free.
|The kids learned a Fijian dance too.
|Full moon for bonfire.
|Zoe was totally freaked out by touching the animals
|Andie, not so much. She loved it!
|They got to feed the baby turtles by holding dead fish. The guide told them not to touch the water because it was unsafe. He then gave them a big bowl of soapy water for all of them to wash their hands in. It was pretty gross....but kids liked it.
|Watching the cousins together was so incredible. These kids love each other so much and hardly ever fight.
|Annual family shot on the beach.
|The owner, Francis suggest we take one in front of the villa too.
|Grandparent shot/Photo bomb
|This is what 10 people's stuff looks like in our house.
|GPH Happy hour. Usually the cousins pair off with the cousin closest to their age. I love when I see them connect with the cousin that they do not typically gravitate towards. How cute is this?
|Always love the sunset at the GPH.
|The kids loved the cake at the AWA July 4 Celebration. One problem, upon seeing the cake Zoe said, "Mom I want to have a piece of the Fiji flag cake!" Oops...time for more American education.
|The view from our friend's house where we spent July 4. Not too shabby.
|The flags presented when we walked into the house. They made the holiday a lesson for their kids. Pretty cool.
|These sweet girls were obsessed with "twin power" the whole vacation. They dressed the same as often as they could!
|Personal firework display.
|Drive to resort. Two happy kiddos.
|Kids' Club. No grown-ups allowed! (OK!)
|looking for fish
|Polynesian Dance Night. Photo op with fire dancers. Once again, Andie wants to be a fire dancer when she grows up. Yikes.
|Warren getting a beauty treatment.
|No big deal....two talking heads...
|kids' club....adults at adult only pool....
|another dance night
|Maybe a little too tight!
Overall, it was all I could ask for and more. I am so thankful to Warren's family for making the long, long journey. I now feel like the distance is a bit closer. Cannot wait until next time!