The Final Countdown... Dragons too :)

In my mind I knew we weren't leaving anytime soon because I still had boxes to tick - the biggest one being we still had guests coming in town.  The Drydens were coming for a week and I have been so excited about it and our departure didn't feel real until after they came anyway.   Well, they've come and left - so now it's real.  They couldn't have fit in better to our Fijian life - with our friends, the lifestyle, etc. so having them here felt like home - just like I knew it would.    It was tied in with so many lasts....but that was ok.   

Michael, Shirean, and Reid flew in Friday morning.  They didn't have too much time to adjust because minutes after we saw them we swished them away in the car to hop on the boat to Leleuvia - without any stops inbetween.   Everyone was thrilled to be reuinted.  I cannot imagine how they felt after 48 hours of travel to be hopping on a very ROUGH boat ride, but they are good like that - super flexible. 

As noted, our ride was CRAZY!   The water was rough and the wind was strong!  In fact, the ocean was so rough that Zoё flew off the seat onto the ground at one point.   At that same moment, my purse which was filled with my phone and a hard plastic Nalgene type water bottle- bounced inbetween the walls and the water bottle busted - leaving my phone in a pool of water.  I quickly grabbed it out....but turns out it was too late.   It worked for a while but as soon as it was time to recharge it, it wouldn't charge- and hasn't since..... no matter how long it was in rice.   So sad.   I didn't let it ruin my weekend though.... All of these pictures taken at Leleuvia were snapped by friends so I still got pictures but was able to be in the present... kinda nice.  

Leleuvia was windy and a little chilly, but SO good!  It was exactly what I wanted for the weekend.  Man, I love that place.  I think I will think about there whenever I need to meditate or am asked to think of a relaxing place.   


Update:  I wrote all of the above before we left Fiji when I was still in my lovely home, now occupied by a beautiful new family.   I am going to continue where I left off - but now I am in a different mind state - a weird, still jet-lagged, lonely, sad, happy to be with family and friends, disbelieving state of mind - so I am not even sure I can get back to that spot to remember those last few weeks as clearly, but I'll try....

As I said, Leleuvia was everything it should be.   It was amazing to be with friends - friends that are so close they feel like family, our Fiji family.  I also loved that the Drydens were getting to experience it all - fitting in so naturally.   It was kind of an Aussie star-studded weekend.   First of all, Liz's sister, Kate, who has become a friend of mine as well, her best friend is Rachael Griffins.   One of my favorite shows is Six Feet Under so I was a little start struck when she spent the weekend at Leleuvia with us.   Well, at first I was but then she was just like everyone I really just focused on my Fiji family/friends.   Also, Lisa Curry is a huge household name in Australia due to her success in swimming in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.  She was also at Leleuvia with her awesome professional impersonator hubby, Mark.   Apparently he is the best impersonator in Australia and I believe it!   He did a show for us impersonating Dean Martin, Austin Powers, and Elvis Presley.   It was AWESOME!!!!   It was seriously SO MUCH FUN!   We all danced and danced and danced.  He made it somewhat of a goodbye party for us and it just felt totally bizarre and totally right all at the same time.  

There was lots of happy hours on the beach, great snorkeling sessions, yard games, Mexican train dominoes, star gazing, kids roaming, great conversations, dancing, and loads of laughter throughout the weekend.   I really couldn't have asked for better.  I cannot even begin to think about how long it will be before we get back there because it just makes me want to crawl into a corner and cry- so....moving on....

Hi Reid!

boat ride there

daily tea break

See the sea snake?

Missing Dave- but can't imagine life in Fiji without them....

Dean Martin called us up to dance!

Sota Tale Leleuvia....  

We spent a few days exploring Suva with the Drydens as well.  We spent a day around town and ended at GPH and Holiday Inn for sunset.   The next day we went to the rainforest, Colo-I-suva for a final hike there.  I finally did the rope swing after watching my family do it for years without me.  It was fun!   (I do still fear someone breaking something there and having to carry them out of the park and rushing them to the sub-par hospital).   We came home to a great July 4th celebration with our friends to include sparklers and lots of smoked meats and yummy sides.  At the end of the night we started giving away everything in our fridge as we would be out of the house in less than a week - which felt really weird and sad to imagine it was the last big hangout on our deck.   Again, still doesn't feel real. 

Andie's creation

Zowers rediscovered her love for Michael Dragon

Rainforest hike

I did it!!!!

much deserved ice-cream after hike

Hotel Passin

Happy 4th!

On Thursday morning we woke up early and headed straight to Matanuvusi for one last hurrah and to get closer to the airport for the Drydens.  It rained there, but we managed to still get in a great snorkel, some nice hot tub time, yoga, and some super relaxing drinks on our porch listening to the rain fall down and overlooking the ocean.   I don't think I'd change a thing - except maybe eating my fourth lovo for the week there.....

The next morning was perfect weather but we had to head to Warren's iTautau  (farewell) at work so we enjoyed a lovely breakfast overlooking the beautiful coast, packed the car, and said goodbye.   Shirean started to tear up when we said goodbye, and it just opened the flood gates for me.  I couldn't stop crying for the first ten minutes in the car.   I was so sad to see them go and so sad that it signified our last week.   So many emotions.....  sometimes all those emotions just make me numb and sometimes they hurt my stomach and sometimes they just spill over...down my face.

Yoda  😊

Love the Fijians taking care of kids all the time

This seems like a good stopping point for now.  One week left to document and that last week was just so sad and beautiful and everything in between..... but for now I have a  lunch with my oldest neighborhood friends.   More soon-  

Thank you so much to Michael, Shirean, and Reid for helping to soften the blow of our departure and for traveling so far to see us.   Life long friends!