It’s time!!! Today we talk Tahiti.
Well, Moorea, to be exact, which is the lovely little heart-shaped island where Dave and I posted up for 12 days of honeymoon bliss.
(warning: lotttts of photos!)
We left for Tahiti the day after the wedding, so needless to say by the time we landed we were several degrees of exhausted and delirious. But our timing did sync up nicely, with us arriving on the mainland by 6am and a quick ferry to Moorea getting us to our hotel by 8. Getting married is one of those bizarre things where everyone congratulates and fawns over you for absolutely no reason, it’s pretty amazing. Like, I wish everyday people served me free champagne for accepting a diamond ring, that’s exactly how I’d like to live.
Moorea is one of those destinations where your hotel makes the experience, and ours was seriously incredible. We stayed at the Hilton in an over-water bungalow, and it was just as magical and exotic as it sounds. The bungalows are arranged in a giant boardwalk right in the heart of the coral reef, which means you have serious aquatic activity surrounding you at all times. On any given morning (or night!) Dave and I would be chilling on our bungalow deck, feet dangling above sharks and sting rays swimming right below us, it was really cool. And we snorkeled with these creatures too, sometimes wayyy too close for comfort, like on our first snorkeling excursion when Dave and I found ourselves within arms length of a pair of 6 foot sharks. I stayed calm – miraculously – then immediately swam to shore and inhaled 37 pina coladas, like any survivor would.
The first half of our trip was where we squeezed in our activities, like going on a tour of Moorea’s tropical terrain and exploring pineapple groves and incredible look-out points. To get to the tops of these cliffs was ridiculously unsafe, it was almost comical how narrow the turns were and how close we teetered to the edge. The open-backed Jeep we trekked along in had maybe 6″ of grace before we tumbled to our deaths, so as you can imagine it was a really relaxing experience. But the views! The views. So crazy gorgeous.
On another day we did a snorkeling booze cruise where Dave and I again found ourselves circled by a shiver of sharks, because apparently we attract them. We then had an awesome Tahitian bbq on a deserted island, which felt like being in an episode of Survivor, it was pretty cool. I also got to eat fresh coconut straight from a tree, which was pretty spectacular for a coconut freak like me.
Speaking of the food – Seafood!!! Sooo much fresh, delicious seafood. I ate fish every day of our trip, which is definitely the most seafood I’ve ever had in my life. I wouldn’t say Tahiti has a special dish, per se, but fishes stewed in some sort of coconut milk/pineapple mash-up was a common feature on every menu we enjoyed. The food at the hotel was fantastic for breakfast and lunch, but we ate most of our dinners outside of hotel grounds, so we really got to experience some delicious, authentic local eats. Most restaurants were on the casual side, but the food was pretty spectacular – scallops and shrimp in puff pastry, sesame coated tuna over asparagus risotto, foie gras dumplings, mahi mahi crusted with chorizo, lobster bisque, crab stuffed parrot fish, the works. It was utterly epic, and I was way too busy stuffing my face to take a picture of a single thing.
Being in Tahiti we of course saw a Polynesian dance show, which was really cool. I honestly could not get over how these girrrls shake their hips, it makes Shakira look like an amateur. The male dancers are almost uncomfortably naked, but they make light of their garb in a pretty entertaining way. Plus they play with fire (which was awesome), and the music was catchy (which I’m still humming to myself a month later), so overall the dance show was a sweet experience.
What else?! All the exotic things you’d think we’d be doing – Lots of snorkeling and paddle boarding, walks on the beach, watching sunrises and sunsets, enough frozen cocktails to kill a horse, lounging, relaxing, naps in hammocks, swimming, smiling, and a trip to the spa. It was, in a word, perfect, and the best part was having my #1 buddy beside me the whole time.
PHEW. that was long.