Monday, December 12, 2011

L'Orana!

I hear that some of you noticed my absence. I'm sorry. I was out of the country. Where was I? Ahhh. Here's who greeted us at the airport.

We went to Tahiti, in celebration of 30 years of marriage. What a wonderful week of sun and memories.

Our first stop was the Intercontinental. We were housed there for several hours after landing, before we were allowed to board the ship. I lounged,

Hubby prefers watersports. This is a freshwater pool, abutting the lagoon.

Palm trees come in all shapes and sizes. I took lots and lots of photos.

This is our ship, the Paul Gauguin. It's small, with about 350 passengers. The service is spectacular, I have only good things to say about the experience. This was actually our second time aboard this ship. We've only cruised twice, each time to Tahiti, each time on the Paul Gauguin.

Our first island stop was Raiatea, where we took a 4x4 trip through the volcanic crater.

It was a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride type of trip, earning grins for the entire bouncing jolting duration.

Our guide was...Maria? I think her name was Maria. Don't be fooled by the beautiful flowers (wild ginger), check out her left hand. She knows how to use it!

She took advantage of the trip to cut a beautiful selection of flowers for herself. These are a variety of Bird of Paradise.

The water is really this color. The lighter the color, the more shallow the water. The reef surrounding the island keeps out the surf and creates lovely calm lagoons that are fantastic for snorkeling.

This little hermit crab was about the size of my pinky fingernail. Isn't he cute? The shore is covered with crushed coral "sand."

This is a view from their private island, located near Taha'a. We spent the day here, soaking up rays and generally learning how to relax.

The bar served drinks in coconut shells. Afterward, they burn them in bonfires.

I missed the dying session, when people made their own pareos. A pareo is the piece of fabric that Tahitians can wrap in a multitude of ways to create clothing. (This is miniature, compared to what would actually be needed to cover a person.)

Here's one of our hostesses, helping a shipmate with his fabric.

I loved the blues, so clear. Not a hint of fog, anywhere.

Sunsets were beautiful, even with interference from rain clouds.

When walking through the islands, periodic reminders of Christmas were seen. I kept wondering why they had decorations up in July...

This palm tree looked wrong. It took me a minute to realize it was a cell tower.

One thing about Tahiti: there are a lot of dogs. ALL of them make Chupa look beautiful.

We had a chance to string our own leis on "Polynesian Night."

The next day we took a catamaran sail and snorkel around the island. I was along for the ride.

Hubby was there for the snorkeling.

There were frequent programs featuring local musicians. I LOVED the music. It made me want to get up and dance.

But they already had girls to do the dancing, and guys.

On the last day we took a tour of James Norman Hall's house. He wrote Mutiny on the Bounty. I took pictures of some of the shellwork on clothing, for inspiration.

Our guide, Lydia, made her skirt. She's a seamstress who says that "patchwork" is very popular with the Tahitians. In talking, I realized that what she called patchwork, we call Hawaiian applique.

This particular hibiscus is useful for cleaning the inside of your mask so you don't have to spit in it. I just thought you'd like to know.

As we left, we saw more reminders that it is NOT summer, it is December.

Oh my! I think I need to get a tree!

I have hundreds of pictures, but I don't know how many I will subject you to. We'll see. Lots of things have been going on, and I have some catching up to do.

9 comments:

Diana said...

How utterly beautiful. Congratulations on your 30th wedding anniversary. What a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Cruising is soooo much fun. And a tropical one at that!! Congrats on 30 years. Linda

quiltedtime said...

Glad you had a good time, Suzanne. By the way, I have that same hibiscus in my back yard. I guess it might come in handy someday if I go diving in Bakersfield. I assume you meant a snorkeling mask.

Sara Kelly said...

Thirty years of wedded bliss deserves a trip to paradise.
Looks fabulous.

Barbara Sindlinger said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I love cruising!

Del said...

What a great trip! The beaded dress is lovely - and an inspiration. I'll take all the pictures you care to send my way. I enjoy looking at good vacation pictures - they are also inspiring. Love, Del

pb said...

The colors are so beautiful. God is a marvelous creator. You guys look so relaxed

Sharon Schlotzhauer said...

Love the pictures - looks like you had a wonderfully relaxing time celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary - congratulations again, BTW!

Kay said...

What a fabulous trip, and beautiful photos! Congratulations.