The Devil Made Me Do It

Trip Start Jan 20, 2010
Trip End May 20, 2010

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Where I stayed
Intercontinental Tahiti Resort

Flag of French Polynesia  , Society Islands,
Friday, January 22, 2010

It is Friday and we are settled into a modest small room at Apen House in Auckland ,NZ
Don't get me wrong because it is a nice little budget B&B which fulfills all our needs. It is centrally located in downtown Auckland and after arriving at 6:30 am from Tahiti and a second all night plane ride in two days,  basically a bed with clean sheets is about all we need.  The thing you need to know is  that to get here we basically had to reject paradise, which is a lot to ask of a person.  Let me explain.We left Seattle and arrived in LA in rain and cold.  Finding our way to the  International building we discovered a line that wrapped around several pillars, was guarded by a small army of FTA agents in a bizarre kind of  roped maze.  This ruled out the dinner with my son between connections somewhere off site of the airport we had planned .  Good sport that he is he  joined us for dinner at the local diner inside the airport for a great visit.  Food was surprisingly good if not unique and we enjoyed a  pleasant visit before entering the lines again to get through the security stations consisting of full body scans reminiscent of the movie "Total Recall" .  While standing in line we made acquaintance with a missionary heading back to Japan.  Since two hours in a security line can  make anyone feel like they know you well enough to offer sage advice she gently motioned me aside to let me know that I should keep a "watch on my husband because those beaches and pools in Tahiti are full of bare breasted woman who will lead him astray" I wasn't quite sure what she meant since A.  He isn't my husband and B.  I hadn't noticed him to suddenly loose all control around woman in Seattle, though not bare breasted they certainly are quite beautiful and Hawaii had not caused any divergence from our monogamous arrangement  that  I was aware of.  But I thanked her for the information and assured her I would stay firmly appraised of his morality while in Tahiti.  The thing she forgot to mention was that the men in Tahiti are bare breasted also and just as distracting, but apparently my fortitude at not being  tempted is related to my DNA.  Who knew ?

Tahiti Airlines did a wonderful job of transitioning you from the race of life in the Pacific Northwest to the idyllic laziness of vacationing in an amazingly short time.  If one wished  to you could essentially decompress into vacation rejuvenation by just staying on the plane.  The attendants are soft spoken and warm, with none of the staccato-ed voiced commands of "tray tables and seats in an upright position now!" being uttered that make you think you had enlisted into the armed forces and not book a plane flight.  The seat  and clothing colors are soft island hues and the food amazing.  I had shrimp with lobster sauce and two helping of cheese cake for dessert despite a nice dinner some 5 hours before. 
Upon arriving in Tahiti we were greeted by cu toms agents and island musicians and gently guided through customs to waiting bags.  The weather was a little humid, warm and cloudy but promised a nice day.  Our intention with this stopover was to break up the 13 hour plane ride and  get some sleep since we found that sleeping sitting up in a plane no matter how far back the chairs tilt, which apparently is far enough to prevent survival during a crash but is  not sufficient to allow sleep of any sort.
Our expectations were low, clean room and a place to crash near the airport was basically it and since we had packed the silk sleep sacks, even the clean sheets were optional.  What we discovered after a short bus ride from the airport to the hotel was a tropical paradise. 
We arrived at 8 am and despite a 3pm check in time they immediately got us into a room so we could sleep.  Being sleep deprived we didn't initially appreciate the environment but the bed was wonderful.  Two hours later I woke up to sunshine streaming in from the sliding doors. The doors slid open to a nice little patio, stepping outside and getting a whiff of that tropical odor, you know the one of flowers, salty sea and sand mixed with pina coladas. I shouted into the room that someone had stuck an ocean just outside our door.  My companion joined me and was equally astonished.  Apparently in our sleep deprivation we had not noticed our transport from airport hotel to tropical resort.  We grabbed swimsuits and off we went to explore.
Swim up pool bar and endless pools falling seamlessly into the ocean lured us in then I noticed the male staff. All of these men wore white sarongs around beautiful dark skinned bodies.  I never saw so many guys who had six packs in my life.  All with bright white smiles and big brown eyes that is really what the Las Vegas tag line "what happens here stays here" is suppose to mean.  My companion did a quick appraisal and grabbed my arm.  Okay, firmly back on the morality high ground, we dipped into warm pools, drank appropriately rich umbrellaed drinks and even ventured a quick hour of kayaking before dinner.  Not the quiet lay over we intended but excellent none the less. Courtesy of some new friends we made of the pool staff, we got to hear some nice island music  while we talked local politics.  To avoid the high cost of everything in Tahiti, we were directed to take a bus into town and eat at some pier park where several catering trucks offered a variety of ethnic delights.  Being us, we settle on crepes of Nutella and whipped cream for dinner, hey it's vacation.  A taxi took us back to the hotel for a quick nap before we caught a 2 am flight to NZ.
We were a little sad to leave our island paradise but we still have a lot of adventuring to do yet.  I wonder if the guys at the NZ beaches wear little white sarongs too?  

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Suzanne on

I never saw any Kiwis wearing sarongs on the beaches. But you be sure to let me know if YOU DO (and where!).

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