“Tahiti… come on honey… it’s your favourite place on earth! Pleeease say yes” Norm pleaded with his boyish grin.
I had already said no three times but we both knew he’d win this one. I did love Tahiti. It’s just that I’d travelled a lot lately and this trip was for the beginning of December. For a mom with four kids at home that’s a busy time. Plus I argued that I didn’t even have a swimsuit. Norm just rolled his eyes. He knew I didn’t like any swimsuits I had and hated shopping for a new one even more.
“Look Kir just go buy yourself a swimsuit. You need a new one. Just come with me to paradise”.
I groaned out loud but inwardly I was excited. Not about trying on swimsuits but about eight days of sunshine warm water and alone time with my husband. Norm wanted me at the one day conference in Papeete Tahiti but mostly he wanted time with me.
As he is a local bishop for our church and working full time at our Far And Away travel company it was becoming more rare to have a day together with just the two of us. We both needed this. Thankfully my parents agreed to come stay at the house and watch our kids while we were gone. The kids seemed excited for us and even helped me pack and clean and get ready to go.
It had been sixteen hours in total since we said goodbye to the kids in Victoria and finally landed in Tahiti. As we stepped off the plane a rush of familiar balmy air scented with Tahitian tiare flower greeted us. Ahhhh….we just looked at each other and grinned as we followed the big line of passengers into the rustic terminal building. I think Tahiti is the only place on earth that employs musicians and dancers to greet and entertain travellers as they wait in customs line ups. Nope. No stress here. Before long we were through the line and greeted with a fresh flower lei from our guide sent to pick us up from Tahiti Tours. Happily they presented us with our hotel vouchers and all the paperwork for our different activities we would be doing for the next week.
Before long we were dropped off downtown Papeete at the terminal of the Terevau Ferry. We were spending the first couple days on the island of Moorea which is only a thirty minute ferry away. Norm dashed into the downtown of Papeete to grab some Polynesian francs from the bank and I waited to meet up with an old friend from our college days. Within minutes my dear friend Maeva arrived greeting me with kisses on both cheeks and cold pineapple juice and fresh baked banana pies. I didn’t dare mention my sugar free gluten free diet. She sparkled and laughed and I forgot we were all in our forties instead of young college kids. Norm returned with the money and we spent the next twenty minutes catching up before we had to say our goodbyes and board the ferry.
I love the trip over the pass between the two sister islands. It made me long to go sailing again. Norm sat up on the bow with me and reminisced about our days at sea.
As we scrambled off the ship we waited with the mash of people all struggling to find their luggage from the colourful pile deposited on the cement curb. Thankfully we had a transfer arranged and our driver helped load our baggage into his van. Our little boutique hotel was called Les Tipaniers. We were given a lovely beach bungalow right on the crystal blue water. The lagoon took my breath away. This was exactly what I was dreaming about all month. As much as I wanted to wade right in and float away I was dead tired from no sleep the night before. We both happily lay under the gentle fan and instantly fell asleep.
A couple hours later we awoke and were drawn to the warm clear waters right outside our door.
I don’t love swimsuit shopping. But just before we left this week I had finally bought the new swimsuit and was happy to slip into it for the first time. We swam and snorkeled and held hands along the beach. If it weren’t for my tummy reminding me what time it was I’d have stayed in the water all day. Norm was hungry too so we hung our swim clothes to dry while we went for dinner. We decided on staying at our little resort restaurant and having a candlelit dinner served over the lagoon. The stars were bright and sent shatters of glittering light across the water. I looked up at my sweetheart of 24 years. I felt like we were on our honeymoon again.
The next day after a lovely island breakfast we went back to the water. We swam and played and snorkeled. Norm took lots of pictures and set his drone up in the air to get all kinds a beautiful footage. I mostly just relaxed and never ever wanted to leave. But alas we had a conference in Papeete the next day. Eventually we had to say goodbye to our tropical bungalow. We were picked up and taken back to the ferry. After two nights and a productive day of meetings Friday we were ready to check out our next island destination of Huahine. But it wasn’t until I was packing up this morning that I noticed my swimsuit was not in my suitcase. I must have left it outside to dry while I packed up in Moorea two days earlier. Oh no… I really detest swimsuit shopping. Did I mention that? I knew I needed swim stuff for Bora Bora which was going to my highlight of our Tahiti tour. I was in distress. It wasn’t even the cost of a new suit that worried me. How would I ever find another one on the tiny island we were flying to? I was grumpy all morning. I’d have to wear my black one that rubbed under my arms.
Again Norm was rolling his eyes at me. He was busy on his computer so I didn’t catch him actually doing it but imagined it pretty clearly. And that annoyed me a little. But what he really was doing was messaging the hotel in Moorea and asking them if they had seen my suit. We were already on the island of Huahine by the time he finally was able to get cell reception and make a connection with Les Tipaniers front desk staff. And he kindly arranged to have a taxi pick up my suit from their hotel and put it on the next flight to this island.
I was grateful but quite skeptical. However it late afternoon we went back to the tiny airport here on Huahine. We watched as all the luggage and taped boxes and coolers of fish were deposited and delivered. We tried to get the attention of the Tahitian luggage handler but the roar of the plane engine made it quite hard to hear each other. Finally he understood we were hoping for a small package. He looked and looked but only ended up raising his hands and shrugging his shoulders. About to give up we turned I turned to leave. But not Norm. He motioned to a new lady and pointed to a metal cage seemingly holding mail and parcels. She nodded and entered the cage. With a huge smile, she returned with a brown paper parcel addressed to us. We opened it immediately and it did indeed contain my missing swimsuit. I have no idea how much Norm had to pay to have it returned but he won huge points in my book today! Now I’ll be ready for the sharks and manta rays of Bora Bora.