Let me pick up where I left off yesterday. Tuesday, 8/7, was my birthday. I love watching the sunrise any chance I get and even more so on my birthday. Dave did a quick reconnaissance mission the day before to find where on the island we could see sunrise. Turns out, it was just a short walk around the end of the island. Despite it being vacation, we set the alarm to ensure we were awake. Sunrise was at 6:30ish. The quiet of the morning and the beautiful sunrise was a perfect way to start the first day of my next trip around the sun!

By the time we returned to the resort, it was time for breakfast. Instead of my normal order of scrambled eggs, I splurged extra today and ordered the eggs Benedict with salmon. It was delicious! I still can’t get over the beautiful view we enjoyed at every meal!!

While we were waiting for our breakfast, I decided to do a little taste test. Being so close to Australia and New Zealand, Fiji has a lot of tourists arriving from those destinations. To make everyone happy, both peanut butter and vegemite were available on the buffet.

Even though vegemite looks like it might taste like chocolate, it doesn’t. It’s very salty and very ?. I preferred the peanut butter side of my toast much more!

Fortunately, my eggs Benedict were much more delicious! And I washed it all down with a strong cup of coffee and tropical fruit juice. Ahhhhh… vacation meals are so good.

After breakfast, we set ourselves up for a great beach day. Lots of walks and lounging. I hope you’re not getting tired of this view. To me, it was like walking in paradise.

Eventually, we dragged ourselves from our beach chairs and got dressed for dinner and another beautiful sunset. That night for dinner, I ordered more reef fish!

The staff at the resort provided amazing customer service. We truly felt like VIPs. They quickly learned our room number and our first names. Dave and Julie. ? I reminded myself I was on vacation and they could call me whatever they wanted. It just didn’t matter. Even my birthday cake had Julie written on it. Honestly, after the entire resort staff sang me happy birthday and then came by to shake my hand and wish me a “long life,” I wasn’t bothered in the least. I was very touched and felt very fortunate.

Wednesday morning was perhaps the lowest tide we had seen all week. We were able to walk out so far. We saw fish, sea cucumbers, sea stars, and shell fish.

Wednesday was also our final full day on this island. Of course we enjoyed more beach time. I’m pretty sure I could have stayed on this beach forever. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

For dinner this evening, the resort invited all the guests to a traditional Kava ceremony.

Here we were presented with Kava and wishes for a long healthy life. Kava is a traditional Fijian drink. It has a peculiar taste and makes your mouth a little tingly. Lucky us, we were given two servings! After the Kava ceremony, the locals performed traditional dances and songs. It was like a Fijian version of a Hawaiian luau. It was fun to experience local traditions and meet some of the other resort guests.

Thursday afternoon we headed back to Port Denarau on the Fiji mainland. We enjoyed every last minute of the beach before our boat departed.

Before leaving the resort, the staff came together to sing us a beautiful fair well song. It was so touching. I’m not really sure what they said, because they sang in Fijian, but it was so special. Then each person came and gave us hugs goodbye. Their parting phrase was “I hope to see you in the future.” Yes, I had tears in my eyes as we left. I was pleased to have my sunglasses.

The boat ride to Port Denarau was about an hour. Fortunately, it wasn’t on that tiny little boat!

In Port Denarau, we checked into our hotel, did a little shopping, and then enjoyed a nice dinner as the sun set.

Friday morning we headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Narita. I hope you enjoyed the recap of our trip. I’ll be happy to share more details with you the next time I see you / chat with you. It truly was a wonderful week. Dave did an amazing job planning this once in a lifetime holiday for us. I’m truly grateful. It was incredible to be together in paradise with no agenda. I will forever cherish our memories. Thanks for reading!