Friday, May 23, 2014

Honeymoon - Day 10 and 11 - Tahiti and The Trip Home

May 10, 2014

I woke up this morning feeling a million times better and was healed!  I woke up starving and sore since we had done so much physical activity the day before and I had not eaten.  We finished up packing our stuff and right at 7 we headed up to breakfast.  We both ate a ton of food before heading down to finish up packing then got off the ship around 8.  We caught a taxi right off the ship dock and headed to the Intercontinental where we were staying our last day/night.  The taxi ride was 2400 XPS and before we knew it, we were at the Intercontinental.  The taxi driver was very friendly, and once we arrived we got checked in although our room was not ready.  They took our luggage and we headed out to explore the property and then changed into our bathing suits.   
The property was huge, and a lot more commercial than the Hilton in Moorea.  It was very nice and they had two very large pools, one fresh water and one salt water.  The salt water one had a sand ground that was amazing and very unique.  Both were infinity pools that looked over Moorea and for the majority of the morning there was not a cloud in the sky so we soaked in the beautiful view!  They did not seem quite as friendly and accommodating as they did at the Hilton and we were not welcomed with flowers and drinks, but that was ok since we were worn out!   The hotel was simply much busier and they were constantly answering questions for guests/checking people in. After seeing the property we headed to the fresh water pool where we relaxed until about 1.  At 1 we checked to see if our room was ready and it was so we headed to our room that overlooked the lagoon.  It was a beautiful room on the 3rd floor that had great views.  After getting settled in, we headed to lunch where Joe had fish and chips that were quite good, and I enjoyed the cool air, still full from breakfast.  After lunch, we headed to the salt water pool where some of our friends from the cruise were hanging out.  We enjoyed the swim up bar and the sandy floors of the pool for a while, then headed up to our room around 5.  We had perfect weather for a day of relaxation by the pool with breathtaking views of the beach and Moorea.
Swim up bar!

We headed to our room at 5 and showered and got ready for dinner than sat on our balcony and enjoyed the most beautiful sunset over the water and listened to the live music coming from the restaurant.  We headed down to dinner fairly early since I was starving from not eating lunch.  We ate dinner at the same place as lunch, Tiare.  As we were walking down to dinner, we ran into some friends from the cruise, including Brett and Stephanie.  They had not ordered and had just sat down so we sat with them and enjoyed a lovely dinner outside, enjoying live music and great company.  I think all of us were about fooded out for the week, so we all opted for salads.  The food was so amazing on the cruise that it was so hard to pass up anything, even desert, so it was refreshing to have a little bit of a lighter meal.  Once dinner ended, Brett and Stephanie left for their flight and we got our rides set up for the next morning to head to the airport.  We got back to the room and relaxed a bit and enjoyed the music outside, then packed up our stuff for the morning.

May 11, 2014

We got an early morning wake up call at 5:30 and it was time to get up and say good bye to the beautiful country of French Polynesia.  We headed to the lobby and got our taxi which we were sharing with some friends, and arrived at the airport a short 5 minutes later.  We all got checked in, surprised by the long lines at the airport!  After we checked in we grabbed some breakfast at the café before security, and then walked through security before enjoying breakfast.  There is also a café beyond security, all have sandwiches for 500 XPS or so.  We sat down and enjoyed our breakfast and the beautiful outdoors since the airport in Tahiti is wide open!  Right as we wrapped up eating, the boarding process had already begun so we boarded and got settled in.
Heading Home
Joe and I were lucky to have great seats where Joe did not have a chair in front of him, so he had miles of leg room.  This leg of the flight was from Tahiti to LAX and we were on an Air France flight (bought through Delta).  It was about an 8 hour flight, so we settled in for a long flight.  We were pleasantly surprised by their service (we hadn’t noticed it on the flight to Tahiti since we were both asleep the whole way) and they served two full meals and beers and wines were flowing!  The amount of times we got service was incredibly, and they had a self-serve beverage area right behind the bathroom area!  We enjoyed some great movies, played games, and the flight was over before we knew it. 

We landed in LA at 7 PM and went through customs at lightning speed.  They happened to open a new line for US Passports only right as we were getting in so Joe and I were the first in line.  Our luggage was also one of the first to come through so I am pretty sure all customs were said and done in 5 minutes.  We then walked from the international terminal to terminal 5 (man we miss the tram in Atlanta!) with all of our luggage to recheck it in.  I have to agree with what I had heard,  LAX is not easy to navigate when switching flights, going international (besides our luck in customs!).  Once we got checked in, we grabbed some dinner, good old American burgers and fries!  It was something both of us were craving so we were loving it!  After dinner, we headed to our gate where we caught up on the world, downloaded emails (and proceeded to not look at them for just a couple more hours!), looked at pictures, and write about the day.  It was 10:30 and time to board before we knew it.   
We struggled on our first red eye and got very little sleep but at least we got to enjoy that one last beautiful day in Tahiti, so it was worth it!  We landed in Atlanta at 6 AM and Joe headed to grab breakfast and headed to his gate to start his week of travels in Miami, as I went to retrieve our luggage and got picked up by Joe’s dad.  It was hard saying good bye to the honeymoon and welcome the real world back by being apart for a couple of days, but that is what married life is all about!  

It was the perfect vacation where we disconnected from the world completely for 10 days and simply enjoyed each other’s company.  It is not often that you get to do that these days, so we were blessed to have this opportunity.  Not once did we miss Facebook, or emails!  The scenery was breath taking and pictures do not do it justice, the weather was amazing and cloudy on just the perfect days so we did not get too hot or burnt on the beach, the food was some of the best we have ever had in our lives, and the days were filled with a perfect balance of activities and relaxation!  What more could we ask for in the honeymoon of our dreams!

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