We haven’t sat still much since our arrival here in the Cooks and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. We have officially met and checked in with customs, agriculture, and health inspectors and are “free to roam about the island”…even though we already had been : )
I hit my two month mark on the trip back in June and shortly after became a little homesick which is fairly routine for me. I was an unexplainable, emotional wreck and Drew could barely talk to me without me crying. Such a girl. As crappy as I feel for saying this, French Poly had begun to feel a little routine and I was aching for something new, as was Drew. While I could have certainly done without the harshness of the passage, what was waiting for us, in the Cooks, has been an incredible mood lifter and Drew and I have done a complete 180 since our arrival. Neither of us can begin to explain how wonderful it is to be amongst English speaking people again as it knocks down the language barrier we’ve had up against us for both our trip this year and last year. It’s my fault, I should have studied and learned French but I didn’t, and so I am glad to have that part of the trip behind me.
Then there is the financial aspect of being in a new place and for us things are reasonable again which means that we are really able to appreciate and enjoy the culture without as many limitations and it is making a world of difference. The scooter rental has made getting around the island not only easy but FUN! Some afternoons we just go out and ride around with no intentions of doing anything but sight seeing and feeling the wind in our face. And the food, oh the wonderful food! There are so many restaurants here so it’s been fantastic to get off Dosia and be served instead of having to cook all the time. There is a wonderful restaurant on the oppo side of the island from us called the Boatshed Bar & Grill, right on the lagoon, where we had an amazing lunch of local fish & chips and a thai beef salad. Highly recommend this to future visitors of the island but TAKE BUG SPRAY! Mosquitos are present all over the island but everywhere on the eastern side.
Of course we’re tag teaming it with Zen and will probably end up sharing many meals and adventures with them throughout our time here. They are an absolutely wonderful family to be around and the mom, Monique, has become my “girlfriend” of the trip. It’s great to see a family experiencing this together and there is such a respect level between Tom & Monique and their children, Cammi & Cole. You feel it within minutes of being around them and I just love it as it can be rare to find that these days. Thursday we ate dinner with them at Cafe Tupuna’s which sits up in the hills of Arutanga. Drew & I split a bowl of seafood chowder that would have made my dad cry (he LOVES chowders) and then both licked our plates clean of the fantastic tuna and wahoo dishes we ordered as our meals. Lemon and passion fruit cheesecake for dessert, stick a fork in me I was done! Last night we attended our first buffet and dance show at the Pacific Resort. For about $45 a person there was an amazing buffet of sushi, sashimi, clams, mussels, lobster salads, pork, ribs, fresh salad, a pumpkin au gratin that was to die for, and tropical dessert plates. It was perfect and after Drew, Monique, Cammi, Tom, and I all participated in the dance show, we were all full, spent, and ready for bed.
Being in another country makes it difficult to celebrate our nation’s birthday so it’s going to be a low key 4th of July for us. Tomorrow is Miss Cammi’s birthday and I am being given the pleasure of making her a birthday cake so we’ll be joining them in the b-day festivities and on Monday we are going on an island lagoon tour which will take us to four of the remote atolls and we’ll be able to snorkel. So we are going to have PLENTY to keep us busy and lots of food to keep our bellies full! So if you’ll excuse me I need to go on a walk now to try and work off these desserts I’ve been eating lately. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYBODY!!!