Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Happy Place 2012

Yes it was that time of the year, when it is freezing cold, wet and plain miserable here in Wellington so the urge is huge to escape to somewhere hot.  We save so hard each year so that we can have a family holiday in Fiji.  This was our 4th visit and it truly is My Happy Place.  I think it was about 10 degrees when we flew out of Wellington and 29 degrees when we arrived in Nadi.  Aaaaahh - delicious warmth.  No more socks, no more woolly jumpers, no rain coats - just sun screen, swimming togs, sunhats and jandals.  Oh and a stack of books!  Bliss.
I know these photos probably look exactly the same as the ones I posted last year, but for me they hold a whole new batch of memories.  These images are stored in my mind and remembered on grotty cold days which seem to last forever.
So I'm sure by the end of this post you will be sick of seeing coconut palms, pretty swimming pools and the odd cocktail!  As for me, I can't get enough of it!!!  I should say now that many of you will have images in your mind of Fiji being white sandy beaches and clear seas.  Well that is indeed a lot of Fiji but as I am not a huge fan of the ocean (maybe Jaws put me off?), we stay in a part of Fiji that has beaches more like NZ but the resort facilities are amazing.  And while our small folk are small, this is the place for us.  Families are catered for so wonderfully.  Any place that can remember your children year after year is a hit with me.  The children get huge hugs from the staff every time they go into the restaurant - it melts my heart.  And the fact that unlike here in NZ, and many other places in the world I am sure, the Fijian people seek eye contact so they can say Bula, well it's hard not to have a smile on your face constantly with that level of friendliness.  In the week following our return to Wellington I definitely find the odd Bula pops out of my mouth when I walk past a stranger!!
By absolute fluke this year it turned out that we were on holiday at the same time as some friends of ours.  We had a 3 or 4 day crossover which meant our small folk had some familiar faces to play with and they happily went to the wonderful kids club for a morning session together - crab hunting, coconut boat building and generally having a total wow of a time.  So for a few morning hours, the grown ups were treated to some well deserved adult-only pool time.  Aaaahh the serenity!!!  A bit of chat, a bit of reading, a bit of swimming to cool off - just perfect.
The day before our friends left, the children asked to stay for a longer kids club session so it seemed only right that as it wasn't the morning anymore we could treat ourselves to a poolside cocktail.  That's Juanita on the left looking brown as a berry and me on the right with the so-white-they-are-almost-lavendar legs!  I had started the whole fake tan regime but after discovering a line down the back of one leg I gave up and decided to embrace my natural colour this time.  I can honestly say though - I would rather be brown!!!  Oh well, next time maybe.
Cooling off in the pool.

  Oh look - another pretty pool shot - are you bored yet?  Well the story changes here slightly ....
I think I jinxed it because I told my husband before we went away that we'd had a great run over the years of perfect weather and good health.  Other friends have holidayed here and ended up room-bound with sick children or cyclones.  So I said we should be prepared for things to go pear-shaped ...... and they did ........ big time.  It started with a bit of rain.  The expected rainfall for the whole month of July is meant to be one day maximum.  But not this year, we had rain for 4 days.  Not constant, but enough to make lying by the pool a no go.  It was still hot so the swimming pool was still played in and adventures were still had.
But then one morning we were out walking and this lovely innocent wooden walk way (this pic was taken on a dry day), mixed with my not so grippy jandals meant I ended up here ......
Yep, I fell.  Really badly.  I still don't know how I did it but both legs went out from under me and I landed straight down on my bottom.  I knew I'd done something bad when I couldn't get up easily.  So a doctor had to be called and the whole family was loaded into a taxi for an afternoon at a Nadi medical centre.   After lots of x-rays it was great to find out that there were no fractures to my tail bone but boy-oh-boy was it painful.  I couldn't sit or lie down - and wouldn't you know it that on this particular holiday - sitting down or lying down are the two things I do best!!!  This is where I should add lots of swear words but I won't!  So that was the end of enjoying a relaxing poolside atmosphere.   Hopefully we can visit again next year as I feel totally and utterly ripped off this year.  Who wants to hurt themselves on the 4th day of there holiday - grrrrrrrrr.  Anyway.... 
I was still able to walk so at least I wasn't room bound.  And I could still swim with the children - it was just the sitting bit that was not a go-er.    Poor kids, having to put up with such a grumpy mum because she hadn't slept and was beyond tired. 
The plane journey home was a bit uncomfy.  Thankfully this year we had booked to fly direct to Wellington which added another hour to the flight but at least there was no sitting around at Auckland airport waiting for connections.  As much as I hate a holiday ending, it's always lovely to get home, especially to see Bella.  We all miss our furry girl so much.
Back to Wellington - and a chilly 11 degrees.  No more jandals, no more shorts - where are those woolly jumpers? 
So until next time - farewell Fiji.  I can't wait to visit again.  In the meantime this photo is now in my memory and I hope to replicate this scene in 360 odd days time.  Fingers crossed anyway.

I should end by saying that I am definitely on the mend and can sit a lot easier now!  Which means I'll be able to get my crochet hook out again - boy have I missed it.  I have a million plans in my head of things I want to make so I'd better get cracking and decide what to do.

Ange - I'm sending you all my love.  You know why.

See you again soon,