still tired from the wedding
festivities but anticipating a delicious breakfast at Ashley's. Russell devoured his french toast with homemade blackberry syrup, and I gorged on eggs, bacon, freshly grown tomatoes and a made from scratch biscuit. We thought we would be having a quiet breakfast alone, but little did we know, every Memphian in the hotel stopped by our table to take pictures of us newly-weds like a bunch of paparazzi. It was great, we were like famous people! It was nice to have one last time to thank our wedding guests for making the trip just for us.
After breakfast, it was off to the airport to begin the honeymoon. Our first destination was Los Angeles (Santa Monica to be exact). We were graciously welcomed into the home of Andrew and Raquel Segal. I nannied for the Segals during the summer after college graduation. It was wonderful to see them again, play with the kids, and meet new people during the dinner party that was prepared by their chef, Peter. We stuffed our faces once again.
While in Santa Monica, we attempted to grab a few things that we had forgotten at the Promenade just up the street. We told Raquel that we would be walking up and she immediately threw over the Jag keys. What?! Immediately I was convinced that I'd be wrecking a car.
The car arrived back in one piece but only after several missed turns, and countless attempts to park back at the house. PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) is not an easy drive for a southern girl like me. Before I forget, I should mention that we came back with nothing that we set out for....it was Sunday and everything closed early. We had already forgotten our days!
Ok, so our blog title here is a little misleading. Rather than covering just "Day 1" of our beginning as a married couple, it technically covers a number of days since the trip to Fiji takes over 24 hours while crossing multiple time zones. Our bodies are still trying to figure what's going on!
Anyway, we stayed in Santa Monica with the Segals until around 11pm Sunday night since our flight to Nadi, Fiji left at 1am Monday Morning. We were already absolutely exhausted by the time we arrived at the airport (Katie had even passed out on the couch back at the Segals' house while we were talking to Raquel), but we were determined to stay awake until at least the first few hours into our overseas flight so that our internal clocks wouldn't be thrown off too much. We did what we could, but there's only so much you can do to stay awake after all the excitement we'd endured for the past several days! I attempted to stay cognizant by renting and watching Martin Scorcese's "Shutter Island" on my iphone while Katie succumbed earlier than expected to the temptations of sleep. Either way, we were both knocked out within the first hour of boarding the Pacific Air flight bound for Fiji, thanks in large part to the doses of Ambien we took after taking our seats.
Upon waking up from our pharmaceutically-induced comas, we only had a couple hours left in our 13+ hr flight. Not bad. But once our plane landed in Nadi, we still had one more leg of the journey to go! At the Nadi airport we were greeted by a rep from our travel agency (we were immediately given leis as a sign of welcome), and after sorting through a few paperwork details, we then were escorted to our island-h0pping prop-propeller plane (somewhat dilapidated), which would be taking us to our final destination on Taveuni Island, also known as Fiji's "jungle island" due to the beautiful vegetation that marks it. Although only an hour and a half flight, and the view from the sky nothing less than stunning, it seemed to last forever!
Interestingly, our plane was exclusively filled with other young honeymooners, although none of them would be staying at our resort, the Taveuni Palms. It was nice to get to meet and greet a few other folks in our same circumstances though.
After what seemed an eternity, our plane landed on a small air strip on Taveuni Island, and we were met by the resort's co-owner, Tony, a very genial and youngish Englishman who runs the entire Taveuni Palms operation with his Kiwi wife, Kelly. They apparently met a few years back while working in the luxury yachting world and later decided to apply their industry knowledge to the hospitality/resort space.
Tony quickly collected our bags (well, actually just my bag; Katie's didn't arrive till a later flight due to it's HEAVY weight!), walked us to the red truck that was our ride to the resort, and off we went! Less than a mile down the road from the airport at the Taveuni Palms is where our honeymoon begins :)