Monday, July 19, 2010

Fiji Honeymoon: Day 7 (Liku Liku)

(Katie Writing)

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that there's not much to write about for today. Russell and I have become quite content just sitting and watching- water, boats, fish, sunrise and set, and maybe a few people as well.

A quick sum up of our day- we slept in and decided not to attend breakfast. We are brought daily homemade cookies which satisfied our hunger and got us off on a good start for over-indulging and expanding our waistlines for the day. I was telling Russell yesterday that I can feel my body getting fatter by the minute but for some reason, I'm just letting it happen! Anyway, after breakfast we packed our things and called for a "porter" to pick them up and take them to reception where we would be checking out and then checking back into an over-water burre. Porters are nice because they come in a golf cart and no one has to lug the luggage across the resort. Well, I made the call at 10:20 (we were supposed to be at checkout by 11:00). At 10:40 we got a call from the front desk asking if we were planning on coming to check out. We explained that "yes, we are. We're waiting on our porter." The front desk assured us that they would send one out. Well, 10:55 came around and there was no porter in sight. I made the executive decision to haul our bags up ourselves. It's about a half a mile trek to the reception desk. On the way, a member of housekeeping stopped us and said "you should've called a porter". We explained that we did and no one came. On she walked to continue her daily duties. As we approach the reception desk the woman behind the counter looks at us and said "Oh, you should've called a porter". Once again, we politely explained that we did and she just changed the subject looking a cross between embarrassed and annoyed (not our fault we asked twice and no one came). Finally, the office manager is leaving his office as we are making the final delivery of our bags and he says "Oh, you should've called a porter". We again politely explain our situation and he cuts us off but NO ONE EVER APOLOGIZES for their less-than-five-star-service.

While I'm on the service subject, let me just give you a little insight into the craziness at this resort. Again, I must say, we are having the time of our lives and we are grateful for the opportunity to come here, but I'm positive that no-name highway motel service is better organized than the service here. For example mealtime: You check in at the little desk and you are seated by the hostess (maybe a host, maybe a waiter, maybe a member of the one can be sure). Someone else comes to bring menus and introduces him/herself as your waiter/tress. After that someone else brings you water. There are only two options in each category of the menu so it should take only a few minutes to decide. By this point you realize that you'll never see your waiter again as four different staff members approach your table and ask for your burre number, but no one takes your order. Finally, someone will notice that there isn't any food on your table and they will bring you bread (which I must say is always fantastic) and take your order. Then, each course is served by a different staff member. After each course, more and more flatware is removed from the table so that by dessert, nothing is left. This sounds practical and would be if there were only a few people in charge of your table, but it makes it quite confusing for staff to know whether you've actually eaten dessert and you are just occupying your table or if you are patiently waiting for dessert. Most often, the case is that you haven't received dessert. Again, more people will ask for your room number and finally, dessert will come. If you're lucky, they'll just re-take your dessert order altogether because no one has recorded it at all.

Now, onto the rest of our day...

Once our bags were stored, we took a detour to the pool while we were waiting on our room to be ready for us. The pool is beautiful. It's an infinity pool and lots of architectural consideration was put in while building it. It curves around and has little cubbies throughout with islands of trees and beautiful steps across to the other side. The chairs are all placed in sets of two with big umbrellas and there is a water stand so that you can stay hydrated. We put our umbrella down so that we could get some sun. (Surprisingly, the UV rays aren't strong here right now. We've been using minimal sunscreen and have yet to burn. It must be because it's winter here). While at the pool we took advantage of the wine we brought with us. I must add- we bought boxed wine before we left the states because we thought it would travel better- it did and it was a great value. This wine is no Franzia, it's actually quite good and you can get the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine for between $20-30. Anyway, I had packed the leftover white into a water bottle so that we could discretely pour it for ourselves without looking like the tightwads that we are :) It was a beautiful setting for a midmorning drink.

Following our time at the pool, we ate lunch. Once again, management had to go and impress us by having no one to seat us for lunch. So we just hung out and waited for lunch to get a late start. I'll have to admit, life could be much worse than having to wait for a seat at lunch :) Another good meal was had for Russell, he had a lamb burger on a ciabatta bun with grilled zucchini and cucumbers. It was well-spiced and a great size. I, on the other hand, have been cursed by the gods of mediocre cuisine. I had the spiced crawfish pasta. It was by no means the worst food I've ever eaten but was reminiscent of a Lean Cuisine. Lots of pasta, four pieces of tomato, about 8 pieces (that's like sliced pieces, not whole) crawfish and some simple spices. Needless to say, underwhelmed, sadly in keeping with most of my meals at Liku Liku.

During lunch we were alerted that our overwater burre was ready. This time, our luggage had been portered to the room. Score one for the management team! Wow. This. Room. Is. Awesome. It's much lighter than the land burre and has a more luxurious, less Disney World Swiss Family Robinson look. Of course, my eyes are immediately drawn to the view. It looks like we're back at Taveuni and we're the only people here. We have a small wrap around deck. On one side, we have a view of islands and ocean and the other side we have a view of the shoreline with volcanic and coral rock formations as well as trees. We have a nice view of a few sailboats and an indescribable view of the sunrise. Back to the burre- we have a large open bathroom with a soaking tub that looks over the view. From lying in the bed, you also get a great view of, well, the view. There are large windows and doors throughout that can be opened so it's like you're just sitting on the ocean. Mostly because you ARE sitting on the ocean.

We decide to spend most of the day hanging out in our new digs.

Of course, I can't go long without a report on the management staff. We get a phone call that we have left our "canvas" in our previous dwelling. A canvas? Hmm....we'll have to think on this one for a minute. Yes, as a matter of fact I left a bag of seashells and water shoes. I ask what they would like us to do and they say a porter will bring it to us. Fat chance.

I realize I have forgotten to call for dinner reservations, so I make the call and the front desk says that they'll call us back with a confirmation. Good thing I didn't hold my breath. Once again, same as when we called for internet issues, previous dinner reservations, porter service...there is no call back as promised. And incase you were in suspense waiting to find out about our "canvas" that never came either.

A bonus about our new overwater burre- we get a mid-day snack around 3:30pm Yum! Just what I need, food for my over-worked, I mean extremely lazy body. It's really good. Feta, pancetta, marinated tomatoes, and bread. Russell hates it so I get to eat it all myself!

Now it's time to get ready for dinner. Just what we need: more food! I can feel my double chin expanding just thinking about it. We again go through the same chaotic dinner experience of rotating waiters but the food makes up for it. At least Russell's does anyway. Once more, I have continued my curse of mediocre cuisine. Russell orders the 6 hours braised beef cheek with pureed potatoes baked in coconut husks. It is the most satisfying food I have ever tasted. Rich, smokey, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

I have duck leg. This was one skinny duck. My duck leg was dry and stringy but had good flavor. It was atop grilled radiccio. Again, great flavor, but over-cooked and soggy.

For dessert, Russell had a green colored crepe with black sweet rice and coconut sorbet and I have a melon creme brule with vanilla cake and watermelon. I'll have to say, we've both jumped on the train of mediocracy for dessert. It was definitely a swing and a miss.

So, off to the reception desk to learn more on "The Case of the Forgotten Canvas". It appears that no one knows what we're talking about so they tell us to check our closets. Again. So, doubting our searching skills, we check our closets again but to no avail. We call the front desk. The conversation goes something like this:

Receptionist: Bula

Me: Hi, I'm calling about the canvas (since this seems to be the word to use) that we left in burre 43.

Reception: Yes

Me: We still don't know where it is.

Reception: Can you describe?

Me: Yes, It's a yellow bag with brown leaves on it. It contains water shoes and seashells.

Receptionist: have you checked the closet?

Me: Yes.

Receptionist: both of them?

Me: Yes.

Receptionist: Yes, thank you. bye.

Me to Russell: Argh!!!

Later they call back. I insist that Russell take the call because I know that there is no "polite" left in my body.

Receptionist: Bula! Have you found your bag?

Russell: No.

Reception: Can you describe?

Russell: Yes, yellow bag with brown leaves contains water shoes and seashells.

Reception: can I have your Burre number? (this is a common question when no one seems to know what's going on)

Russell: Yes, previously 43 now 1.

Reception: have you looked in the closet?

Russell: yes

Reception: both of them?

Russell: yes.

Reception: the housekeeper said she put them in your closet.

Russell: babe, check the closets. (closets checked) Russell to Receptionist: they're not in there.

Reception: ok, thank you. bye.

At this point, we're sure that the bag is long gone and we begin to calculate the value of lost items. After the sum is totaled, we get ready for bed and are on our way to sweet dreams when there is a knock on the door.

You guessed it, it's our bag. Where they found it, we'll never know because there was no explanation or apology given. Oh well, we still have a spectacular view and the soothing sounds of the ocean.

The end.


  1. Katie, even though the service has been miserable, it is brought forth some fine examples of great writing talent from the two of you. I am especially impressed with your ability to write and communicate. Hopefully you two can some how capture this good language and make a book afterwards including all of your well written text. You are an impressive writer! Rusty

  2. Hmm. I've always thought you were a gifted writer, but I didn't know about your better half! She is excellent competition!