Saturday, January 4, 2014

52nd Wedding Anniversary–December 30, 2013-January 5, 2014

After all the Christmas celebrations are over – we celebrate our wedding anniversary every December 27th.  This year we celebrated 52 years together – that is a lot of years.

Our office was closed for two weeks over Christmas break and so we sought permission and received it to celebrate our anniversary by taking a short cruise.

We drove to Nadi on December 30th and enjoyed the ride up very much.  Elder and Sister Walker were also staying at the same hotel since they were in town for the YSA Conference and we both went out to the “Garden of the Sleeping Giant” which is just a few miles from Nadi airport.  It was very hot, but we enjoyed seeing all the orchids they have there, over 1,500 different varieties.  The gardens were started by Raymond Burr (of Perry Mason fame) as a place to house all of his orchid collection and he also had a home there.  It was very beautiful.

We spent sometime shopping at Denarau Island and then met the Walkers for dinner at The Hard Rock Café.  We also met a young man named Joeli during the afternoon and invited him and his wife along as well.  It was a lively group and the food tasted very good to us.

The next day we left on the Captain Cook Cruise line to sail for 4 nights out in the Yasawa Islands.  As we went aboard I noticed a familiar face – Ben (can’t remember his  last name) who has bright red hair, is English, and is the new Fiji Rugby Sevens coach.  It wasn’t hard to spot him, he stood out in the crowd and everywhere we went the Fijians flocked to him to have their pictures taken with him.  I must say he was most gracious about that and seemed to be a lovely man.

Everyday we got our itinerary for the day and every morning and afternoon there were snorkeling, diving, just observing in the glass bottom boat, swimming, and beach activities or you could just laze around on the ship and read a good book.  Every day there was a very entertaining marine biologist who also served on one of the two tender boats, that would talk about the coral reefs, the fish or anything we wanted.

As I said, after lunch there was another round of water fun, and then in the evening was dinner and some type of entertainment.  We visited a village and had lovo dinner, we celebrated New Years Eve, we had hermit crab races and bid to see which one would win – most of the winnings went to the village schools. 

Dew didn’t miss one snorkel trip and I snorkeled some and lazed on the glass bottom boat and found that it had almost as good a view of the coral reef as you could get out snorkeling.  We also visited a cave that contained a pool of cool water, which was great as the ocean was almost too warm.  The crew of the boat climbed up the steep rock walls and jumped in from very high up and a few of the braver ones also tried it.

We met a Fijian who now lives in Japan and is a professional golfer and his sister and her family and they were wonderful to us, and a couple of families from New Zealand who had their kids with them and we all pretty much ate together and it was fun.  It was a diverse group and as Dew was out snorkeling and got picked up by one of the tenders he sat next to a fellow and got talking to him.  Seems he was the general manager of Captain Cook Cruises and was there with his family, so it was easy if we had any suggestions to pass them along to him and he was eager to hear them.

The ship would travel early each morning and then drop anchor and we would enjoy a different spot each day, then move on the next day.  We arrived back in Denarau early on Saturday morning and after breakfast we left the ship, some heading to the airport, some heading to other destinations, some coming back on board later to go out again for another island trip and some heading back to work. 

It was so nice to have a few days away and to enjoy the beautiful water and the sun and to refresh and re-charge our batteries to get ready for the new school year which begins the first of February. 

Back to the real world!

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