It was really windy today so we thought we would go downtown to do some shopping but when I asked the concierge about the bus, I was told it was a holiday in the Bahamas and most of the shops would be closed. We hung out at the hotel at the pool as it was too windy to be on the beach. Rod made me a reservation for a Tropical Bliss massage at the Red Lane Spa for tomorrow! 🙂
Speedboat Adventure to the Exumas; what an amazing day. The speed boat took us to the Exuma Islands, it was about an hour long trip. The speedboat went really fast and we got really wet lol. The island we went to was the most incredible I have ever been on. The sand was white powder and the water crystal clear. The water had sharks and stingrays swimming around right where we were swimming and they didn’t bother us. I couldn’t believe we were in water waist deep with sharks swimming around us! Lunch was served on the island and included salads, mahi mahi, sirloin steak, pasta — they even had hot dogs ( the kids on the trip loved them). I talked to the people that live on the island and they said they have a overnight house for guest. Mona is going to send me the information and pictures ( I think it would be awesome to stay there!) We were picked up at 8 a.m. and dropped off at 6 p.m. We had lots of sun and fun and were really tired so we had a shower and went to the Cricketers Pub for something to eat. We had Jalapeno Poppers, Deep Fried Mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings and a beer (gym starts as soon as we get home!) 🙂
We made it for breakfast today. Mimosas and omelets….AWESOME! We hung out by the pool for a bit and went the beach…the sand here is just the flour! I am just writing this while we are getting ready to go to Atlantis. Tomorrow we are doing the Exuma Speedboat Adventure so I will have an update on Tuesday… Have a good weekend everyone!!!!
Slept in and missed breakfast, (ends at 11) so we went and had another pizza for lunch! After lunch we took the boat over to Sandals Cay which is the private island owned by Sandals. There is a pool with a swim up bar, restaurant and it set on an amazing beach. We hung out there for about three hours. We watched the sunset from our balcony again and then went for dinner at the Casanova Italian restaurant. The food and service was really good but the highlight for me was seeing Mr. Butch Stewart who is the founder and chairman for Sandals & Beaches resort sitting a few tables down from us 🙂 . After dinner we decided to take a taxi to the Wyndham Casino. There was a Cadillac parked right in front of the entrance and I asked the bellman if it was his and he said it was…I took a couple pictures and touched it (lightly so I wouldn’t set the alarm off, lol) We had a good time at the casino, Rod won at Roulette so that was awesome!
We flew with Westjet from Saskatoon to Calgary and then took the overnight flight from Calgary to Toronto. We had a 5 hour layover in Toronto so I had purchased lounge passes for the Plaza Premier Lounge. The lounge was awesome. We arrived at 6:15 am and they had a full buffet breakfast setup along with soup, sandwiches and salads. We had a bite to eat and then went to sleep. I have flown the overnight flight to Toronto before and walked around the airport killing time and this is definitely what I will do from now one (the lounge pass was $30 and if you arrive after 11 am it is $5 more but includes a self service full bar)
We arrived in the Bahamas at 2:10 pm on May 19. It was pouring rain and there was lots of thunder and lightning. I WAS AWESOME!!! By the time we checked into the hotel it was almost done. Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort & Spa is by far the best resort I have been to in the Caribbean. We checked into our room and could not believe how awesome it was. Four poster king size bed, separate area with a fully stocked bar including wine and champagne. Two closets with a sink between them and a full bathroom with a shower, tub and another sink. Our balcony was huge and had a view of the pools and the beach. We watched the sunset out there with a glass of wine. The door bell rang (yup we have a door bell!) and we received a fruit and cheese plate with a welcome letter from the hotel. We were not really hungry after that snack so we went to the pizzeria for a fire grilled pizza (awesome!) .
Yesterday was our last full day in Maui and we thoughouly enjoyed it (again!). We were up at 6am to head out and meet our Catamaran, The Pride of Maui, for a snorkeling tour to Molokini and Turtle Town. There were about 90 ppl on board and she could take up to 140, so it wasn’t overly crowded, which was nice. It was $79 US per person for a 5 hour tour, included snorkel gear, breakfast, lunch and an open bar (once you were done snorkeling). Despite feeling a bit seasick on the ride out there, I managed to pull it together (thanks to a gravol!) and enjoy the rest of the time. It was a nice day – a bit of cloud cover at the first snorkling stop (Molokini) and the water is colder than I was expecting. The nice thing on this ship is they have a warm fresh water shower to rinse off when you’re done, which felt wonderful! There were a few different kinds of colorful fish and coral here, and we saw a huge Manta Ray from the boat, just as we were pulling away.
In Turtle Town, we got to snorkel with Green Sea Turtles, which was pretty cool! There were more kinds of fish and coral here as well. The lunch was really good – bbq’d burgers and hot dogs and chicken, plus some salads. The Mai Tai’s were ok too 🙂
We tried out a Sushi restaurant for dinner last night, called Sensai. We went to the one in Kihei, which was close to us, but I think they have three locations on the island. It was really good – sushi with a bit of an island fusion. We really enjoyed it – particularly the Hawaiian Ahi Carpaccio. Highly recommended!
The nice thing about the Fairmont Kea Lani is that the pools are open 24 hours. We went for a nice swim last night and then had a last glass of wine on our patio. We slept with all the patio doors wide open so we could feel the ocean breeze and listen to the water. I wish I could do that at home! We have a couple hours left here to pack up before heading to the airport for our long trip home via Honolulu and Vancouver.
Aloha – it’s been a wonderful trip!
Hmmm, day 7 – this means we only have one more day left after today 😦 It’s been such a great holiday so far! Today was no exception. I met with Erin, the sales manager for the Fairmont Kea Lani, for breakfast and a hotel tour this morning. The buffet was excellent – lots of selection and eggs made to order. I think it normally runs around $20 per person, but a lot of packages will include breakfast. The villas at this hotel are unreal and will normally sleep 6-8 ppl. They are two story, have private plunge pools, bbq’s, full kitchen and private laundry facilities. They normally rent from $1500-$3000 per night. The suites and villas are being scheduled for refurbishment in Sept/Oct if all their permits, etc go through. The hotel and grounds are beautiful and the rooms are huge with a great layout. They could use a bit of a touch up, though, so it’s nice to hear the hotel is working on completing that. They will add flat screens and upgrade the woodwork, paint and linens, etc. The show suite was stunning.
After breakfast, Mark and I spent some time at the pool, then picked up sandwiches and salads from Cafe Ciao, located in the Fairmont, to have on our balcony for lunch. It was very economical – around $20 for lunch. We talked ourselves into a two hour nap, before heading out to find Makena Beach Park. We had heard good things about “Big Beach”. It was worth the trip (which ended up being only a 10 minute drive). It was a nice, long, white sand beach. The surf is quite high and dangerous, but there are life guards on duty. There were only a few people there – not crowded at all.
We had a casual dinner at the Cheeseburger Paradise and I tried the guacamole burger. I will now be adding guacamole to my burgers regularly! They also had excellent onion rings. We finished up some last minute shopping at the ABC store – stocking up on essentials like macadamia nut chocolates and Kona Coffee.
Tomorrow morning we’re taking the “Pride of Maui” from Maalea Harbor to Mololini and Turtle Town. The snorkelling is supposed to be really good and we’re looking forward to it!
When we left Aitutaki on Wednesday it was pouring, they haven’t had a lot of rain and were in need of moisture. Cyclone Pat had left a lot of damage that they are still repairing and are in need of help, the tankers arrive once a month if the weather holds up so their supplies are starting to run out. They have to ration their fuel as it is very limited at the moment.
When we arrived back into Roratonga in the afternoon we split into two groups, one group did the 4wd Jungle tour and the second group did the ATV tour. I was in the second tour and this was the first time that I have driven an ATV and had a blast, we came back absolutely covered in mud as it had been raining for a week and the creeks were very full and very fast.
Thursday we did The Island Walk with PA, he is the resident medicine man and will be meeting with the Dalai Lama on Aug 10 at 1000. Thursday evening we did a progressive dinner with locals, we had a bus pick us up and we started with appetizers and a walk through the family’s garden. The second stop was to another family who feed us our entree, the food was amazing and so was our host. The third and final stop was to another couple’s home who fed us the most delicious passion fruit pudding. While we were on the bus between our stops we were serenaded by the driver and the host from the first stop. In our group was a couple on their honeymoon, a couple who were celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary and a lady who was to attend a wedding that was cancelled.
Friday night was pub crawl night for the young and young at heart but the older people in our group went to a local resort were they had local entertainment.
Saturday morning they do have a huge market that opens at 0530 – 1200. Every Saturday most businesses close at 1200 and pretty much everything is closed on Sunday. At the market you can purchase pretty much anything that you need or want in the Cook Islands. The Black Pearl is the item of choice in the Cook Islands as this is where you will find the bulk of Black Pearls. Farmers bring them into the market as well to the jewelry stores.
People tend to think that the prices are high in the Cook Islands because they forget to do the conversion from New Zealand dollars to Canadian. All the prices in the Cook Islands already include the taxes and you do not tip the price you see is the price you pay.
Saturday evening we had a BBQ Seafood supper and then we were off to an Island night.
This morning we left for Aitutaki at 0600 in the rain. We flew with Air Roratonga on very small plane that held 15 passengers, the flight is only 40 minutes and when you arrive you will be blown away at the colours and clarity of the water. We checked into Tamanu Hotel which has bungalow accommodations, each one has a lagoon view. When we arrived into Aitutaki the sun was shining and we were off on a lagoon cruise. We visited Honeymoon Island, Heaven and One Foot Island. The snorkelling in Cook Islands is great the clarity of the water is unbelievable the coral is hard so you won’t see a lot movement except for fish. I had a underwater camera with me and do have photos that I will post.