10 June 2014

Escaping the Winter (in Fiji)

Today in Auckland the rain has not stopped beating down. I'm sitting here with chilly fingers, wearing ugg boots and a woolly scarf, and I can't help thinking, "It's probably warm and sunny in Fiji right now..."

Last week we were blessed (soooo blessed) to be able to escape the Winter for a bit, with a family trip to Fiji. We had some accommodation points that needed to be used, we couldn't get booked during school hols, so we bit the bullet and took the kids out of school for a week, because, well, why not?

Ahhhh, the bliss. Beautiful one day, perfect the next. Fiji in Winter is the best place to be. It's not too hot, and not too humid (like it is during the summer months there); the temperature for this mama bear is JUST RIGHT.

Perfect for spending every day chillin by the beach, or by the sea; swimming, reading, relaxing.

This guy went from being unable to cope in water past his waist to diving for objects on the bottom of the pool and swimming in water over his head. That's a valuable life skill, right? Definitely worth missing a few days in the classroom for. (He also tanned nut-brown; the fairer-skinned family members* are sooo jealous).                              
*Fair-skinned family members = me and Dash

It's amazing to me how a week - a mere seven nights - can feel like forever when you're away from the Rat Race. In Fiji, there are no phones ringing, no text messages, there's no place you  have to be and no need to look at your watch. Consequently it feels like you've been living this way foreeeeeever.

The early morning school/work rush, the daily activity juggle, homework stress and the housework grind all seem like a distant memory.

You start to feel as if you've always lived this way. Waking up when you feel like it, drifting down to the pool. Ordering drinks at the swim-up bar, signing the kids into kids club and then reading for hours, uninterrupted. (I chewed through "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Winter of the World" among others.) What can I say? It's bliss.

There were a surprising number of kids at the resort, considering it was term-time. Enough so that there were always friends to be made and fun to be had...

Of course we didn't just sit by the pool all the time. We did venture out to a couple of places just to shake things up a little. We went on a fast boat, did a bit of shopping, spent a day at the World's Biggest Inflatable Water Park - that sort of thing. 

(On the last day, Mr G also took the two older kids on a snorkeling boat trip; we were all meant to go but sadly I was "indisposed". Major Bummer Dude.)

The Inflatable Water Park "Big Bula" is relatively new, and loads of fun for the kids.

It's located on Denarau Island (where our resort was) and has loads to do, plenty of shady spots and very cool staff. Our kids had a blast.

Ahhhh, Fiji. Where strangers walking down the road shout out "Bula!" wherever you go. Where it's summer all year round and the sunsets are out of this world...

Our favourite thing each evening was to go to the awesome open-air thatched restaurant, order drinks and watch the sun sink into the sea. Every night, a the sun put on a different show. We never got tired of it.

(These photos are raw from the camera; no filters, just God painting with colour in the sky)

Ah, Fiji, thanks for the memories and a great family holiday.
You were the perfect place to go and escape the Winter.

We are so blessed to have been able to spend a week away from the cold, the rain and the grey in a tropical paradise. 

We love you Fiji! Vinaka vaka levu!

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