15 days doesn't seem like a very long time to be away from home, but it feels like so much has changed. My kids seem better behaved, Charlie talks more, and Erik's Aunt Doris is engaged!! Maybe we should leave the country more often.
Tonga was a great experience. Since I am a huge cheapskate, spending the money to make a trip like this was a big deal for me, but I am so happy that we went. I am even happier that we went without our kids. As Erik put it, "Now, we don't have to go on any more dates for the next two years." Pretty much.
We spent almost our entire time in Tonga at the Vakaloa Beach Resort on the western side of Tongatapu. Calling it a "Resort" might be a little misleading. The entire place consisted of 8 rooms right on the beach and a main hall with a restaurant. I'm not complaining. The solitude was incredible.
If you are a cheapskate like me, I highly recommend Tonga. It is like the Mexico of the South Pacific. Good food for around $7 USD a plate. If you liked Tongan food, it was around $3 USD a plate. Plus, no tipping! The bus around the island - $1 USD. The beach - FREE.
We spent a lot of time laying on the beach and snorkeling. I read Into Thin Air in 3 days. Erik snorkeled for hours a day. It was fabulous. It felt like a real vacation. No stress. Nowhere we had to be. Everything was on "Tonga Time."
Erik and I decided that when people ask us about our trip, our generic response will be, "More in love than ever!" However, after driving around New Zealand together, I think our generic response should be, "At least we're still speaking!" (More about that in a later post....)
Tonga has a lot of random animals (dogs, pigs, chickens...) roaming around. It wasn't uncommon to find a stray dog or two lying outside our door. I tried not to freak out every time I encountered one.
I think that will do it for today. As you can imagine, I have over 1,000 pictures of our trip. I'll spend the next week picking out some fun tidbits to post about. Coming up tomorrow, Erik goes all Lord of the Flies on us!