9.16.2009

I STILL HAVE SAND IN MY SHOES

Tongatapu, Tonga

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.

Our resort.

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.

Our room. Geckos? Yes. Hot water? Sometimes.

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.

The beach outside our front door.

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."

Proof we were there.

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....)

Another freaky dog outside our room.

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!

13 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a GREAT time! I'd love to hear more. And CONGRATS to Doris!

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  2. The beach is gorgeous!! Suddenly I'm feeling "more in love than ever" and needing another vacay away! :) And - WOW - exciting for Doris, please email me about that.

    And don't bother checkingmy blog...I'm yet to post still since June!

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  3. UGH! whatever...jealous. I am.

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  4. Is that one of the dogs outside your hotel room that tried to attack you.. so Erik killed it.

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  5. So great. You have inspired me...I want to go on vacation. lol....but it will have to be LATER.

    Tonga would be amazing.....Glad to see you survived.

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  6. Ugh. Did you like Lord of the Flies? I remember it kind of traumatized me as a senior in high school...

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  7. looks like a fantastic trip, can't wait to hear more!

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  8. I'm glad you guys had a good trip! I can't believe you were gone for so long! Does Charlie remember you?

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  9. Hey, world traveler, call your mom sometime.

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  10. Looks fantastic! Glad you enjoyed it. I am interested to hear about this "Lord of the Flies" thing - that book was SO weird, and my teacher that taught it to us was psycho about "marginalia" and all this cross-referencing and stuff - ick!

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  11. Why do husbands say things like, "Now we don't HAVE to go on a date for (x amount of time)?" As if it's SUCH a chore to spend time alone together...ha ha ha. Loved hearing about the trip but even more, I love feeling like all husbands say those silly little things, not just mine. my husband also names the women in the ward he'd like as a second wife-is that normal? ah, gotcha! he wouldn't dare. :)

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  12. It looks like you guys had a great time. I can't even imagine leaving my kids for that long. How was it on them? You?

    And congrats to Doris... I was in the loop on that one and heard from my mom earlier in the week.

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  13. Yay, you're back! can't wait to hear more about it! Plan your next trip to come visit US! :) Tonga looks amazing, but I am even more amazed that you survived all those stray animals...! Glad it was fun, that's what's important!

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