Thursday, April 24, 2008

10 Things to Do in Fiji

Coachubby surprised me at our wedding reception by declaring that our honeymoon destination had sponsored the water being served. “We’re going to Fiji!” I screamed. “Yes, it was-” I didn’t wait for a response. I kissed him quickly then went running around to blab to everyone. Until that point, my response to the where-are-you-going-on-your-honeymoon question had been, “Somewhere where I need bikinis and suntan lotion. That’s all I know.” It was time to celebrate! Oh yes, and to celebrate having just been married.

Plantation Island, Fiji(Coachubby on beach)

I did some quick Google reading about Fiji to catch up on what had been going on there since the beginning of time. I had 24 hours before Air Pacific would take me on an 11-hour plane ride from LAX to Suva. That was enough time to find that Fiji’s government seems to be overthrown every 6 months, that there are over 300 islands that make up Fiji, and that Fijians had once been ferocious cannibals. I also found that the average high in April is 83, and that the water temperature is just as warm as the air. Awesome. All I needed to pack was a few bikinis, and everything I received at my bachelorette party, and I would be ready to rock.

I figured our resort, on small Plantation Island, would be free of political upheaval for the week we stayed there. I also figured that that I don’t look appetizing enough to bother trying to gut me, so coachubby and I would be free to enjoy the tropical water and weather. I was right.

Coachubby and me in Fiji

Here are 10 things for a couple to do in Fiji, in no particular order:

  1. Each other.

  2. Run around an entire island. When Plantation Island’s tide goes out, you can run around the island, no problemo. It took us about an hour, and became a daily ritual. Be careful if you’re prone to heat stroke, though, it’s hot and humid and plunging into the bath water-like ocean won’t cool you off.

  3. Kayak. Hit the open seas and check out the fishies. There are a lot of reefs surrounding many of Fiji’s islands that make for shallow water and good fish viewing.

  4. Snorkel, and try to find every member of the “Finding Nemo” cast. Coachubby found Nemo’s dad fiercely protecting his wife and eggs by an anemone. When we swum up close, the little clown fish jutted out at us. Courageous for a fish the size of my palm. A fellow snorkeler lamented that the only fish she didn’t see was Dory.

  5. Learn Fijian. Or at least say “Bula” to every passerby, including other out-of-towners. Kind of like saying, “Hi.” And say “vinaka” (vee-knock-uh) for “thank you”. Resort workers and small Australian children will get a kick out of you. Rainbow in Fiji(A rainbow in Fiji)

  6. Learn Australian. Hey, if you’re in Fiji and you’re an American, you’re the minority. Most of the Fijian resort-goers are from Australia and New Zealand. A firm “G'day, mate!” will suffice.

  7. Watch a crab dance. If you look closely, you’ll notice a lot of “rocks” are moving. There are crabs everywhere. Remark how eerily accurate all animations in “Finding Nemo” really are. Vow to re-watch the film upon your return home.

  8. Drink Fiji water, and marvel at how ironic the entire concept of Fiji water is once you read the local paper and discover that Fijians on the big island can’t get clean water themselves, and are busting open fire hydrants to bathe and drink.

  9. Bathe in bug spray in the evening. After a few nights, you’ll become a bit desensitized to its smell, and begin to enjoy the otherworldly sheen your skin takes on.

  10. Count your mosquito bites. Make your partner give you a Fijian dollar for each one, and you might become a very rich person. I would’ve made at least $350 Fijian dollars. No joke. (Hint: We found that the anti-itch gel Soov Bite was superior to the anti-itch cream in a blue tube. Of course, if you’re savvy, you’ll bring your own Cortisone stick from home, which is superior to anything we found in Fiji. I wanted to rip my skin off at night.)

  11. Bonus: SCUBA dive—no experience necessary! Not certified? In only a 20-minute course, a Fijian dive master will deem you good enough to plunk down the cash necessary to go down deep, then take you the very next minute. If you can clear your ears on the plane ride over, you can SCUBA dive in Fiji!SCUBA lesson Fiji(Coachubby in 20-minute SCUBA lesson)

So there you have it! Book your tickets on Air Pacific now and in only 11 hours, you can be sunning yourself on a beautiful tropical island, drinking bottled water (or rum and coke in a can—they sell it! Why doesn’t America have such conveniences?), watching a ferocious tropical storm roll in then go away as quickly as it came, and SCUBA diving with Australians and New Zealanders who are just as gloriously freaked out as you.

Fiji rocks!


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