What We Saw Along The Yasawa Islands

Every island of Fiji is unique and has a story. We planned out our trip to hit a few different islands to get a range of fun and relaxing experiences. We flew into Nadi Airport, where we stayed on that main island for the first couple of days at the Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. There we had a private beach and local restaurants we could walk to and get a real locals experience. We were even invited into a local Kava Ceremony—it’s a ritual in all Fijian villages where families and friends come together daily to drink the intoxicating, mouth-numbing drink. 

Our second island stop was Beachcomber, also known as “Party Island.” Thinking we were arriving on an island with non-stop parties, shots, and booze cruises… We were rudely awakened that we had been dropped off on “hostel island” (as the one boat of the day drives off in the distance) and we discover we’re kind of like the chaperones for the next 48 hours. At least that’s how we felt as the oldest people on the island that were worried about things like mosquitoes and food that resembled food. Thank goodness for Pringles in the front office shop!

The water around the island seemed like the safest place to be. No mosquitoes for one. And a place away from all the “kids” (who we friended later and drinking under the table!). But the water was a place of solace. A soothing place from the sun and sweat. And some of the best scuba diving we have ever done. Yes, we trusted the scuba equipment on “Party Island!”

Clownfish, blue starfish…Yes! BLUE starfish! Vivid orange, pink, and purple coral engulfed our excited eyes. It was incredible. We swam at least halfway around the island excited to see more colors and more clownfish dancing among the anemones. Seriously, they are the cutest fish I have ever seen! 

We survived the dive. We survived Beachcomber Island. And we were rewarded with our final island stop; the Blue Lagoon. The locals taught us about the “tree of life,” the palm tree. We attended daily Kava Ceremonies and “movie night” on the island was Dirty Dancing projected on a sheet hanging between two palm trees under the stars one night. It was magical. It was an adventure. It felt like home. We saw a lot… but there’s more to see in all the islands of Fiji. Yet another reason to plan another trip there! 

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Raindrops and Rainbows

Rain is often that annoyance or added stress in a typical day. It’s also that thing that can ruin an event or a vacation day…However, that was not the case during our 48-hour excursion over to Kauai during one of our trips to Maui. We were venturing beyond our go-to happy vacation place to check out another magical Hawaiian island. We arrived to Kauai sunshine which quickly turned to a deliciously maddening rainfall during our car ride from the airport to our hotel. Warm raindrops and swaying palm trees greeted us as we drove up to the Westin in Princeville…  

Pineapple rum welcome drinks along with a tropical flower scent in the air, you can’t help but fall in love with Kauai…even when it’s raining. We checked in, enjoyed the storm and a couple beers from the balcony of our room, and ventured out for dinner when the rain died down a bit. Per the hotel recommendation, we went to Hanalei Dolphin, a local’s sushi restaurant that welcomed us like we were Friday Night Date Night regulars. Amazing food. Amazing vibe. A must visit when in Kauai. We enjoyed hanging out there with another warm sake until our cab arrived and we called it a night.

The next day would be similar as our first; some sun, some rain…some rum, no pain. We took a drive to visit the Kilauea Lighthouse. Even with the cloudy skies teasing us again with impending rain, we still believed we’d make the walk down to the lighthouse and back before the next storm would open up. But as the giant, warm raindrops splashed our shoulders and faces, we picked up our flip flops and started to run the rest of the way, laughing as the rain puddles danced along our bare feet. At the lighthouse you can walk around and learn the history of the place. And as we did that, the rain decided to go away so that a rainbow could come out and play. It arched from either side of the lighthouse, confirming we were supposed to be there at that very second on that very day. 

Sometimes rain adds to a moment in time. It sure did for our memories of Kauai. All of that rain is what makes that island so green and leaves on trees as big as me (seriously, visit Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and you’ll see!). It’s what makes the air smell like plumeria and hibiscus, and the ocean water feel like silk. And doesn’t a little rain make you appreciate the sunshine even more?


A Little Mud On The Tires

You better Belize it! The water and beaches of Ambergris Caye are waiting for you. Once you arrive to the island you’ll be whisked away in your water taxi (I love any place that has water taxis) with a cold, local Belikin beer in hand. Once on Ambergris Caye, you can also opt for a golf cart during your stay. And if you have your own golf cart, you can take the most adventurous, bumpy, and muddy (but fun!) ride to this amazing little spot called Pirate’s Not-So-Secret Beach Bar & Grill. I suggest holding on to your flip flops. I lost one of mine on this trek! The beach and pier are a great spot for afternoon sun and cocktails.  

Another cool spot to check out on Ambergris Caye is the Palapa Bar and Grill. Here, you can enjoy your Belikin beers while floating in an inner tube tied off from the dock. So grab a bucket of beers and soak up some sun while rockin’ over the waves to live music from the Coconut Trio Band. What else did you think the local band would be called?! 

After your time in Belize, I Belize you’ll be a fan! ;)