Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FINALLY blogging about the honeymoon! {Part 1: Where and Why}

Eeeeek I am SO excited to finally be blogging about our honeymoon, it's crazy! Not that it was any big secret, and if were Facebook friends you've already seen most of the pictures, but I'm still excited to write it all out for my sake as a way to remember it all and to finally be able to post the pictures with the details behind it.

So here we go!

Deciding Where To Go
Ryan and I had looked at honeymoon destinations all over the world for the last year or so. Literally, if there was a chance we could go there, I looked it up! I had always thought I wanted to go to St. Lucia (Especially when I saw it on Jake's Bachelor season) but after looking further into it and exploring all my options, I started to sway in other ways. Though St. Lucia looks amazing (and it is STILL in my top 3 dream destinations) I knew there was more out there than a Caribbean island, and perhaps other things to see that we will never get the chance to go back to someday due to work, pregnancy, kids, etc. I mean, how often do you really have 2-3 weeks to vacation? It's nearly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

With that being said, after looking and looking, we both set our hearts on Bora Bora, which is a French Polynesia island in the South Pacific. Yes, it is much further than a Caribbean island yet it is where we truly wanted to go. The pictures are indescribable, every show or movie filmed there looks unreal, and the stories of it are all wonderful--it sounded so promising.

So Where is Bora Bora?

Now for the teacher in me....for those of you who don't know where Bora Bora is exactly...
Ellen does a great job describing it in this video:
Hahah that makes me laugh every time, mainly because no one really knows where it is anyway. But in all seriousness, if that doesn't help you out...

French Polynesia is a group of islands (much like the Caribbean) in the South Pacific--south of Hawaii. In this group of islands sits Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahaa, and Tahiti (perhaps the most well known) just to name a few. Tahiti is the largest and most populated, and is where the international airport sits, meaning anyone flying into any of the other islands, must first pass through Tahiti.

I've taken a couple pictures on my Ipad of Google Earth and added a few arrows to show you where things are so you have a general idea.

Tahiti and Bora Bora?
After deciding for sure we were going to spend our honeymoon in Bora Bora, we then started exploring all the flights, hotels, etc. to go along with it. After talking to some others who had already been there and reading LOTS of reviews, we decided flying straight into Tahiti after 20+ hours of travel and then directly out to Bora Bora would be a waste and we would miss out on exploring Tahiti completely. With that, we decided we should stay a few nights in Tahiti and get a chance to see/explore it as well as get caught up on our sleep (travel is so exhausting, isn't it?) and more importantly, get adjusted to the time change. So that is exactly what we did.

Before Leaving
We had gotten married on a Monday, and were set to leave for the honeymoon on Thursday, giving us 2 days in between. I cannot stress enough how wonderful this was. We had planned it this way so we weren't rushing around before the wedding trying to prepare our house to leave for 2+ weeks and also trying to pack our things, making sure the puppies were ok, AND make sure we were set for the wedding. It just seemed like too much. So the couple days in between was amazing. We spent the first day after the wedding going back and getting everything we wanted to keep (decorations, MY BOUQUET I had left there, things like that) and also sleeping; we were exhausted. The following day (and day before we were to leave) we spent shopping for last minute things for the trip. We bought small things like an electricity converter and books, to a bigger things like a new camera bag. Basically just random things we still needed. We also stocked up groceries/snacks to take with us.
We got home late that evening and Ryan's brother was already at our house, ready to start his two week house sitting/dog sitting duty. I don't know what we would do without him! We started to get things packed that evening and  as I struggled trying to decide what could fit in which suitcase and how to keep it under 50lbs, Ryan began to get sick :(. He had been lightheaded all day and finally that evening as he was bringing me his clothes he ran to the bathroom. Curt and I both looked at each other and knew it couldn't be good...the flu bug had caught up with him 8 hours before we were to leave on our honeymoon! I instructed him to get to bed and I would stay awake and pack and get the house ready and that's exactly what I did. Curt and I ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning getting everything ready (he watched TV while I packed) but it worked. I woke up early again the next day to get everything ready and though Ryan could barely get out of bed, he was feeling better than he had when he went to bed and regardless of how he felt, he was excited to get going too! We did all our last minute things and I cried about leaving the puppies for so long and we waited for his dad to pick us up and take us to the airport.

The Travel
We had about an hour and fifteen minute drive to the airport, got through security, and were waiting to board our plane...we were out of the cold weather (10 degrees and snow) and headed for the white sandy beaches of Tahiti and Bora Bora.

Waiting on our flight
We flew from Des Moines to Denver, then Denver to LA. We had a long layover in LA so we got dinner inside the airport and freshened up a bit before going back through security (is it just me or is that airport the most ridiculous thing?) and waiting awhile longer. We had already spent the day traveling but hadn't even done the longest leg yet...the LAX to Tahiti flight, which is almost 9 hours and 4,125 miles! Luckily though this flight wasn't leaving LAX until 11:30 pm (1:30am our time) so we would basically be able to sleep through the night and awake to paradise, it doesn't get much better than that!

Our plane after we landed; I couldn't get a picture of it the night we left because it was too dark!
Once we boarded the plane we knew we were set. We had two seats side-by-side and alone. I had asked for emergency exit row seat but since there were none available, I had forgotten about it and was satisfied with our seats. Once we sat down though, the people in front of us (who were actually behind us in line and I had chatted with for over an hour) ran into a problem. The guy was heavier set and since the emergency exit seats are set, the armrest doesn't come up in between the seats, making someone who is bigger uncomfortable or unable to sit in the seat altogether. Not sure what else to do, the couple asked us to switch them, making it a win/win for both of us! He had more room and I got my exit row seat! It was perfect.
Ryan and I had this entire row on the flight home!
Flight attendants walked through, passed out welcome packages with fresh flowers to put behind your ear, a pillow, blanket, eye mask, ear plugs, headphones, warm socks and face wipes. How awesome is that? With all the extra room we both set our legs up on our carry ons, cuddled up in blankets, and fell asleep!


Cayla Hess said...

Eeeeek!! SOOOO EXCITING! That is so on our list of places to go, especially after seeing Couples Retreat, one of our faves. I can't wait for you to post more pics! And I may have cried leaving my chunk for just a week.... hahaha.

Audrie Is... said...

You definitely should, Cayla! We would def recommend it to anyone!! And I believe it about Chunk, I was a total spaz! How ridiculous are we haha

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

How awesome!!! I've always wanted to go to Bora Bora and Tahiti!

Girl, I live in LA and LAX is the ghetto...like where the rappers are from lol...I hope you got to venture a bit farther out on your layover :)

Sounds like the flight there was pretty cool, too!

Stopping by via Shanna's linkup!

Ashley said...

Ellen really is hilarious. I would have been the same with her trying to point it out on that map :-)

It looks like a beautiful place...I would love to go one day!!