What a view, looking out the window from my side of the bed.
The two of us slowly got ready for the day and headed out to breakfast.
You might have noticed in all those groceries we brought that breakfast was not mentioned.
When we checked in, because of Theresa's Platinum Elite status, we were offered a choice.
1. 1000 points per day (worth about $10)
2. Breakfast for 2 at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet (worth about $110)
Easy choice, right? Now you know why we only planned dinner. We're going to eat a huge breakfast, snack during the day, then enjoy dinner.
Here's where we're eating. The La Tipanié restaurant. Situated right by a beautiful lagoon.
Upon checking in with the hostess, we were each given an "eye-opener", a shot-glass full of concentrated juice, which they said was full of vitamins. Too strong for me.
After being seated at the table, our server asked if we wanted coffee or bottled water. Are they an up-charge? Then no thank you. I think there's going to be plenty for us to enjoy instead.
Let's look over this all you can eat buffet.
There's a big table of fresh fruits on ice. Glad we didn't buy any more fresh fruits to bring with us. Theresa did try some watermelon, since it was so expensive back on the main island, but was not impressed.
And this is why we don't need coffee or bottled water. Six different kinds of juices (apple, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, banana, and mixed juice), waters, both flavored and unflavored, plus milk.
Banana juice? I can't say I've ever had banana juice, unless it's mixed with something else. But no, this is straight up banana juice. I enjoy certain banana things and despise others. Still, I'm going to give it a shot.
Over to the hot section. At the first hot section, our chef is making made-to-order eggs and omelets. Both egg white omelets or whole egg omelets. Toppings included ham, cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. And in front of all that there's plenty of other yummy foods, like hash browns, sausages, poached eggs, hardboiled eggs and more.
More things like a giant bowl of bacon! And it's cooked perfectly for me!
Moving over to the new hot station, yes there's two, the chef is making pancakes, crepes, and french toast to order. In front are other asian foods like miso soup, fresh veggies, and a rice cooker. Theresa was excited to see fresh rice!
Until she opened it up and saw it wasn't plain white rice. Instead it was flavored with onion, spinach, and maybe bell pepper. Not what she was hoping for. D'oh.
Pulling in a little bit of french foods too, there was a whole table full of pastries. Croissants, chocolate brioche, and more. This bird has the right idea, just hanging out on the bread table, looking for crumbs.
The seating here is so nice. The tables go right to the edge of the deck. No safety rails and a good 5 foot drop to the water below.
Like I said, breakfast was our big meal of the day. I must have had 4 plates. An omelet, bacon, breads, pancakes, hash browns, cold sliced meats, cheeses, and a bowl of cereal. All-you-can-eat and there's so many good choices.
And how about that banana juice? I loved it! It was thick and tasted like fresh bananas. I got it again every single day of our trip. Now I'm trying to find something like it, now that we're back home.
As for the other juices, Theresa enjoyed the mango quite a bit. It was also thick and delicious (to her, I don't like mangos). The apple, pineapple, grapefruit, and mixed juices must have been from concentrate because they tasted a bit watered down to both of us.
Well after such a filling breakfast, I think we need to take a little walk. Let's explore the grounds. On the store level, which also has the check-in desk. There's a giant lily pad pond which I thought is probably great for growing bugs. No fishes inside that we could see.
Continuing past the pond, right by the front desk and over to the gift shop.
Inside the gift shop, there's plenty of trinkets you can buy. Less so sundries, and those that do exist are ridiculously expensive. $5 for a 12oz can of Coke for example. My sticker-shock moment were these bottles of sunblock. I don't think these are much bigger than 8oz bottles, but they cost $29 each! And that's one of the reasons Theresa and I checked bags on this trip. We packed 10 bottles of sunblock for just this reason.
One of the things they told us during check-in was that there was a turtle center here on this motu.
And swimming around in this sealed off bay were a few turtles. Cool!
Over to the turtle center nearby to look around.
On the walk up the pathway to the Turtle Center, Theresa was looking at the foliage and saw an interesting plant.
Could this be a sensitive plant (Mimosa Pudica)? She found a wild plant while we were in Hawaii. Did she find another here?
There is a presentation about the turtles they have, but it isn't for another 45 minutes. The building was open though so we explored. Theresa looked around the walls, checking out the fish we might see when we go snorkeling.
Oh yeah. This is how I like to relax. In a hammock. Whenever Theresa books a tropical vacation, one of my first questions is always "Does it have a hammock?" This one does, but there's only 2 that I saw and they're pretty far away from our bungalow.
Ian would love this. He had so much fun playing chess/checkers while we were in Phoenix.
Walking along the beachfront of the resort, there were a few interesting things to see. Like this weather predicting coconut. My guess is that it doesn't predict snow all that often.
The perfect place for a photo.
By 10:30am, we were walking down the pathway back to our bungalow.
A quick photo from the deck looking out towards Mount Otemanu. We lathered up with sunblock (SPF 50 for me, I hate burning) and were ready to relax.
For the entire rest of the day, we didn't leave the room. Hanging out on the deck, having the occasional snack, enjoying the beautiful views. Theresa had a few bananas left from yesterday that she enjoyed with some peanut butter.
And it was pretty cool seeing the random fishes swimming by and sometimes stingrays. The water here off our deck is only waist-deep.
After a rough day of doing nothing, it's time for dinner.
Remember how I said meals are expensive here? The travel planning websites Theresa reviewed suggested budgeting $100 per person for dinner. Looking at the menu prices, I can see why. Appetizers are $20-$30. Entrees are $40-70. For instance, the Angus filet with roasted potatoes was offered for $68. And mind you, this is fine dining. This food is meant to look pretty. The portion sizes are not meant to be filling. Drinks of course make everything a little more expensive.
If you wanted to eat a "cheaper" meal here, the pool bar offers food until 5pm. Here you can find $33 a cheeseburger (no sides), $30 club sandwich, $26 personal pizza, and other expensive options.
Theresa and I both have a hard time paying that much money for what others before us called mediocre food. So, Theresa the planner made sure we had something to eat every night. Tonight, using the in-room hot water kettle, we'll be having freeze-dried lasagna, plus whatever bread and butter is left over from yesterday. It's starting to get humidified and it's time to finish it off.
You might notice that we're a little toasty in the photo above. That was just from the morning walk around. I was thinking that early, and since we're in the shade most of the time, why would we be burned? Well checking the UV index here in Bora Bora, it's pretty much off the charts. A UV index of 11 is considered Extreme, and your unprotected skin can burn in minutes. We weren't even laying in the sun during the day. Well lesson learned, apply sunblock in the morning before going out, and reapply often. Good thing we have so many bottles.
Oh yes, the sunset tonight is beautiful.
And it's setting right behind the mountain and the mountain looks like it's on fire!
And it just kept getting better. The bottom of the clouds is catching the sun just right and the sky is turning a beautiful pink/orange.
Before they went to bed, we made sure to FaceTime the kids back home. They've been having fun with their grandparents, going to a birthday party, playing baseball, and just loving all the attention.
We showed them our view and Ian wanted to know more about that volcano in the background. Wanting to make sure we're safe. Luckily Mount Otemanu is an extinct volcano and isn't going to erupt again any time soon.
It wasn't too much longer that we were awake. It's easy to get up with the sun and go to sleep soon after it sets here.
The next morning, after getting properly coated with sunblock, the two of us made our way to breakfast. Here we enjoyed many of the same things as yesterday, but I got some very tasty french toast instead of pancakes.
Yesterday at breakfast, we had seen people throwing food to the fishes in the lagoon. I'm sure the hotel doesn't appreciate perfectly good (and expensive) food going to waste. Theresa read that they provide complimentary fish food to anyone who asks. Looks like kibble to me.
The fish do love it though, and they're constantly anticipating it.
Afterwards, we went back to the room.
Theresa cut up the mango she bought yesterday from a roadside stand (100 XPF) and said it's the best mango she's ever tasted. I'm sure the ambiance helped that a little bit too.
Theresa commented that we were fortunate with the orientation of the deck that the wind wasn't blowing any of the rain back into the room. Score one more for the room.
At times it was coming down so hard, you couldn't even see Mount Otemanu.
Dinner tonight, we made use of the hot water kettle once again. Tonight it's Bowl Noodle Ramen with Pringles. It's tasty and we had an amazing view from our deck.
For dessert we had these Arnotts Dark Chocolate Royals.
From the same company that makes Tim Tams, these cookie biscuits are topped with marshmallow and enrobed in chocolate. Yum.
I swear the area above Mount Otemanu at 2385' has its own weather system. It's not often that I've seen it without clouds on the top. It can be clear skies everywhere else, and then as you look to the mountain, clouds somewhere around it.
The nights sure are pretty though. The stars come out unlike anything I have back home in Los Angeles.