Friday, June 12, 2020

Leaving Bora Bora Day 9 - 2020/02/14-15

It's been a lot of fun, celebrating our anniversary in Bora Bora, but sadly all good things must come to an end. Today is our last day in Bora Bora.
Like most mornings here, it's beautiful weather. Blue skies and bright sunshine.

Breakfast has been delicious all mornings. This morning was no different. It's been really to have this all-you-can-eat breakfast included with the room.

Afterwards we took a walk around, stopping back by the Miki Miki Bar where we began here at the hotel.

The views here are all great. This has been a beautiful hotel to stay at.

Time to head back to our room for whatever time we have left. Normal check-out time here is 11am and our flight back to Tahiti isn't until 6:30pm tonight. It was very fortunate that Theresa requested late check-out, and the night before we got a letter stating that we could stay in our room until 4pm! Awesome! That's like a whole extra day here in the bungalow!

At the beginning of this trip, we had a huge pile of groceries. But we did a pretty good job eating dinner and snacks from our cache each night. Now we're down to just a few things. And some of them are meant to bring home to share.

Cheers Theresa!

It's been such an awesome trip, really just relaxing and doing whatever then entire time.

The kids are jealous. They want to come visit. I told them they both need to learn how to swim before we go on one of these types of vacations. And it will help if they learn how to read longer books with no pictures too.

The day passed too quickly. As it got warmer, we retreated to the shade of the bungalow. Finally 4pm arrived and it was time to pack up to go.

Our boat to the airport doesn't leave until 5:15pm which means we've got a little over an hour to kill. I saved some fish food so that we could have one more round with the fishes.

At 4:45pm we took the long walk down the pier that we've seen so many others use from our porch.

So true. Back to Reality Beyond This Point.

It another 30 minutes before our boat arrives. Might as well get in a little more reading.

"Ask not for whom the Ukulele player plays. It plays for thee."

Goodbye Le Meridien! It's been fun!

As soon as we got past these poles, the boat went into high speed and we were off to the airport.

It was a much smaller boat on the trip, just us and one other person.

When we took the trip from the mainland to the hotel, it cost $15 per person. It's a much shorter trip from the hotel to the airport, so it's odd that the cost is $60 per person. It was a decision we had to decide for ourselves. Save $90 and spend an extra couple hours going to the mainland and hopping on the free boat to the airport, or spend that extra time at the resort.

Fifteen minutes later we pulled up to the Aeroport De Bora Bora.

And we're just about 60 seconds in front of the boat from the mainland.

We said our thank yous to the boat captain and hustled to the main desk to check in. We were the first in line and good thing too! It took a while for everyone who came from the mainland to get checked in.

With an hour or so to kill, we looked through the little gift shop, considered getting a bite to eat at the airport snack shack, but decided to save our appetites, and then just relaxed and reflected on our favorite parts of the trip.

At 6:20pm, everyone was called to line up. Our tickets were scanned and we walked out onto the airport tarmac.

It's a little noisy out here with the plane.

Seats are first come, first served. We picked something close to the back so we could get off quickly.

Wow. The sunset over Mount Otemanu is absolutely gorgeous.

By 7:15pm we'd landed in Tahiti. Plenty of time for explore just a little.

After retrieving our luggage, we took a walk to the Airport Easy Market. It closes at 8pm. Good thing we packed light.

We need not have been concerned. By 7:30pm we were there.

This is almost as big as some of our markets back home! There's a little bit of everything. Tons of snacks. We grabbed a few things for our flight back home.

No fruit though. Can't bring any of that home. They do have lots of different Rotui juices from the island. I noticed they had a banana vanilla nectar, and I regret that I didn't buy a carton, considering how much I enjoyed that banana juice each morning for breakfast. It'll be something that I'll have to look for at home.

Even before the trip, Theresa had found this restaurant nearby with its great reviews, Chez Aro. It's a permanently parked food truck, with large tents and tables set up around it. It's just across the street from the Airport Easy Market too. It's really popular with the locals from what we read, though I suppose it is Valentines Day so people might be celebrating. They did have a couple heart decorations hanging from the tents.

After waiting for 10 minutes for a table, one group finished their meal and we were led to a table.
In her review, Theresa was really looking forward to the grilled Mahi Mahi ($16.75). Sadly when our server arrived, they had sold out for the night. Instead he suggested the swordfish.
Theresa told me earlier they had ribeye ($15.25), so I knew what I was getting. And in looking at the menu they had something called a Veal Heart Skewer ($2.10), might as well try that too.

When we ordered the food, I figured we'd have plenty of time to eat and then get back to the airport in time to check in. Given how busy they were though, and having such a limited kitchen, it took over an hour for the food to arrive. That didn't give us too much time to enjoy the meal.
While we were waiting, Theresa was lamenting her choice of swordfish. But, it turned out to be surprisingly good. I'm glad she wasn't disappointed.

My steak was just okay. I'll say, it's as good as I was expecting. I read ahead of time that they give a massive portion of french fries to go with it. And I ordered a roquefort sauce to go with it. It's a creamy cheese sauce intended for steaks, but I thought the fries tasted even better dipped in it.

The veal heart skewer was interesting. They were a bit chewy. The flavor was fine, but the texture wasn't to my liking. I ate 1 for the experience, but didn't need any more.

This little kitty has been going around to all the tables, looking for a handout.

Fifteen minutes after our food arrived, our plates were clear. It was a tasty choice for tonight's dinner Theresa. Happy Valentines Day!

With full bellies, we took the short walk back over to the airport.

And hopped into the check-in line by 9:15pm. I forget exactly how early we were expected to line up, but I know we were amongst the last of the groups in line for an 11:15pm flight.

So we might have been a little ambitious in our purchases from the Airport Easy Market. I bought 2 liters of that oh so delicious 100% pineapple juice. I didn't drink any with dinner because I thought that would probably be rude. Instead I've got to drink as much as I can before we go through security.

It took a little over 30 minutes to get to the front of the check-in line. Security was quick and painless. From there we could join the masses in the waiting area for the plane.

Or we could go upstairs...

And use the Air Tahiti Lounge. That Airport Lounge Priority Pass that I used back in LAX is good here too!

There was a small selection of snacks to nibble on and drinks in the cooler. I was still stuffed from dinner and all that juice, so I didn't even want anything.

Around 10:45pm it was finally time to line up and board the plane. If you haven't surmised by now, this is an overnight flight back to Los Angeles.

Once again we walked across the tarmac to the airplane and climbed up the steps to the cabin. The plane was the same 3-3-3 configuration so Theresa and I tried the same "trick" as the flight out here, picking the center section and both taking aisle seats, hoping no one picked up the seat between us. No such luck this time though. Someone was already there as we made our way down the aisle. Oh well. We've been together for 9 days. Why not spend the next 7 hours separated.

The flight was nothing extraordinary, except that I have a hard time sleeping on planes. I didn't end up sleeping for the whole overnight flight. Instead I read more of my book. Good thing I function okay on minimal sleep.
The dinner and breakfast they served us. Bleh. Remember how I said the best part about the meal on the way out here was the plasticware? Same for the way back.

9am and we're back in the USA. What a great adventure. And even though we spent so much time relaxing, there are definitely some memories I'll keep from this trip.
And now that I'm writing this in June, 3 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I'm especially glad we got out and celebrated our anniversary early.

After grabbing our luggage and getting through customs, we got picked up by my dad from the airport, and then headed home to see the kids.
It's February 15th, the day after Valentines Day, but we've still got a tradition we have to do with the kids. Every Valentines Day everyone eats Cheese Fondue!


  1. Long walk down the pier..."Back to Reality Beyond this Point"...then the fading Le Meridien and its surroundings as the boat pulls away...both a sad and memorable few moments of saying good-bye. That one picture of the palm trees framing the mountain while also capturing the sandy beach, aqua water, and thatched roofs is beautiful, and it captures so much of what the previous days were filled with. That was such a wonderful time and truly blessed way to celebrate your anniversary!! A lot of chuckles when you said to the kids, "Be able to read longer books with no pictures." (since learning to swim is probably around the corner and the longer-reading books criteria will be a little further out, that's a nice way of saying "not right away"; also a clever way to incentivize a "speeding up" for them to reach some worthwhile goals.) Thanks for sharing such a memorable Bora Bora trip. Again, congratulations to you and Theresa on your anniversary! EOM

    1. I still look back with very fond memories. Thanks for following along!