Dec 092014

Woke up pretty early, and considered taking the hotel shuttle down to the subway station to grab some Starbucks, but it was absolutely pouring rain out, so rested around the hotel a bit before giving up and catching the KAL Limo Bus back to the airport. I was the only one on the bus until the last stop, so had my own luxury coach:


No traffic at all, took barely an hour to get to Incheon Airport, where Heaven awaited me:


I’ve had every name under the sun on my Starbucks glasses – Justin being the most common, but also Jadon, Trason, Mason, you name it. This was a new one, however:


Friends had told me that after check-in, Asiana agents would escort you through security and passport control, all the way up to the lounge. Well my agents were friendly and helpful, but after they escorted me to the security line they left. No big deal at all, and I actually get kind of uncomfortable with people being overly helpful, but was just surprised based on what others had told me.

I had about two hours to kill in the lounge, which was nice, and I had a couple glasses of champagne while catching up on this blog a bit, and soon it was time to wander to the gate for the main event. Again, I’d been told there was an escort from the lounge to the gate, but no such thing was mentioned.

Asiana Flight 541
Seoul/Incheon, Korea (ICN) to Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
Depart 12:50, Arrive 16:35, Flight Time 11:45
Boeing 747-400, Registration HL7418, Manufactured 1994, Seat 3A

Not one, but two stellar champagnes were on offer. Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2000 and Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaire 1995. I give Asiana a lot of credit for not taking the easy way out with Krug or Dom, and offering two different stellar champagnes. I went with the Pol Roger, and wasn’t disappointed at all.



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Dec 062014

After a nice relaxing breakfast, it was time to catch the hotel shuttle back to Narita. Got there a bit early, so mainlined some Starbucks while I waited and very slowly came back to life. Soon Asiana check-in was open, and the line next to me provided “Happy Mom Service.” This is a thing? Seriously?


At check-in I got the bad news that Asiana had eliminated first class service on regional routes, and I’d been downgraded to business. GRRR. Not to worry though, it was still the same plane so I’d get a first class seat with business class service. No first class lounge, however. Yuck. The great thing at check-in, however, is that the agent was willing to check my bag of scuba gear all the way to DC so I didn’t have to pick it up for three days….and I was back in the land of carry-on only. Thank God!

Through immigration, where you must remember that transporting crabs is not permitted!


Explored the United Club lounge, had one beer because…well…automatic beer machine…before retreating in fear to the ANA lounge. It unfortunately, wasn’t much better. I’d never been in either of these lounges before, having always used the ANA First (now suites) lounge on my previous trips through Narita. The ANA lounge was fairly ok, but neither lounge was anything to get there at all early for.

I decided to head to the gate on time, and of course, boarding was thus delayed for 20 minutes. Just my luck. Our plane had arrived slightly late from Seoul, but was nice to get a good pic of her:


Right around the time we were scheduled to leave we finally boarded.

Asiana Flight 101
Tokyo/Narita, Japan (NRT) to Seoul/Incheon, Korea (ICN)
Depart 12:30, Arrive 15:10, Flight Time 2:40
Boeing 747-400, Registration HL7423, Manufactured 1997, Seat 3A

Boarded and the crew extremely graciously brought menus rather quickly:


I chose the Korean option, however, I noticed the crew being rather uncomfortable with the last passengers. I called the FA over and asked if I could switch to the western meal, and she gave a big smile and said of course. When I don’t really have a preference I like to make the crew’s life easier, and it was nice to help them avoid an uncomfortable situation a bit.

It was a good choice, and rather tasty:


My help provided me with several timely champagne refills, which helped the flight go by quite quickly. I’d saved my Air New Zealand socks just for the occasion:


The crew actually closed the curtains between first and business class during the flight, so other than the fact that the food and wine were slightly below what they would have been in first…and the lounge issue…it felt more or less like first anyways with the seat and service, so it wasn’t too much of a let down.

Immigration was pretty quick, and with no luggage checked I was outside waiting for the Korean Airlines Limo. Took a few minutes to buy a ticket and find the right route, and after about 15-20 minutes a bus came. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get to my hotel, but I seemed to remember it was a bit over an hour. Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the fact it was rush hour, and it took nearly two hours to get there. Ugh. At least the bus was empty so I had two seats to myself.

It was a bit after 6pm when I finally got to my hotel, the W Walkerhill. I knew this wasn’t in the best location, however, I knew it would be relaxing and my first choice (the Westin) wasn’t available the night I needed. I got lucky, however, and received what was for me a rare W upgrade to a Cool Corner Room. The check-in agent was really helpful, helped me figure out all my transportation questions for using the hotel bus plus subway to get to dinner, which was really awesome. Strange furnishings outside the room should have warned me things were going to get weird:


I’ll save the room details for later. I headed out to meet some friends for a light dinner and drinks in Gangnam. Bright lights! Heeeeeeey sexy lady!



After dinner and a few drinks, these dancing soju bottles looked about as goofy as I felt:


I’d had just enough to drink, and made the mistake when asked what our next stop should be of saying “I want a traditional late night experience.” Then I made the mistake of saying I would “eat anything.” Off to the fish market we went…where I was introduced to sannakji…or live octopus. It gets chopped up while alive, and you eat it while the tentacles are still thrashing from electrical impulses:


What they DON’T tell you, however, is that the little suction cups still work, and attach to your throat on the way down in an attempt to hang on. Fortunately I avoided choking despite the amount of soju we’d consumed, and managed to make it back to my hotel…where the oddness of the room somehow seemed not quite as weird.

The Austin Powers bed. Unfortunately, it didn’t rotate:


Living area, and walkway to the walk-in closet, door, and washroom:


Walk-in closet:


Strange uber-modern washroom:


…you can’t give me a goofy red robe and slippers that match the decor and expect me NOT to put them on:


The octopus had finally settled down for a bit, so settled down to get some sleep before what would be an unfortunately very early flight the next morning.

Dec 052014

Slept through my first alarm, and was running late in the morning. As I rounded the corner from my room, I saw the elevator there and people heading for it. I picked up my pace a bit and ran for it, putting my hand in the doors to keep it open…which caused a flurry of Chinese and some excitement from the already fully elevator. Given the earpieces and the way they all freaked out, I’m pretty certain I was in the elevator with President Xi, lol. You’d think they’d control the elevators so they don’t stop or something?!

Checked out, stopped by Starbucks to fuel up, managed to find the airport bus, and given the relatively early hour it was a nice quick traffic free drive to the airport. Check-in was pain-free as well, and I had a time for a quick snack in the lounge before boarding. I just had a small nibble at it, knowing there would likely be more in flight:


Got to the gate just as boarding was starting, and was one of the first on board to grab a photo. I’ve actually never taken a business class flight before with herringbone seats, and was curious how I’d like it. Generally, I strongly prefer planes with all-aisle access business class so I’m not having to either climb over people or have people climb over me.

Air New Zealand flight 99
Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) to Tokyo/Narita, Japan (NRT)
Depart 9:45, Arrive 16:55, Flight Time 11:10
Boeing 777-200, Registration ZK-OKG, Manufactured 2006, Seat 4K

First thought, these seats look crammed in there and people are right on top of each other:



I usually am very meh about amenity kits, but these came with awesome socks that matched my shoes. Everything goes better with bubbles:


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Dec 042014

Fortunately, due to my late arrival the night before, I managed to sleep in a bit the next morning. After a bit of Starbucks to attempt to wake up my brain, I went for a bit of a stroll around Auckland. I was considering a haircut, but decided asking for a “little off the top” might be interpreted the wrong way at this place:


I was just in relaxation mode and wandered around the city just seeing what I might see. Found a delicious lasagna for lunch, and a new beer which Untappd informed me was the 500th unique beer I’ve tried. Hah!


It’s Christmas in Auckland!


After an afternoon of walking, and as the sun was setting, I found a place right by the cruise ship terminal serving craft beer samplers. Major props to them for a super creative holder!


It was getting really cold out at this point, and the wind was kicking up. Temp dropped to maybe 15C with a wind, and it was time to find some food and get in teh warms. I was craving Thai food after being away form home so long, and one of the highest recommended restaurants in Auckland on TripAdvisor was Thai, so I decided to go for it. Plus, it gave me another chance to figure out the busses. The inner loop bus served me well, and soon I was at Blue Elephant Thai, where the footprints on the ground led you down the alley to find it:


Delicious chicken satay starter:


Tasty penang duck curry…ordered mainly because I’ve never seen anyone offer duck before. It was quite tasty, but not really a traditional penang curry. Regardless, it was tasty.


I somehow resisted the mango and sticky rice for desert, because for the past week I’d been thinking of the delicious gelato I’d had previously at Giapo. Headed back there after thai for a little dessert before bed, and once again wasn’t disappointed. One of the flavours was “Hokey Pokey” which they described as the “national flavour of New Zealand.” It was vanilla ice cream with honeycomb toffee in it, and in true Giapo fashion they topped it off with some caramel piping, crumbled chocolate cookies, and some more honeycomb crisps. Absolutely amazing.


It was a reasonable walk from Giapo back to my hotel, and as I approached the hotel there were police everywhere, and swarms of people. Clearly something was up. The closer I got, the thicker the police and people got:


Noting all the Chinese flag, and that most of the people looked Chinese, I asked one of the police what was up. “We have a VIP guest.” Based on the level of security, my DC-radar told me it could only be a head of state, and most likely President Xi was about to show up at my hotel.


The strange thing was, the police could have cared less about my keycard, and anyone could walk into the hotel without showing ID. I’m not sure what the point of hundreds of police was if they weren’t checking people going into the hotel, but there you have it.

When I got up to my room, checked the news online, and confirmed that President Xi was indeed arriving in Auckland that evening and it appeared likely he was staying in my hotel. That would explain the unexpected upgrade…most likely he didn’t want to be in a corner room with so many exposed windows.

Crashed the minute my head hit the pillow…it was going to be an early morning flight to Tokyo!

Dec 042014

I’d arranged a taxi to meet me at Fagali’i Airport, and was back at Aggie Grey’s way before my flight to New Zealand. Since I’d already checked out in the morning before heading to Pago Pago, decided to grab a small appetizer at the hotel restaurant and enjoy one last sunset beer. Hotel provided a free shuttle to the airport about two hours before the flight, and in no time I was there and checking in. Nothing exciting, immigration and security were a piece of cake, and soon I was in the departures lounge. The duty free store was all sorts of festive:


Our plane arrived from Auckland about 30 minutes late, giving us only 30 minutes to turn it around, so it was becoming clear we’d be slightly late. Of course, they waited until the scheduled departure time to tell us it was going to be “a little late.” A little late became a little later. And a little later. An hour after departure time, I was getting worried the turnaround crew would go illegal, so asked the gate agent what the story was. Appears there was only one working lav on the entire plane, and they were doing their best to fix it. 90 minutes past departure time they gave up, and we decided to board:


Air New Zealand flight 997
Apia, Samoa (APW) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
Depart 21:45, Arrive 00:45 next day, Flight Time 4 hours
Airbus A320, Registration ZK-OJC, Manufactured 2003, Seat 11C

As we were boarding, the flight attendants informed us there would be a one beverage limit per passenger “except in case of emergency” due to the fact there was one working washroom for over 150 passengers. It was a completely full flight except for four seats, and coincidentally all 4 seats were in the same row…a row which according to ExpertFlyer became completely empty 10 minutes before departure, and then they placed one passenger in the middle seat of each row. These passengers were very chatty with the gate agent, and it’s a safe bet they were either friends or employees. Rather sad.

Before takeoff, it was time for the most epic safety video ever:


Some thoughts on the flight:

It was only about four hours, which is about the limit of what I can tolerate in economy, even in the exit row. Fortunately my row-mates were polite and not overly large, so it was a pretty good flight. The odd thing is, how the food on the flight works. You only get free food and drinks if you purchase a more expensive fare, which appears to be approximately a Q fare or above. I figured this meant very few people, but it looked like nearly half the passengers were offered a meal. Everyone else had to pay for something from the buy on board. The meal was actually decent, certainly on par with what you’d get in domestic first in the states.

The coolest thing about the plane was that you could order drinks or make requests through the seatback touchscreen. It even knew what fare you were on, and if you needed to be charged for your request or not. After dinner, I decided to try my luck and order a second glass of wine. The very friendly flight attendant appeared with it about 5 minutes later, and reminded me it was only one drink per passenger except in case of emergency. I smiled at her, and said “it’s dark…I won’t tell if you don’t tell…and plus…the wine volume in my blood is getting dangerously low…almost to emergency levels!” She laughed, and just said to use the touchscreen when I needed more. Needless to say, a great crew can make an otherwise average flight great!

Landed quite late, just after 2am local, and fortunately immigration and customs was a short wait. Took the airport bus downtown to my hotel, and was finally in bed just after 3am. Was very glad I’d canceled my kayaking trip the next day due to rain, since it would have been a very very short night otherwise. I was staying at the SkyGrand hotel, and for some reason they’d kindly upgraded me to a nice corner room where I promptly passed out the moment my head hit the pillow.

Dec 042014

Because this is too good not to post, I’m interrupting the trip report for a Fiji Airways story. A month later, after the Tuvalu failure, I’m still waiting for the ticket refund to post back to my credit card. It’s been over four weeks since it was authorized at the Nadi Airport ticketing office, but nothing. So, I figured I’d e-mail for an update..and got this:

Thank you for contacting Fiji Airways.

This is to confirm receipt of your email which has been passed on to our Guest Relations team for handling.

Rest assured that one of our Guest Relations Officers will respond to you within the next 21 days. Please allow us up to 60 days to resolve any refund requests.

For all our guests travelling and to/from the United States and/or Honolulu, we will follow the Fiji Airways Customer Service Plan. This response serves as an acknowledgement to your feedback and we will provide you with a substantive response within 60days.

Only at Fiji Airways is 60 days an acceptable amount of time for customer service….

Dec 042014

Made it to the tiny Fagali’i Airport on Samoa about 65 minutes before my flight…and the flight was still not open for check-in! I guess that’s how it works when the entire airport is one little room! I did still have to pay for my return ticket, so took care of that while I waited. Why didn’t I just buy a roundtrip online? Well, see, Samoa and American Samoa sit on opposite sides of the International Date Line, despite only being 50 miles apart. I was departing Samoa at 12:30 pm one day, and arriving at 12:05 pm the PREVIOUS day…a full 24 hours and 25 minutes before I’d departed! I would be returning the day before I left…and you can’t buy a roundtrip ticket where the return date is earlier than the departure date. Crazy!

Eventually check-in opened, and through immigration and security in less than 2 minutes, and time to wait for the flight.

Polynesian Airlines flight 240
Fagali’i Airport, Samoa (FGI) to Pago Pago, American Samoa (PPG)
Depart 12:30, Arrive 12:05 Previous Day, Flight Time – 35 minutes
Dehavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Registration 5W-FAY, Manufactured 1980, Seat 2A

Old-school handwritten boarding pass:


Today’s flight was packed with all 15 or so seats taken, and soon we were off. Views of American Samoa on approach:



Just 30 minutes flight time (max) and we were on the ground. I snapped this picture of the inside of the plane as we left:



Talofa! Welcome!


Immigration took longer than it should have for 15 people, and I think they were mostly just curious what the hell I was doing there. I guess not many tourists show up from Samoa for the day “just to see it” – especially ones with US passports. CBP doesn’t run the show here so no Global Entry kiosks, so it was the full questioning. America, but felt like “not America” at the same time.

Outside the airport, my next task was to either rent a car or taxi for four hours. I didn’t know where I was going so thought a car would be a bad idea, so I started negotiating with the taxis. In the US mainland a taxi would ask hundreds for four hours, and the first guy I approached wanted $100. The second guy tried $75. The third asked for $60. I probably could have gone lower, but honestly for four hours of driving me around and playing tour guide I thought that a pretty fair price.

First stop, an ATM, since I had no US Dollars to my name to pay him…and look, it’s right next to a Ford dealership. We really are in America!


After the ATM I told the driver I just wanted to see the island, and needed a good lunch, so we set off. You can see the close ties between Hawaii and Samoa…


Most of the drive was right alongside the ocean, with terrible views:



Despite massive cutbacks in recent years, the economy of American Samoa is largely dependent on the tuna industry, and on StarKist in particular. You can smell the factory long before you get to it:


StarKist workers outside waiting for a bus:


For lunch, my driver took me to Tisa’s Bar & Grill:


Can I get a menu? No, we have fish today. Ok, I’ll have the fish! Delicious grilled fish marinated in coconut milk, citrus juice, butter, and spices. It was amazing. The thing on the right is a local sweet potato that grows straight up out of the ground:


View from Tisa’s deck:




After lunch I stuck around for a bit and chatted with Tisa and Chef Candyman who’d made my lunch. We talked about American Samoa, how things had changed, how Tisa had gone to LA for a few years and hated it, so came back to Pago Pago. After a large group of US National Park collecting tourists left (see, people collect things stranger than countries) it was nice to hear their perspective in life on the islands and why they’d chosen to live there.

Soon it was time for a bit more driving before heading back to the airport:


Most…exotically-furnished…bathrooms ever:


Check-in area. This is the BUSY day too with a flight to Honolulu:


I asked for seat 1A this time so I could watch the flight deck, and they had no trouble giving it to me. Unfortunately, at boarding, I got moved back to 3A for weight and balance reasons. Bummer. We were booked full again except for two seats.

Polynesian Airlines flight 269
Pago Pago, American Samoa (PPG) to Fagali’i Airport, Samoa (FGI)
Depart 16:30, Arrive 18:00 Next Day, Flight Time – 350 minutes
Dehavilland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Registration 5W-FAY, Manufactured 1980, Seat 3A


Nice quick flight back to Samoa on the little plane held together by wires, and it was time to go pick up my bags at Aggie Grey’s, check out, and head to the airport for my flight back to Auckland.

Dec 012014

Quick transfer by shared hotel bus to my hotel the Aggie Grey’s Resort which was less than 10 minutes from the airport. First impression on check-in was that the hotel/resort seemed to be absolutely dead. There were no people around at all, and the staff was moving at about half of normal island speed.

At least things looked promising on the hotel activities board;


Had to try two different rooms to get one with adequately functioning air conditioning…which didn’t seem like it should be a problem given the low occupancy. The second room had a nice view of the gardens, looking out towards the ocean:


Beach right outside my room:


Headed to the hotel bar/restaurant to have a beer before dinner, and watch the sunset…which was stunning. After all the sunsets I’ve seen on this trip, the purples of this one were just stunning and unique:


Some pics of the room. It was nice-sized, but felt quite empty with lots of open space. Definitely met my “Three Cs” though – clean, cool, and comfortable. No complaints at all.



Nothing says “don’t drink the water” like endless bottles of bottled water left for you:


Woke up the next morning, and had a lazy start. Breakfast was included with the room, and there was quite a good spread, including eggs cooked to order. Nobody was going to go hungry! I had booked two dives for the day, and we weren’t going to head out until 10am, so it was nice to have a nice and relaxing start to the day.

Aqua Samoa was located clear across the resort, a 10-15 minute walk from my room. When I got there, I found out I was the only diver booked that day, so I’d have a private trip with just the boat driver, the divemaster, and myself. That was definitely a first for me! With just the two of us we were in absolutely no rush to get going, so took our time.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to recharge my camera so didn’t get any pictures from these dives. The most memorable parts were the really cool underwater geography. Both sites featured some really cool 40 meter high coral columns sticking up from the ocean floor, and there were pretty strong currents which allowed us to head down about 25-30 meters and just drift around the formations. We saw a couple of sharks in the distance, but nothing terribly close. The fish life was nothing special, but the dives were definitely unique due to the topography.

Finally made it back to my room just after 2pm, grabbed a quick snack, and relaxed on the beach for the remainder of the afternoon:



Samoa had an absolutely amazing sunset in store for us again. I think when this trip is over I’m going to need to put a post together with just the sunset pics:



My last day in Samoa I had planned a daytrip to American Samoa. The flights to Pago Pago leave from the domestic airport in Samoa, which is about a 45-50 minute drive from the international airport and the resort. Once a day, Aggie Grey’s runs a free shuttle into town for guests so they can explore the city. It worked out reasonably well for my departure time and would save a $30 or more taxi ride, so I headed into town with the hotel van. Chatted on the way with a nice couple from New Zealand who were originally from Fiji, and it was really interesting hearing their different perspective on the resort. I was a bit disappointed how quiet it was and how little there was to do, but they were thrilled with how quiet things were and how relaxing it was…while still having nice facilities.

Picture of Aggie Grey in the reception area:


After about 50 minutes we were in downtown Apia, and I had about an hour to walk around before I needed to grab a short 10 minute cab to the airport. Downtown church:


Apia harbour:


Samoan government building:


Clock tower roundabout:


After walking around for an hour and having some coffee, it was time to head to the airport for my daytrip to American Samoa!

Nov 302014

The plan today was to fly from Tonga to Samoa via Nadi, Fiji. There was a nice route with a 90 minute connection in Nadi, and I booked all of this before I ever learnt that Fiji Airways and I were soon to enter into an abusive relationship. The first week of this trip I’d received an email from Expedia. It seems  Fiji Airways had decided to “retime” the onward connection to Samoa, and I would now have a 5.5 hour connection in Nadi. Instead of leaving at approximately 530pm we would now leave at 11pm and arrive at 230am. Ugh, not desirable at all, but if that was the worst drama I’d have this trip I’m not going to complain.

Unfortunately, three days before the flight, just after I got out of the shower on the Emirates A380, I checked my phone and there was an email. From Fiji Airways. I figured it was something about my Tuvalu refund.

Oh no, not at all. They had “retimed” my flight once again, and it was now going to leave a further 14 hours later – the NEXT DAY. Meaning I’d get stranded overnight in Fiji. UGH. There goes my first day in Samoa. Ok, breathe deeply. Water under the bridge. This is Fiji Airways. At least you get a nice relaxing nice in Fiji now. At least you won’t land in Samoa at 230am. Try and stay positive.

So I did.

Got to the airport, and check-in for Tonga took nearly 45 minutes. The ground handling company was clearly moving on island time, and there was a reasonable breeze in the terminal, so it wasn’t too bad. I asked about the exit row. She disappeared for about 10 minutes to “see if it is possible.” She came back, and without a word gave me a non exit row seat. I asked again. “No, not possible.” That was it.

Based on the flights departure board you’d think they’d be bored and looking for something to do:


Your medium sized wood carvings are ok for carry on, but your wooden knives are not…no matter which way you point them!


Shot of the bustling Nuku’Alofa airport from the passenger dropoff area:


It was a walk to the plane gate, and notice all the friends and relatives waving goodbye to us:


Pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever boarded a plane through the rear. It was terrifying.


…but I still managed a smile.


Upon boarding, I asked the flight attendant if by chance the exit rows remained open, I could sit there when the door is closed. “Yes yes, of course.”

Fiji Airways flight 212
Nuku’alofa, Tonga (TBU) to Nadi, Fiji (NAN)
Depart 15:45, Arrive 17:15, Flight Time 1:30
Boeing 737-800, Registration DQ-FJG, Manufactured 1999, Seat 23D

I stalked the exit rows. I actually sat in 23D to deter people from getting the same idea. Nobody showed up. Score! Now really, how much work would it have been for the check-in agent to actually assign me this seat? Clearly too much. I had the entire row to myself!

In the approximately 10 days I’d been away, Fiji had also apparently gotten quite serious about Ebola:


Despite only being a 90  minute flight, Fiji Airways offered a small snack. Another scary sandwich slathered in mayo and mystery meat, and today there was a pasta salad as well. No thanks, not going to risk it. Fortunately it was biscuits and bitter to the rescue again!


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Nov 282014

After making it through customs, I looked for my hotel driver who’d confirmed the day before that they would be waiting for me. No sign of them. However, plenty of taxi drivers more than willing to take me there. I waited 15 minutes to see if the hotel would show up, and with no sign of them, took one of the taxis up on their offer. They wouldn’t take New Zealand dollars, so changed some at the airport and we were off through the very dark night.

My hotel was near “downtown” Nuku’alofa, and was about a 30 minute drive from the airport. Finally got there around 8pm, rather late, and checked into my hotel the Little Italy hotel. I’d been advised it was the most comfortable option in Tonga, and really didn’t let me down…although the rooms looks like something out of your grandmother’s house:



My room also came with a complimentary pet included:


I was still pretty full from the plane, so decided to head down to the hotel restaurant for a glass of wine, a little dessert, and to read a bit of my book. The tiramisu was surprisingly excellent:


Crashed early, and woke up just as the sun was rising. My flight was relatively early to Fiji, and I wanted to be sure I had plenty of time to explore before then. Breakfast was included with the hotel, and the Mona Lisa was supervising in the restaurant:


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