I woke up this morning with Charles Dickens famous opening line in my head:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
That line accurately describes a lot of things in life, I think — parenthood, career, marriage — and, for me, it accurately describes overwater bungalows in French Polynesia. Lol. Here’s my tale.
Once again, I sit beside the man I love. This time our feet dangle off the edge of a faded grey dock, not quite touching the crystal blue waters below. My eyes fill with tears at the beauty of all of it — my life with him, the lagoon I’m perched over, the island in the distance.
Darren puts his am over my shoulder, concern furrowing his brow. “Everything ok?”
One of the tears slips down my cheek and I give him a wavering smile, choking on my response. “No. Everything’s perfect.”
“Oh for goodness sake, where the heck is the shampoo!?”
I struggle to figure out how to turn off the unfamiliar shower and cast about the gigantic bathroom for one of the tiny bottles of shampoo the hotel is supposed to provide. I find a half empty bottle of conditioner and a new bottle of body wash near the tub BUT NO SHAMPOO!
“We’re going to be late for our reservation.” Darren scolds from the living space.
“That’s because you hid all the shampoo!” I reply.
He hadn’t, of course. The staff hadn’t replaced the tiny bottle we’d used up the night before. Darren called the “butler” to request more grumbling that he felt ridiculous “calling a butler”. When it comes to superheroes, Darren will pick Peter Parker over Bruce Wayne every day of the week.
After dinner, we returned to our room to discover the butler had arrived with replacement bath products. In a passive aggressive display of service, we found ten new tiny bottles of bath arranged by the tub… 4 conditioner, 4 body wash and 2 shampoo.
The lagoon is beautiful. All the French Polynesian islands seem to be formed the same — with a lush volcanic island in the center, a turquoise blue lagoon surrounding it and a reef that guards both lagoon and island from the deeper ocean waters.
The lagoon is shallow — only about 10 feet deep. On calm days we can see through the crystal clear water all the way to the bottom. A few colourful fish swim past — not many, but enough to keep us watching for more.
“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink,” I tease as Darren rummages through the mini bar.
“They didn’t replace this one either,” he sighs in frustration.
“You could always call the butler!” I respond cheerfully, realizing too late that I’d made one lighthearted joke too many.
Darren’s frown deepens, close to real anger now. He hates the “butler”. The person doing the job is lovely, but the entire idea of having one bothers my farmboy husband.
I touch his arm gently and smile, “it’s ok honey. We can just have ginger ale beside the bed tonight. And we’ll buy a couple extra bottles of water when the gift shop opens tomorrow.”
“How does anyone decide what to post on Instagram when they come here?” I wondered out loud.
Every photo I took looked like it came straight from the pages of a travel magazine. And I’m terrible at photography
With water this beautiful and sunsets this spectacular applying a filter would be a sinful waste of time.
“Don’t you dare!” I scolded, ducking my head in an attempt to escape the attention of my paparazzi husband.
“You will stand still for a photo or I’ll take one when you’re sleeping,” Darren replied mercilessly.
“Fine. One photo,” I conceded and he snapped before I could change my mind. The pleasant evening breeze chose that exact moment to get a bit gusty and my hair, already a mess from the unfamiliar humidity, swirled round my head sticking to my cheeks.
“Ok, this is why Polynesian women all wear their hair in buns. Even you have to admit I look ridiculous!” I laughed.
Darren looked at me, 25 years of love shining in his eyes, “You look beautiful.”
Damn him. Fine, keep the photo. Lol.
Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are my own. Resorts don’t provide me with free upgrades extra shampoo (*wink*) or bottled water (*laugh*) for my articles. No one involved is ever even aware I’m doing it.
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Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!). Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!
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