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We''re Married & with Stories to Tell!

Discussion in 'Bride World Wide & Grooms Grooves' started by Mara, May 25, 2004.

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  1. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Howdy and hello all! Or should I say as they do in Tahitian...Iorana! [​IMG]



    We''re back...got in late on Sunday night and went to bed at 1am...to wake up feeling slightly more alive at 1pm! We had been traveling for 24 hours...Tahiti is not THAT far in terms of flight miles, but the airports are small there and flights are erratic, so we had a 4 hour layover and an 8 hour layover so there was alot of sporadic sleeping on hard chairs and in uncomfortable airline chairs...the bed was a slice of heaven to us upon arriving home, especially since my mom had come over and washed our sheets and aired the house out for us yesterday! [​IMG]




    The trip was absolutely amazing...all almost-3-weeks of it. In Hawaii, we had a few days to relax before the masses started arriving, I alluded to this in another post here on the forum, but it''s incredibly difficult to be playing host and hostess in a partially unfamiliar place AND be preparing for a wedding. You want to make sure everyone is welcomed, having fun but in the meantime you also have to be running errands and thinking of the last-minute details. Two of my friends were beyond invaluable to me, one was somewhat reluctant since she was on vacation, but I coerced her into things. [​IMG] Without those two and especially her...I don''t know what I would have done the last 2 days before the wedding. Lots of small things to remember..and parties and people to attend to as well.




    The wedding day was a strange mix of relaxation (in the morning) and stress (in the afternoon as the minutes counted down). The morning seemed to go by very slowly, and I was blessedly alone for some of the time...but come 12 noon, things seemed to pick up, everyone was in a flurry, people visiting, getting ready, eating lunch, hair and makeup done, finding XYZ and sending helper #1 to tell ABC to do DEF.




    The minutes counting down to the wedding were seriously down to the wire. With about an hour to go, my hair was just being finished and there were still 3 gals to go with makeup. I hadn''t even showered and vendors were setting up and everyone seemed to need to ask me questions. Considering that I had this all planned out, it was all in MY head, so my helpers were frustrated by having to come search me down to ask where I wanted the vases or the candles...and the vendors were only familiar with me so they were doing the same thing. The funniest thing is that I wasn''t really STRESSED at this point, I knew everything WOULD get done, but I just wondered what sort of odd timetable we''d be on at the last minutes. It turns out I dressed for my wedding in about less than 10 minutes. Thankfully I could do it on my own with my simple dress since my bm''s were still getting their makeup done and rushing into their own dresses. It was a bit surreal and at times I wondered about those movies where the gals getting married are being attended to by 10 friends and many family members, but everyone was busy! It was kind of nice though, since while I was getting dressed I had about 10000 things on my mind...making small talk or convincing my mother I was not nervous was not on the agenda. [​IMG]




    When I was almost done, my mom came in and fussed with my hair and veil, the photographer snapped his first pictures of me in my gown and getting my veil put on about 5 minutes before we went down the aisle! No time for solitary or group pictures, though thankfully I had the foresight to send helper #2 to bully the boys a few cottages down into getting ready early enough to take their own group pictures as well as the family members. Later, it would come to me at the end of the long evening and I would realize that while making sure all the other pictures and people were taken care of, I had forgotten what some may consider the most important pictures....pictures of just the bride. Oh well. [​IMG] Once I realized this, I also came to the conclusion that pictures of me alone are not ones that anyone would necessarily consider framing.




    The last gal got her makeup done literally minutes to the wedding, thankfully she was dressed and ready to go. Lined up the troops, sent the helpers out a few minutes earlier to cue the music and seat the guests. We were 15 minutes late to start but considering I''m always late, no one was really surprised. [​IMG] Everything from this point on was a huge blur. Made it down the aisle, everything looked spectacuarly beautiful and in-place, and realized as the pastor greeted us that I had forgotten to read and memorize my vows to Greg! I had written them MONTHS ago and they sat silently and untouched in my room. Moment of panic and then I made something up that was somewhat close...but in the meantime, that moment of sheer panic had combined with the stress and emotion of the moment and I burst out bawling as the pastor handed me the microphone to speak to Greg. Somehow I made it through a few lines of something (don''t even recall what but apparently people were touched since they later told me I made them cry when I started to cry). The most ironic part of this is that I am NOT an emotional person at all, anyone who knows me pretty well knows that I am not a crier and I think 99% of the people in my life have never seen me tear up. So not surprising that me breaking down in tears during the ceremony would shock most to tears of their own. [​IMG]




    The ceremony went very fast, too fast almost, after my first emotional outburst I was just fine...Greg was steady as he said his vows and his own special words (very nice ones btw), we exchanged the rings and then were pronounced husband and wife. Signed the marriage license, took lots of pictures, partied the night away after eating dinner. Everyone had a spectacular time, you could tell by the number of people on the dance floor vs sitting down. The DJ was great, my song list was a hit....the setup and decor was breathtaking. Everything went very well, and it was definitely something neither of us nor our friends and family will ever forget. I was so happy that I eschewed the big local wedding for something more tropical and private, because I hardly think the food or cake will be the thing foremost in people''s minds when they recall our wedding. Mission accomplished. Oh and our rings look absolutely fabulous too, of course. [​IMG]




    After the wedding, it was a little surreal because we were still playing host and hostess for 2 more days to guests, esp those that we don''t see that often. Spent alot of time piecemeal with various families and people...again this is where the destination wedding can kind of bite you in the ass. We were looking fwd to getting away from EVERYONE for the honeymoon in Tahiti and were glad we didn''t decide to just do another week in Hawaii. We needed to travel again to feel as though we were ''getting away'' from all the wedding stuff.




    Sent off the final guests and then took off ourselves for our honeymoon on Sat May 15. Didn''t realize until we landed in Papeete on the big island of Tahiti that we had no cell phone coverage and that the islands of French Polynesia are *really* French!
     
  2. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    This means that French is the primary language spoken, along with Tahitian. Since we didn't really know a word of French (well okay...bonjour and merci don't count...) even though I had taken a year of it in college....we were a little panicked...but most people did speak forms of broken English.




    On landing in Papeete, we stayed at a local Sofitel hotel there before taking a huge catamaran to our island ofMoorea the next day in the afternoon. Papeete and Tahiti are what people would consider the big city of the FP islands, somewhat along the lines of what Oahu is to Hawaii. More commercial for the most part. It was intriguing but we were anxious to get to the more remote island of Moorea and really see what it was like.




    After a week and a half in Kauai, we were already prepped for primitive island life, bugs in the cabins/houses, lots of mosquitos. Chickens and roosters, wild cats and dogs. However, the beauty of the island of Moorea hands down eclipses the beauty of the Hawaiian islands. It may sound odd, but Moorea was even more beautiful than Kauai. Considering that Kauai is an extremely lovely place and we adore it, in Moorea we were in sheer heaven. No cell phones, choppy verbal French/Tahitian communication, but entirely stunning from a visual perspective. Plus Greg liked not having cell phone coverage. [​IMG] I felt cut off.




    We had a beach bungalow cottage placed squarely on a beautiful white sand beach. The soft waves slapping the beach were of the palest blue green color and the water was entirely see through. Lots of coral rock structures dotted the landscape, it amazed us that you could walk out 10 feet from your beach and snorkel. The fish were all colors, and would eat from your hands (after a few tries). They liked cookie and bread. [​IMG] We smuggled a few of each from breakfast for a few days, and snapped overwater pictures of the feeding since the underwater cameras in Tahiti were singing to the tune of $40 american dollars. Yikes! We only bought one and used it on our one official snorkeling trip where we had a tour guide and a boat ride to the more amazing coral reefs. After that we only snorkeled locally from our beach, but it was just as fun and much cheaper!




    The first few days we only stayed at the hotel, eating and drinking there. Our transfer guide had told us to make sure we got a bike or scooter and went to the local market, beer and water were 1/5 of the price they were at the hotel. The first 2 days though we were in a blissful beach and vacation haze, and stayed onsite. On the third day we ventured out on a small scooter that was guaranteed to hold us both...precariously. Helmets on, we had our first real glimpse of the island outside the hotel. It was bigger than we thought, with more places to eat than we imagined! Why had we wasted so much time eating at the hotel?!?! And money of course. We hit up the market, bought our necessities, then took a drive around the other side of the island. The water in Moorea is all the same, beautiful pale shades of blues and greens, darker blue where the water deepens and the darkest blue out where the lagoon and more shallow waters meet up with the rushing tides of the South Pacific. A coral reef separates the calm lagoon waters from the real SP water...that must be some coral reef. When you would hear the tide rushing and breaking against that imaginary reef shore out in the distance and see the sprays of white foam and water, you realized that reef must be only built of the most strong and spectacular rocks. Too bad we never saw it. [​IMG]




    Because the waters around the island from almost every inlet and view are the same color and almost the same views, I tried to limit the picture taking of the water. So we took alot of pictures of the beautiful hills and mountaints, Moorea is the most mountaineous of the FP islands, with tall jagged peaks which jut harshly against the beautiful blue of the sky. Very striking, breathtaking and amazingly bold. At night, the moon was a small sliver of brightness against these large dark mountain shadows. I remarked to Greg on one night that the moon looked foolish set there so small. He laughed.




    After the scooter ride, we were hooked and didn't want to spend much time at the hotel other than being on the beach or at the bar or the bungalow. We rented a Fiat Panda, the smallest of their rental cars and boy was it small. But faster than the scooter. We had that for 2 days and traveled around the entire island. The signs were all in French and Tahitian people walk IN the road. At night, driving was a true game of 'how good is your eyesight'. The speed limit was about 40 miles, and most people have scooters or very old cars. Not alot of wealth on this island at all.




    The first night we had the scooter, we took our first real adventure and traveled back to an amazing french restaurant where we had had lunch that day. They were having a jazz band and Greg had his saxaphone (played at the wedding). We strapped ourselves and the saxaphone onto the tiny scooter and jetted out into the blackness. I was so glad there were only a few cars out that night, us on our scooter was definitely a road hazard. Greg jumped in and played with the band, it was great fun and we called it our big "adventure".




    On our last nite there, we took in a traditional Polynesian show and buffet at an authentic Tahitian village. Learned about the culture and the traditions and saw some great dancing. Again, hands down...this show and the island was beating Kauai in terms of what we considered authenticity and beauty and non-commercialism. Our travel agent told us if we loved Kauai we would adore Moorea because Moorea is what Kauai was 30 years ago. I can definitely see the resemblances, if one would consider Kauai to be remote and somewhat primitive (as compared to Oahu and similar), Moorea is positively jungle-like and absolutely RAW. Tourism is only taking hold in this small island and is still somewhat fresh.




    We discovered true French restaurants hidden among the Moorea roads, had spectacular food and heard amazing music. Because the FP islands are so french, alot of french visitors come there, more than the Americans. Therefore, the beach outside our bungalow was proudly topless, and at Greg's insistence, I joined them. [​IMG] Figured I wouldn't be the prudish American sitting with her goggle-eyed new husband...instead that honor could go to some other new American wife. It was actually alot of fun and freeing. When there are lots of other boobs on the beach, you don't feel odd about yours. Unless the other American wife is staring at you that is. [​IMG]




    We got very tan (I could pass for Tahitian now), the sun is very warm out there and the peak times for heat are about 9am - 11am amazingly, about 4pm every day the sun would leave our side of the island and travel over one of the mountaineous large peaks and set at about 5:30pm on the other island of the island. We would do our tanning in the morning after breakfast from around 9am to 1pm and then travel around with our Panda for the rest of the afternoon.




    When the end came...we regretted not having found the life outside of the hotel earlier...but we were happy we had figured it out and made some amazing food and beauty discoveries off our beautiful white sand beach. We wanted one or two more days of the freedom, but we knew it was also time for us to come home. We'd been gone almost 3 weeks and the idea of our house and surrounding roads of the BayArea were starting to blur in our minds. All we could see when we thought about "home" was the Fiat Panda, our beach bungalow and lots of different types of raw fish marinated in coconut milk (yum).




    Traveled home for what seemed like an interminable time, when we arrived to our place, the first thought that popped into my mind was 'sterile'. Our house was so clean and pretty and fresh. I felt out of place and the walls looked bare. I am definitely a minimalist type of person, but where was the foliage against the walls, and the jungle-like atmosphere? The warm humid nights? I was shivering in the night air in a sweater and linen pants. We took hot showers and had chicken soup. We watched the season-finale of Alias and went through my Tivo'd shows briefly. When we climbed into bed, we were exhausted, and the bed felt like a big white cloud of pillows. No mosquito netting was covering the bed.




    Yesterday was a study in readjustment. We were only gone for almost-3-weeks, but where we were for the entire time was so different from where we live, and the differences in Tahiti where more marked to us than in Kauai. It feels really good to be home, but we can't help but wistfully stare at the postcard of our hotel and the beautiful white beach as we do laundry, make breakfast, pick-up our mail from the post office. We defintely want to go back for our second anniversary, do one week in Kauai and one in Tahiti....so we'll have that to look forward to until then. Oh and the 9 rolls of film that I took of the entire trip will keep us visually satiated...not to mention the 400 pictures friends took of the Hawaii time and the wedding, and the nearly 1k pictures that the photographer took. I love pictures and albums and I bought a few on our trip to commemorate our fun and amazing time.




    In the meantime, back to reality! It does feel good to be home and I already have a few hundred pictures to start wading through.




    Pictures are forthcoming...the few that I do have from friends right now. Photographer is not done with his editing magic just yet! [​IMG]
     
  3. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Us at the altar...this is a really beautiful picture because it appears slightly blurred (though it's actually not) and all the colors seem so rich. I like that we are dark and more silhouette against the backdrop.

    altar1sm.jpg
     
  4. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Us right after they pronounced us husband and wife...Greg's smile in this picture is absolutely endearing...I remember at this moment I felt relief pouring out of me...hence my downwards smile because I almost couldn't believe it was OVER! And I hadn't fainted. [​IMG]

    married2sm.jpg
     
  5. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Last one for now...this is us at the reception...shows the tables and the setup, everything looked really amazing when it was all setup, I could not have imagined a more beautiful scenario. I think in this picture we were looking at different cameras. [​IMG] I may ask a friend to Photoshop out my claw hand that is clutching at Greg's shoulder...yikes! [​IMG]

    married3sm.jpg
     
  6. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Ok I lied..a few more pix. This is the Moorea view from our beach where our bungalow is...of the Sofitel overwater bungalows and a beautiful view of the clouds and sun. The clouds that gather around sunset do wonderful things with the sun and the sky mixture. [​IMG] No bad picture possible.

    moorea1sm.jpg
     
  7. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 25, 2004
    Beautiful Moorea sunset...we drove to the other side of the island to catch it.

    moorea2sm.jpg
     
  8. Matata
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Matata » May 25, 2004
    Welcome back Mrs. Mara. Your wedding and honeymoon story is wonderful and the pics are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life with us out here in netland. Now that the rituals are concluded, the real journey begins [​IMG]
     
  9. Robyn12
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Robyn12 » May 25, 2004
    Mara --

    Wow, what a beautiful wedding! Everything looked wonderful. I especially love the flower petals leading up to that alter -- how stunning! You guys look very happy. Congratulations and best wishes to you!

    Robyn
     
  10. foundnemo
    Shiny_Rock

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    by foundnemo » May 25, 2004
    Congrats on being a Mrs.! Your stories and your wedding/honeymoon sound wonderful. Your pictures are all so beautiful too![​IMG]

    I'm almost inspired to have a wedding in Hawaii![​IMG] Too bad but I just don't think my family would go for it.

    Moorea seems heavenly, and it is one of the places (besides Bora Bora) that I'd like to visit for honeymoon as well.

    Please do share more pictures. (Although I don't really recommend it! [​IMG])
     
  11. jadeleaves
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by jadeleaves » May 25, 2004
    May the best of your past be the worst of your future [​IMG]
     
  12. luckyhonu
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by luckyhonu » May 25, 2004
    Oh my, Mara! You look so beautiful! I knew the wedding would go without a hitch. The pictures were wonderful...I would love to visit Tahiti one day as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing! [​IMG]
     
  13. hoorray
    Ideal_Rock

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    by hoorray » May 25, 2004
    Welcome back Mara! The pics are beautiful -- it looks as if all your planning paid off well!

    I have a theory that your honeymoon will be one of the best trips of your life -- no matter where you go. It's not for the obvious reasons, it is because THE WEDDING IS OVER! No matter how great the wedding, the pressure change from before and after, along with the big numbers of people to just the 2 of you, make for a terrific honeymoon.

    Glad it all went well. Welcome to married life!
     
  14. winyan
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by winyan » May 25, 2004
    Best Wishes Mara, and Congrats to Greg!

    As others have said, your pics are beautiful!!

    I'm so glad you saw the 'real' FP!! I've traveled, but it was many years ago, and I saw a lot more of the 'real' countries I've been in, than I would traveling today.

    I agree with Lop, your honeymoon is the best trip of our life, and the one you remember longest...(next would be, for us, at least, Alaska.)

    Now, I can't wait to see hand pics w/ring!...Also I loved the wedding necklace you picked!

    win
     
  15. fire&ice
    Ideal_Rock

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    by fire&ice » May 26, 2004
    Mara, your husband truly looks happy & relaxed.
     
  16. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 26, 2004
    Thanks everyone...!




    win...we plan to go back in a few years and will note with interest how things have changed, because I'm sure they will have.




    The honeymoon was heaven, mostly for the reason that we were very much ALONE. We could have been honeymooning in a parking lot but as long as there weren't others making demands on us...we'd be happy. Well maybe not in the parking lot, Moorea was *much* nicer...hehee.




    Greg came to me the other day and asked 'what now?'. We already have our house, now we are married. I told him...now we RELAX and enjoy it! My over-productive guy! [​IMG]
     
  17. chicago_girl
    Rough_Rock

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    by chicago_girl » May 26, 2004
    Welcome back, Mara and Congratulations! [​IMG]

    Oh my god...everything was absolutely beautiful including the bride and groom. You guys look positively radiant. Not to sound like a broken record, but I'm inspired, too!
     
  18. glitterata
    Ideal_Rock

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    by glitterata » May 26, 2004
    Welcome home! May your life be one long honeymoon.
     
  19. NY SPARKLE
    Rough_Rock

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    by NY SPARKLE » May 26, 2004
    Congratulations!!!!!! Your wedding sounds like a dream wedding. You made a beautiful island bride. Many years of happiness to both of you. With that being said.....where's the pictures of both rings on your hand?[​IMG] We are all waiting...lol[​IMG]
     
  20. alexah
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by alexah » May 26, 2004
    Congratulations Mara & Mr Mara! [​IMG]
    The wedding/honeymoon sounds just dreamy [​IMG]
    Thank you so much for sharing the details & pics of your amazing experience with everyone here - almost feels like we were there, minus the suntan?!
    Continued happiness to you & Greg as Mr & Mrs [​IMG]
     
  21. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 26, 2004
    I'll be taking some pictures of the rings on the hands soon...my hands appear very bloated right now (not as bad as in the humid weather though!), so I'm giving them some time to come back to normal...hehe. At least now I can take off my rings! In Tahiti it was torture to get them off at night, they were so swollen! At least it kept them from coming off in the water!
     
  22. fire&ice
    Ideal_Rock

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    by fire&ice » May 27, 2004

    You mean you didn't use the opportunity to weedle that 3c upgrade? [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  23. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 27, 2004


    Slow and steady wins the race... [​IMG]
     
  24. Patty
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Patty » May 27, 2004
    Mara, thanks for sharing the details and the beautiful pictures. Best wishes now on the rest of your life. When Greg asks, "What now?," tell him, "Happily ever after."
     
  25. KittyTiger
    Shiny_Rock

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    by KittyTiger » May 27, 2004
    Welcome back, Mara! Missed you on this forum! Thank you for sharing your wedding with us,.. it is so well written. I wish I can write the way you do. But first, I obviously need to expand my vocabulary.[​IMG]

    Please do post more pics when you get a chance. You were absolutely breathtaking. And Greg, looks very much in love.

    Congradulations again![​IMG]
     
  26. Kiz
    Rough_Rock

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    by Kiz » May 28, 2004
    Welcome back and congrats!
    The pictures and story are beautiful.

    Can’t wait, as we are also honeymooning in Moorea.
    After two receptions (1 on each coast NY/CA) I'll need the relaxation.
    [​IMG]
    Congrats again!
     
  27. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 28, 2004
    Kiz, where are you staying in Moorea? My top recommendation is to get yourself a bike, scooter or car right away and find out what is near you...eating at the hotel becomes prohibitively expensive and usually the food choices are limited. For the first 3 days we did this...but luckily then found out there were alot of places on the island which were more authentic (French and Tahitian) with better food and better pricing. For example, we ate breakfast buffet every day at our hotel (laziness mostly) and didn't even know til we checked out that it was $25 per person per day! So that was $400 we'd spent on BREAKFAST! Insane, esp considering we found a great little French cafe and crepe place that had a full breakfast menu and crepes and we could have had fresh, made-just-for us items for under $20 total for breakfast. 20/20 hindsight!! Plus IMO eating around the island makes the trip more enjoyable because you experience more than just your hotel life.




    So that'd be my one BIG tip to you for the trip. [​IMG]
     
  28. Kiz
    Rough_Rock

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    by Kiz » May 28, 2004
    Mara,
    Thanks for the recommendations. We are staying at the Moorea Pearl Resort. My Fiancé works for a French company and has gotten the same recommendations from her coworkers regarding the meals. We were warned about the alcohol prices and meals at the resort. We plan on renting a car and exploring the island. We already have some recommendations on restaurants and cafes. What was the name of the French restaurant where Greg played?
     
  29. Mara
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Mara » May 28, 2004
    I think it was called something like Les Nouvelles somethingorother. Greg has their card somewhere. It's actually almost right across from where Cook's Bay is...maybe near the Pearl Resort (we passed the PR on our rides a few times). Excellent food, pricey but comparative with the htoel (entrees at about $25 each for LUNCH) but very good and the ambiance was top-notch, it was like a little slice of French heaven with a polynesian thatched hut feel. They do the jazz band thing on Wednesday nights and it was pretty crowded, alot of fun. The place where we had crepes and they serve breakfast (and ice cream, sundaes and milkshakes!) also is a patisserie so they have cakes, cookies etc as well. It was called Carameline and is in one of the larger shopping plazas about 10 minutes from the French Restaurant. When I say larger shopping plaza, its nothing like here, but maybe about 10 very small stores total, including the Post Office, a bookstore, a few tourist places, another cafe, a black pearl place, and an electronics store. Worth visiting the shopping center. We mailed some post cards at the PO too.
     
  30. Lanee
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Lanee » May 28, 2004
    Mara, I came back looking for your thread. Congratulations! I'm happy everything went well. I can't believe you were so calm the early part of the day. I would have been a mess. Everything looked beautiful. Congrats, again!
     
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