Dizzy Swallows

Honeymoon: Fiji Part II

August 8th, 2014

Well my darlings, this is it: the last honeymoon post. Many thanks (and congratulations) to those who stuck with the whole series! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. I will leave you with this last glimpse of Fiji, including my birthday and a few recordings (apologies for the camera mic, it seems to only pick up the off notes) of the Likulikui staff choir, which serenaded us on my birthday.

Due to technical difficulties, the play button doesn’t show, but just click to the far left.
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My friend Mere muddles a mean drink.


I also received a special, giant and very green, cake one my birthday.

We left so deeply relaxed, the feeling of tranquility stayed with us for weeks. And possibly the snorkel marks.

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With that, it’s on to the next adventure! I am leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow for Nosara, … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Fiji Part I

August 4th, 2014

Oh Fiji. I have a deficit of words to describe you. Overwhelmingly friendly (the bula spirit!), gorgeous, lush, blissful, hot, so hot and humid, delicious, incredible, deeply relaxing – all seem to fall short. We were in Fiji for just five days, staying first in Nadi (pronounced “Nan-di”) at the Sofitel, and then on Malolo Island in the Mamanuca archipelago at the truly indescribable Likuliku Lagoon Resort. (I wasn’t kidding about the luxury portion.) If you have the time, inclination, and yes money, I cannot recommend it more highly. This was a huge splurge for us, but we justified it as our birthday present to each other, being there for Jacob’s 30th and my 29th.

The staff greeted us by name with a refreshing passionfruit cocktail and chilled, dreamily scented towels, wished Jacob happy birthday and brought us immediately in for lunch. The sweet servers already knew all our … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Piha (Goodbye NZ)

July 28th, 2014

Leaving Waiheke was tough, but the transition to Auckland city life was made doubly so by the first and only truly awful lodging experience we had: a tiny AirBnB apartment (more like airless) downtown with dirty sheets (shudder). Our flight to Fiji being the following afternoon, we decided to hightail it as early as possible and squeeze in one last New Zealand adventure. We left in the dark wee hours, weaving our way out of the city and across the top of the island to Piha Beach.

One of NZ’s famous surf spots, Piha is a gorgeous black sand beach with reliably vicious break and a rugged but friendly little community (as a metric, this community of 600 supports two official surf clubs). After our brief, disturbed sleep, Piha coffee tasted like black gold and, munching happily on a savory scone, we headed down to the sand.

Piha’s iconic … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Waiheke Island

July 25th, 2014

Memory is a strange thing. The past is nothing more than stories we tell ourselves. Often, when trying to recall particulars, I wonder at how the story spins itself from fleeting fragments, and vivid shards, from the delight of the senses, from a depth of feeling. We tell ourselves these stories, and whether we lose pieces along the way, the stories become the past.

My memories of Waiheke Island are steeped in sunshine, the overwhelming, brilliant kind that makes you squint even behind sunglasses and raises the scent of hot, dry grass. They are filled with a freshening ocean breeze, laden with salt and the promise of the sea on your skin.

Our home on the island was an entirely extravagant beach cabin at Connell’s Bay. As you may have guessed, yes, we have been entering the luxury portion of our honeymoon (just wait for Fiji!).

Though our stay began … Continue reading

Honeymoon: Otama Beach

July 9th, 2014

Hello lovelies!

Today’s post finds us deep into the Coromandel Peninsula, having driven a rather long way from Kamahi. After another saga of winding roads, we arrived at the remote but breathtaking Otama Beach. Our lodging, once again found via the wonders of AirBnB, was a traditional bach (pronounced “batch”). These icons of Kiwi history are typically small but charming cabins now used as vacation rentals.

The bach in question was done up in perfect beach style, complete with chotchkies innumerable and even a rather impressive collection of Princess Di memorabilia. Coupled with one hell of a view, the overall effect was lovely, comfortable kitsch.

The near entirety of the oceanside wall was in fact an ingeniously folding glass door which opened onto a sweet little deck, perfect for sipping morning coffee or doing a bit of long-needed yoga.


Our wonderful hosts had truly thought of everything, … Continue reading