Fiji – Getting There & Staying Where?

Self-praise moment for my rhyming headline *slow clap*

Little victories, my friend. I self-hi-five all the time.

Anyway.

So we just got back from Fiji and my first thoughts, directly after, “WOW IT’S COLD AF,” were, “Oh yay; blog content, finally!” Hahaha so I guess I just have to keep travelling?? Hubby?? You hear?? 😉

For a few years, the husband had been saying off-handedly, “We should do a family holiday to Fiji cos it’s not far away, ya know? Maybe with my parents?” and he’d been saying this for years and I got fed up when he said it for the 10th time, so I was all, “Dude. You say that multiple times every year. What’s new??” and he was all horrified/shocked/offended and booked some tix that very night LOL. #marriage #traphim #winning

So I think our flights were AirNZ Grab-a-Seat deals? When we went to Fiji back in 2010 I think it was Fiji Airways, direct from Christchurch to Nadi? This time round, we booked Christchurch to Auckland, Auckland to Fiji (cos that was the deal) and fortunately, for us, the in-laws were on the same Auckland to Fiji flight. They took the shuttle up from Tauranga at some batshit crazy hour (3am) cos there was no flight that’d get them there on time in the morning and they didn’t wanna stay in Auckland the night before. Old-school Asians I dunno what to tell ya.

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6am lounging

Benji was a lil poop on the flight. I’m trying to be nicer to him. But wow he was a poop. Little gremlin child. I know I’m not supposed to compare the spawn BUT NATE WAS WAY EASIER AS A TODDLER.

Shit you not, we took Nate to Singapore and Korea when he was 20 months (Benji is 22 months) and he was The Perfect Child on every single flight. Like on 11 hour/6 hour flights. He watched his iPad quietly in my lap; fell asleep for 2 hours when he got tired (didn’t wake, even when all the other kids were screaming); woke up and watched his iPad again; ate quietly; slept whole way back on the red-eye… The Perfect Child. CMON BENJIIIIIiiiii.

Benji = Perfect Baby, Nightmare Toddler. Nate = Nightmare Baby, Perfect Toddler. I love my children. Parenting is hard.

 

Anyway so Fiji right? Wowsers.

Once there, we took a private shuttle to Denarau Island. UniquelyFijiTransfers.com – you book in advance and the dude waits for you with a sign in the airport and the best part about it is that you can book carseats. It’s a 40min drive to Denarau from the airport and I didn’t wanna have to juggle Benji in a taxi for that long – even though it’s legal in Fiji. Not necessarily SAFE… but legal. SO we had carseats for both Nate and Benji. Worked out perfectly, cos Benji worked in a wee overdue snooze.

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We stayed at the Sheraton on Denarau.

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The Resort side
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The Villa side

We had initially looked at the timeshare option of the Wyndham on Airbnb but the one we were after wasn’t available for our dates – very reasonable, 3 bedroom suites! So our second option was the Sheraton. We booked the Sheraton Resort for the in-laws and the 2 bedroom villa for ourselves. The villa had a main door to a wee foyer, then 2 separate doors to each suite, if that makes sense? So the left door led to the main living room and kitchenette, which then had a door to the large bedroom with 2 double beds and the bathroom was accessible via the bedroom or living area. The door on the right led to another master suite with king size bed, couch, TV etc., and bathroom.

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Main door to our suite. The gardens inbetween each suite that lined the pathway were gorgeous – like actual legit bananas growing on the trees. The trees near the in-laws suite were amazing too. Jackfruit and shit. AMAZING. The gardeners always asked us if we wanted fresh coconuts from the trees around us and we always got some 🙂

Benji and I slept on the right; Hubs and Nate used the double bed suite.

It worked out really well cos Benji always hit the hay first so we put him to bed and you’ve essentially got 2 doors shutting him away. So we could go about the kitchen and living room and not tip toe around in fear of waking him. Then when Nate went to bed, he was closed off away in the bedroom and the Hubs and I could hang out in the living room and kitchen. Nate’s at an age where a jumbo jet could land in his room and he won’t wake if he’s fast asleep. #4yearoldsFTW #freedom

So yeah. Family-friendly esp if you got younger ones that maybe need to be a bit isolated for their sleeps?

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We bought some groceries from the Marina and made the kids noodles and fish fingers most nights.
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Benji watching the iPad in the main room – cushion on the floor for Mr Accident-Prone

 

 

 

 

The pools were great – the pool by the bar was the one we used the most. It’s on the Villa side – oh it should be mentioned that the Sheraton Resort, Sheraton Villas and the Westin are all owned by the same folks, so if you stay at one you are allowed to use the facilities at all the others.

The Villa side had this pool (pictured below) that gradually got deeper – annoyingly it gets really dang deep. Like 1.7m deep at the end. Like I’d drown man. So Nate could play until just a lil bit past the rocks you can see. Doesn’t look like much but it was plenty of space for us.

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Enter a caption

I personally really like the pool at the Resort but for some reason the water was noticeably colder there. So even though it was handy cos it was neck-height for Nate at its deepest, we kiiinda sorta preferred it where it was warmer.

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Resort pools – sorry about the low light. It was super early in the morning.
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Grandma helping Nate to have faith in the damn floaties

The Resort side had the nice beach-front restaurant and the sandy beach bits (the Villa side was rocky where it met the ocean), so even in front of the pool on some parts you could lay on loungers on the sand with the palm trees all around you. Stunning.

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Overpriced $35 pina colada for me, ice cream for him.
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Again, early morning shot. Hence why the place is empty.
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Benji was terrified by sand. Don’t ask. Good thing we didn’t stay on one of the actual islands. FFS child.
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Terrified by sand.
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#thefloorislava

So, most days were the same: we’d head to breakfast at Feast. The buffet’s quite expensive but I think we got a deal? Just email them and ask if it’s not part of the expedia thing. That’s another thing – they’re all so damn friendly there. All the hotel staff: front desk, night manager, housekeeping, the gardeners… you just chat to all of them and they’re the loveliest, warmest people you’ll ever encounter. They knew the kids names, they knew Benji’s sleep schedule. They were incredibly accommodating and thoughtful.

So Benji got up most mornings just before 6. We’d fluff about then head to breakfast around 8/8.30am.

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Benji was a tyrant unless the phone was out. Nate used to be a breeze to take out to restaurants cos he’d be busy people-watching. I know I know, don’t compare yada yada yada.

After brekkie we went swimming. Who waits half an hour before swimming? Well, to be fair it probs took us more than half an hour to go back to our room, get kitted up with sunscreen etc. before we managed to dip a toe in the pool.

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You can buy goggles, floaties etc. from that wee store you can see at the top. The orange float was FJD$10 – comparable to Warehouse prices man!! And they blow it up for you, so don’t bother bringing your own. Their goggles are also $10. And super easy to deflate at the end of the trip and bring home with you if you want.
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I’m a fan of the Garnier kids sunscreen – we bought it on clearance and wow it rubs in easily. No need to be dry beforehand either. And no burns to report of. We spent hours in the sun and in the water.

The Fijian sense of hospitality extended to the airport even: on our way back we didn’t have passes for the in-laws to use the koru club, but they asked anyway and the lady let them in with us.

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Captivated by cartoons while mama downs a wine.
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From the lounge buffet

I’ll post about the food, shit to do, outfits etc. in a diff post. This was long enough ay? Thanks for reading!

Annie, xoxo

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