Mike and I knew that we wanted to try to start a family right away, so we decided to go all out on our honeymoon. We saved like crazy and budgeted and worked overtime and we managed to have our dream vacation: seven days in Fiji and five in Australia. We were beyond excited.

It took over 24 hours for us to arrive at our final destination in Fiji. We had to take an eleven hour flight, two TINY island-hopping planes, a shuttle bus, and a boat to get to the tiny private island we’d picked out. At one point, one of our little planes was canceled, and we had to do some fast talking to get on another one. We were on a random island and oh, did I mention there was a coup going on in Fiji? It was non-violent, but we still didn’t want to be stranded.

When we arrived at our island, we couldn’t believe how beautiful it was.
Our chairs and hammock

Because of the coup, a lot of tourists canceled their trips to the islands. Our resort was so grateful we’d still come that they upgraded us into a tree house suite. It was AMAZING.
Our Treehouse

The resort was great. There were only something like 12 rooms, so we got tons of personal attention. The food was amazing, the drinks were plentiful, and it was every bit as relaxing as we hoped it would be. But who really cares about that stuff? What really made our honeymoon memorable was all the funny things that happened.

After sweet-talking our way onto another plane (and I’m pretty sure I promised my first-born child to a Fijian chief to make it happen – sorry, Maddie), Mike and I were exhausted. We explored our room and made it to dinner, but we were both practically falling asleep in our food. We stumbled back to our room and passed out on the gorgeous bed. We’d gone back to our room before turn-down service, so we had no idea that the decorative swag behind the bed wasn’t actually decorative at all – it was mosquito netting.

We found out the hard way the next morning. I was COVERED in bug bites. About 95% of the time when I get a bug bite I have a BAD reaction. This was no exception. My left arm, both hands, and oh yeah MY FACE took the brunt of it. I’m putting small versions of these pictures on here because they are a bit gruesome. The bite on my finger looked like it had something growing in it.
Bites Bites Bites

The two bites on my hands had to be treated by the on-island doctor. And by doctor, I mean the concierge. He got out the medical kit which consisted of some ointments and a SAFETY PIN. Before I would allow him and Mike to do anything to my hands (and believe me, something HAD to be done), I took about six shots of rum. Also, see that swollen lip up there? NICE, huh? There was another huge nasty bite on my nose, too. I looked like I had a contagious disease. It’s also why there are very few pictures of me from Fiji where I’m not covering my face in some way.
Mike was super-stoked to be on a beautiful secluded island with his puss-covered wife.

Mike and I signed up for a picnic on a private part of the island. The kitchen packs you a delicious lunch, and you kayak to the private beach. Because my hands were, uh, injured, I couldn’t kayak, so we were taken to our picnic by motor boat and dropped off. There was a little lunch hut set up, so Mike and I spread out our feast and made ourselves comfortable….and then the chicken arrived.

There was a lot of wild life on the island. Goats, horses, dogs, chickens, roosters, you name it. The chickens were the bold ones. They would blatantly come up to you and beg. I’m a sucker for begging chickens. Who isn’t? So I threw this little guy some of our food.

It was fun, I’d throw food and the chicken would run after it. Until Mike figured out that I was throwing the chicken…chicken. He was so grossed out that the chicken was a cannibal that he started gagging. What, like it was my fault the chicken liked the taste of its own flesh? I kept throwing Hannibal Chicken pieces of my lunch until Mike begged me to stop. Such a wuss.

There were other small things that should have made our trip miserable. It rained the majority of the time were were there. Mike suffered some bad bug bites, too. I had a panic attack when I was snorkeling because a puffer fish looked at me. And side bar, I refuse to take grief over the Puffer Fish incident. That thing was HUGE and it just stopped dead in its fishy tracks to look me in the face, and then it slowly started swimming towards me. That is NOT NATURAL dude! I swam away from that fishy bastard faster than Michael Phelps. I hate snorkeling anyway (I get claustrophobic), so just the fact I was out there with Mike was a huge deal. AND AND AND, even after the puffer fish incident, I went on another snorkeling expedition with him, this time with a few other couples on the island. I had just gotten over my Puffer Fish Fear when I looked down at the beautiful reef below me and saw…SHARKS. No one else was alarmed! WTF, right? I’ve blocked out the rest of that snorkeling trip but I’m pretty sure words like “Jaws” and “Holy mother of GOD” were used, along with some choice Fijian swear words.

Like I was saying, these were all things that should have made our trip miserable, but they didn’t. Sure, I was definitely second-guessing why Mike and I had traveled so far away over Christmas when my hand was being “surgically” repaired, but other than that, all those little quirks are the things that made Mike and I grow closer. Sure, we look back at those two weeks and remember the good things, but the little stumbles are what make us laugh. And, I know that we were lucky that nothing worse happened to us. I still can’t believe my hands didn’t get infected. Seriously people. A SAFETY PIN. This trip taught Mike and I how to roll with the punches, a skill that would come in handy in our marriage much sooner than we anticipated.

My other point is, always wear bug repellent.

self portrait