Photo Diary: Tahiti and French Polynesia

a couple years ago, two of our dear friends gave us an INCREDIBLY generous wedding gift- a room onboard their week-long wine cruise through French Polynesia. amazing friends, right?! we absolutely could not believe our luck.

i took about a million photos on this trip, and it was really difficult to narrow it down to the highlights. over the course of the week, we sailed from Tahiti to Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, and Taha'a (where we visited Motu Mahana- more on wtf a Motu even is down the way). It was total and complete paradise and I still can't believe this place is even real.

also, as a big travel and geography nerd, I was super stoked that this was my first time traveling to the southern hemisphere.

we flew direct to Papeete (capital of the main island, Tahiti) from Los Angeles, and spent the first couple days before we embarked on the boat at Le Meridian in Papeete. the resort was really lovely, and the snorkeling was absolutely amazing. we took those kayaks out a lot and drank dark rum with pineapple juice and had a perfect first few days adjusting to the time change. we also did a little hiking in the area and stumbled on those gorgeous colorful walls. Tahiti is a really beautiful place, and feels SO far removed from anywhere I've ever been.

this was only the second cruise i've ever been on, and it was pretty unbelievable. we embarked and got settled in our cabin, and each day we would stop at different islands. one of the highlights was definitely Taha'a and Motu Mahana.

OK so back to this motu thing- a motu is defined as a reef islet formed by broken coral and sand. basically, it's a mini little island and it's tropical AF. this day was SO incredibly cool, and basically made me feel like i was in the movie Cast Away- except instead of a volleyball i had my husband and my friends there and there was booze served in coconuts. i think i had a leg up on Tom Hanks. we had tiki drinks and snorkeled a ton because there were loads of colorful fish surrounding the island, and narrowly escaped a few terrifying huge ass eels that were lurking in the area. 

we had two full days to explore Moorea, so we decided to rent a scooter (though Brett prefers the term "hog") to zoom around the island. some highlights include belvedere rock, which is known for unbelievable views, and - wait for it - the best PIZZA place I've ever been to in my whole life.

no joke guys, Allo Pizza on Moorea is still the best pizza i've ever had. this husband and wife run the place, and we actually went two days in a row just so we could try some of the other kinds of pizza because there were so many incredible options. it's just a little open air bar off the road- you can see it in the above pic of me sitting on the green, yellow and red stools. complete paradise.

the island i was probably most excited to visit was Bora Bora- probably for the most part because it sounds so exotic. i remember hearing a lot about Bora Bora when we were planning our wedding and looking into honeymoon spots, so I was really excited to finally experience the turquoise water and zen vibes.

sadly we took a ton of our pictures from our Bora Bora day on one of those disposable underwater cameras that have been around for like 100 years, and our dumb asses lost it somewhere along the way. luckily though, i brought a digital cam for the swimming with lemon sharks and giant manta rays excursion we did off the island.

this was a pretty amazing adventure- and slightly terrifying. even though the lemon sharks and reef sharks have apparently been trained to be all chill around humans, they're still SHARKS. it was incredibly weird looking directly beneath your feet and seeing those fins just hanging out a few feet below you. the manta rays, on the other hand, are basically like giant puppies. they don't have their big stingers, so you can pet them and stuff. pretty awesome.

so, as you can see, this trip was definitely one for the books. i'm in the middle of printing tons of pics from this week right now and i can't wait to get them onto some pages! i hope i get to go back to Tahiti someday, if nothing else, just for the PIZZA. 

have you ever been to French Polynesia? what did you think??

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