Have I mentioned we have our next big holiday booked? Five new countries. Anyone want to venture a guess where?
After hours and hours of deliberations Tom has finally booked our tickets back to the US this summer (winter). And because Tom loves flying so much he will make the trip twice. So I don’t have to fly alone with the two munchkins, he will fly with us to ND and fly home from Winnipeg. He will return to the US in August on an award ticket and meet us in Virginia. The kids will be staying with my sister and her family there while Tom and I pop over to Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland for a week and half.
This is the last year we have of free time when it comes to travelling. Sofia will start kindergarten, yes kindergarten, in January so we will be constrained to school holidays. I thought I would take advantage of this last summer (winter) we have before this happens. We live so far away from family that I want the kids to be able to spend some time with grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. It also gives me a little bit of a break.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to visit the South Pacific, no one place, anywhere would do. Visions of islands, palm trees, coral reefs, sandy beaches and the good life all settled in my head. We have been in Australia two years now and have done very little travel (boo hoo!). Last year at this time we did a big road trip down to Melbourne and then across on the ferry to Tasmania. No complaints there, it was fab. Tom and I have been discussing the South Pacific since we got here. Fiji. Vanuatu. Tahiti. Bora Bora. Where should we go? Tom loves his travel planning and is really good at it. He managed to find us a trip using some of our thousands of airline miles we have saved up. We ended up booking further afield than the short flight to Fiji or Vanuatu.
In nine days we depart for the Cook Islands, Rarotonga to be exact. We depart Sydney on Saturday night and arrive Saturday morning due to the International Date Line. Of course we land at some silly hour like 5am. If that isn’t torture enough we will be popping over to a hotel for some breakfast and rest before heading back to the tiny airport and flying to Aitutaki about an hour from Rarotonga. Aitutaki is one of those Honeymoon destinations, one of the most beautiful in all of the South Pacific. It is tiny, just under 7 square miles. After a three day visit to Aitutaki it is back to Rarotonga for a couple of nights of fun before we continue on.
Next on the itinerary is Tahiti, French Polynesia. We are staying at some airport hotel in Papeete for one night before hopping on the ferry to another island, Mo’orea. Mo’orea is a bit bigger with 51 square miles. We have five nights on Mo’orea and I hope we can find five days of things to do on this small island! Back on the ferry and a day an a half to explore Tahiti before a midnight departure (sounds fun with two kids, right?)
From Tahiti we will fly to Christchurch, New Zealand with a quick connection in Auckland. Here we lose the day that we gained on our way over. Friday night will not exist! Tom and I visited New Zealand in 2006 when we lived in England so we have seen a large chunk of the South Island. With two tired, weary kids in tow we decided to keep this portion of the trip light. We will spend two nights in Hanmer Springs which is only a short drive from Christchurch. We will also visit Kaikoura before heading back towards Christchurch. Since the earthquakes in Chch last year we decided not to stay in the city, but to have a quick visit on our way though to the Banks Peninsula, specifically Akaroa.
It is going to be a crazy 18 days of travelling, but much appreciated. I have itchy feet and I miss all of the travel we did when we lived in England. I have been waiting months for this holiday. Let the countdown begin!!
And when we return I will need a holiday from my holiday.