alyssa marie 

Luxury portrait photographer |  phoenix, Arizona

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Our Honeymoon in French Polynesia

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August 5, 2021

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Day One: Catching Up on Sleep

We were both exhausted from sitting on our nearly 8 hour overnight flight to Tahiti. We had finally arrived after receiving minimal sleep on the plane, and we began to gather our things and take our first breath of Tahitian air. As we walked off the plane, our flight attendant handed us a white flower to place behind our ears, and we stepped down a steep staircase to the ground. Despite it still being dark outside, I was surprised by the extremely warm and humid air, and it began to sink in that we were really here in our dream honeymoon destination!

We waited in line outside, and then inside the airport to go through customs and to get double and triple checked that we were on the list to enter Tahiti. We have never felt so “under the microscope” before. Little did we know, we were also waiting in line to have the worst, most painful COVID nasal swabs of our lives. (I’ll leave those unpleasant details out of this story and in the past)! I began to forget how tired I was as we waited there, talking about all of the fun adventures we had planned, and how we couldn’t wait to finally arrive at our hotel. FINALLY, we got checked, walked through customs, grabbed our luggage, and had our negative COVID results in hand. We were ready for our honeymoon to officially begin!

We were impressed to be greeted by a tour guide on the street who informed us that our hotel shuttle was on its way to pick us up. Yay! Once it arrived, we drove only 5 minutes to our hotel and were greeted by staff. One thing we were super impressed with was how nice and kind everyone was. We were so excited to check into our room and take a much needed nap! The hotel receptionist informed us that our room wouldn’t be ready for at least a few hours! Ahh!! We were jet-lagged, exhausted, and hungry ( a threesome combo that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy).

At this point the time was about 7:45am. The hotel was quiet. We saw very few people walking around. All we could do was sit at the tables on the patio, eat the sandwiches we had packed – thank goodness for that – and enjoy the beautiful view in front of us.

We ended up walking down to the pool / beach area and falling asleep on the lounge chairs under the coconut trees – definitely not a bad place to catch some shut eye! We did some more exploring around the hotel and soaked in the views of the crystal clear ocean water around us, the bungalows in the distance, and the fish swimming beneath our feet. We checked on our room status and finally, it was ready. We got to our room and loved it! Being that the time was now about 12:00pm and we didn’t have anything planned for the rest of the day, we took a few hours to rest, sleep, and freshen up. I have never enjoyed a hot shower so much in my life!

 

Day Two: Snorkeling in Moorea

We enjoyed the slow pace of the morning after getting our much needed sleep, and filled up on a tasty breakfast buffet. The tables of the buffet were facing out toward the poolside, and and we still couldn’t get over how beautiful the views here were!

After doing a bit of research, we discovered that another island named Moorea was nearby, and only a 30 minute ferry ride away from Tahiti. We booked a snorkeling adventure tour, purchased our ferry tickets and were on our way in no time!

Snorkeling was absolutely breathtaking! We could not believe how clear the water was, and how beautiful the fish and the coral were. Our guide gave us propellers that pulled us along as we kicked our feet – which allowed us to swim super fast and even deep dive!  The fish were friendly and would even nibble on your fingers if you reached your hands out toward them. About halfway through snorkeling, Bridgette came along.

Bridgette is a stingray who always hangs out in the same are of the lagoon. Our guide told us that she usually comes out looking for food when people are snorkeling nearby. She was incredibly friendly and even playful! We were even able to pet her! Her back was smooth and slimy, which took me a while to get used to! She swam alongside us and below us, occasionally sliding her body along our legs and feet to “pet” us as well 😉 she swam with us for the rest of our time until we reached the shore. Our guide gave her lots of food and she left looking SO happy. This was truly the ultimate snorkel experience!

 

 

Day Three: Arrive in Bora Bora

We woke up feeling super excited this day. We were going to catch a flight to Bora Bora, and check in to our next resort with the world famous over-the-water bungalows!!

The flight was a quick 60 minutes and we arrived at the smallest airport we have ever seen in Bora Bora. From the airport, we got onto a water taxi which was going to take us to our bungalows resort. We could not believe how blue and crystal clear the water was! As the boat sped across the beautiful water, we became really excited for all of the water activities we had planned!

After about 30 minutes, we arrived at our resort! There were so many bungalows standing on stilts above the water with a beautiful view of the green mountains in the distance. Once we got off the boat and walked inside the resort lobby (the entire resort was all outdoors) we checked in and received a thorough tour of the whole resort and were eventually escorted to our bungalow.

When we finally walked inside, we were in awe!! The coffee table inside the living room area was all glass, and the bright blue water beneath us was visible. The fish were swimming in and out of the coral below us, of all shapes, sizes and colors. The top of the coffee table slid open so we were able to toss town some food and feed the fish right from our bungalow!! The rest of the interior was very warm and inviting – the walls were made of bamboo and the bathroom had a beautiful vanity.

One of the best parts of it was the outside patio in the back. Outside of the sliding door was a beautiful wooden patio with a table and lounge chairs. Off to one corner of the patio was a staircase that led to a lower level patio. This lower level had a ladder connected to it that led right the ocean. How cool! From the patio we were able to see so many tiny and large fish swimming all around us, and we even spotted a stingray! We got on our bathing suits pretty quickly and climbed into the water for our first refreshing swim!

Later that evening we enjoyed dinner and happy hour from a large variety of classic tropical cocktails. Mai Tai’s, Pina Colada’s, and Moscow Mules – say no more! We sat at outside one of the main restaurants there with a perfect view of the beach, bungalows, and the night sky.

 

 

Day Four & Five – Beach Days

After enjoying a buffet breakfast and waking up after a cup of coffee, we decided to have a relaxing day and stay at the beach all day. The resort offered free rentals of snorkel gear, paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks for resort guests. Awesome!!

We ended up renting a kayak and exploring all around the lagoon. We spotted a couple of crabs (yuck)! on the rocks by the shore, lots of little fish, and finally relaxed in one area to enjoy the sounds of the water crashing into our kayak. The views were unbelievable – it felt like we jumped into an unrealistic travel picture from Pinterest. I kept thinking to myself, “It’s crazy that this place is REAL! and is this beautiful!”

Even though the temperature was about 86 degrees and humid, we underestimated the strength of the Tahitian sun! We were incredibly sunburned by the end of the day – ouch! Even after putting on sunscreen and the sky being partly cloudy, we looked like lobsters!

At the end of the day we enjoyed a three course meal with a bottle of wine and were entertained by Tahitian dancers!

The next day was similar – we tried to stay out of the sun since our skin was burned but we did some exploring around the resort, laid on the beach, took lots of photos and enjoyed the warm ocean water!

Day Six – Jet Skiing and ATV Exploring

Day 6 was our favorite day. We booked an excursion with jet skiing and ATV rentals. We started the adventure on our ATV. We were taken around the whole perimeter of Bora Bora. Bora Bora itself is an island with lot of mountains and rough terrain – the only roads are around the very edge of the perimeter of the island. Our guide took us to a few spots on the island that had significance in history, including an American canon that was placed there shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. American troops used Bora Bora as a place they could sneakily attack and defend themselves if needed. Our next stop was at a scenic lookout where we took a break and enjoyed real coconut water – right from a coconut! We watched intently as our guide used his knife to slice open the top of the coconut. I never realized that coconuts are completely filled to the brim with water! And it tasted SO good!! We were guided through a jungle area with low-hanging branches, thick trees and lots of MUD! This part was incredibly fun, and bumpy!! I would have never been able to drive through that kind of terrain confidently, so thank goodness for Luke!

After our ATV adventure we took a break for lunch, and about an hour later were got onto out jet ski and we were off! The jet ski was so exhilarating! Luke liked to go fast and take sharp turns –  of course!! While I was scared and holding on for dear life, I couldn’t stop laughing-screaming the entire time 😉 Once we drove out of the lagoon area, the water turned dark blue, but was still so crystal clear! We could see down to the big rocks below us and of course, fish! Speaking of fish, our tour guide stopped in one area and pointed out dolphins swimming in the distance. We couldn’t believe it!! If I had a guess I’d say there were probably 30-40 dolphins swimming with their fins poking out of the water. It was a beautiful sight! We continued on driving, found some waves to ride over, and stopped in a lagoon to take a break and have a snack. Our tour guide ran off into the jungle area that was by the shore and came back with mango, banana, coconut, and grapefruit. I don’t think I’ve ever had fruit fresh out of the trees like this before, and it tasted better than any store-bought fruit I’ve ever had. The grapefruit was surprisingly sweet and absolutely juicy and delicious. We got back on our jet ski’s and began our ride back home. One our way back, our guide pointed out a sea turtle in the water. My dream came true!! All this time I was biting at the bit to see a sea turtle and here it was!! Our guide said he was going to attempt to catch it and lift if out of the water to show us, but the turtle swam away into the deep water and we lost sight of it – darn!

If you ever have the chance to jet ski in beautiful blue water, I highly recommend it. It’s a little scary at first, but once you get warmed up it is such a blast!!

 

Day Seven – Relax and Unwind 

After our full day of activities, we decided to relax the following day and partake in some beach activities at our resort. We found a souvenir shop a short distance from our hotel where I picked out some must-haves from this beautiful place. Luke and I have begun the tradition of collecting a shot glass and a magnet of every cool place we visit. After we ate lunch and made it back to the resort, the real fun began! We laid on the beach, enjoyed the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, and rented some paddle boards. We floated out beyond the lagoon with our boards and were on the hunt for stingrays. After about 45 minutes of looking intently, we finally spotted a couple! Even though we didn’t see many, it was so serene and relaxing to take a couple of breaks on the paddle board and lie back while enjoying a floating weightless sensation on small ocean waves.

We rented snorkel gear and snorkeled all around our bungalow and explored the colorful fish that were swimming with us! I am so glad I took 20 minutes after snorkeling to take photos of the scenery with my camera. These are photos that can be used for decoration in our home, and your home too! Here is the link to my Etsy shop! Check them out! https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlyssaMariePhotoShop?ref=search_shop_redirect

That evening was our last night, so we made a reservation at a famous restaurant called Bloody Mary’s. This restaurant is famous for locals and tourists, and their food was delicious. The whole floor of the restaurant was sand, and they had the coolest bathrooms I think I’ve ever been in! This was such a lovely place to enjoy our last night in Bora Bora! We had a couple of cocktails and mostly talked about everything we did and how much fun we had.

 

The Trek back Home

The next day we began our long and tiring journey back home to Arizona. We had the best honeymoon we could have ever hoped for or imagined, and we are so grateful for the memories we made and the opportunity we had to travel to such a magical place. We left feeling more in love with each other, with travel, and with enjoying the little moments of life.

We can’t wait to go back!

  1. Cheryl says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip! I might have to go sometime now 😉

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I'm Alyssa and I'm so happy you're here. In this blog you'll get to know me, learn about photography, and you'll find many inspiring messages and stories to live your best life. Browse away!  

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