Tag Archives: vacation

hello, bora bora.

I decided to take a hiatus from blogging, but it feels great to be back. However, while I was out, lots has happened.

Traveling has kept me [and G] busy in the past four months I’ve been absent. Quite honestly, I wish I blogged about it then so that the memories would still be crisp in my mind. However, I suppose the thousands of photos I took will allow me to remember everything.

I suppose I’ll start off recapping the big event, my 30th birthday. Gloria [majorly] surprised me with a trip to Bora Bora.

Here’s how it went:

We spent the day driving down the coast of California. My only instructions were to pack for sunny, tropical weather. I assumed that we were just doing another one of our drives down the coast.

…but instead, we were headed towards LAX. When we got to the rental car drop off at the airport, I knew we had a flight to catch. My next guess was Hawaii, but we headed towards the international gates. At this point, I knew it was someplace tropical I had never been to before. Once we arrived at the check-in counters for Air Tahiti Nui, I knew exactly where we were going. French Polynesia, here we come!

On our flight to Bora Bora, G was ecstatic that Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue was sitting behind her, haha! He’s the guy directly behind and to the right of her in the picture:

When we got closer towards the island, the view from the sky was incredible. It was unbelievably mesmerizing.

Upon arrival to the island of Bora Bora, the plane parked on the runway. All the passengers deboarded the plane to the adjacent [very little] airport. When you walked into the airport, you looked for your resort’s kiosk stand. In our case, the St. Regis Bora Bora concierge was ready to greet us with a lei and take all of our baggage. Pretty much from the time you arrive, they treat you like royalty. It’s insane!

While the other guests staying at the St. Regis were getting situated, we were told to enjoy the view and get settled in the yacht. Yup, a yacht, which means that from the airport, everyone has to take a boat or yacht to get to their booked resort.

It turns out that Nikki Sixx and his wife were headed to the St. Regis as well, except they were on their private charter [fancy!].

We were ecstatic over the “commoner” yacht, hah! I mean, c’mon, they carried all of our luggage. That was good enough for me!

One of the St. Regis concierge checked us in on the way to the resort, so it bypassed us standing in line in the lobby. Wish this happened for all hotel or resort check ins! The views on the way to the resort were breathtaking, but I got the most excited when the yacht cruised past the bungalows. It looked unreal.

Once we got to the resort, the St. Regis concierge and our personal butler were there to greet us with fresh pineapple juice, cold Evian bottled water, and cooling towels. I wasn’t joking when I said they treat you like royalty once you get there!

Check out this gorgeous lobby!

After taking a handful of pictures, our butler, Carmen, toured us around the huge property in a golf cart.

Everything still felt surreal when we got to our bungalow. We walked in, and I literally had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. By the time we got there, all of our luggage was already placed in our walk-in closet. Um, hello!? Yes, to the St. Regis butler service!

Here’s a peek into our Bora Bora home:

I couldn’t get enough of the glass floor bottoms all over the bungalow. It was so neat to watch the sea life when they’d swim by.

Because we had been in transit for a long time, I wanted to get settled and take a shower. G told me that when I was in the shower the concierge came by and dropped off SPG platinum complimentary gifts. At this point, I thought they sent over a couple of cookies or treats like they typically do when we stay at other SPG resorts. Boy, was I wrong! They royally spoil their SPG platinum guests!

If you know me, you’d know that I’m in love with French desserts, and those treats totally hit the spot. The lemon meringue was to die for, and those macarons were heavenly. After stuffing our faces with yummy delectables, we decided to get out and explore the resort.

Even after our serene walk to the main lobby, it still hadn’t hit me that we were in Bora Bora to celebrate my 30th birthday! It was when I walked towards the resort’s dock when I realized, “Holy crap! I’m in Bora Bora? …Oh my gosh! I’m in Bora Bora!”

We continued to walk around and stumbled upon the cruisers to get around the resort [that is, if you didn’t want your butler to drive you around]. Getting around on the cruisers was so much fun, especially when we got to explore all parts of the resort.

We found the resort’s lagoon with all kinds of marine life. They maintain it on an everyday basis, so guests can snorkel in there.

We even found the resort’s very own heliport [oh you know, for the rich and famous] with the gorgeous views of the open ocean. It’s on the backside of the resort, and you pretty much have to ride your bike through a dirt path. There’s tons of sharp rock on the path, so you have to be careful! It’s worth the ride though!

After playing on the backside, we went to explore the main beach on the resort.

Before the sunset, we wanted to play on our bungalow’s deck, so we hurried home on our cruisers. We were so ocean ready!

The following day was March 18th, my birthday! The sunrise was nothing like I had ever seen. It really took my breath away. What a way to have started off my 30th!

We got ready [slabbed on tons of sunblock], packed for a fun-filled day out at sea, and took our cruisers down to breakfast. We had to take advantage of their delicious breakfast. My gosh, their breakfast was amazing! Fresh tropical fruit. Yummy French inspired pastries. Charcuterie and cheeses galore. Freshly marinated olives and tapenades. Caviars and tartars. Omelettes. Freshly squeezed tropical juices. And to top it all off, they had a separate menu, which you ordered off of right after they pulled your chair out and laid your napkin on your lap. Royalty treatment, I tell ya!

…and I ordered the eggs benedict off of the menu.

Fueled up and ready to hit the ocean, we took off on our sea-fari.

It was incredible to see such untouched waters of the world. The water was so incredibly clear [and turquoise].

One of the most memorable things I have ever done in my life – swam with reef sharks and sting rays! It wasn’t scary at all. The sharks are friendly, and they mind their own business.

After swimming with the sharks and rays and playing in the coral gardens of Bora Bora, we headed back to our resort to play in the lagoon. There were some massive fish in there [about 5 feet long].

…and the birthday fun continued:

We even played a game of pool in the club lounge [which I got my butt whooped]. I didn’t care, though. It was my birthday and we were in Bora Bora!

We spent more time lounging on the beach and enjoying the walk up bar in the pool.

The day was PERFECT, in every sense of the word, but it just kept getting better. Carmen, our butler, notified us that we had to switch rooms, but we wouldn’t be disappointed. They upgraded us for my birthday to the royal over the water bungalow! Mind you, this is the bungalow you always see in the pictures of Bora Bora when you google it.

When Carmen drove us up to the bungalow, I was shocked. We had our own entry way with our very own doorbell. You open the door, and there’s a walkway to our very own private two bedroom, two bathroom bungalow, with our very own private pool.

Upon entry, there’s a main living room.

…and it’s pretty much the same set up inside as our first night, except there’s double of everything.

Below is a picture of Gloria and Carmen walking on the deck.

To make things even better, when I was in the shower, there was a special delivery just for me. Courtesy of the pastry chef of the resort, we were sent my very own birthday cake! It’s one of the best cakes I have ever had. It looks small in the pictures below, but it was much bigger in person [and so very filling].

To top of the night, we heard fireworks nearby. Sure enough, the Four Seasons resort [which is across the water] had a fireworks show going on. I’m not sure why, but we’ll just keep thinking it was in celebration of my 30th, haha! It was so beautiful; the island is so remote, so the lights glistened on the water.

The following day we woke up at the crack of dawn just to watch the sun rise. The colors in the sky were lit up, and it looked so magical.

For the rest of the day, we pretty much swam in our pool, played in the ocean, and lounged around on our deck.

That night we hopped on over to the Le Meridien, as there was no availability left at the St. Regis for the last night we were on the island. It wasn’t as fancy as the St. Regis, but it was still nice [with gorgeous views] for a Starwood property.

Below are some photos from the inside of our bungalow. It had a huge glass floor bottom, a walk in closet, and super modern bathroom.

We played on our deck a lot. Well, we mostly watched the sea creatures that swam under and around the bungalow.

While we were outside on our deck, we heard someone knock on our front door. It was the concierge dropping off more gifts. Yummy macarons, delicious macaroons, and fancy champagne to end the night!

While we were there, we also got to see hawksbill turtles.

…and we snorkeled some more. Seriously, I can’t get tired of playing in the ocean!

Sadly, this was the last sunrise we saw on our vacation, and it has been missed since I last saw it.

Best vacation of my life. Ever. Until I go back, I’m not sure what could top this trip. I feel so incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to see this part of the world. I have left a piece of my heart there, so I know I’ll have to go back in the future. Hopefully soon, I’ll be basking in the sun on the beautiful island of Bora Bora once again.



Filed under beach, family, personal, vacation

fresh air on the coast.

This weekend was beyond fantastic. I love all of the spontaneity; it’s been a while since I lived life with no time constraints from work. It’s just an overall wonderful feeling, truly a breath of fresh air.

On Saturday, we drove to Half Moon Bay. I packed up a lunch for all of us, and off we went. The dogs had a blast running and rolling around in the sand. It was definitely a windier day than most, but we still had a great time.  It was pretty hilarious trying to watch Maui and Hilo run against the wind; their ears would stand straight up, hehe. After playing in HMB, we headed South into Santa Cruz.

Yesterday, we decided to drive down the California coast just for the heck of it. We were planning on leaving on Monday morning and going down the boring way, but why not take our time, drive down Highway 1, and enjoy its beauty?!

With clear visibility for miles, we spotted tons of marine life, whales, otters, and seals to name a few. The views are absolutely breathtaking, right?! I don’t think I could ever get sick of the ocean’s beauty.

Next month’s vacation can’t come any quicker. *sigh*


Filed under beach, dog, family, miniature schnauzer, personal, vacation

caught in a storm.

Holy smokes! They weren’t kidding when they say that the Midwest gets major lightning/thunder storms. The current storm right over the Chicago area is keeping me from sleeping, so I thought I’d write a blog post. From the hotel window, we see a clear shot of the “light show” (it hit the top of our building). Furthermore, the lighting was as loud as the sound of rumbling from an earthquake. Yikes! I’m such a California girl when it comes to extreme weather like this. 😦 Oh, and the humidity is unbearable. ARGH.

Enough about the weather, let’s get to the best part about traveling – the adventures and exploration!

We hit up Gino’s East earlier this week. Have you tried their pizza before? It’s super delicious! While we were there, they gave us the wrong order, so guess what?! We got a free $30 pizza! 🙂 SCORE!

I’m officially part of the graffiti walls of the restaurant! Aren’t I special!? 😉

One evening, we also went to see the Bean in Millennium Park. I didn’t think it was that big, but it totally is. Here are some fun photos from that night:

We even walked around the Field Museum (and surrounding areas). It was definitely educational and time well spent. Here are just a few of the hundreds of  memories thus far:

…and I have no idea what we were thinking when we decided to walk all the way to Buckingham Fountain in the heat!

These are just a handful of photos that I have shot so far! I just wanted to share a snippet into my life these past couple of days. I have tons more, but I’ll probably share those in upcoming projects. Stay tuned!

Overall, I’ve been having a blast. I can’t wait for what tomorrow brings; I think I see shopping in the very near future. 😉

PS: Who’s going to CHA?! It’s only a few days away. Let me know if you’ll be in town, so we can all meet up!


Filed under personal, scrapbook, vacation