we wind up in a lot of places that excite us. We also wind up in a few places
that aren’t our cup of tea (though this is a difficult assessment because invariably
these same places offer experiences or stories, rooted in the aspects we liked
least, that prove interesting and memorable and make us happy we went after all).
And we also wind up in a very few places in which we toy with the idea of living
|Kids riding the top of the bimini after school.|
In the Society Islands of French Polynesia, the smaller islands excited us, almost to the point of toying with the idea of living on one someday. They're each surrounded by a South Pacific lagoon like you’d see on the cover of Cruising World and separate from the Tahiti-Bora Bora-Moorea tourist hotspots
Our visits were short (as we were feeling the pressure of having overstayed a French welcome that ends abruptly at 90 days). So we'd tour around on bikes, play in the water, enjoy the bar and the company of our cruising friends, buy fresh veggies from local farmers, send the girls off on play dates with locals, hit a bommie pretty hard, provision, Skype family, take on water, and then set sail.
Which is all awesome, and we're all grateful for having been able to spend more time than most people ever get in places like these, but I want to acknowledge that we barely scratched the surface. Every place we've been fortunate enough to travel to, our visits have been long enough to realize how much more there is to experience—we need a dozen lifetimes. And that’s perhaps the most important life lesson, realizing how short one life is.
|A rare family photo.|
|On our way to find blue-eyed eels.|
|The girls trying to get counsel from a|
local boy, in French. How close can we get?
|While this big guy rubs against Eleanor's leg, Frances dares to pet his|
|Frances with some of the kids who live near|
|Frances looking across the lagoon. Still didn't have my polarizing filter at this|
point, or I could share how stunning that turquoise water was.
|Eleanor and her new friend at the start of getting towed.|
|This is Paul. He can't speak, not at all, but he lives on-island and paddles |
great distances to get visitors to sign his guest book. A big-hearted
guy who I can't imagine without a smile on his face.
|Wow, two family portraits in one post.|