If there ever was a visual depiction of heaven on earth, I'd say the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora would definitely be near the top.
And just like that, the Honeymoon has ended and it's time to come back to earth (although I really enjoy the views from Cloud 9). But what a honeymoon it was...
10 days of crystal blue water, over-the-water bungalows, snorkeling, sleeping, book reading, drinking, napping, massages, eating fresh fruit and seafood, running, dodging sting rays during an open water swim, enjoying the sun and just complete and utter decompression with no emails, no internet and no set schedules to follow. It was Absolute perfection from the moment we left Austin. Hotels were great, flights were on time and food was delicious. It can't go without saying that we did bring a couple of boxes of kashi and received some funny looks from people who were enjoying the enormous daily breakfast buffets while we were eating our bowl of kashi. Believe me, I definitely took part in the buffet action, but I can't do ham and cheese omelets every day along with danishes, croissants and every kind of bread imaginable. They did have interesting choices on the buffet which I indulged in every now and then...grilled swordfish (for breakfast), salads, ham and grilled pineapple, crepes, juices, etc.
We exercised every day, but it wasn't forced workouts (for a change). Just running for the sake of running, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, sea kayaking. We met a great couple from New York (Dan and Tiffany) who are both triathletes. How did we know?? We were the only four in the fitness center one morning!! We got to talking and ended up having breakfast with them all the while discussing our love of the sport and everything else in between. We also met and had dinner with another couple from Colorado (John and Lisa). John just returned from his second tour in Iraq and was there for 12 months this go-round as an Army Physician. It was so interesting getting a first-hand account from someone who was just there. Needless to say, on this trip, he was definitely enjoying the good life.
Ever the Race Director, we "invented" our own race--the "Beach to Belvedere" run in Moorea. Starting from the Beach, it was a 5K route up a mountain complete with switchbacks and curves. The reward was the "Belvedere lookout point" providing one of the most spectacular views I've ever seen.
We followed up 9 days of utter relaxation by hitting the States again on Saturday and enjoying 24-hours of fun and sun in Santa Monica, CA...running towards Malibu Beach on Saturday evening and then heading out for a jog on Sunday morning towards Venice Beach. While the CA beach paled in comparison after freaking Bora Bora, it was still nice to be able to decompress one more day before heading home. (not to mention the fact that our hotel in Santa Monica was pretty awesome). Ironically, there was a wedding taking place that evening at the hotel and after our run, we got off the elevator only to be witnesses to the bridal procession taking place that very moment on the pool deck. While it was a little odd to be in our running clothes, it really did bring the entire event full-circle for us.
Obviously, we have tons of memories and photos from the wedding itself, our post-wedding 5 Mile Run on Memorial Day (in which we kicked ass as "Team Barrett"), the honeymoon and more, but I'm still numb and mentally foggy. Again, I'll say that this whole experience was absolutely everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. I'm so full of gratitude and joy. It's a great way to start my new life.
Although I've been working out, I'm giving myself another week of decompression before the official workouts begin again.