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I spent the past week in Fiji with my wife, on Turtle Island. http://www.turtlefiji.com/, for what was our extremely belated honeymoon. It's a 500 acre island with about 100 staff and generally no more than 20 guests. At one point last week there were only eight guests, but that was unusual.

The experience is indescribable. There is no TV, no BlackBerry signal on most of the island, and no Internet unless you borrow some time on the gift shop computer. Each couple can book an entire private beach, complete with picnic lunch, almost any day you want. And these are no ordinary beaches. Any one of the several choices is the best beach you have ever seen. In fact, the movie Blue Lagoon was shot on this island. By the second day, your regular life becomes a faint memory. You are completely immersed.

The temperature hovered about 80 degrees and it was sunny every day. Apparently that is normal. The water was warm, clear and blue, and you could walk a hundred yards into the ocean before the water level was over your head. The sand was perfect, and never too hot on your feet. You can go barefoot from the minute the seaplane lands to the minute you head home. I am not exaggerating when I say it felt like I was in some sort of "Total Recall" simulated vacation where everything was too good to be real.

The staff memorizes the names of all guests, and you are on a first name basis from the moment you arrive. Every time we saw one of the Turtle Island staff, from any distance, they greeted us with the traditional "bula," huge smiles, and often our first names. The first day it seems freaky. By the end of the week you feel like family.

The guests eat most meals at a common table, on the beach, feet in the sand.  Everyone is extra friendly because there are so few of you in this shared experience, and you are all relaxed and happy. Somehow the physical beauty of the island makes everyone a better person. And the staff is so genuinely happy and warm that it rubs off on you. No kids are allowed on the island, except for a few "family weeks" each year. Our week was mostly honeymooners, anniversary celebrants, and couples who hoped to be married soon.

Each guest cabin (called a bure) has a dedicated "mama" who literally acts as your mom while you are on the island. She answers all your questions, arranges your picnic lunches on the beach, does your laundry every night, and cleans your room. If you want something, you just ask your mama. Our mama, Adi, was amazing. She made sure I got my vegetarian meals, and was our personal paparazzi. At the end she gave us a scrapbook she made with the photos she took during the week.

One of the guests reported seeing a couple that was about to leave the island, sitting on the beach weeping. I didn't understand that until it was our turn to leave. We wept too.

Best vacation ever. Now back to work.
 
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-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 12, 2008
Wow. Their cheapest "bure" costs in 7 days more than it's going to cost me to get my Masters degree. *sigh*
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
$15,000.00 for the week?

Glad to see my Dilbert merchandise purchases being put to good use?

 
 
Aug 12, 2008
You're back! Thank goodness, we were about to round up a search party.

Sounds like a blissful honeymoon. When are you taking us there?
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
"I am not exaggerating when I say it felt like I was in some sort of "Total Recall" simulated vacation where everything was too good to be real."

You were. Worked pretty well, I'd say.
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
Now all you've got to do is work it into a cartoon and it'll be tax deductible.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 12, 2008
Fabulous. Well done and welcome back. I've missed the blog.

Also a quick unrelated comment - ages ago you were helping "newish" cartoonist Scott Meyer with "Basic Instructions", which I am still enjoying via an RSS feed to my google homepage.

Are you still in contact with him? Are you giving him any guidance? Is he syndicated yet? (Net seen him in the UK, but wouldn't expect to as it's quite American content).
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 12, 2008
Welcome back, I'm glad you had such a great vacation.
I had a vacation similar to that only in that I wept when leaving, we spent a week in the smokies.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 12, 2008
It's good to be king.
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
I'm glad that you had such a wonderful vacation! I missed you while you were gone.
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
Congratulations on a great trip...more than makes up for the "delayed" part! :) Glad to have you back...
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
My god, one night there costs more than my week long Honeymoon when I first got married. At the time I was more focused on a down payment for a house. Guess that's a benefit of doing a delayed honeymoon.

You can rent the entire island for a mere $43,000 / DAY.

--KurtRoedeger
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 12, 2008
Hi Scott,

Welcome back. Sounds like a nice place. Looks like you spent some of your hard earned money. Happiness can be bought, you just have to know how to shop. Its good you didn't manage to screw up such a perfect vacation by worrying about too much sun or the great big blue fish toilet you were swimming in. Nothing beats a good vacation. The website mentions what looks like some quality fishing opportunities. Tell me you went out and tortured some fish for fun. You will never experience better water than where you just were.

Post some pictures.

dsg
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
It sounds like heaven on earth! Congratulations on your belated honeymoon and welcome back!
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
Welcome home and I'm glad you had a wonderful time. We missed you, and were a bit worried since you dropped off the face of the earth (I wondered if you headed to the Olympics and didn't have internet). Glad you are rested and now, nose to grindstone, ready, set, go!!!
 
 
Aug 12, 2008
Welcome back! I had a similar experieince with my first wife on our honeymoon at Sea World in San Diego. There were losts of really beautiful, friendly, skantily clad women - liked I'd died and gone to some sort of perv heaven. Then I'd look at my wife, who had transformed my life into a nightmare soon after I married her.

When we returned home, I wept.
 
 
 
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