Monday, June 11, 2012

MS Paul Gauguin: Tahiti and French Polynesia

I got home late Saturday night from my cruise vacation to the islands of Tahiti, Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora, and Moorea on board the MS Paul Gauguin.
MS Paul Gauguin
It was a dream come true. Sigh.

I got to practice my French...
Moorea
eat gourmet food every night...
Escargot
interact with native people...
Bernadette in Raiatea
see native crafts being made...
Pareos in Raiatea
spend long, lazy days on some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen...
Paul Gauguin's private motu in Taha'a
and view some of the most incredible sunsets imaginable.
The view from our balcony between Taha'a and Bora Bora
I saw mountains that I thought existed only in the movies...
Bali Hai on the island of Moorea
islands typically frequented by the rich and famous....
Bora Bora
and exotic flora and fauna.
Tiare, a type of gardenia
Best of all, I didn't meet a stranger on the ship, from amazing crew members like Annie Rose who tended our cabin...
Annie Rose
my favorite bartender, Ernesto...
Ernesto
pianist Ruben who learned the song A Thousand Years just for me and played a different arrangement of it every night in the piano bar...
Ruben Ramos
to fellow passengers I became acquainted with over dinners, drinks, and shore excursions.
Newlyweds Melanie and Jay and me
I even had a cheeseburger in paradise. Along with a local beer.
At Les Tipaniers in Moorea
Now that it's all over, the trip feels very surreal. It's going to take me some time to process everything; to sort through the snapshots and journal entries and piles of notes; to fully grasp the impact of the sights and smells, the interpersonal encounters, and everything I learned. I know it will affect me deeply as I move forward with the rest of my life.

But I left fear on a sunny beach in Taha'a

And hopelessness along the sands of Bora Bora.

Now there is nothing left to keep me from the amazing life I am certain lies ahead of me. 

* * *

Check back starting next Monday for a five-part travelogue of my time in Tahiti and French Polynesia. I hope you will join me!

10 comments:

Emery Lee said...

WOW! What a dream come true! So happy for you.
Emery

Julee J. Adams said...

Check another off the bucket list --so glad you got to do this!

KendallGrey said...

I'm insanely jealous! Glad you had a great time. The pics are AMAZING!

Pam Asberry said...

It really was a dream come true, Emery. I don't want to be selfish, but I really hope to go back one day. This place is beautiful beyond imagination!

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Julee. Me, too! And thanks to my friend Gail, who won the trip in a contest and invited me to be her guest!

Pam Asberry said...

The truth is the pics don't begin to do it justice, Kendall. I could point my camera virtually ANYWHERE and get a great shot. It was amazing.

S.M. Carrière said...

Ah-maz-ing!! Oh I can't wait to hear all about it! I'm so glad you went on this trip. Perhaps next time, I'll be able to meet you along the way!

Pam Asberry said...

I am SO lucky, S.M.! And yes, next time you must meet me along the way - for there WILL be a next time! :-)

Maxine Davis said...

I knew you went on a cruise, but you went on a CRUISE! It sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime trip - sure hope you get to go a second time. Sounds beautiful.

Pam Asberry said...

Now that I'm home it feels like a dream, Maxine - the best-ever dream! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! :-)