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Thursday, October 6, 2011


Travel author Anne Van is back today with tales of another adventure, and this one doesn’t involve eating creepy, crawly thingies. -- AP

Beach Front Bliss On Hauhine Island, Tahiti

I always try to be prepared when packing for a trip, never forgetting my Girl Scout training. But even after years of traveling, I never thought to pack something that should have been indispensable — earplugs! This is especially surprising when you consider I’m a light sleeper. Sleep is virtually impossible for me when I travel because I’m so excited to discover new places. I never think to take earplugs. This changed after a memorable tripmy dream honeymoon to Tahiti.

In newlywed heaven, I wasn’t particularly worried about packing much but several bikinis and a few tubes of suntan lotion. I’d read up on the islands we were going to visit, Moorea, Bora Bora and Huahine, and practically drooled over the amazing photographs. I looked forward to enjoying the incredible beaches, azure waters, and the beautiful tropical flowers and birds.

Our honeymoon turned out to be everything I’d ever dreamed of. On Moorea, we stayed in a wonderful over ocean bungalow. Nothing like jumping off your front porch and straight into the ocean. At night I loved dangling my feet in the water and letting the fish nibble at my toes.

On Bora Bora, we lucked out with a beachfront bungalow in a lovely bay. The turquoise water was our front yard for three wonderful days. Nothing like strolling out into the ocean and going for a swim in 80 degree water. We just had to keep an eye out for sharks who also liked to swim in the bay.

Huahine, is actually two islands joined together by a sand bar and quite remote. We could swim from our bungalow right out to several tiny private islands that lie in the bay. Just my husband, me and the palm trees. Sounds like complete paradise right? Not!

Every morning on the island of Huahine we woke up at the crack of dawn, daylight heralded by the island’s natural alarm clock: ROOSTERS! Sleeping in for me was out. I yearned for a pair of much needed earplugs.

Nature's Alarm Clock On Hauhine Island
When my wonderful newlywed disposition quickly deteriorated my husband asked me, “Is the honeymoon over already?”

I looked at him as if he was from another planet. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, you’ve been a bit touchy lately.”

“Blame those darn roosters. They wake me up at sunrise every morning. You know how much I like to sleep late. Especially on vacation.”

He shrugged his well-tanned shoulders. “I think its kind of fun.”

“Fun? What’s fun about roosters holding a crowing competition outside my bedroom window at 6:00AM?”

He gave me one of his cute little boy smiles. “Just stuff some tissue in your ears and go back to sleep.”

This spoken by a guy who could sleep through earthquakes. “If only it was that easy.” Grabbing a beach towel I said, “Come on, let’s go out and enjoy paradise.”

After another amazing day of sun bathing and strolling along the white sand beach, my mood had improved considerably. That night we dined on a wonderful French gourmet meal and had chocolate mousse for dessert.  My heavenly honeymoon glow was returning. Then my husband presented me with a small box. “Here, something I think you’ll really like.”

Visions of a black Tahitian pearl ring I had admired popped into my head. I tore open the box and there sitting on a fluffy piece of cotton was something I had been dreaming about. A pair of bright pink earplugs.

I looked into my husband’s eyes and said, “I knew I married the right guy.”

Moral of the story: be sure to throw a pair of earplugs in your bag before you hop on the plane. Your travel companion will thank you.   

If you’d like to read more about my travel adventures, you can read my story
Underground, in The Best Women’s Travel Writing of 2011. You can also find more travel stories on my blog, annevan1111.blogspot.com.

Thanks for joining us again today, Anne! So readers, who wants to go to Tahiti now? Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Nicole Maggi said...

Haha! I would have found that rooster and had HIM for dinner! ;-)

Lizzie Andrews said...

I think there are too many roosters to do that. I'd love to go to Tahiti. Lovely description.

Liz V. said...

Tahiti sounds wonderful, w/o the rooster.

Margo Candela said...

Roosters are scary, chickens only slightly less so, especially when they're on the loose. They're mean suckers.

Anne Van said...

LOL Nicole. I was tempted!!!!!

Anne Van said...

Lizzie and Liz, Tahiti is truly paradise! Worth every penny!

Anne Van said...

Margo I agree roosters can be mean. Like keeping me from enjoying paradise!! Thankfully my husband came to the rescue. : )

Craig S said...

Hi Anne,

I wouldn't have had your problem--my wife snores, and I've used earplugs for years. I'd NEVER go anywhere without them!
Loved your description of the bungalow in Moorea.

Barbara V said...

What? Rooster cries didn't add to the ambience?? How can that be? :-) Well, at least it adds to a very well told story. Thanks for the fun reading escape, Anne!

Jen Klein said...

The iPhone has a lovely White Noise app that I use whenever traveling. That being said, I don't think it's strong enough to block out a bunch of roosters!