Well, it turns out the downside of working in a prime tropical vacation destination is that you are, in fact, working and not vacation-ing. That changed for me, all too briefly, a couple weeks ago, when my boyfriend braved not only one, but one-and-a-half trans-Pacific flights (thanks to the inefficient flight route to Apia from LA via Auckland) on top of the cross-country travels that took him from Princeton, NJ alllllll the way here to Apia, Samoa. All the while lugging a suitcase containing a minimum of clothes, and a maximum of ‘family love’ in the form of Chinese soap operas (thanks mom!), forwarded mail, a BUG ZAPPER (thanks dad!), Chinese movies (thanks mom and dad?), and of course, edible treats. Needless to say, he gets brownie points.
Since arriving in Samoa, I haven’t had a chance to do much more than a little basic site-seeing around Apia. Sure, I’ve been all over the country with loan officers, but sweating profusely while financial transactions are completed in rapid-fire Samoan is not quite the same as kicking back on the beach with a snorkel in easy reach. Nik got one restful night in Apia (or not, turns out the roosters, dogs, and 5am church bells are still INSANELY LOUD, but I now sleep like the dead) before we headed off for adventureland. By the way, for those of you who are wondering, adventureland does not include being adequately supplied or planning ahead.
SPBD kindly lent me a car for the weekend so we took off on Friday, which happened to be Good Friday, when Apia actually became a ghost town. The south side of ‘Upolu is known to be the prettier side, so up and over Cross Island Road we went. Naturally, my excitement for Nik seeing the beautiful mountain greenery and epic ocean views triggered a massive rainstorm that seemed determined not to budge off the mountain. Once we finally inched down the other side (where of course the sun was shining), we kicked off vacation-time with lunch and pina coladas at one of Samoa’s fanciest resorts. Again, I emphasize that tourism in Samoa, while certainly an important and growing industry, is definitely not as developed as once might expect to find at a ‘tourist destination’–it’s no Hawaii, for example. We stayed at two places over the long weekend: Namu’a Island and Virgin Cove Resort. Continue reading