Where the hell’s Fiji? Near Florida?

Everyone needs an island holiday at least once a year. Nothing competes with the sweet dream of laying on a beach sipping piña coladas while basking in the sun, only to be interspersed with swimming amongst colourful fishes in crystal clear water. Earlier this year I had to book flights home, to Australia, whilst looking I found that Air Pacific flies Los Angeles to Brisbane, via Fiji. Sweet delight!! There was my island holiday vision again – piña coladas, sunshine, colourful fishes, and crystal clear water. One of my favorite travelling partners is my brother, so after visiting him and the rest of the family back home, he jumped on a plane with me to Fiji for a few days of sunshine, or so we thought…

The Fijian sunshine did not greet us as I had envisioned, sub in thunderstorms and the greyest skies you have ever seen. This wasn’t supposed to happen! We took a small little tinnie to Beachcomber Island Resort from the main boat, I was surprised the tinnie even made it through the rain. Unfortunately my bags did not make it. They were left on the first boat and I did not get them back until just before dinner. It wasn’t so bad while it was overcast, but then the beautiful sunshine finally came out and I had no togs to wear.

There are random things that can really only be learnt on a small sand island, and other shenanigans you must experience on this type of holiday.

5 things you must do on an island holiday

1. Crack open a coconut with your bare hands. The locals gave a small demonstration on how to crack open a coconut, it didn’t look too hard so I took one on. I successfully broke it open on my first try. Unfortunately I did break a hose in the process, and loose 90% of the coconut milk when I cracked it open. But I did it!

2. Have a photo montage with a starfish. We were able to go snorkeling straight off the beach where the starfish were just waiting to be found and photographed.

3. Succumb to food poisoning. My stomach can be compared to a garbage disposal; I can, and do eat, anything and everything. However this cast-iron gut came into trouble in Fiji, I got struck with a bout of food poisoning. Thankfully it wasn’t too terrible, and I won’t share any of the delightful details with you, but there were others on the island who got hit harder than me. I continued to eat like a machine in an attempt to harden up my body, it worked a treat.

4. Swim in crystal clear waters with colourful fish. Beachcomber Island Resort is located in the Mamanuca Islands. There are small reefs everywhere just waiting to be explored. During my brother and I’s stay we went snorkeling off the beach, but some of the best snorkeling was when we took a boat a few minutes out into the water.

5. Experience a double sunset. On our last evening in Fiji my brother and I relaxed by the fresh water pool while the sun started to set. If you have never experienced a double sunset before, although it is a short event, I highly recommend it. First you need to decide what kind of double sunset you want to see, over water or the city. I prefer over the water, but the most important factor in a double sunset is being in a place where you can quickly move to a higher ground and still see the sun set.

We chose to kneel by the water’s edge, then once the sun had completely set, we legged it up the little hill and up on top of the pools edge, we saw the sun set again.

My short time in Fiji with my brother was exceptionally relaxing, memorable and productive. I was able to complete 1/3 of one of my 25 items. English is not the native language in Fiji, nor have a I been there before, thus fulfilling the criteria of #5 on my list. Two more countries to go! Thanks brother, for coming on this adventure with me, I love you more than words can say.

Stay tuned for a movie of the crazy Fijian shenanigans.

My love of fine art increased – the more of it I saw, the more of it I wanted to see.

This past Wednesday I finally ventured out the Getty Museum. Living in Los Angeles, means I often have mates passing through. I love playing host to my guests and showing them all the things I love about LA, which I usually summarise into about 5 different hot spots. The last few days in February I had a good mate here from Bris Vegas and decided to be a little reckless and not take him to any of my traditional LA hot spots. I was a tourist in my town, such a perfect opportunity to cross things off my list. 

The Getty day was not entirely what I had imagined. My vision was of a beautiful clear morning, with the sunshine beating down on us; we would take in its warmth as we leisurely strolled around the grounds. Not so much. To start, holiday time meant we didn’t end up getting there until about 3pm.

As far as museums go, its relatively cheap – $15 to park your car and the admission to the museum is free. There is a mad tram ride up to where the Getty is perched on top of the Santa Monica Mountains. As we were going up so late, the tram up was empty and a perfect for some photography fun.

First stop when arriving was coffee, a must for any artsy, hipster adventures. But alas! All the best cafes close at 3pm, minutes before we arrived. Thankfully there was a sole little coffee stall open on the outside terrace. After a couple of shots of coffee, we finally felt ready to face the day; what was left of it anyway.

The views from the Getty are phenomenal. Views like this usually make me feel so grateful that I live in Los Angeles. It was however, a bitterly cold day, and the June Gloom was still in force, so the sky was not as clear as I would have liked. I love going to the Griffith Park Observatory and looking at the city from the roof top there, it brings me a sense of peace and clarity. Weirdly enough, views from the Getty didn’t have the same feeling. Maybe it was because I could still hear all the traffic on the 405, I didn’t feel like I was really looking down on it all, rather I was still among it. We were due to join the masses on the 405 car park at 5:30 when the Getty closed and attempt to drive to Disneyland, a silly idea which we later ditched.

Although there are free tours available to show you around the museum, we chose to live recklessly and explore by ourselves. Ok, so maybe I only found this out after I came home and looked at the Getty website. One exhibit we came across was the De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column. Look, I appreciate art, but really? Lets be honest – its polyester resin. Would you really want a hunk of this sitting in your house? The funnest part about it is how your reflection looks distorted when you take a picture of yourself in it… 

We meandered through the In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980 and Lyonel Feininger: Photographs, 1928-1939 exhibits. I rather liked them, those era’s (up until the 60’s) are particularly interesting me. Seeing all the photographs made me realise how much I want to get a good Canon and take more photos of my own adventures.

The beautiful gardens I was über excited to get lost in were unfortunately closed for landscape improvements. My plans were foiled yet again! We could even see the tempting garden paths from the balcony above.
The sun was just starting to disappear behind the clouds as we were leaving. Even though my first Getty experience was not what I had originally envisioned, it was so much more that I could have imagined. The clouds made for spectacular photos, and the cold weather kept the people away to leave the place empty for us to explore as we pleased. I’m so stoked to be able to add another place to my LA tourist hot spot list.