Real Destination Wedding + Mini-Moon: Philippines

I know I always say something about how I’m excited to share a particular blog post, but this one really is extra awesome because it’s a real destination wedding and mini-moon in the Philippines! My husband and I are hoping to recreate a similar itinerary there this winter, so I’m grateful that Monique and Josiah have shared so many helpful insights (and beautiful photos) below. Enjoy!

When and where was your destination wedding?

Our wedding was on February 1st at the Shangri-La Resort and Spa in Boracay, Philippines.

Boracay destination wedding

How did you decide on doing a destination wedding?

Josiah and I had originally thrown around the idea of a destination wedding, since we have lived abroad a few times and travel so often, but decided against it since we knew so many of our friends and family would not be able to join us. However, after a year and a half of searching all over the bay area and not really finding anything that we fell in love with (that we could also afford), we revisited the idea of a destination wedding.

This time the Philippines and the Shangri La came up and we both knew immediately this was right! We had spent New Years there three years ago and Josiah’s dad’s family lives in Manila, so it felt special and we really wanted to share this place with our friends and family.

boracay wedding

It’s hard to believe that this perfect shot isn’t a stock photo!

The best part about our destination wedding was…

Having a full week with the people we love most on a beautiful island!  We were able to plan lots of events and really sit back and watch all of our friends and family talk, laugh, explore, and enjoy every moment together. I had no idea how incredibly special it would be to see our worlds come together and get people away to a place that had a lot of meaning for us.

Boracay wedding

What was the hardest part about planning a destination wedding?

I think had it been anywhere else [aside from the Shangri La on Boracay] it would have been more challenging. We had the most amazing planner who was on top of everything. I emailed her almost daily with questions and ideas, and she responded right away and was just as excited as I was. I have a high attention to detail, so I will admit I can be a bit much for some, but we were extremely fortunate!

In general the people in the Philippines were so incredibly accommodating and wonderful that it made for an easy and stress free process. Of course not being able to see things in person makes it tougher, but fortunately we had been once before. I think the time difference, currency conversions, and lack of some internet sites or functionality made it a bit more challenging, but nothing we couldn’t work with.

Boracay wedding

What are your tips for other couples who are considering planning a destination wedding?

I think its important to pick somewhere that is meaningful. This can be because the couple has traveled there before, they have family from there, or have dreamed about going together. It makes it that much more special to share it with friends and family. I would also get as much information up front [from the venues] to ensure you know about what is included, what isn’t, different ways/traditions of having a wedding there etc. I think this is also a great way to find out if the person you will be working with is responsive and helpful before you book anything. I can’t imagine planning a wedding from across the world without someone really great on the other end.

boracay honeymoon

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Real Honeymoon: Singapore & Thailand

We haven’t had a new Real Honeymoon post on the blog in a few weeks, so I was thrilled when my friend Kathleen agreed to write a post about her recent honeymoon in Asia where she and her husband Jon decided to split their time between the cities and beaches. Sounds like the perfect balance to me! Read all about their amazing honeymoon in Singapore and Thailand below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went to 2 countries [in February 2014] – Singapore and Thailand. While in Thailand we hopped around from city to city. We went to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, and Phuket.

Bangkok TemplesHow long was your trip?

We were gone for 2.5 weeks – disregarding the 24 hours it took to get to and from. I wish we could have stayed longer…but you can’t avoid real life forever!

Phuket

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

My husband and I had actually both been to this part of the world previously, so it was actually a little bit of a tough decision. Why re-do Asia when we could see something we’ve both never seen before?  I lived in Singapore when I was younger, and while there we had traveled to Phuket for a family vacation – pre-tsunami. Jon did Asia about 4 years ago for school. He went to Vietnam, Cambodia, and spent about a day in Bangkok.

Asia has a special place in my heart, as corny as it may be, so I had been dying to go back. I’ve always knew that once I got married, I would want my husband to see Singapore someday. Jon also really enjoyed Asia and felt like he missed out on Thailand during his trip – half of his friends did Thailand and half did Vietnam when they had gone for school. I had only ever seen Phuket, so seeing the rest of Thailand sounded great to me. So that was that! We both loved the idea of seeing different cities in Thailand and while in Asia we were able to squeeze in a quick trip to Singapore. We’ll save the rest of the world for later!

Phi Phi Island Tour (1)

 

The best part about our honeymoon was…

I have a really hard time answering this question. Everything was really unique in it’s own way! Singapore was awesome for me – very nostalgic. Bangkok is so insane in an interesting way. Chiang Mai was more rural, a little more cultural and we got to pet tigers. And as for the beaches, you really can’t go wrong there!

Chiang Mai Tigers

But, if I have to answer, I would say 3 things: 1. I really loved Krabi. We didn’t really know what to expect from it. We chose it after debating which beaches to hit for weeks. We finally chose it somewhat randomly because we knew the rock formations would be very picturesque. Just seemed beautiful. Our hotel was awesome there – it was only accessible by boat because it was set in a nook surrounded by massive rocks/mountains. The beaches were beautiful, the resort was amazing, and we were able to get to the small town of Ao Nang every night via boats to walk around and eat. So we there was a mix of beach and Thai culture.

Krabi Hotel

2. We took a cooking class in Chiang Mai that we LOVED! Siam Rice Cooking School – do it!

Chiang Mai Cooking School

3. Being away for 2.5 weeks was so great. When we finally started the beach portion of our trip, we both looked at each other and were like “Wow…we still have 7 nights!” Best feeling ever.

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

There are definitely a few things I’d do differently, not that our trip was anything short of amazing!

1. I would have stayed one more day in Singapore – we did that so quickly and it felt like we tried to shove things in and we had just gotten to Asia. It was a lot. I could have probably planned that one out a little better.

Singapore

2. I would have also added a day or 2 to Chiang Mai. I would have loved to do an elephant camp and taken a day trip up to Chiang Rai which is right by the Burma border.

Chiang Mai Mountain Temple

3. We planned a few guided tours a long the way – they were OK. We would have probably been better off doing it on our own. Our tour guides also spoke really poor English so it was very difficult to understand them.  However, we might have just chosen poorly. I’ve heard others say they loved their tours. Recommendations are definitely the way to go. Why we didn’t listen to others – I still don’t actually know…

4. I don’t know when we’ll go back to Asia, it’s soooo far away! But…there is still so much I want to see there. Sometimes I wonder if we should have just taken a whole month off. I would still love to see Angkor Wat and Vietnam. Who knows though – maybe we’ll make it back one day!

Bangkok

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How Long Can You Delay a Honeymoon?

I had brunch over the weekend with three friends: one who honeymooned in Tahiti a few days after her wedding, one who honeymooned in Costa Rica a year after her wedding, and one who got married in Ireland last summer but hasn’t gone on a “real honeymoon” yet. That last friend, however, is planning a two week trip to New Zealand in October. Even though the trip is a year and a half after her (destination) wedding, is it okay to still consider it a “honeymoon”? How long can you delay a honeymoon before it just turns into a regular vacation?

nhatrang

The consensus around the table was that you can go on a honeymoon whenever you want – there’s no expiration date. It’s very common for couples to delay their honeymoons a bit after their weddings, whether it’s to save money, visit their dream destination during a more preferable season, or just because they have scheduling conflicts. Couples should do whatever works best for them, without feeling like their honeymoon needs to be rushed.

However, if you do decide to postpone your honeymoon, it’s important to realize that other people may treat it differently. As I wrote in one of my very first blog posts about when to go on a honeymoon, you should be forewarned that coworkers and employers may be less than enthusiastic about you taking an extended vacation if it’s not shortly after your wedding (especially if you already took a lot of time off for that). Friends and family probably won’t be as “Oh-My-Gosh-So-Excited-For-You!” either if your wedding seems like a distant memory. So as long as that’s cool with you (as it should be – it’s YOUR honeymoon after all), then plan your honeymoon whenever you feel like it.

That being said, you cannot plan multiple honeymoons (sorry, Alice). An extended multi-moon is acceptable (and totally awesome), but if you tell your friends/family/coworkers that you’re going on a second or third honeymoon, expect lots of eye rolls in return. At that point, please just call it a vacation.

As for my friends who are planning to go to New Zealand in October, I think that they should totally still consider that trip their honeymoon, and I honestly can’t wait to hear all about it. And, of course, they’ve already promised to write an awesome blog post when they get back.

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The Cliffs of Moher, June 2013

Even though I’m not even the slightest bit Irish, I’ve always been a fan of St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday makes me think of my two trips to Ireland (see my latest Ireland travel tips here), waiting in line for The Brown Jug in Ann Arbor at 7 am, the electric green river in Chicago, and a ridiculously fun bar crawl in The Rocks with my Sydney housemates during my semester abroad.

Admittedly my more recent St. Patrick’s Days have been far less exciting, but the holiday still just makes me happy. (And the 30 Rock St. Patrick’s Day episode makes me pretty happy, too.)

I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day full of Guinness, corned beef, and (at least the soundtrack of) The Boondock Saints on repeat. Be safe, don’t be obnoxious, and have fun!

How Long Should a Honeymoon Be?

Alright, you’ve finally figured out where to go and you’re ready to book your honeymoon. But now the question is how long your honeymoon should actually be. The answer is different for every couple, and it totally depends on a multitude of factors:

  • Your budget
  • How long it takes you to get to your destination(s)
  • How much time you can take off from your jobs
  • How much you like being away from home

That being said, the average honeymoon length of the Real Honeymooners who’ve contributed to this blog is around 13 days. Some of the shortest honeymoons (excluding mini-moons) were 6 days, and the longest ones were an impressive 21 days. My own honeymoon was 16 days: 8 in Bali, and 8 in Vietnam.

beach

Private beach on Hon Tam, Vietnam (from our own honeymoon)

If you’re having a hard time deciding how much time to spend on your honeymoon, it’s time for you and your significant other to think about the following questions:

  • Do you envision your honeymoon to be a major (financial) blowout? If you’ve always wanted your honeymoon to be the most extravagant trip of your life, you may need to keep it on the shorter side in order to, you know, stay financially solvent.
  • How much is there to do at your dream honeymoon destination? If you’ve always wanted to honeymoon for 2+ weeks, but you want to honeymoon in, let’s say, the Maldives, you* may get a bit restless after a week or so. (*Exclusions apply to self-proclaimed beach bums such as yours truly.) Continue reading

If You’re Eating in San Francisco…

Inspired by SF style and beauty blogger Gal Meets Glam‘s recent post, I decided to come up with my own list of favorite places to eat and drink in the City by the Bay!

I’ve lived in San Francisco for nearly 8 years now (3 in Cow Hollow, and 4 1/2 in the Castro), and I’ve had my fair share of incredible meals all over town. While you can certainly go to many restaurants where a great meal will cost at least $50 a person, one of the best things about SF is that some of the most wonderful meals in the city can be had for less than $10.

Not a bad looking city, eh?

Not a bad looking city, eh?

So if your travels bring you to San Francisco, below is the list of my favorite places to check out. Bon appétit!

Cafés/Breakfast/Coffee:

  • Philz Coffee – my go-to iced coffee.
  • Town’s End
  • Tartine Bakery & Cafe
  • Blue Bottle Coffee
  • Foreign Cinema – 3 words: homemade pop tarts.
  • Craftsman and Wolves – mmm… the rebel within!

Lunch:

  • Swan Oyster Depot – an absolute must for seafood-lovers.
  • Ike’s Place
  • Slanted Door (+ Out the Door
) – I’m completely obsessed with their spring rolls and peanut sauce.
  • Marina Submarine
  • Yank Sing – the most wonderful Shanghai dumplings in SF.
  • Red’s Java House – best place for burgers and chili fries before SF Giants games!
  • Twitter – yes, as in Twitter’s headquarters. Don’t miss a chance to have a meal there if you know an employee.

Burritos: (because, yes, SF burritos deserve their very own category)

  • El Farolito
  • Papalote
  • Gordo Taqueria
  • Taqueria Cancun
  • Espiga De Oro

Dinner:

  • State Bird Provisions – hands down, my absolute favorite restaurant in San Francisco.
  • Stones Throw – my new favorite burger in SF.
  • Hillstone
  • L’Ardoise – the best date night restaurant.
  • Shanghai Dumpling King – soooo many dumplings, soooo little $.
  • 
Spruce
  • nopa
  • Zazie

Drinks:

  • Blackbird
  • Trick Dog - really amazing cocktails.
  • Hi Tops - gay sports bar with awesome music and totally amazing food (brunch + dinner).
  • Southern Pacific Brewing Company 
  • Locanda - delicious cocktails (good Italian food, too).
  • Toronado

Wanderlusting: The 10 Countries I Most Want to Visit in the Near Future

My last blog post about travel envy was kind of a bummer, so I decided that I needed to write something a bit more positive before the week was over. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I’m not going to Istanbul with Aaron, I started thinking about the 10 countries I’d most want to visit. My only criteria for the list was that 1) I had to include countries that I’ve never been to before, and 2) they had to be places I’d want to visit in the near future (i.e. in the next 10 years or so – not when I’m much older and less adventurous/active), which was pretty easy because I haven’t been everywhere… yet.

Below is the list that I came up with, with the countries listed in alphabetical order:

Cambodia

Up until very recently, Cambodia was totally at the top of my must-see list. Throughout our honeymoon in Bali & Vietnam, we met several other couples who just raved about the food, beaches, friendliness, and cheapness of Cambodia, not to mention the complete awe of experiencing Angkor Wat. However, another travel blogger that I highly admire recently wrote about why she thinks that Cambodia has recently changed, and not for the better. Kate really knows her stuff, so I believe her when she says that she didn’t love her latest experience there. I’m hoping though that things will turn back around for Cambodia, so I can get enthusiastic again about visiting it.

Cambodia

Cambodia – thanks for the pics, Alice!

Chile

Aaron and I had so much fun backpacking around South America in 2009, but we felt a bit amiss that we didn’t make it to Chile. Ideally, our trip there will include experiencing cosmopolitan Santiago, snowboarding in Portillo, surfing in Pichilemu, and a few days exploring Easter Island.

Ecuador

Aside from wanting to see the Galapagos Islands, I’d never thought too much about visiting Ecuador; that is until my friend Jen came back from a trip there last year and had the best time ever. She promised that she’d one day write a blog post about her trip (right, Jen?), so I’ll leave it to her to tell you why she fell in love with the country.

Ecuador

Ecuador – thanks for the pics, Jen!

Iceland

The Blue Lagoon, live music, Northern Lights, Einstock beer – what’s not to like? If there were direct flights from Reykjavík to Dublin, we would have combined Iceland with our Ireland trip last summer.

Mauritius

My family friend visited Mauritius during her Semester at Sea, and as soon as I saw the photos of the perfect turquoise water and bleached white sand, I knew that I’d have to go there some day. It was definitely in the running as one of our own honeymoon destinations, but we’d like to combine it with a few weeks in South Africa as well, and we didn’t think we’d be able to do all of that right after the wedding. I guess it will just have to be the destination for a special anniversary trip, right?

Mauritius

Mauritius – thanks for the pics, Hana!

Morocco

As soon as I can find the time to spend a week in Marrakech, I’m going to make it happen. My friend Daniel was lucky enough to spend this past NYE at this insanely beautiful estate, and said that he just thought the whole area was really beautiful and interesting. Also, my mom and sisters got to ride camels near Tangier a few years ago which looked really fun.

Morocco

Morocco – thanks for the pics, Rachel and Nicole!

Burma/Myanmar

One of my friends from college has lived in a handful of foreign countries since grad school, and although she’s currently living in Kabul, she is supposed to head back to Yangon soon. Only recently a tourist destination, she says that traveling around Burma is like going back in time. Aaron and I want to see what that’s like before everything becomes too modernized.

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How I’m Dealing With Travel Envy

You know those people who seem to constantly post amazing travel photos on social media sites? I’m not talking about full-time travelers or professional travel bloggers here; I’m referring to those friends of yours who have regular desk jobs but just always seem to go skiing in Vail one weekend, then lounge on the beach in Hawaii, and then somehow go sightseeing in Paris shortly after that. Yeah, you know the type.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t help but feel the tinge of travel envy whenever I see posts about other people’s travel adventures. This is especially true for me these days because my next international trip might not be until the end of the year. However, I know that the best way for me to deal with that envy is to just unplug. If I don’t want to see so-and-so’s photos from her fifth beach vacation of 2014, then maybe I shouldn’t look at her Facebook profile. It’s just that easy.

And yet, there’s someone in my life who’s been traveling a lot this year from whom I can’t unplug: my husband Aaron.

istanbul

Some of Aaron’s photos from his first Istanbul trip, January 2014.

We found out earlier today that Aaron’s about to go back to Istanbul for the second time this year. Last month he spent a week taking depositions in Istanbul, then spent another three days in London going to multiple Premiere League soccer matches. Granted, these trips have been for work and he doesn’t get a lot of time to just relax and play the tourist, but it’s still pretty awesome that he gets to experience one of the oldest and most culturally fascinating cities in the world, even if it’s just for a few meals and late afternoon wanderings.

Last time Aaron went to Istanbul, a lot of people asked if I was going to join him. I said that I declined because I’d prefer not to go there in January when it’s so cold, I had a lot of things going on back home in SF that week, and I knew Aaron would be really busy with work. But this time around, joining him in Istanbul sounded really tempting, especially because Wendy Perrin just published this blog post about how winter is such a great time to visit Istanbul. How could I let this opportunity pass me by a second time? I should be more spontaneous, right? I could make this happen!

Excited with the possibility of spending a long weekend in Turkey, I started researching flights right away. There aren’t any direct flights from SFO to IST, so the shortest travel times with layovers in either Amsterdam or Frankfurt are around 16 hours each way. Also, since I need to save up vacation days for a big trip at the end of the year, I couldn’t/shouldn’t take more than three days off for this one. So after comparing prices, travel time, and flight schedules, I’d really only have three full days to be in Istanbul, and the chances are that I’d be alone most of the time. If I was lucky, I’d maybe get a few dinners with Aaron and a free place to sleep. Hmmm, this was starting to not sound so great.

Sure, I’d prefer to sightsee with Aaron, but the “being alone” part didn’t bother me too much; I backpacked solo for several weeks in Australia and Spain a few years ago, and I really enjoyed the freedom and challenges of being on my own. But the part that was most unsettling was the price tag, and the fact that I’d fly for 32+ hours just to be in Istanbul for three days. Was that worth it?

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Weekend Getaway Recommendations for Californians

Unless you’re a full-time traveler, business school student, or lottery winner, you probably get to go on one or two big trips each year, tops. (If you don’t fall into one of those categories and you go on lots of awesome international vacations every year, please message me – you need to teach me your secrets!) That means that the majority of the trips that you go on are on the smaller side, and we haven’t discussed those types of trips too much on the blog, aside from the few mini-moon posts.

Many of my blog followers and I live in California, so I wanted to write a post about some of the best in-state weekend getaway destinations, and where to stay. We Californians are pretty lucky with a plethora of local vacation options; no matter what city we’re in, beaches, mountains, deserts, or forests are just a short drive away. Naturally, I asked my team of local travel experts (a.k.a. my friends) where they’ve recently stayed when they needed a a quick little vacation from their lives in the “big city” (a.k.a. San Francisco and Los Angeles). Some of the hotels are bigger splurges than others, but all of them have received an honorary gold star as a great accommodation for a weekend getaway.

California getaways

We’ll start the list with “North California” (ugh), and make our way south. If there are any cities/hotels that you’d like me to add to the list, please send them my way!

Mendocinoperfect for total relaxation by the sea.
Stanford Inn by the Sea
Stevenswood Lodge

Tahoe: perfect for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and boating.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort
Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

Healdsburg: perfect place to drink wine with your four-legged friends (there are lots of dog-friendly wineries!).
H2 Hotel
L & M Motel

Calistoga: perfect for drinking wine and soaking in mineral pools.
Solage
Indian Springs

Yountville: perfect for winos and serious foodies.
Bardessono
Vintage Inn

Napa: perfect for wine wine wine, and, oh yeah, wine!
Westin Verasa Napa Hotel
Napa River Inn

Half Moon Bay: perfect for those seeking classic elegance on the beach, and pumpkin festivals in October.
Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Carmel/Montereyperfect for golfers, beach-lovers and aquarium enthusiasts.
Carmel Valley Ranch
Bernadus Lodge & Spa
Sprindrift Inn

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Real Honeymoon: Tahiti

After a gorgeous wedding in Healdsburg last year, my friends Christin and Sam decided to wait a few months before going on their ultimate honeymoon in Tahiti. Worried that their photos wouldn’t do the islands enough justice, they also put their GoPro camera to good use and made a little highlights video that they could share with their friends and family. Check out the awesome video below (nice editing work, Christin!), as well as their thoughts on their amazing Tahitian honeymoon:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Tahiti (Moorea and Bora Bora) [January 2014].

Moorea honeymoon

How long was your trip?

9 fabulous days. 4 days in Moorea at the Sofitel Ia Ora Beach Resort and 5 days in Bora Bora at the Intercontinental Thallaso Resort and Spa.

bora bora hammock

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Sam and I had quite the hectic engagement year (as do most couples), but to top it off we also did a cross-country move from San Francisco to Chicago. Needless to say we decided to postpone our honeymoon until after our June, 22nd wedding. Because Chicago is so gorgeous during the summer, we decided to schedule our trip for the dead of winter to escape the cold. Our ultimate goal was to have the most relaxing honeymoon in the most beautiful place we could find. Bora Bora is obviously one of the first destinations that came to mind.

A good friend of mine was planning her honeymoon around the same time and also looking at Bora Bora as a potential option. Fortunately for me she is much more of a planner and researcher than I am when it comes to travel, and she tipped me off to a great travel agency, Pacific for Less, who specializes in travel to Tahiti and Hawaii. I’ll share more about them later. Ultimately we decided on Bora Bora because of its reputation as one of the most beautiful honeymoon locations in the world, and we both agreed it was probably not a place we’d be going on family vacations ☺

tahiti beach

The best part about our honeymoon was…

There were so many incredible meals, excursions, and hotels but truly the best part was the location. The entire trip we kept looking at each other with that “is this real life?” look because it honestly felt like you were living a dream. At one point we met a cute Australian couple who was there with their 2 daughters (I suppose this rules out our rationale that Bora Bora is not a family destination). They had traveled to nearly every tropical destination in the world: Fiji, Maldives, Seychelle Islands, Bali, The Caribbean, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand. You name, it they had been there. We asked them which one was their favorite and without hesitation all four of them said Bora Bora. Between the crystal blue water, the amazing reef, and the over-water bungalows, Bora Bora took the cake for them. Perhaps they were just appeasing us or high on Bora Bora’s beauty, but regardless it made us feel great about our decision!

moorea view

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Without a doubt we would not have planned on going during their rainy season (which is December – March). As much as we wanted to coordinate our trip around escaping our first Midwest winter, there is nothing as disappointing as rain in paradise (especially when you’re traveling that far). We were fortunate that our first 4 days in Moorea and the first day in Bora Bora were absolutely beautiful. The last 4 days in Bora Bora rained for the majority of the time. As with most tropical locations, it was still warm so it didn’t keep us from doing what we would have normally done, but if we had known we definitely would have booked prior to, or after, the rainy season.

tahiti paddle boarding

How much planning did you do in advance?

We started planning shortly after our wedding, so about five months’ worth. We used a travel agency, Pacific for Less who literally did everything for us so the planning process was really easy. We booked our flights from Chicago to LA, and they took care of the rest. Like I said, Sam and I are not planners when it comes to travel, so besides physically getting ourselves to our honeymoon (or at least hiring someone to get us there), we only planned one dinner reservation at Villa Mahana and a snorkeling excursion with the Sharks and Stingrays (see below). Everything else we scheduled once we got there.

tahiti honeymoon

  • I highly recommend dinner at Villa Mahana! It is the exclusive restaurant on the island, run by two French guys. There are only 7 tables which fill up fast so you’ll want to be sure to book your reservation in advance and ask for the VIP table that overlooks the property.
  • Also the Shark, Manta Ray and Sting Ray snorkeling excursion is a must do. I had been on several snorkeling excursions before but none quite like this one. Again because I’m not a planner, I did not fully realize what we were getting ourselves into. Our first stop was the Manta Rays. Unfortunately the water was murky and we couldn’t see them so we moved onto the next stop, which was the Reef Sharks and Sting Rays. When we got there, there were hundreds of Sharks and Sting Rays circling the boat. Somewhere along the line I had convinced myself that the Shark part of the excursion was just us viewing them from the boat. Oh no! You can imagine the shock that came over me when they told us we were jumping in. I think the fact that I didn’t have time to think about it was a good thing and with a little encouragement from my husband (and the fact that an 8 year old jumped in first) I took the plunge. I can confidently say it was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done and when it came time to jump in with the Lemon Sharks (p.s. they were 3x the size of the Reef Sharks), I didn’t bat an eye.

sharks

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