(Warning this is a photo rich blog post) I thought I’d post about our first overseas family holiday for 7 days to Fiji that we went on last week in case any of you are thinking of doing the same thing as us! Plus there hasn’t been much crafting going on lately – just lots of much needed fabulous family time together.
So as with any holiday it starts by planning a whole lot (i love to read up on trip advisor) and then lots of organising/packing. We did the super early flight so we were up and leaving home before sunrise to make it to the airport on time. Travelling as a family of 6 is epic and as you can see in the top right hand picture there was a lot of luggage. Everyone kind of needed to have their own bag for the 3 1/2 hour plane trip so that they had their own toys, books, colouring in etc to keep them busy.
Of course there was the inevitable “are we there yet” and “how much longer till we get on the plane/take off/land/drive on the bus to get to our final holiday destination…
… which was Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji. Having four children meant that we were more limited in terms of accommodation. I didn’t feel that the kids were old enough to have their own adjoining hotel room so we ended up getting a family bure which was like two bures with an adjoining living area in the middle. There was a lovely hammock out the front and it was surrounded by lush gardens. I loved the decorated ceilings in the bure rooms although I must say in our room there was a bit of mould up on our side. It is so humid and hot outside and then the rooms have the strongest air conditioning that you do go from freezing to boiling in 2 seconds but it does help for a more restful sleep. It was a great room option for us as we could just shut the 2 interconnecting doors to have some privacy or peace and quiet!
The beach was very pretty but quite a bit of coral so better to walk on with thongs or shoes. A few weddings took place on the beach here over the course of our stay.
What girl doesn’t love shopping? Our girls were bursting to spend their pocket money at some of the many market stalls set up around the hotel grounds. I think we have enough jewellery to open our own market stall now!
The kids just loved the pool, it’s all they wanted to do especially after they made some lovely friends there. Drinks and cocktails were served in the pool which meant you never had to leave and the kids never wanted to! We found a hermit crab in the pool and named him Corner because he was always hiding in the corners. We had perfect weather and the temperature of the water was perfect for the kids but to be honest it was a bit warm for my husband and I who prefer it a bit more refreshing, especially seeing as it was so hot weather wise. The pool was big and there were little canals, spas and a bridge that the kids loved playing under but on closer inspection it is looking a bit tired. I bought the girls new swimmers for our holiday and as the pool surface was so rough and coming away in sections (especially under the bridge where they spent a lot of their time) that they all pulled the fabric on their brand new swimmers which wasn’t good. There were a few grazed feet and knees because of this too.
Poolside there were ladies braiding or doing cornrows for people’s hair. I say people as there were a couple of guys that had their hair done too! We decided that it was easier (and cheaper) if everyone had the same amount of cornrows and then there could be no arguments. If you want your whole head done it does take the best part of a day to do it!
I love this group pool selfie with all my little chicky babes cooling off straight after they had their hair done.
At mealtimes there was always music. Singing, guitar, ukelele and I loved how it gave such a vibe to every meal that you could never forget where you were. My favourite was the goodbye song “Isa Lei” which made me start crying whenever I heard it even if I didn’t know the people they were singing it too. I was a bit of a mess when it came to our turn for the song, hubby thought I was hilarious but I just couldn’t help myself. It touched something deep inside of me, maybe I have memories of it as a child when my parents took me to Fiji when I was little.
For me the highlight of the trip was the adventure we had visiting a school up the mountains away from the main town. As nervous as I was when I saw our vehicle which I discovered had no seat belts in the back seats and was only a 5 seater for the 6 of us to fit in plus three Fijian’s to take us there! Yes I was having “puppies” but in hindsight I’m so glad we went and made it there and back safely. We brought with us a suitcase full of Scholastic books which we wanted to deliver in person to a school. We wanted our kids to see how the Fijian people really live and experience something outside of the resort. We had a lovely time and the kids and teachers loved the books for their primary school.
This was my favourite flower. I don’t even know what it’s called but I just love it. Lots of the staff at the resort would wear them behind their ears and the gardens and grounds (40 acres) were filled with beautiful tropical flowers which were placed in our rooms and on our beds daily.
Our eldest two wanted to play with their friends in the free kids club so we took the smallest two on an adventure to visit the Kula Eco Park. Zenon was too young for kids club as it was 4 years and up and Carrera is our little animal lover so it was nice to spend some special time with just the two youngest. I really wasn’t too sure about the iguana on my head and shoulder which everyone thought was hilarious. The kids loved holding them and their colours were amazingly vibrant. There were lots of birds, some salt water fish and turtles to feed at certain times of the day. The park grounds were amazingly beautiful with the neatest of elevated boardwalks all around the rainforest.
The Eco park was walking distance from the resort however this was the only morning we had a sprinkling of rain so we caught the golf buggy back to our bure.
It’s not cheap travelling overseas and even when you purchase package deals with meals etc included it all ads up to quite a bill at the end as well.
Unfortunately my husband got food poisoning (which he thinks was from the chilli mud crab) and that took him out of action for a day and a half which made it harder for me. Holidays aren’t much rest for parents of kids (especially 4 kids and especially for mums – sorry hubby if you’re reading this but it’s true!) they are more like a change of scenery and a family experience. We had never travelled together overseas as a family and in fact we have never even been overseas together as a couple so this was well overdue and a wonderful trip. The weather was perfect, the kids had a ball, we made some really lovely friends and created some special memories to cherish forever.
We also made it home in one piece and like Dorothy says…. “There’s no place like home”.
Have you been on a Fiji family holiday with lots of kids? What were your experiences? Have you been to the Outrigger Fiji?