Tahiti really was the most beautiful place I’d ever visited. It really was a tropical paradise in every sense of the word.
We spent three weeks enjoying Tahiti and all her islands had to offer. On the first Sunday we were there, we went to Papeete’s market which attracted a wide range of merchants from all over who came and sell their wares. Alex bought a single flower, a pretty purple frangipani and carefully tucked it into my hair as we browsed the various market stalls. He could be so romantic at times and the little things like that really meant a lot to me.
“We can’t take it all home” I told him a little while later, but he just smiled and took my hand and told me that’s what shipping was for. I managed to drag him away before he bought too much, knowing that he’d bought more than enough already and wondering where it was all going to go. We were now the owners of numerous wall decorations, a table I can only describe as a lamp table, little pots of various spices (which I had no idea what we’d do with) and some fabric!
Some days we just relaxed on the white sand beaches, partaking in a bit of swimming or snorkelling when we felt like a change from lying in the sun, although we didn’t swim very far out. At first, seeing the fish in the crystal clear water had been a bit of a strange experience, I hadn’t expected them to come so close to us. But once I’d got used to seeing the various colours darting around the water, I couldn’t help but be amazed.
As we took a trip on a glass bottomed boat (which believe me, was scary knowing that there was only glass separating us from sharks and such) I thought of my list. Seeing whales, sharks and rays and such in the ocean made me think of one item on my list which had yet to be crossed off, to swim with dolphins. It was hard to believe I’d worked my way through most of it though.
1. Fall in love
2. Own my own place
3. Skinny dipping and sex on the beach
4. Learn a new language
5. Ride a scary roller coaster whilst eating or bungee jump or something else equally as scary
6. Road trip across the USA
7. Blow a fortune on a single night out
8. Drive a flash car way too fast (and not get caught)
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Tell my boss to shove his job up his arse
We’d crossed off number three not long after arriving here; I blushed at the thought of that other couple seeing us. But I supposed it could have been worse, there could’ve been hidden paparazzi snapping away as things got a little intimate. I was relieved that nothing had made its way online (thank god for Wi-Fi and AJ’s laptop).
“We have to be up early tomorrow” Alex said as we sipped cocktails with our meal overlooking the beautiful sunset one evening.
“Why?” I asked curiously. In the time we’d been here so far, we’d usually got up late or not at all.
“You’ll see” he smiled
“Come on” I begged “you can’t leave me dangling like that”
“I can and I am” he grinned wickedly
“Tease” I called him
“Yeah, but you love me anyway” he replied
“I suppose so...sometimes” I teased him
“Oh yeah” he raised an eyebrow
“Just messing with you” I assured him
“I know” he replied “I sometimes love you too”
“Hey!” I protested and we laughed together.
“Come on, let’s finish these drinks and go and have an early night” AJ suggested
“You’re insatiable” I declared
“Hey, you’re the one with the dirty mind, I was thinking of going straight to sleep” he laughed and I playfully shoved him.
“Yeah right” I answered
We finished our drinks and walked hand in hand under the clear starry sky, back to our beach house.
The alarm on AJ’s phone woke us up much earlier than I’d expected and I wondered what we were doing today that required us to be up at seven o’clock on our honeymoon.
“What shall I wear?” I asked, hoping I’d get a clue of where we were going.
“Something casual” he replied and pulled on a pair of khaki combat shorts and a sleeveless top over his still damp from the shower body.
That gave me no clues at all. I followed his example though and wore a pair of Capri pants and a vest top with my comfy flip flops.
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked what must’ve been the hundredth time, sounding like a child.
“Nope” he grinned “you’ll have to wait and see”
“But Alex..” I protested
“I promise you, it’ll be worth it, now quit the whining” he laughed
And he was right. It was so worth it.
A little while later we were getting changed into wet suits to go swimming with dolphins. I couldn’t quite believe it; we were actually going to swim with dolphins. I was so excited.
“When did you plan all this?” I asked, wondering how he’d managed to keep it a secret from me all the time we’d been here. He wasn’t exactly the best secret keeper in the world!
“Before we came here” he replied “I knew it was something you wanted to do, so I checked that we could before booking here”
“Oh Alex” I sighed and gave him a quick kiss “have I told you today how much I love you?”
“No, not today” he replied
“Well, I love you...loads” I declared
“Love you too baby” he kissed the top of my head.
We finished getting kitted out in our wet suits, which let me tell you, were harder to put on than I’d thought. Grabbing our snorkels, we strolled out to meet the dolphin trainers who were going to be showing us around and telling us what to do. After a long safety talk and instructions, we were led outside to where we’d actually get to see the dolphins. I was excited but also a little nervous, what if they weren’t as friendly as they looked on TV?
“Getting cold feet?” AJ asked, a knowing look on his face
“No, just a little nervous” I replied
“Me too, I mean look at the size of those frickin things!” he stated
“Oh god, don’t...I’m nervous enough as it is” I replied
“You wanted to swim with dolphins” he stated
“I know” I agreed “but now that we’re here, I’m kind of chickening out”
“Not a chance! We’re getting in there whether we like it or not” he grabbed hold of my hand and we walked forward to the where the trainer was waiting for us.
After all my second thoughts though, it was actually an amazing experience. Our trainer, Joel, led us into the shallow water to get acquainted with the dolphins first. The dolphins were so cute and tame as we stroked them and played in the water. We learned all about dolphin behaviour and how they communicate, which was very interesting.
“How do you feel about taking a swim now?” our trainer Joel asked
“Erm...OK” I replied and looked at Alex, who had also relaxed in the water now.
“Bring it on” Alex replied, acting the tough guy when in reality, he was just as much a wimp as me.
“Cool” Joel replied “I’ll show you what to do, it’s very easy”
He took hold of the dorsal fin and held on as the dolphin glided through the water.
“Fuck” I muttered, wondering how the hell I was going to do that.
“I hear you” AJ agreed beside me
But despite our protests, we had a go and surprisingly, both of us enjoyed it. I held on to the dolphin’s dorsal fin and prayed that everything would be alright, and it was. Gliding through the water like that was an exhilarating experience.
“Thank you” I said to Alex when we left there later on.
“No problem” he replied and kissed the top of my head
As much as we would’ve loved to have stayed in Tahiti, it was time to get back to the real world. We’d had an absolutely amazing time and done so many amazing things, I’d never forget what a magical place it was.