Is Bora Bora on your bucket list???
Lisa: Hi! Welcome back to Rview where we talk about life travel and real estate. I’m Lisa Richart-Hernandez and I’m here today with my husband, George Hernandez. How are you, George?
George: I’m doing great. How’s everybody out there?
Lisa: This has been a crazy, busy week for us, and we just got the podcast launched this week about an exciting letter that we’re gonna go to pod fest in March that’s exciting news. We’ve been planning for a big Super Bowl party that we have in our house every year. It should be good. Mandy, George’s oldest daughter, is making Picadillo. It’s one of George’s favorite things and making mojitos. Anyways, that’s about our week. We sat down and talked about our podcast. Wanted to talk about our travels. It’s something interesting to people. We were like, gosh which vacation do we start to talk about first, right?
George: Let’s start from the beginning.
Lisa: Yeah, We decided. Let’s start from the beginning, which is our honeymoon. We took our honeymoon in Bora Bora. It was something that was on both of our bucket lists. There was a lot kind of more of that was involved.
So, we decided to go to Bora Bora then we realized because of how far away it is we really needed to plan accordingly. We didn’t want to travel that distance for just five days or a week. We decided to 15-day honeymoon, and as I started doing the research for it, I realized a lot going on. I found a travel agency based in California that basically all they do is travel to Tahiti. If you’re planning a trip, I would highly recommend using a travel agent.
The main reasons were, they took care of everything. When we stepped off the plane, there’s somebody waiting to take us to the hotel. And when we got out of the hotel, there was somebody waiting to take us to the piers. We enjoyed all our time we didn’t have any headaches of Oh, my God. How are we gonna get to this place? How are we gonna get… everything was taken care of. Plan accordingly will be a huge suggestion that I would give you.
Lisa: Yeah. I mean, I remember we do… George is usually our travel planner. He’d been researching on the Internet like going to these different places. We talked about how long do we wanted to go because it takes two days to get there and to get back. And I think I want to stay in just one place for 10 days and looking at all the Web sites and stuff like that.
But I felt like we might get kind of bored. We are people that love Las Vegas like that’s where we met. And there are a million things to do there. As much as I love to just lay on the beach. We also live at the beach. It’s kind of nervous about that. So remember with the day when I came home and you practically open the door you like, “I found our honeymoon!”. You’re so excited.
George: That’s when I’ve found the travel agent. Her and I spoke and we just instantly she gave me all the suggestions. She gave me low budget items to five star top of the line things, and I just picked chose things that I knew we would like. When I sat down and told Lisa what I had put together, it was just instantly, Let’s make this happen.
Lisa: Yeah, we’re definitely super excited. So once we got our whole itinerary and stuff, we had to start packing, which was…
George: that was a whole another…
Lisa: So because we didn’t just like part of our trip in a catamaran, they suggested that we don’t. We had to have a soft sided suitcase like basically like duffel bags.
George: Yeah, they they didn’t want anything with wheels. So everything had to be carried on and they wanted duffel bags because it’s soft sided. It’s said they can tuck it into, You know, you gotta keep in mind. It’s a catamaran is not a lot of storage, so they’ve got to kind of cram it into whatever space they can. So if you walk on with this big giant plastic suitcase that doesn’t give. It’s just a massive headache for them, but we’ll talk about that. So we booked our honeymoon. We made sure our passports were good with did all of our initial..
Lisa: Parents lined up to watch the kids convince them they stay at our house for 20 days after the wedding. So George’s parents abuelo and abuela and Grandma Bettie stayed with the four teenagers while we were gone, which is awesome. So we at least didn’t have to worry about them.
George: Yeah, it was nice. The kid’s got really long chance to hang out with their grandparents. My parents live in Miami. Lisa’s mom lives in Tampa, so we don’t see them as often as we’d like to. So it’s nice for the kids to hang out. And we knew they were in safe hands. So that was one last thing that we had to worry about. So let’s start talking about our… we flew from Charleston, South Carolina, to L. A X, and we stayed in L. A for one day.
Lisa: Just overnight.
George: Just overnight to break it up a little bit, which again was a suggestion from the travel agent. I think was a great suggestion, and it gave our bodies a chance to get acclimated to that time change before we jumped on another airplane to go to another time change just for… Fun facts, Tahiti is five hour time difference, and it’s 5753 miles from Charleston, South Carolina. That’s a big time difference that your body has to get used to it.
Lisa: So we stayed and had dinner dinner in L. A. That night, and then we got up and got to the airport kind of early. George always likes to get to the airport early, and they get…
George: Sorry, I’m that guy. I have to be there 2 to 3 hours before my flight. I don’t ever want to miss a flight.
We always were famous for sitting in the airport for hours, but that’s all right anyways, so we get there first, people and they said, Oh, there’s a first class upgrade. Do you guys want to do it? So we talked about over like a heck, you know, it’s our honeymoon let’s go ahead and upgrade to first class.
So, little did we know, that the first class upgrade was at least a $1000
Yeah, And that was my fault because I didn’t really, you know, I said to the girl at the counter, Sure will take the upgrade. So we got the upgrade, were high fiving each other, and, you know.
Lisa: it’s got a special a special lounge, sat ther…
George: So we got home Tahiti air. And this plane must have been from 1960’s, early 70’s. It was an old plane. So first class is 1970’s first class, which was nice. Don’t get me wrong. The seats reclined on almost laid down all the way back.
Lisa: The service was great.
George: The service was fantastic.
Lisa: They’re like flowers in their hair. Tahitian clothes on.
George: Yeah, they give us the little goody bags with slippers, and I’m asking all the typical stuff that you kind of get first class.
Lisa: But the TV was literally, like black and white, and you couldn’t watch any movies. They’re like sketchy.
George: If it worked. But whatever, it is still better than sitting in coach. I can only imagine what that was like.
Lisa: Just don’t Don’t expect a first class American Airlines. You know pod is sleeping in your first class.
George: It’s an older airplane. Just keep that in mind.
Lisa: Yeah. So we arrive in Tahiti with 11 o’clock at night.
George: 11 o’clock at night.
Lisa: So we were exhausted by then.
George: So again because the travel agent booked everything. We got off the airplane. Soon as we went to get our bags, the guy standin’ there with our names. We walked up to him and he took us to the hotel. We checked in no problem. Got in our bed and went to sleep. I mean, it was 11 o’clock at night, probably close to midnight by the time we got physically in the bed. So we were done. We were exhausted.
Lisa: Yeah because 11 o’clock at night there… it’s five hours later in the United States so to our bodies it felt like four o’clock in the morning. Yes. So we were exhausted, but we couldn’t see anything either, because it was dark when we got there. So we woke up early. We’re so excited to just kind of see the outside.
George: We just wanted to see that water in the beauty of Tahiti. So we flew in at night. We drove to the hotel at night. We saw nothing was like being blindfolded the whole first day of your honeymoon. So the next morning we woke up. I mean, right at as soon as the sun came up and we’re running outside to the beach and we just sat there and just looked at everything. Looked at the water. Look like
Lisa: crystal blue water.
George: crystal blue water, mountains, the just different part of the world. So we were just soaking it all in, and I believe it or not, logged the drone around with me our whole honeymoon. So boom! Put it up in the air. And I got really cool, cool footage. Tahiti.
Lisa: But we didn’t stay long in Tahiti. We had breakfast, and then a shot– A bus took us to Vairao to Moorea.
George: It was a high speed ferry. The ride over was beautiful. As you’re crossing over, you go from crystal clear water to the deepest blue water I’ve ever seen in my life. It was
Lisa: you couldn’t even really capture it on.
George: Yeah, laters pictures didn’t know justice. Yeah, And then as you’re approaching Moorea in my mind, my crazy mind I just kept envisioning. Okay. Imagine an explorer who’s coming up to this Island for the first time and it was just breathtaking. How beautiful it was.
Lisa: Like the tip of the mountains were like in the clouds. It was kind of like fantasy. I opened your *laughing
George: I was waiting for the tattoo to *laughter.
Lisa: It was beautiful. But they call it Moorea, the island of lovers, right?
George: I think it was when we were there. So we arrived in Moorea and again get off the ferry. And there’s a gentleman waiting for us to transfer a photo from the pier to…we stayed at a Hotel Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa. Long name. There, I booked a private bungalow. We had our own little dipping pool. It was beautiful. And then me being the romantic I am, I had, um when we arrived, they had flower petals on the bed shaped in the shape of a heart. And I ordered this beautiful fruit basket so we could just kickin’ to honeymoon mode.
Lisa: It was awesome.
George: Yeah, And that was the first place that we finally were able to relax. Yes. Take first crack and say, Okay, we’re here for a couple days. Let’s relax. You were there for a three night. Yes, we were there for three nights. It was beautiful. Again the service and the people are top of the line.
Lisa: So when we were in Moorea, we did the dolphin excursion, and that’s what we did while we were there. And that was it was it was okay.
George: Kind of touristy.That was the only thing that I didn’t like about it.
Lisa: Well, I mean, it was cool. You got to swim with the dolphins, you know, you put you in the water or you get there. But the biggest thing is like you, they wouldn’t let you bring your camera or anything, so they of course $150 for the photos for it. But I guess you know when in Rome, that’s what you do. So it wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t. It wasn’t like a life changing experience or anything like that. But we spent a lot of time at the beach in Moorea and our private little dipping pool. That was awesome. And that’s kind of where we started to get the vibe of like, Okay, there’s not a lot going on really at night time.
Lisa: At nine o’clock. It was kind of like…
George: Everything kind of shut down, and I guess I kind of get it. It’s a top honeymoon location. So people are there for their honeymoon. So by 8 o’clock, 9 o’clock after dinner, everybody’s back in their rooms, which is fine. We we enjoyed that part of it and relaxing, and it was very laid back. But we’re also the kind of people that we love to go out and meet new people and hang out and party
Lisa: At least for a little while.
George: Yeah, for a little while. And that was just none of that. So keep that in mind.
Lisa: Yeah, so? So we were there for three days and relaxed and enjoyed it. And then we got on an airplane, I believe and went to…
George: Um, that’s when we went over. We flew Air Tahiti to, and I’m gonna destroy these names. Because but right town was Raiatea, where we were taken to the Tahiti Yacht Charter Company. And that’s where we picked up our catamaran. I was so looking forward to that, that was a big part of the honeymoon.
Lisa: I would say that was our best part
George: That was my favorite part.
Lisa: We’re four nights on the catamaran?
George: Four nights on the catamaran. It was just Lisa and I, a captain and a local Polynesian girl. That was our chef. And let me tell you this girl, I don’t know how she did it. We used to own a boat. We know what it’s like cooking on a boat. How she made these meals and prepared them was astonishing.
Lisa: Because all day long, I think she cooks like all day.
George: Breakfast, lunch and dinner all day long. In the smallest kitchen, you can imagine.
Lisa: Everything was made from scratch. Even the like mayonnaise she made. It was like aioli
George: Yes. I mean, it was incredible.
Lisa: Fresh fruit and French bread and coffee every morning on the back of the catamaran. It was really cool. They so that she only spoke French, though, right?
George: She spoke a little bit of English.
Lisa: A little bit of English is not very good English, but the captain was French and English, and he took us to…
George: The cool thing with the catamaran was as soon as we met the captain, we left obviously the yacht club. And the first thing he did was kind of give us a tour of the boat. So we’re familiar with it. And then he sat down with us and he said, Okay. What do you guys want to do? And we’re like, uh, not sure. So it was great because he had basically a plan because he had to get the catamaran from the island where we picked it up to Bora Bora. So we actually did.
Lisa: We went all around the French Polynesian islands for three days.
George: Right, and we sailed from one island to the other. He sat down with us and he said, Okay, here’s where we are today. Here are your options. We can go snorkeling. We can go to Pearl Farm. we can go to the vanilla farm or we can just drop anchor and you guys can. They had paddle boards, floats. They had a little dinghy that you could use whatever you wanted to do.
But he just totally left it up to us, gave us suggestions and left it up to us. So I think the first day we just said, Just go to wherever you’re going more for the night and we’ll just hang out there. And when I tell you again with the drone, I put the drone up in the air and I got pictures of the catamaran. And when I tell you that the pictures it looked like it was floating because the water was so clear that you could see the shadow of the catamaran at the bottom of…
Lisa: Looks like I was floating on air.
George: Yeah, because there’s no water. It was unbelievable.
Lisa: Yeah, we have got some great footage with the drone. We could do that on our Rview Instagram not the drone footage from photos of it. It was really cool, like at night time. It was incredible. If you could see literal Galaxies in the stars. There were so many stars at night we would lay on the the netting, like in the front of the catamaran, you know, where were you seen that? What It’s called that guy. I don’t know what else we were. Just lay there at night with blankets and just look at the stars was just…
George: And there’s zero light pollution because it’s it’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean Pacific and so many stars. It was incredible. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen as far as being able to see all this guy this far so clearly.
Lisa: Yeah, definitely so OK, so I can’t remember how the order of events we actually did. But every day we did like three different things at least. Like went snorkeling one on a tour thing. So he took us to this island and brought us to this vanilla bean farm.
George: Yes. He said, Would you guys like to go visit the Vanilla bean farm? And we’re like, Okay, sure. So it took us close enough. Then we took the dinghy over to shore and he introduced us to his gentleman who owns a vanilla farm. The whole process, he walked us through the process of actually harvesting vanilla beans. And I have a whole new respect for that industry. The care that goes into growing a vanilla bean was unbelievable. Just from where it has to grow, how it has to grow, what the farmer has to do to pollinate the plant. It is a labor of love, let me tell you.
Lisa: I mean, they have to, like, literally massage each vanilla bean. And I mean it was It was intense,
George: you know, I guess not knowing you think you just plant a vanilla seed?
Lisa: I don’t know. That was like the best vanilla I’d ever had too. We actually bought some beans and just brought them home.
George: Yes, it was incredible.
Lisa: And they have vanilla powder there?
George: Yes, we bought a bunch of that.
Lisa: That was something that we didn’t have in the United States. Or at least I hadn’t seen.
George: And then, of course, our Polynesian girl that night made us an incredible dinner with this vanilla powder.
Lisa: It was grilled swordfish with a vanilla cream sauce and like some kind of vegetables.
George: Yes and we…
Lisa: I made her give me the recipe.
George: If if we could have licked the plate clean, we would have. But we were kind of embarrassed. It was just that good. And we would highly recommend that if you ever get a chance to go, if you’re there and you get a chance to go to the vanilla farm, go check it out. It will blow your mind how long it takes to process or grow vanilla bean.
Lisa: So, one of the other excursions that we did, what we were on our honeymoon in the catamaran was the Pearl Farm. That was really cool. Got to see the Pearl divers.
George: And it was fascinating because he pulled us right up to this house. And it’s a family run business, and they’ve been there forever. And it was another tour that we would highly recommend if you’re in the area.
Lisa: This happened to be in Tahiti.
George: If you happen to be in Tahiti on a catamaran. We’ll take you there
Lisa: It was really interesting how long it takes to cultivate the paroles. House was full of pearls. We got to do some shopping and I was really me. We got back to the catamaran and had a fabulous lunch. So the next thing we did was the coral gardens, snorkeling through the coral gardens, and that was probably the highlight of my trip. It was so beautiful. One of my very favorite things, wouldn’t you say?
George: Yeah, the fish that we saw there were so many fish, and we got the opportunity to swim amongst them. And I was surprised that just the… most ever seen in my life or swam with
Lisa: The most, I mean thousands of fish. Yeah, like a lot of times we go snorkeling and they’re like, trying to feed the fish to get him to come around. And I mean, we’re talking. There was a school of probably a thousand of those yellow and black fish that are so beautiful that you literally just swim through. And sometimes that might sound scary to some people. It is not scary. The most incredible thing ever
George: So relaxing.
Lisa: None of them will touch you or bite you or anything like that. It was just… there’s deep areas and shallow areas and so many colors, and I could have done that. Never been bored. Anything.
George: Totally agree.
Lisa: So that was that was the last thing we did. And then the catamaran dropped us off at our over the water bungalow, which was the main purpose to go to Bora Bora and stay. It is beautiful over the water bungalow. What was the name of the resort that we stayed at George?
George: The name of the resort was the Hotel Bora Bora, Pearl Beach Resort and Spa, another long name.
Lisa: We’ll put that in the notes of the show notes, too. So if you want to check it out, but the bungalows are beautiful, they have the glass floors. You can see the fish underneath. You can slide open. You could put food down there and they come around. And if the food was great, we did some excursions. We just jet skiing and things like that. But you’re in reality, at the end of the day, there really isn’t a lot to do again. By nine o’clock, everything sort of shut down as much as you’re on your honeymoon. I think we played a lot of cards. A lot of King’s orders which we won all of the games, by the way.
George: Like a lot of cards..whatever.
Lisa: Yeah, but, you know, way enjoy the time together in George and I love to hang out together, but sometimes you just want to, like, be with other people and have some social activity. Like I said, it’s one of the biggest see shows. Even or, there wasn’t really much at all. I guess they did have a Polynesian dancing night one night
George: They did, and a little that that was nice. And again, like Lisa said, one big reason we love vacations is meeting new people and talking to them and finding out about their, you know, people from especially there we thought, Oh my God, there’s gonna be people from all over the world. This is gonna be so cool.
Lisa: And no, we did meet some people,
George: We met some people, but God, we’ve probably met more people in anywhere in the Bahamas.
Lisa: In carnival cruises. Yeah, we have a great time when we go to the all inclusive resorts that we do and we’ll talk more about those in a different podcast. But I guess kind of wrecked this up, like are the moral of the story of this honeymoon was that Bora Bora was on her bucket list. You know, life is short, right? We want to do things. If we can do it, do it and try to get do the things that you want to do. And so we did this and we’re happy we did it. I’m definitely not disappointed that I did it. But if you ask me, would you do it again? The answer would be no, it was too expensive. I mean, just the drinks were $25 each.
George: I called it $25 island. You couldn’t get a drink for under $25.
Lisa: You know, there may be believable that are listening. They’re like, 25 bucks not a big deal. It doesn’t matter. We kind of went on our honeymoon with the idea of like, we’re only gonna be here once. So we’re gonna buy do whatever we want to do because we’re probably not gonna be coming back here any time soon. And so we did that. But looking back like, could we go somewhere in the Bahamas for a fraction of and still have crystal blue water like we love Bimini and be so much closer? We Yeah, we definitely could.
George: My take on this my last two cents is if it’s on your bucket list and you have a strong desire to go to Bora Bora, go. It’s beautiful. You will not be disappointed in the least bit. What to expect. It’s going to be expensive, super expensive. I really don’t know where you could cut corners too lower the price. Basically, what I said to Lisa when I booked the honeymoon was this is our honeymoon. I don’t want to worry about money. Let’s just have fun. And, you know, let’s not go crazy. Let’s not try to nickel and dime our honeymoon. I don’t know where we could have cut costs.
Lisa: I also want to say, like several single people have asked me, Oh my God, I want to go to Bora Bora.
George: Not a singles place.
Lisa: I would not say that is a singles place at all. Like I would say 90% of the people that we ran into or they’re on their honeymoon. It was mostly all couples, and everybody was in bed by nine o’clock at night. No matter where we went, there was no nightlife. There was nothing else to do during the day than to go on an excursion or lay on the beach. And you could do that. A million places that have a lot more nightlife and things to do. The natives. There are only 10,000 people that live on the island. You’re not going to get some sort of nightlife. There’s no bunch of restaurants to go to. You stay at a resort and that’s it. There’s nothing else you’re not gonna. There’s a pool table, that’s about it.
George: And again, we weren’t looking for singles resort. Maybe there is some fabulous nightlife that we missed, but we really I don’t think I don’t think we missed it. We asked around. We looked for it, and it just wasn’t there. again, from us to you. If it’s on your bucket list, do it. You’ll love it.
Lisa: Yeah, life’s too short. Thank you again for listening. I hope our words will help give you some inspiration for your travels. Help in some small way. The biggest compliment you can give us is sharing our podcast with your friends and on your social media. Follow us @RviewPodcasts on Instagram. You can also ask us any questions about our travel. Feel free to message us on Instagram @Rviewpodcast. Or you can email me at [email protected], and we love your questions and new topic ideas. Please feel free to reach out to us. Thanks very much and have a great weekend. Talk to you soon.
George: Thanks for listening.