Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beautiful Lake Tahoe

Saturday, July 23, 2016

In the morning, we quickly packed and headed to beautiful North Lake Tahoe at around 8:00am. There was very little traffic on highway I-680 and I-80, and we arrived into Truckee (just west of Lake Tahoe) at 11:30am (a 3.5 hour drive).



Since we were a bit tired from the long drive and hungry, we decided to eat lunch at Marty's Cafe - a well-rated restaurant on Yelp. There was a long wait to be seated (as the restaurant was packed) and we initially considered other alternatives, but other restaurants in Truckee were also really busy, so we decided to wait it out. We ended up waiting about 35 minutes, before we were seated.


I ordered a Brie and Mushroom Omelette with an English muffin (it included a homemade raspberry jam). It was well-prepared, extremely delicious, and served very quickly.


Inna ordered an Eggs Benedict and was also surprised by how well it was prepared. We didn't have high expectations (after our spectacular breakfast in St. Regis in Bora Bora), and were pleasantly surprised.



Alex ordered a Cheeseburger with a fruit salad and was also very happy. We really enjoyed our brunch entrees here and hope to be back again!



After unexpectedly delicious lunch, we headed for our planned hike on the Sagehen Creek Trail. This is a flat trail, just North of Truckee, with a round trip distance of 5 miles.


The trail started out with a lot of tree cover but eventually turned into high desert landscape with few trees and no shade.


As it was a very hot day, Inna was a bit flustered by the high temperature (over 89 Fahrenheit) and the high altitude (6000 feet).


We did not see many animals on the trail, though Inna did manage to spot a small snake, some lizards, and a very loud bird.


After the hike, we decided to stop by in Truckee for a cold ice cream. We stopped by at Bud's Old Fashioned Fountain shop for a sample. Yelp reviews were mediocre but we decided to try it ourselves.  Alex ordered a chocolate and peanut butter flavor and liked it somewhat. Unfortunately, we were not impressed by Bud's ice cream. I think Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry, and Three Twins ice cream tastes much better (and let's not even try to compare Bud's to Birite in San Francisco).




After cooling off a bit, we headed for King's Beach to play a bit of Miniature Golf. We decided to play one game at Kings Beach Miniature Golf.



We played 18 holes and Inna won by a large margin. However, Alex won a free game of golf by getting his last put in the 19th hole.

Here is a video of us playing a couples of holes:


Finishing golf, we headed to our hotel at The Village at Squaw Valley. Inna found a respectable room price on Hotwire, so we decided to stay there two nights. We parked in the underground garage, which is very convenient. The whole Village at Squaw Valley reminds me a bit of Whistler in Canada (though I have more affection for Whistler).

After checking in, we decided to have dinner at the Fireside Pizza.  Inna did not really want to eat pizza, but she liked the other items on the menu. Alex ordered a small Caesar Salad. Inna ordered a specialty salad (Buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes). We also ordered some Hummus, Feta, and Olives as a shared appetizer. We shared a large Thai Curry Chicken pizza among all three. The pizza was delicious but Alex did not like it; he prefers Thai food by itself.


 For dessert, Alex ordered a Brownie Avalanche, which was fabulous. Alex did not like the lemonade - it was the HiC version and he prefers real lemonade (the one made with freshly squeezed lemons).



Alex and I found a Foosball machine in the Kid's Play area of the Village at Squaw hotel and played three games. I won the first game, Alex won the second, and Alex won the final third game of our tie break.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

We got up fairly early around 7:30am, so that we could get an early breakfast and have time to get to King's Beach, where I had jet-ski reservations. Since most of the breakfast eateries in the Olympic village were closed, we drove to King's Beach and decided to eat breakfast there.

We stopped by at the Java Hut, where I ordered a waffle and Alex and Inna ate a breakfast sandwich. After breakfast, we headed to the beach, where the jet skis were being prepared.



After signing all the paperwork and liability forms, Alex and I walked into the beautifully clear water to get to the jet skis, which were tethered 50 feet offshore. We boarded the jet skis and were off to ride Lake Tahoe. (Even at maximum speed, it would take two hours by Jet ski to reach South Lake Tahoe from King's beach).



The water was unusually calm in the morning, and I was able to go at maximum speed, i.e. close to 49 mph. I took turns with Alex, who was initially uncomfortable with the speed and the bumpiness of the ride. Eventually, he got used to it and enjoyed riding the jet ski as the driver.


After about an hour of riding, we returned to King's Beach and I took Inna for a ride. We rode a bit slower, as the water has turned a bit more bumpy. There were a lot more boats and jet skis out as the morning wore on. After 30 minutes or riding, we returned to King's Beach, to let Alex have another turn.



Alex got to drive the jet ski far longer this time and he enjoyed it a lot.

After about 3 hours of riding, we were a bit tired and decided to head to lunch. Inna found a nearby eatery that was well rated on Yelp - King's Cafe. We really enjoyed our lunch there, as it was delicious and reasonably priced.




Finishing lunch, we stopped by a new Ice Cream shop - "Sweet Tahoe Time". Alex ordered himself a Birthday cake flavored ice cream with lots of toppings.


We walked back to Kings' beach and decided to rent some kayaks and stand up paddleboard. Inna and I rented a two seater ocean Kayak, while Alex rented a Stand Up Paddleboard. We paddled around for about an hour on King's beach.


I filmed a short video of our kayaking and supping adventures:


Our kayak rammed Alex's paddleboard a few times and he fell off once. Afterwards, we rested a bit while Alex chased pokemons.



After 5:00pm, we decided to try another game of golf at King's Miniature Golf nearby. We played the second golf course. The result was the same as last time, with Inna winning (again), I was second, and Alex was third. Alex was frustrated on a few holes, where his initial strategy did not work.




We were all a bit tired after a long day at the beach and head back to our "The Village at Squaw Hotel". After some rest, we had dinner at Fireside Pizza (this time outdoors). Inna ordered a Cobb Salad, Alex ordered a personal Pizza Margherita with a Caesar salad to start, while I ordered Spaghetti Bolognese with a house salad. For dessert, we shared a brownie with ice cream. The meal was delicious and very reasonably priced.













Sunday, July 17, 2016

Boogie Boarding on Manresa Beach

Today, we planned to enjoy our favorite beach near Santa Cruz - Manresa State Beach. Since it does tend get crowded (with very limited car parking), we decided to leave early, stopping briefly at our local Whole Foods to get sandwiches for a picnic lunch.


The traffic heading on highway 17 was unusually light at 9:00 am and we arrived at Manresa State Beach, right around 9:30am. The weather was very cloudy but a lot of surfers were out enjoying the waves. There were a lot of 3-5 foot high wave sets coming through.


Alex was initially hesitant to go boogie boarding, but he eventually changed his mind and put on his new wetsuit. He tested the cold Pacific Ocean water initially, which he found to be much colder than Lake Tahoe. He grabbed his boogie board and plunged in. He only stayed out for about 30 minutes, but he enjoyed it (and was quickly tired).


The wetsuit is quite constricting and he felt that his energy ebbed a bit. After a short boogie boarding session, we through the freebie and footballs, followed by some badminton.


Despite the cloudy and overcast (and somewhat chilly summer day), we had a relaxing time at Manresa State Beach, and hope to be back again (with better weather).

We saw a lot of surfers in the morning, when the wind was a bit calmer, trying to catch 4-5 foot waves. By noon, the vast majority of surfers have left the beach.



Inna and I finally got used to the colder Pacific Ocean.





Saturday, July 2, 2016

Breathtaking Bora Bora

Friday, July 1, 2016

It was finally time for our dream vacation to Bora Bora, in French Polynesia. We have heard many stories of it being the "most beautiful" place on Earth, and we wanted to see for ourselves.


We arrived to the Los Angeles (LAX) airport in the evening, using UberX from Universal Studios, where we were spending a day exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and other rides and attractions.


The traffic to LAX was terrible, but we arrived on time for our Air Tahiti Nui 3816 flight to Papeete.
Since we had a few hours to kill at the airport, we drank some "highly" overpriced (and overrated) coffee at the airport (at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shop).

Our scheduled departure time was 11:40 pm, but our plane was delayed one hour on the ground. On-top of that, our plane had 3 disabled bathrooms (so we were asked by the flight attendants to do our business in the airport prior to boarding).

The flight took away around 12:30 am. I don't recall watching any movies, but tried to sleep on the flight to Papeete.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

The flight proceeded uneventfully and our jet landed in Papeete at 5:00 am local time.

Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti, is considered a destination in itself. We could tell right away that we were in a different world, with the warm weather and French being spoken everywhere. The airport itself was quite small and was very crowded, even in the morning.

Once we picked up our luggage (it's not transferred automatically), we got in line for the connecting flight to Bora Bora aboard Air Tahiti 433. The line to check in was moving very slowly and we almost missed our connecting flight. There were electronic check in machines, but they were all broken. The airport was not one to impress visitors. We were really hoping that all of this extra hassle was worth it.


We boarded the small twin-engine ATR-72 at 7:30am for the 50 minute flight from Papeete to Bora Bora. We landed at 8:20 am, right on schedule. The Bora Bora airport was one of the smallest airports I have ever seen and the only one with a boat dock!


Once we picked up our luggage, we boarded our St. Regis water shuttle, to take us to our hotel. We were surprised that our luggage was placed on a different water shuttle.


The beauty of Bora Bora was immediately evident and we were pleasantly surprised by the island. The short boat ride to St. Regis was exhilarating aboard our fast shuttle boat and we arrived in less than 20 minutes.


We checked in at St. Regis at 9:00am, but normal room check in is at 3:00 pm. We were immediately assigned a butler, who showed us around the large St. Regis property (while we waited for our room to get ready).


We were pleasantly surprised that our Bungalow #331 became available at 9:30 am, so we were able to enjoy it immediately.


Our bungalow was conveniently located near the beach, pool, restaurants. We were offered Champagne (for our 15th Wedding Anniversary), a free couples massage at the famous Miri-Miri spa, and some snacks on our arrival.


We were quite happy! (However, even though breakfast was still ongoing, we were not offered one)


Our butler offered to unpack our suitcases and put away all of our clothes. We thought - why not - and let her do so, while we enjoyed lounging and swimming on the over-the-water terrace.


The internet worked very well, and we immediately connected 4 devices: both of our iPhones, my iPad Air, and my Macbook Pro. Although I had a Roku 3 and two TVs in our bungalow, we never used them at all.


We were able to call home using Skype (over WiFi). Skype is surprisingly expensive in Bora Bora (about $0.40 per minute)


After walking around the property and enjoying the beach, we decided to have lunch at Aparima Bar. Lunch was very expensive (as everything at St. Regis) but extremely delicious.



After lunch, we toured St. Regis, marveling at the beautiful sights, clear blue water, and wispy clouds.


We borrowed some bicycles (free to all guests) and rode around, stopping by at the beach to enjoy  the hammocks.


We also spent some time on the beach, kayaking, and riding the stand up paddle-board (SUP). Here is a short video of Inna and I riding the SUP:



It was so much fun!


When a Hobie catamaran became available, I borrowed it to sail around the lagoon.


Here is a short GoPro 4 Silver video of sailing the Hobie Cat:



We saw a beautiful, romantic on beach dinner.


For dinner, we decided to try sushi at Sushi Take. The sushi was well prepared but also very expensive.







Sunday, July 3, 2016

In the morning, we went for our usual early morning swim. The water was calm and there was no one there. It seemed like everyone else was sleeping.


Our bungalow looked so peaceful and beautiful; in the morning light.


After taking a shower, we decided to get breakfast in the nearby Te Pahu restaurant.


Inna ordered the Salmon Eggs Benedict, while I picked up freshly baked croissants, delicious poke with tuna, grapefruit, and other delicacies. The breakfast was truly fantastic and I was especially impressed by the pastries (especially chausson aux pommes) - they were as delicious as anything I I sampled in Paris or Vienna. The pastry chef at St. Regis must be really talented.

After breakfast, we decided to snorkel at St. Regis lagoon. We picked up our free snorkeling gear on the beach and rode our bicycles to the nearby lagoon.


The lagoon was quite long and full of fish. The clear water made is easy to spot fish.


Both Inna and Inna enjoyed snorkeling here, in the warm clear water.


We spotted some very large fish.


We enjoyed our snorkel very much, as the views were simply incredible.


After snorkeling, we decided to head to the nearby beach and do a little kayaking and paddle-boarding.


The water was warm, clear, and smooth - great for kayaking and paddle boarding.


For dinner, we decided to make reservations and the Lagoon by Jean Georges - a very fancy, expensive French restaurant at St. Regis (right on the water).


Inna ordered the 10th Anniversary 4-course tasting menu, while I tried the Grilled Mahi-Mahi entree.


While we didn't order wine (too expensive), we did enjoy the scenery and the interesting view through the wine glasses.


Inna's 4 course menu was fantastic (but very expensive). There are very few inexpensive dishes here.

The dishes at Lagoon match a Michelin 1-star restaurant in U.S. or Europe (with prices to match).



The grilled Mahi-Mahi entree was spectacular. I really enjoyed it! Plus, sitting outside, right above the water, with fish swimming all around was quite enchanting.


Overall, we had a wonderful evening and were looking forward to doing it again.


Monday, July 4, 2016

While Inna was sleeping, I got up early to take a photo of the beautiful morning sunrise.


Some of St. Regis' hotel staff was reporting for work (aboard kayaks and Polynesian outboards).


After a quick morning swim, we rushed to an early breakfast at Te Pahu restaurant. We ordered the usual breakfast with Salmon Eggs Benedict, croissants, delicious poke with tuna, grapefruit, and orange slices.

Since we had booked a snorkeling trip for 9:00am, we hurried to the St. Regis boat dock to board the  Pure Snorkeling by Reef Discovery boat. Our French captain Ben was quite entertaining and helped to explain all of the native Bora Bora sea life. He was a qualified dive instructor, so he was very familiar with all of the snorkeling and dive locations.


The first stop was to see Manta Rays. We saw a couple swimming at some depth and we followed them along for a while.


After that, we sailed to a shore-break, to see fish and coral, in the shallow waters near a reef (south of Bora-Bora, where the lagoon meets the ocean).


We enjoyed the clear water and all of the beautiful fish.


Our modern boat was quite fast, and we were able to zoom to different snorkeling spots quite quickly.


Our next dive stop was called the "Fishtank", as the number of fish was so numerous. Tahitians often feed the fish here, so fish wait around for tourists.





After spending some time at the "Fishtank", we sailed to another destination frequented by other boats.


This time, we saw lots of black-tipped sharks! We went in to swim with them, as they are harmless to humans.

We shot a couple of videos with both my GoPro Hero 4 Silver and the Fuji TG-4:



We had dozens of black-tipped sharks and rays harmlessly circling around us. They were harmless.


We got very close to the sharks, but they did not bother us.



We had a fantastic time snorkeling and were back by 1:00pm.


After we returned to St. Regis, we decided to ride the Hobie Catamaran.


The Hobie cat did not have a jib, so it was hard to tack it.


Inna got a splinter in her hand, so we stopped by St. Regis reception to see if anything could be done.


It turned out that St. Regis has staff of people who are trained to remove splinters, so we waited a few minutes before a gentleman showed up and took her multiple splinters.


We returned to the beach and decided to do a bit more kayaking. Here is a GoPro 4 Silver/Fuji TG4 video compilation.



We had a lot of fun kayaking all around St. Regis on almost every day.



For dinner, we decided to try eating on the Bora Bora mainland at the well-regarded Maikai Restaurant. It took us a bit an hour to cross to the main island aboard the St. Regis water shuttle and then 30 minutes drive in a minivan.


There were not too many customers in the restaurant and the service was fairly slow (in comparison to Lagoon at St. Regis).

We started out with a couple of cocktails: a Frozen Margarita for me and a Tahitian Dream for Inna.
We decided to share the Salad Chevre, which was not too bad.


I ordered a Mahi-Mahi burger which was seriously under-cooked (too raw).


Inna ordered a Mahi-Mahi entree and it was better prepared.


Although we enjoyed our time in Maikai, we did not like it enough to dine there again.

For dessert, we decided to return to our St. Regis hotel and try ice cream n our favorite Aparima Bar. We enjoyed it a lot.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We got up for an early morning swim. What a glorious way to start each morning!


Finishing the refreshing swim in the warm, Bora Bora lagoon, we dressed and rushed to our delicious breakfast at St. Regis' Te Pahu restaurant (we had a spa appointment in the morning).

This time, I decided to be extra healthy and picked up homemade yogurt, poke, and fresh fruit.


I also ordered freshly cooked Nutella filled crepes.They were so good!

Of course, I could not resist the delicious, freshly baked pastries. They were so delicious! The chaussons aux pommes was especially fabulous.


After breakfast, we rode our bicycles to the Miri-Miri spa, where we had a 50-minute couples massage scheduled for 9:30 am.


We had a very relaxing massage. Afterwards, we relaxed in a relaxation studio.


It was a wonderful way to start the morning.


We had such a wonderful morning.


The view from the lawn of the Miri-Miri spa was truly spectacular.


Feeling relaxed, we decided to skip lunch and enjoy kayaking and SUPping on the beach.



Inna decided to try to do some Yoga on SUPs.


I also got to enjoy the over-the-water hammock.It's a weird feeling to be suspended in water.


We spent a wonderful afternoon on the beach, but it was time to relax and get ready for dinner.


Today, we decided to try dinner at the famous Bloody Mary's restaurant on the main island. We had to take the hotel's water shuttle followed by a short bus ride to the restaurant.


When we arrived at Bloody Mary's, we found a restaurant with an interesting way of ordering dishes.
We were shown all of the fresh fish available for dinner, and selected whatever we wanted prepared.


Then, after selecting our main courses, we were led to our table. Bloody Mary's has a tropical feel, with a sandy floor.


We started our our dinner with a few cocktails. Inna ordered a Pina Colada, while I ordered a Strawberry Margarita.


For appetizer, we decided to share a Tuna Kabob, which was not too bad.


For the entrees, I ordered an Opa/Wahoo fish, while Inna selected a Lagoon fish.


My Wahoo entree was not bad at all.


For dessert, we decided to sample the Tarte & Ice Cream combination, but it was nothing special.


We enjoyed our time at Bloody Mary's until the very end.


At some point, Inna felt suddenly very sick and had to leave, immediately. She through up her meal and felt much better. I don;t know whether she reacted to the Lagoon fish or some other ingredient.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

After our usual early morning swim, we headed for our usual fantastic breakfast at St. Regis' Te Pahu restaurant.


I enjoyed crepes with Nutella, apricot croissants, and Eggs Benedict with salmon.

We booked a jet skiing tour of Bora Bora, so we hurried to the beach to get ready for our 9:30 am ride.


We stopped in a few shallow lagoons, to rest, and enjoy fresh pineapples.


The 90 minute tour of Bora Bora on jet skis was very exhilarating and exciting/


I shot a Gopro Silver 4 video of our jet skiing adventure here:



After jet skiing, Inna decided try some Paddle-board Yoga.


I also had a chance to sail on the Hobie cat back and forth in the lagoon. There was a little bit of wind and I was able to go back and forth.


Inna enjoyed resting on the catamaran.


After finishing with the beach, we decided to try some water toys at our Bungalow.


In the evening, we decided to have dinner at Sushi Take.


We ordered an Alaska Roll (salmon, cucumber, cream cheese topped with salmon) and a Red Dragon Roll (Shrimp tempura, topped with Ahi tuna and Teriyaki sauce).




Thursday, July 7, 2016

In the morning, I got up early, only to discover that Inna's shorts, which were drying on our balcony were in the water (probably blown away by the wind). I quickly swam to retrieve them.

Prior to breakfast, we decided to take quality photos of our vacation in the early morning light, using my Canon 5DS camera and tripod.

We started our photo session at the hotel reception and proceeded to the lagoon.





We rode around on bicycles and enjoyed the quiet, early morning light.


It was time for our daily, delicious breakfast. This time, I ordered crepes with Chantilly creme (superb), choissons des pommes, Eggs Benedict with ham, and tropical fruits.


I did not know what some of these tropical fruits were called, but they were delicious.




Can anything be better than enjoying a delicious breakfast on a tropical beach?


Despite being full, I could not help myself trying some freshly baked pastries. Thy were so delicious - especially the choisson de pommes (croissants with apple filling).


After breakfast, we spent some time on the beach, while Inna had a special Balinese massage at the Miri-Miri spa.


At one point, I got a bit tired and retired to our bungalow, reading a my Kindle. I was in the middle of the thriller - The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.


Inna really enjoyed her massage and came back very relaxed and in good spirits.


We decided that this would be a good day to go shopping on the main island, so we took the afternoon water shuttle to the main island. Once across the channel, we took a bus to Vaitape (the main town).


Vaitape is very poor by Western standards. Tourism is the main industry here and many shops focus on supplying tourists with cultured Tahitian pearls, t-shirts, and other nick-knacks.


We only had a few hours to look at the local shops, but there really is not much to do in Vaitape. Many shops have extremely expensive gifts and I wondered who would be buying them.

We learned from locals that the vast majority Bora Borans children do not attend high school. Sending children to high school requires a lot of money, as high schools exist on other islands. Those fortunate kids who can afford to go have to live at the boarding school.


After shopping, we returned to St. Regis four our second dinner at the exquisite Lagoon restaurant (our reservation was for 7:00 pm). This time, due to the weather (some wind), we ended up sitting inside.


We started with a delicious appetizer.


I ordered the "Duo of Veal" as my main entree and it was exquisite - such soft, flavored veal!


Inna selected the "Crusted Black Papio" and it was also extremely delicious!


As expected, we really enjoyed the delicious entrees and the quick, efficient service at Lagoon.


Friday, July 8, 2016

As usual, we started our wonderful day with an early morning swim from our bungalow.


This was followed by a delicious breakfast of crepes with Nutella, apricot croissants, and Eggs Benedict with salmon.


The breakfast was fantastic as usual and I could not resist trying all of the delicious pastries.




After breakfast, we enjoyed the beach for a little bit, before heading out for our next snorkeling adventure.


We waited until 10:30 am, when the Raanui Snorkeling boat arrived. We were the only passengers on the boat, but he was planning to stop at a few other resorts to pick up other snorkelers.


We spent the next 30 minutes picking up other passengers, while enjoying motoring around Bora Bora.


Our first stop was to visit sting rays. There were so many rays in the water and we bumped into may of them. They were like puppies, following us around. They had very soft, smooth bodies, with very sharp, jagged taild.




We snorkeled with a few of the sting rays in the shallow Bora Bora lagoon.


After this, we headed to another dive spot where manta rays hang out. We spent some time snorkeling with Manta Rays.


Unlike sting rays, manta rays tend to stay deep and are not eager to be petted.


After seeing all of the ray, we returned to the boat and were off on our way to the next stop.


The next dive stop had lots of black tip sharks and rays. The sharks


Although Black Tip sharks looked menacing, they were completely uninterested in us and did not ever behave in a threatening manner. The water was so shallow that we did not ever wear flippers.


We swam around, with dozens of sharks experiencing no problems.


After some time, we decided to head to yet another location. This time we got to swim with much bigger and more threatening lemon sharks!


The lemon sharks looked much scarier and much larger. Our guide decided to hug one and swim with it. He was also able to grab one and let both Inna and I get dragged by one. The shark's fin was very abrasive.


The lemon shark was definitely much scarier to swim with than with the black tip shark.


After some time, we returned to the boat and headed for another snorkeling spot. Here. there were lots of fish and it felt like being inside an aquarium.


Our guide gave us some bread to feed the fish and the fish practically jumped into my hands to get a bite.


Snorkeling in the clear lagoon by the coral reef was simply amazing.


We really enjoyed our time on Raanui Snorkeling trip as the local Bora Bora guide showed us dive spots that the other guide did not.


After snorkeling, we decided to share a small snack at our St. Regis Aparima Bar.


Afterwards, we hung out on the beach, enjoying the hammocks, kayaks, and SUPs.


We enjoyed our last sunset and were a bit sad to have to leave this magical island tomorrow.


For dinner, we decided to eat at St. Regis' local Far Niente Italian restaurant. For appetizer, we ordered a "Tomato Mozzarella" salad, which was quite delicious.


I ordered a "Prosciutto Funghi Pizza", which was pretty good, but a bit too large. I saved a few pieces to eat at lunch the next day.


Inna ordered a "Lasagna" and it wasn't too bad.


We had a wonderful last full day at St. Regis, Bora Bora!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The last day was never something to look forward to. We had a long travel day ahead of us, first flying to Papeete, Tahiti then to Los Angeles, and then finally to San Jose.

As customary, we started our day with an early morning swim.


After relaxing a bit on our patio, we walked to our last breakfast at Te Pahu restaurant.


We stopped by at a few spots, to take last photos of our beautiful island


The Te Pahu restaurant looked a bit empty, this early in the morning, butg we were eager to get started to get the most of our last day on Bora Bora.


We stopped by Te Pahu's buffet, to select all of the wonderful foods we'd be eating.






Eventually, we selected all the freshest fruits, homemade yogurt, and salad to get started.


We had another amazing, unforgettable breakfast!


Inna enjoyed the last of the freshly baked croissants! After breakfast, we stopped by the beautiful (but never used pool).

The pool is gorgeous but with the lagoon next door, we couldn't think of a reason to prefer the pool over the lagoon.


Of course there is a swim-up bar, but we're not into $25 alcoholic drinks.


We returned to the beach and did a little more kayaking and SUPping. I wanted to sail the Hobie cat but the hotel changed its policy. It used to be free - but now St. Regis wanted to charge $75/hour - CRAZY! We decided to skip it and were kind of disappointed.


Inna did some more Yoga poses on the SUP.


Since our flight to Papeete was at 6:55 pm (and our checkout time was at noon), we had to return to our bungalow and pack our suitcases. Finishing packing, we swam around the lagoon a bit more, until the hotel staff / bell boy picked up our luggage for storage.

We never spent any time at the St. Regis Oasis pool, so we rode our bicycles there, It's a very nice, secluded pool and is a nice place to relax.




Afterwards, we decided to do a little more kayaking.


Since we would arrive at Papeete very late, we decided to have an early lunch at St. Regis. We asked to use a suite for a shower and were driven to a Royal Beachfront suite.

This suite was amazing! It must be how the really wealthy live - as it had 4 separate bedrooms, an indoor pool, garden, library, and other rooms.


After showering, we headed to the Aparima Bar, for our last lunch.


We ordered our food and it was brought out very fast. We needed to catch the 5:00pm water shuttle to the Bora Bora Airport!


After lunch, we rushed to check out, pick up our luggage, and board the shuttle to the airport. All of the St. Regis staff waited on the dock to wave us good bye! It was a very nice touch.


On the way to the airport, we saw one lonely windsurfer racing across the lagoon.


We also had a serious indident, in which our water shuttle ran over some small boat. I did not know how our captain failed to spot a bobbing fishing boat, which flipped over when our shuttle ran it over.
Thankfully, it did not look like anyone got hurt.


We had such a wonderful time, but now we had to check in a board our Air Tahiti 433 Flight from Bora Bora to Papeete.

We landed in Papeete at 7:45 pm, and had to wait a long time to finally check in for the 11:59 pm Air Tahiti Nui #3815 flight to Los Angeles.

As Inna was a bit peckish, she tried some overpriced fast food burgers in Papeete. They were edible but not that great.

Our night flight to Los Angeles went smoothly and we landed in LA at 11:10 am. it took us an hour to get through US Customs and then head to the Southwest terminal for our flight to San Jose.

We boarded our Southwest Flight #2099 at 2:00 pm and arrive in San Jose at 3:10 pm. The flight was easy and we quickly ordered UberX and returned to our house.

This had to be the most amazing trip ever! We hope to be back to Bora Bora one day!