A Fijian Sea Cave Expedition

Friday, September 30, 2016

Today we are headed out to the Sawailau caves at the northermost tip of the Yasawa island chain. I fucking love caves. Possibly even more than my outdoor shower. But first, we have to get ourselves fed before our 8am tour, which will be quite a feat when you combine a 7:30am breakfast start time with the wait staff’s affinity for “Fiji Time”. If everything was on Fiji time, this wouldn’t a problem, as you could just roll with the domino affect. But Fiji time only comes into play about 75% of the time. Because “Fiji time” only works as an excuse when Fijians need one. If you try to use it, then you may very well be the late ass prick who wasted everyone’s time and is waiving goodbye to the tour boat from shore because they just left your ass. It’s a double standard that creates a situation in which the house always wins. Well played, Fiji.

As we sat at the dive shop with our patient comrades awaiting our tour that was scheduled for twenty minutes ago, we enjoyed the free entertainment provided by the Hello Kitty Krew. These girls never disappoint. They strolled up (late) and marched straight into the equipment room, pulling snorkels and wet suits off the walls like it was their own closet. The tour guides attempted to tell them that wet suits where not necessary, but quickly realized it was easier to just let them make assess out of themselves. Sea sick Kitty, who spent the ferry ride to the island barfing her brains out, decided to forgo the wet suit in favor of denim overalls. She was obviously just fishing for an invite to the third annual jeans-to-jorts bar crawl next April. We were also joined a unoffensive family with some very well behaved kids, as well as a couple from Indiana who has apparently taken a vow of silence. But not to worry, the San Fran gays are also joining us, along with the Big Titty Committee. Eat your heart out, Gilligan! Sea Caves, here we come!

HKK suiting up
HKK suiting up

It was a quick trip to the island where the caves are located. I nevertheless ran to the bar before we left and had them stuff an empty shopping bag full of beers and ice for us. I learned my lesson the other day. Jorgie and I cracked an 8:30am beer on the way, because duh. We landed at a small limestone island where we disembarked and made our way up some steps to a big metal door. On the other side of the unassuming door were stairs leading down into a dark tunnel that magically opened up into a big cave with crystal clear water. The girls and I were obviously first in line, so we stopped and posed for selfies before our tour mates had a chance to fuck up the virgin background.

We swam around in the first underground cave for a while, maintaining a safe distance from the ass holes who brought fins despite being told, in no uncertain terms, not to. Luckily for us we were the only tour group in the cave, thanks to our early leave time and our resort’s proximity. It was then time to check out the next cave, which could only be entered by holding your breath and swimming down through an underwater tunnel in the rock. This is the kind of shit that I love, so I jumped at the chance to go first and have a few minutes to myself on the other side of the pitch black sea cave. I was not exaggerating when I professed my love for caves. So under we went, one by one, until we all made it to the other side. Every one of us. The entire group. Crowded together in a dark cave. With no personal space. I think you see where I’m going with this. The girls and I got fins to the face courtesy of the Big Titty Committee about four times over the course of our swim through the second cave. I don’t even know why they would need fins. Can’t their big fake tits keep them afloat? Maybe they got some sort of bargain 4-for-2 discount and missed out on the dual purpose buoyant tits. It was obvious these chicks had no idea where there own feet ended and their giant fins began, as they unknowingly smacked around half the group. From the looks for their bathing suits, they have the same lack of spacial awareness with the size of their boobs as they do with those fins. But hey, if you bought ’em, flaunt ’em. Mine were free and I certainly don’t hide their light under a basket.

El Presidente del Big Titty Committee
El Presidente del Big Titty Committee

The tour guide lead us around the cave with his giant flashlight. He chose to wait until we were at the farthest end of the pitch black cave to tell us that there are eels swimming around in the cave.  There is a high likelihood he was joking, but it’s damn near impossible to tell when a Fijian man is kidding because they always have big shit eating grins on their faces.  The girls and I weren’t going to wait around to find out if this guy had a serious side, so we high tailed it out of there and made our way out of the cave just in time to avoid a giant tour group of backpackers descending down the stairs. You always want to be first in and first out. That’s what she said.

refreshed from our swim in the caves
refreshed from our swim in the caves

We spent the ride back to the resort finishing our beers and pondering the sexuality of the San Fran boys. Some new evidence: one carries a Lulu Lemon bag as his beach bag. If that’s not a smoking gun, I don’t know what is. We returned before lunch and spent the remainder of the day doing what we do best – not a fucking thing. We lay on the beach while Jorgie moved her chair a few inches each hour to avoid the blistering Fijian sun. That must be what vampires do on vacation too. We floated on our rafts through the lagoon, expending energy to paddle ourselves in another direction only when drifting too close to the kids club. Jorgie and I had a deep and profound conversation in which we answered the age old question “if you were a pizza, what kind of pizza would you be and why?” I decided that I would be meat lovers. Not because I’m a slut, you ass holes, but to be fair I could see how my pizza choice could lead to that interpretation. But because it’s aggressive, unapologetic, and completely unfit for a fairly significant portion of the human population (vegetarians). I decided Steph would be mushroom pizza with truffle – it has a very distinct flavor that leaves an impression. Also, it’s fancy. And that girl is fancy as hell. I gave Jorgie margherita with jalapeños because its traditional, reliable, everyone likes it, but has a little kick that surprises you every once in a while.

Before dinner Jorgie and I had some Kava with the house band. Kava is the national drink of FIji, but it’s actually a powder that is made from a root and mixed with water. It tastes more like the national drink of the kids club, because it’s basically dirt mixed with water. It’s said to have hallucinogenic powers, however it mostly just makes your mouth numb and relaxes you. We really just went to the kava ceremony because we fucking love the band and wanted to hang out with them. We talked about how we all love country music. One of the band guys said it was weird that two girls from LA love country. I pointed out the irony of being told that by a Fijian man in a country band. The girls and I got a pre-dinner bottle of champagne while we got ready for dinner, because that’s what we do. Tonight was “lovo” dinner at the resort, which is basically code for a Fijian style buffet that revolves around a delicious roasted pig. It rivaled a honey baked ham. And this Jew loves honey baked ham. We were supposed to have a bonfire, but the resort canceled it because of the high tide. The high tide that comes in EVERY NIGHT. I’m not even going to bother picking apart the logic of this one for you. So it was another early bed time, fat and happy.

 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

We woke up with the sun around 6am, per usual.  Steph and I did a little interval workout by the pool and sweated our assess off in the morning humidity.  If it seems like we are working out a lot on this trip, it’s because I’ve decided to start Crossfit upon my return home, so I’m practicing how to bore the shit out of everyone with unwanted details about my daily workouts.   Just kidding, it’s because our meal plan is all-you-can-eat.  Thankfully I also have a fucking awesome new tan to supplement my 30 minute workouts.  Their powers combined are still no match for my vacation diet, but it’s better than nothing.  I figure if Michael Phelps gets 12,000 calories a day to do nothing but eat sleep and swim, that same diet should apply to me as I have the exact same agenda.   Actually, lets throw in another few hundred calories  because I also got a massage today.  If three massages in a week is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Other than our visit to the massage hut, we spent most of the day on our beach chairs or floating on our rafts.  There was a mass exodus of our blog friends from the resort today.  I am obviously using the term “friends” here to describe people that I have made fun of but never actually spoken to.  I should think that would be obvious by now.  I did manage the catch the Hello Kitty Krew in a heated discussion with each other over how to split up their bill as they checked out.  Apparently their communistic approach to meals stops short at paying the tab.  The Big Titty Committee also headed out today, as did the SF gays.  Luckily we caught the boys take their final romantic stroll down the beach before they left and documented it for posterity.  What those boys really need is a walk out of a closet, but let’s take what we can get.

No touching allowed
No touching allowed

We enjoyed a bottle of champagne while getting ready in our outdoor shower and happy houring on our deck.  Dinner tonight was an “on table buffet” which means that they put you at big communal tables and force you to socialize with the masses as you share bowls of curry.  We somehow lucked out and got the Italian honeymooners who didn’t speak English at our table.  Score!  It’s a good thing they kept to themselves because I’m not sure I could have looked then in the eye over dinner after witnessing their attempt at a sexy beach photo shoot earlier today.  SLR’s are not made for selfies, people.  Please stop trying.  They also ate like birds, so I was able to hit my calorie goal for the day.  Phew.

After dinner I lost my shit while a giant cockroach scurried across the wall as I was brushing my teeth.  When your entire bathroom is pretty much outside, mother nature has a funny way of reminding you that you are missing a few walls.  I sent Steph and Jorgie to kill it, at which point they lost their shit because a lizard had already beaten them to it. Our villa neighbor then came knocking to see if we were safe because of the screaming.  Just kidding.  She told us to shut the fuck up because her children were sleeping.  But tomorrow while I’m napping on the beach and her kids are screaming two feet from my chair, I’ll be a “bitch” if I tell her to shut them up.  And herein lies my issue with parents who think the world revolves around their ill behaved children.   These people are not the exception, they are the rule.  If you are reading this wondering if you and your children are, in fact, the exception, let me assure you that you are not.

 

The Truth about Strangers and Snorkeling

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today is the birthday of the blogs’ biggest fan, as well as one of its most revered characters. So as Kim Ortloff turns a year older I think it only right that we talk some shit on strangers in the blog today. Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a good old character assassination. Or as if often the case in this blog, a firing squad.

Today I was up bright and early at 6am once again and decided to try out the new beach with a morning run. Low tide wasn’t for a few hours so I stumbled through the sand slowly and painfully until I was joined by an adorable puppy who nipped at my legs as if to say “hurry up, fat ass!”. We ran down the beach in one loop before being joined by another dog, and before I knew it I was leading a wolf pack of Fijian muts on a morning jog. Steph joined us on the beach a few minutes later, sending her dog-hating energy out into the universe, thereby scaring off my furry canine posse. My run was followed up by breakfast and a fabulous 9am massage in which a strong Fijian woman covered me in more oil than a seal on a BP ocean drill. It was pure heaven. By the time 10am rolled around I was feeling accomplished and relaxed, so a lazy day at the beach followed.

Lunch was a buffet today, and was without a doubt the best meal I’ve had in Fiji thus far. That might be because I had to work so hard for it. The Hello Kitty Krew descended on that buffet like a cloud of locust. They don’t just pass by a buffet table, they stake their ground and pillage it before anyone else has a chance to figure out if it’s chicken for fish. It’s been a while since I played basketball, but I believe these girls play what is referred to as a buffet zone defense. They each take an entire table and guard it with their life. At one point two of them boxed me out of the grill station while they asked for another helping until their plates could hold no more. If I’m being honest, their strategy and dedication was impressive. You’d be surprised how few people know to load up on the meat instead of wasting precious plate space on fillers. The Kitty Krew then takes a communistic approach to eating, where the spoils of the buffet war are shared by the entire group. While I find them absurdly annoying, I do understand their dedication to meal time. However the blatant disrespect for personal space is unforgivable. There is nothing worse than someone breathing down your neck as you attempt to dress your salad.

After lunch while all the kids where at their afternoon activity, we swam out and took over the floating kids club. The resort has a little floating jungle gym with a slide out in the water for the kids to play on. I’ve been eyeing it and carefully plotting my takeover since the day we got here. I’ve had an awkward obsession with inflatable play equipment ever since that time I was turned away at Disneyland’s Goofy’s bounce house for being too tall. Or maybe I was over the weight limit. I had a very awkward chubby period around 1994 so that might have been it. It was traumatizing. We floated out into the lagoon on our rafts for the takeover, like a nautical Golden Girl’s version of the Hells Angels. After managing to hoist our thirty something butts onto the floating playground and a few runs down the slide it became very apparently that we were too old for this shit. I slipped trying to get up the slide. A lot. We clumsily fell down the slide, losing bathing suit bottoms, along with our dignity. There was no point in attempting to defend our newly conquered playground from the younger and more agile enemy. So we flew the white flag, returning the kids club to their rightful owners, retreating back to the water to lounge lazily on our rafts for the rest of the afternoon.

Jorgie and I took the paddle boards our for a spin around our little lagoon in the late afternoon. No snorkels necessary here, as you can simply look down and see fish and coral as you paddle. I do, however, feel it necessary to note that the other travelers here are fucking obsessed with snorkeling. They do it for hours on end and then discuss the best snorkel locations ad nauseum over their meals. There are two grown men sitting at the table behind me at breakfast at this very moment as I type this blog who are talking about snorkeling. I shit you not. Out of sheer coincidence. How is there nothing else for these people to discuss? Has the Brangelina split not made it to the southern hemisphere yet? When a fellow resort guest finds out you stayed on a different island, their first question is always “how is the snorkeling over there?” As if the number of mediocre fish and amount of slowly dying coral is the measure by which all vacation destinations must be measured. The best part of this bizarre snorkeling obsession is that I’ve seen half of these lazy ass holes standing on the coral, thereby killing it. If you are such a snorkeling snob, shouldn’t you know the dos and don’t of responsible and sustainable snorkeling tourism? Perpahs if they didn’t snorkel for three hours at a time they wouldn’t be so tired and in need of a multicolored, living, breathing leg rest in the ocean. Steph’s theory is that they think they look cool with snorkeling gear on. If you want to look cool, go spearfishing. Learn to sail. Rent a jet ski. No one thinks those goofy goggles and walking like a walrus is hot. And just like that, my disdain for the masses and their lack of general self awareness and basic knowledge grows.

Paddle boarding around the lagoon
Paddle boarding around the lagoon

After our leisurely day in the sun we decided to kill the last of our duty free vodka, so we set up a little BYO happy hour by the pool. Three glasses of ice for the tan ladies from LA, and keep ’em coming! The San Francisco boys sat across the pool and we spent the majority of happy hour talking about whether or not they were gay. The sexuality of strangers is a far more compelling topic than they color of the fish on the south side of the island. So here is our set of facts: They are traveling together, they sit at tables catty corner instead of across from each other, they are from San Francisco, they over utilize their wrists when making hand gestures, one orders colorful fruit drinks, their hair seems to have more personality than they do, they really like snorkeling. All these facts point to gay. Yet for some reason, my gaydar is not going off. The girls are convinced, but I’m waiting for one tiny little bit of PDA before I make my final ruling.

To our left were the latin ladies. I have decided to refer to them as “the big titty committee”. I have pictures but the wifi here is complete and total shit so I’ll have to add them later.  One has an oversized pair and the other’s are quite respectable. The big ones are 100% real, but I’m not convinced the medium sized tits would be worth such a substantial investment at that size, so I’m trying to plan a run-in with them a la Elaine in the steam room (Seinfeld reference). Other than their tits, the only facts to note on these girls is that they spend all their time on their phones and I hear “the thong song” in my head every time they walk by. But they’ll make another appearance tomorrow and really piss me off, so stay tuned.

We showered at got ready for dinner, mentally preparing ourselves for the blatant laziness, contempt and apathy that are the cornerstones of “service” at the restaurant here. We have found that the issue is primarily the women wait staff (bitchy women, what a novelty). The men, who mostly work at the bar, are quite helpful and friendly. That is obviously just because of my tits, but you gotta use what you got. Sadly the female staff are immune to my newly tanned and chocolate croissant toned body. I can only assume these women received their impeccable training from the California DMV. When you approach them to ask for something they first attempt to turn around and walk in a different direction, pretending they didn’t see you, in the hope that you will become discouraged and just eat your fries without ketchup. If they must maintain their current direction they will just walk past you, avoiding eye contact and feigning ignorance to your pleas for a fork. On the off chance you do manage to stop one in their tracks and ask for something as superfluous as water or salt and pepper, be warned that these items will come on “Fiji time”, as they fold tomorrow’s napkins or hide in the kitchen killing time while your bland food gets cold, before bringing you hot sauce to enjoy with your last bite. I’m actually looking forward to the friendly and efficient service from the LAX TSA employees upon my return.

The one bright shining start in dinner service here is the awesome band that plays live music every night. They are a Fijian threesome who’s favorite genre is country music. And they are fucking awesome. They will make another blog appearance tomorrow.

I haven’t even started to tell you about the kids here, who walk around like they own the place. A misguided trait that they no doubt inherited from their coral crushing parents. But I’ve got a massage to get to, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. Spoiler alert: the Hello Kitty Crew goes on a pre-tour shopping spree in the dive shop gear room.