Paradise Found, Paradise… left for just a little while…

Since we came back it’s been grey and overcast, it’s hailed and sleeted, and even snowed! Now we have blue skies and sun. Although I’m sad we had to leave the Maldives, I am really happy to be back – I’ve missed Deuce terribly and, well, I can’t wait to get back to knitting! ūüôā

We picked up my dad this morning from the airport. I was a bit worried about driving given it was snowing big fat flakes this morning, but it was all fine. The whole house went for a nap after lunch, even Deuce.

I’m still waiting for piccies from the wedding – and I’ll write up our time in Banff over the course of this week and add photos as I get them. But until then, here is a little peek:

My beautiful bouquet (all the flowers were a surprise, as I am totally clueless with flowers. My mom chose all). ¬†I was totally impressed! There were full roses, hydrangeas and I think freesias in it. ¬†Happy romantic colours…
My hair, done by Jag a little genius. I felt all Geisha/Dune/Star Wars…. there were three pony tails done up in a twisted braid, which were pinned in a kind of S shaped down the back of my head. ¬† I loved it. ¬†Yup that’s a glass of bubbly – sort of as a pre-ceremony celebration. ¬†
The aisle – which I didn’t clock at all. A friend of David’s told me that when she walked down the aisle she made sure to walk slowly and look down every aisle and make eye contact with all her guests – and it was something she was really pleased to have done. ¬†So I did the same, and she was right – it was great seeing all those familiar faces, faces from my childhood and friends from all over… ¬†But it did mean that I didn’t actually take in the hall or the decorations, or the rose petals strewn down the aisle. ¬†Very pleased people took photos so that I could see what I missed!
Me getting ready with my mom and M. ¬†I’m not sure what everyone is doing, it looks like there is something happening on the floor, and that M has something in her eye, and that my top is falling down. ¬†
And finally – the knitting. I managed to get a few rows done on my sock (Club sock number 2) whilst waiting for our cue to head over.

Whilst waiting for the wedding updates, here is a synopsis of our visit to a little piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives were heavenly. The Monday following our wedding we left this:

(the Bow River view from Banff Springs Hotel)
and arrived in London, staying just long enough to change suitcases, and a couple flights later, arrived to this:
(view of the ocean from our speedboat).
It was gorgeous and sunny in Male on our arrival, and we hopped a little speed boat to take us to the tiny island of Emboodhu, 15 minutes away.  
(view of other speedboats in the airport harbour. Airport is on its own little island!)
We whizzed across the water, which was so clear the white sand below and the fishies swimming around were clearly visible.  We approached our little island Рthese were the first views we had on the resort:
View of the Equator Bar from the walkway to the Reception
The Equator Bar
The beach in front of the Equator Bar.
From the reception lobby looking back to the dock.
The beach in front of the reception lobby (just to the left of the above photo).
The restaurant’s beach tables.

We had a funky green lemonade thingie made with Khum (not sure what that is, except that it was very green and quite tasty!) while we waited for each couple to be assigned a¬†member of staff. ¬†We were escorted around the island, shown the facilities, and then taken to our rooms. I was totally excited about the over water villas. And the first view of them didn’t disappoint!

The watervillas:

View of the water villas from our villa’s front door.
Our bathroom had picture windows onto the very clear blue lagoon.

Our room – view from the bed onto our deck and beyond into that clear blue water.
As you can imagine we totally loved the island. The staff were lovely and friendly, and the food was just amazing.
But the best thing of all? (besides my new hubby of course!) The sun and the water.
(no am not naked. I have a bathing suit on!)
We did a little exploring, visiting a nearby island called Maasfushi. The buildings were all very colourful, we visited the school, and saw where the tsunami came through from Sri Lanka. Scary.
We saw papaya trees (I had papaya juice everyday – it was awesome.)
and something called breadfruit which are eaten like potatoes.  I mentioned these to J who told me she tried them and said they taste like stale bread. Hmmm, not the tropical juiciness I was imagining!

We went snorkeling along the Emboodhu coral reef, and I managed to overcome my fear of fishies to actually enjoy the snorkeling by the end of it. ¬†We saw a big ol’ turtle that just swam by us, chilled as you like. ¬†Najah, our snorkel guide, told me later on (when we did our windsurf lesson, I was completely crap, but David was a natural!) that he wondered why I spent so much time with my head out of water. He laughed when I told him it was because I was trying not to freak out about the fish. ¬†I tend to hyperventilate and whimper a little when fishies come close… sad, eh? ¬†Still, at least I didn’t start shrieking like another guy on our snorkel trip – Najah had to tell him to calm down. On our last day we went snorkeling to the pavilion on the edge of our lagoon, and little fishies came near and I was unfazed. ¬†I took lots of underwater piccies, I hope they turn out. ¬†Maybe one day I can graduate to diving…. ¬†

The whole resort was completely chilled, with little golf buggies to give us rides from the restaurant to our room and back.  The walk was no more than 5 minutes though, and we spent most of our time without shoes Рthe sand was swept and raked every day many times, so there were no sharp anythings to step on.  This is another big deal for me Рi never walk anywhere outside without shoes Рnot pavement, not grass, not even in my own garden.  But here Рit felt so normal not to wear shoes.  I had a tension headache (or maybe altitude? who knows) for most of my stay in Banff, but by the first afternoon in the Maldives Рno headaches at all. Sigh. 

Highlights:
-the snorkeling trip with the turtle
-the discovery that I’m not completely hopeless at snorkeling
-the Thai glass noodle salad
-the first night dinner with BBQ’s maldivian lobster (the colours were amazing – red and w
hite striped, not unlike my Dragon Dance RSC socks)
-seeing sting rays in the open air lagoon in the middle of the restaurant one night
-seeing a massive sting ray glide past us as we were leaving the island.  It was a lovely way to say goodbye!
People watching wasn’t very exciting for the most part – the women were mostly nicely toned wives, a few mothers, some japanese couples (often wearing matching outfits), a group of boisterous Italians, a very nicely turned out Russian family (three beautifully behaved kids), a couple quiet Brits. ¬†But there were a some interesting visitors – a Sulaiman couple, the woman in a full head to toe burka (only a slit for her eyes). ¬†
The most interesting were what I dubbed the Russian mafia ¬†– an elderly kingpin (in his 70s), with two middle aged men both with substantial paunches. ¬†They had in their group two rather buxom young women, both no older than 25 I’d say. ¬†These were def not wives – not the right body language. ¬†The two girls were friends, but they looked more like acquaintances with the men rather than family or lovers. You can imagine what I guessed them to be – the Pretty Woman variety. ¬†
The two women looked like they were paired with the  men with the paunches, but then I saw one of the walking back to the villas carrying a bouquet of flowers with the kingpin.  
The plot only thickened when another Russian couple arrived, a bottle blond wearing hot pants and cork platform high heeled sandals. ¬†She looked like the mistress of the man she was with- he was also about twice her age. ¬†But the day after they arrived, she was one her own by the beach, wandered down there to be joined by – Larger Paunch from the Kingpin’s group. ¬†They walked well apart a little further into the ocean, and then, she put her arms around him and he picked her up! it was like watching an afternoon soap, quite riveting… this elicited a shout from one of the buxom ladies (the other was not on the beach), and he came back seemingly embarrassed. All very intriguing. ¬†David pretended not to notice as he didn’t want anyone slipping him anything radioactive.
And I liked the Coke cans. What a marketing genius they have.

These are dhonis, the classic Maldivian boats.
All in all it was a beautiful 7 days. ¬†It rained pretty much most days, but it meant that we didn’t get badly sunburnt, and by the afternoon it was nice and sunny again. ¬†I’m already dreaming up the next trip back!

8 thoughts on “Paradise Found, Paradise… left for just a little while…

  1. What a gorgeous honeymoon! Great pictures.I’m still giggling my head off because your Coke can actually does say “Coca-Cola Lite” in the Arabic lettering.

  2. The honeymoon hotel looks favvulous! After all your world travels, you must have been happy to see deucie.Love, Gizmo G

  3. stunning…everything looks stunning! Love the story about the high-heeled hot-pant wearing and the big paunch in the sea!

  4. Oh A, what a gorgeous place you guys picked for your honeymoon! I think that our next tropical vacation should be in the Maldives… sigh.Did I tell you that you looked so pretty on your wedding day?

  5. Just gorgeous – everything gorgeous! The wedding pics, your dress, of course you in your dress, the hairdo, the vacation! Welcome back! ūüôā

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