Woot, Woot! We survived our first overseas trip with miss muppet. Granted it was only to Fiji, a hop, skip and jump away from our home land, but adventurous all the same for new parents that have ‘L’ plates stamped to their foreheads. We left the blistering winter winds behind us, packed to the eyeballs with gourmet cheeses, surfboards, pram, baby and three suitcases (travelling with carry-on is a thing of the past) to an island shimmering in sunshine, where coconut palms grow wild and frangipani trees are in constant bloom.
I was anxious about the flight over, even though it was no more than four hours, I was petrified that I would be one of those mothers with a hysterical, screaming baby receiving death stares from child-less, fellow travellers. Shame faced to admit, I used to be one of those travellers who would groan and roll my eyes when baby’s would scream on flights. So, I thought karma would play a part in this first flight due to my ill treatment to mothers before hand, but Finn travelled beautifully.
Fortunately we were travelling with our best friends who are well-seasoned jet-setters with their three kids in toe. Their youngest, Grace, is four weeks younger than Finn so under my friend’s instruction I breast fed Finn on take-off to help equalise her ears. By the time we hit the run way the poor little poppet was so exhausted she was falling asleep on every suck so Steven had to pinch her to encourage her to feed. Nasty Dad!
Once arriving, Finn was strapped into the Baby Bjorn so that she could look out and absorb her new surroundings. It soon became apparent that the Fijians adore babies and both her and her travelling partner Grace, attracted a lot of attention from the locals. Finn rose to the occasion and was offering wobbly, toothless smiles to anyone that would gaze her way.
We took the morning ferry across to Malolo Lailai our island home for the next 9 days, a snappy 50 minute motor to the island. Malolo Lailai is a pint-sized island at 553 acres and is family to the Mamanuca group of islands. Back in the day, before resorts occupied its sandy shores, it was operated as a copra plantation by the Wong Ket family up until 1966 when it was purchased by three partners who developed it for both tourism and a destination for themselves.
As we disembarked the ferry met by our gorgeous hosts, the Fijian rain gods decided to bless us with a downpour of plump raindrops. Nothing could curb our enthusiasm and with the golf buggies out of order, our entourage had no other choice but to walk to our beach retreat that was on the other side of the island.
The next seven days we fell into warm, hazy state of Fijian bliss. Sun-bleached days were spent snorkelling out on the reef, stand-up paddle boarding, slurping on green coconuts, falling asleep reading by the pool, combing the island on foot while pushing a pram, harvesting sea grapes from the ocean floor, toasting sunsets with cocktails and devouring sweet, meaty mud crabs.
We couldn’t of asked for a better destination to spend our first family holiday. And in two days we leave for Bali for a wedding. Finn is quite the traveller!