DansDeals.com Forums

DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: AJK on December 07, 2015, 09:20:16 AM

Title: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 07, 2015, 09:20:16 AM
After (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg781844#msg781844) a bit (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg1012260;topicseen#msg1012260) of planning (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg1014442#msg1014442), we we were all booked (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg1307436#msg1307436):

JFK-LAX in DL One; LAX-PPT in AF J; PPT-BOB-RFP-PPT in VT Y; PPT-AKL in TN J; AKL-MEL-SYD-LAX in VA J; LAX-JFK in DL One.
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 07, 2015, 09:20:53 AM
Without futher ado, a TR by Mrs. AJK with limited input from me:

Although most people who know AJK and myself would scoff at the notion that we didn’t even really intend to go away on this trip, that is the actual truth. I know, I know. I can already see you guys rolling your eyes. “Yes, somehow you accidentally ended up in Bora Bora. Happens to me all the time.” But, truthfully we didn’t really see this trip coming. AJK had booked these tickets way back in December 2014 to squeeze one last trip out of the Delta award chart before it changed. He figured that when November 2015 came, we’d either be able to make it happen or his beautifully laid flight plans would never come to fruition, though he would still receive the satisfaction of having created a flight booking beautiful enough to make Dan cry tears of pride.

Due to some work commitments, as the dates for this trip drew closer, we had resigned ourselves to simply appreciating the complexity with which AJK had created the routing--we likely would only be able to get away for a weekend to the Caribbean. At the last minute, however, we threw caution to the wind (and possibly our jobs along with that caution) (just kidding) (we hope) and we decided to just make this happen. This was four days before we were supposed to leave.  After some last-minute rearranging of work schedules and bribing of bosses, it seemed that this trip may actually happen. So, as I mentioned earlier this trip kind of did surprise us. In the best kind of way.

Our day of departure dawned a drizzly and gray day in New York, and AJK headed off to show his face for one more day at the office prior to disappearing for a bit. I did some last-minute trip prep. (Considering it was all last minute, I did all our trip prep that morning.) After picking up AJK at the office around 3:30 PM, we left to make our 6:05 Delta flight from JFK.

The Delta One (DL's new marketing nomenclature for business) check-in located in Terminal 4 is a relatively new and updated experience. The check-in desks are situated all the way to the right side of T4 in a little alcove that has some seating and plenty of complimentary water bottles which is a nice touch.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/613/23572147215_c4b982f04e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BUZq8i)DSC05199 (https://flic.kr/p/BUZq8i) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5736/23204206369_cdc66e5338_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BmtC8B)DSC05200 (https://flic.kr/p/BmtC8B) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5710/23572146105_53f2bc9f2f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BUZpNa)DSC05201 (https://flic.kr/p/BUZpNa) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



[AJK:  "Flying premium pays." You heard it here first. Due to the inclement weather and traffic, we arrived at JFK <60 mins to departure.  Normally, such an egregious error would result in the check-in agent saying, "sorry, you missed the cutoff to check bags, you'll have to go standby on the next flight." Well, no such bad news here. While the DL agent did note out loud that we were under the 60 mins cutuff, she dutifully took our bags and that was that. Could have been a big issue considering our somewhat tight connection to PPT.]

After check-in, we "zipped through" TSA precheck and went to scope out the lounge. [AJK: Gotta love when the line for TSA Pre is as long as non-expedited  >:(]

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5822/22945080773_734355d7b3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXzx7V)DSC05202 (https://flic.kr/p/AXzx7V) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The Delta lounge is thoroughly modern with long escalators depositing you at the lounge check-in desk. There is plenty of seating, shower rooms, and an outdoor seating area appropriately called the “sky deck.” Seeing as the sky deck was closed for the evening [AJK: Come on! Shouldn't it be my choice if I wanna duck outside and get wet? Anyway, I took a picture through the glass.], we just looked around.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5654/23572145015_78d865f9a3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BUZptn)DSC05203 (https://flic.kr/p/BUZptn) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/607/23276417280_546407fce0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsRHVj)DSC05214 (https://flic.kr/p/BsRHVj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/720/23276417820_c6d81113e4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJ5C)DSC05212 (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJ5C) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5806/23276420470_3423ea70d3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJSj)DSC05206 (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJSj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/781/23204203489_26eb79c6c7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BmtBgX)DSC05207 (https://flic.kr/p/BmtBgX) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5644/22945078823_d961e7be0c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXzwxi)DSC05208 (https://flic.kr/p/AXzwxi) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/733/23276418310_ddfe11f6c7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJe5)DSC05210 (https://flic.kr/p/BsRJe5) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5676/22945078413_b0d9f37f08_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXzwqe)DSC05209 (https://flic.kr/p/AXzwqe) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



After a few minutes in the lounge, we went to the gate.



(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5706/22944479044_4c8077d570_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXwsfh)DSC05216 (https://flic.kr/p/AXwsfh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5742/23572692955_851095797c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV3dmB)DSC05217 (https://flic.kr/p/BV3dmB) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The Delta business configuration on this internationally configured 767-300-ER widebody is 1-2-1.  And we were met with Tumi amenity kits which is cool.  [AJK: Sorry, the cabin pic below was taken upon deplaning--didn't board in enough time to take a cabin picture upon boarding without it being very awkward...]



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/633/23464145532_3ce80efa8c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKrSZj)DSC05229 (https://flic.kr/p/BKrSZj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/703/22945626733_00eea72717_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXCkq2)DSC05218 (https://flic.kr/p/AXCkq2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/772/23464148902_4baca58066_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKrTZq)DSC05219 (https://flic.kr/p/BKrTZq) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5757/23276967690_b0089f34a8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsUxx9)DSC05222 (https://flic.kr/p/BsUxx9) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



Both AJK and myself immediately felt that this layout leaves you feeling a little exposed, especially compared to the layout of United lie-flat business. The seats don’t have any kind of curvature around the side to protect you from crazy Dan’s Deals fans or stalkers. (A bigger problem than you might think.) The seats themselves are roomy and the design of the cabin feels very modern, but we both felt that the cabin lacked privacy.

[AJK: You know how they say that, operationally, DL is the best airline? Well, I agree. In addition to getting the small things right, about 10 mins before departure, the Captain came back to the business class cabin and made an announcement thanking everyone in business class for their patronage. I don't fly as often as some of you folks, but that's the first time I'd seen something like that and I think it was a fantastic touch.]

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/648/23276964820_243107dddd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsUwFE)DSC05220 (https://flic.kr/p/BsUwFE) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



Service was quick and efficient.  [AJK: First came snacks. I don't remember what the drink was, but those cashews (OU) were quite good!]



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/735/23546633956_0514eef410_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSJDVw)DSC05223 (https://flic.kr/p/BSJDVw) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The evening KSML (Borenstein) was served on real china with actual silverware, which was nice even if the food itself was nothing special. [AJK: I dunno, maybe it was indeed nothing special, but I thought the chicken was pretty good.]


(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5781/22945625143_79a024edb3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXCjWB)DSC05224 (https://flic.kr/p/AXCjWB) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/748/22945624293_1b430ae1b1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXCjFX)DSC05226 (https://flic.kr/p/AXCjFX) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/596/23572689875_946af47727_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV3crv)DSC05227 (https://flic.kr/p/BV3crv) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/636/23276965300_4aa6d88b6e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsUwPW)DSC05228 (https://flic.kr/p/BsUwPW) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We both rested a bit having gotten minimal sleep the night before. The lie-flat seats + the Westin sleep collection bedding=phenomenal. Unless you plan on investing in some of this bedding in your own home, it may be better not to tempt yourself. Just ask them to bring you some of the itchy wool blankets and flattened pillows they usually provide in coach.

We landed a little early at LAX, and, having interlined our luggage, we just took our carry-ons and walked the ten minute walk over to the Tom Bradley International Airport Terminal.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/726/22944792124_9363df0f7e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXy4jd)DSC05230 (https://flic.kr/p/AXy4jd) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



Here is where the main reason I married AJK is exposed. Some of you may think that as a travel junkie, I just latched on to the guy because he can travel around the world in first class. That part definitely doesn’t hurt, but truthfully the real reason is because he enjoys eating great food as much as I do. Having a two-hour stopover in LA is shining opportunity in AJK’s eyes, and I couldn’t agree more.

Within ten minutes of finding the Air France counter and checking for our flight to Bora Bora, AJK’s phone beeped and he went outside to the curb. He walked back in carrying a bag that smelled pretty much like what I imagine Gan Eden will smell like.  Thanks to the kindness of a fellow DDF-er [AJK: Thanks Yehoshua!] in helping with some coordination details, AJK had arranged for an uber to pick up an order from Beverly Hills Thai and deliver it to TBIT. Side note: for those of you who love good food and who aren’t terrified of food that you might not be able to pronounce, then next time you’re in LA do yourself a favor and try out this restaurant. I’m not Thai so I can’t promise the authenticity of the dishes, but I can tell you that it is the closest thing to real Thai food that we have in the kosher world. I base this on the fact that if you are a restaurant that calls itself Thai/Chinese or whatever cuisine it may be and you also serve sushi like 99% of all Jewish restaurants, you’re dead in my book.
 
Air France Sky Priority Check-In:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5625/23573004675_ea08b39c46_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV4P26)DSC05231 (https://flic.kr/p/BV4P26) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5643/23277271270_1ca856f6f6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsW6Mh)DSC05232 (https://flic.kr/p/BsW6Mh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We raced through security with our bag of treasure wafting out a smell so delicious that we looked a little like the Pied Piper with plenty of people being drawn to the wonderful smell of the food. We lost those hangers-on and dashed towards the Korean Lounge, the lounge that Air France uses in TBIT.

The lounge, on a floor above the main terminal, is very pretty and spacious with seating both in an indoor area and in an outdoor terrace area that overlooks the inside of the TBIT.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/774/23205063089_4c57cabc49_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Bmy1ND)DSC05240 (https://flic.kr/p/Bmy1ND) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5624/23546948886_6ce3b15c24_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSLgxm)DSC05233 (https://flic.kr/p/BSLgxm) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




[AJK: When we arrived, the lounge was very full, but by the time we left half hour later, the lounge had emptied out as the KE flight had departed.  These pics were taken afterwards.]



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/663/23464458092_1a228d6446_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKttUh)DSC05239 (https://flic.kr/p/BKttUh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5821/22944787134_987ca4b6e7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXy2Qb)DSC05238 (https://flic.kr/p/AXy2Qb) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The outside portion of the lounge, which we much preferred [Borrowed from OMAAT.]



(http://onemileatatime.img.boardingarea.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Korean-Air-Lounge-LAX-29.jpg)


Now to the food. We ordered two chicken satays, basically spiced and grilled chicken with a delicious peanut sauce and something called drunken noodles. Drunken noodles are a special type of Thai noodle tossed with chilies, basil, tomatoes and a spicy drunken sauce. Don’t ask me what makes it drunken, just go try it yourself. I guarantee you won’t even care what the answer to that question is.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/706/23490576971_042b039b9e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMMm8M)DSC05235 (https://flic.kr/p/BMMm8M) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/577/23464460212_9cb8c75d1b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKtuwQ)DSC05236 (https://flic.kr/p/BKtuwQ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/586/23277274700_39487e7308_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsW7Nq)DSC05237 (https://flic.kr/p/BsW7Nq) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




A word about the Tom Bradley International Terminal itself. Most international terminals in America are pretty much stuck in a time warp. No offense to the 50’s, a great decade I’m certain, but not great enough that all our international terminals need to stay looking like it’s still the Eisenhower administration.

Compare any international terminal in the US to one overseas in Asia (or to a lesser extent Europe) and it’s downright embarrassing.  That is, until now. This terminal holds its own. Like other world-leading terminals, it's filled with luxury boutiques that no one actually buys anything from. (Let’s be honest here. Who comes to the airport and all of a sudden realizes there’s no way they can get on a flight without a new $5,000 Hermes bag? Not me certainly [AJK: Thank Gd!], but maybe some of you. In which case, get off Dan’s Deals and save the deals for those of us who actually need them k? thanks.)

The terminal is open, spacious, and feels like you’re already overseas before you’ve taken off. It has a very international vibe to it and a great energy.

TBIT's "totem poles":

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/746/22945935383_27a0cffe89_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXDVaz)DSC05241 (https://flic.kr/p/AXDVaz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



After a delicious dinner, we walked over to the boarding gate and headed onto our Air France flight to Papeete.



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/713/23546941866_fec0e8b8cf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSLesj)DSC05242 (https://flic.kr/p/BSLesj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5669/22946379903_879cd967fb_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXGciH)DSC05243 (https://flic.kr/p/AXGciH) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



[AJK: Boy do I love separate boarding doors...!]

Although AJK and some of you in the know will say that the business class on this Air France route is old and outdated [AJK: Because it is... the new AF business class  (http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/guidevoyageur/classeetconfort/nouvelle-business-airfrance.htm)it was not.], I thought it was quite comfortable and the décor, while not the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen, was elegant and provided one with more privacy than the previous Delta flight. (I have nothing to hide, I just value my privacy, ok?)


(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5799/23205502079_d3502111f0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BmAgir)DSC05244 (https://flic.kr/p/BmAgir) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5667/23547381146_f12f539034_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSNu37)DSC05245 (https://flic.kr/p/BSNu37) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5829/23491010101_508ee344bf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMPyTx)DSC05248 (https://flic.kr/p/BMPyTx) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



[AJK: I'd say it was beginning to show it's age, but that fact has probably been true for years...]



(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5649/22946376613_0841a714ee_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXGbjZ)DSC05249 (https://flic.kr/p/AXGbjZ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5770/22946372683_3751288f5a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXGaae)DSC05250 (https://flic.kr/p/AXGaae) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5811/23465161282_91fc6936fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKx5Wf)DSC05251 (https://flic.kr/p/BKx5Wf) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



It is a large business class, but the service was timely and the flight attendants were quite attentive (as their name suggests they should be). The seats in this business class are angle-lie flat--not completely flat--but they were very comfortable and undoubtedly a better way to spend an 8 hour red-eye flight than squished in <gasp> coach.

We both slept the majority of the flight and only awakened about an hour and half away from Papeete when they turned the cabin lights on.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5720/23573436945_6b17f585d9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV72w2)DSC05254 (https://flic.kr/p/BV72w2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



Not sure why they woke everyone up so early, but maybe French people take longer to get ready for landing than us Americans.

There is not much to see when landing on Papeete. The view flying in is mostly water and then a few palm trees near the runway. Due to a small snafu having to do with a misplaced camera lid, we deplaned with some of the last people left on the flight. [AJK: Seriously, anyone with the Sony Alpha line should understand this irritating eventuality, but why in the world did Sony not include a string to attach the lens cap to the camera?!  >:( >:( >:( This boggles the mind and frustrates me to no end.]

[AJK: AFAIK, all boarding and deplaning in PPT is done with remote stands, so, as usual, we were met with mobile air stairs and off we walked to customs.]

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5790/23573436015_19a16e9c33_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV72eZ)DSC05256 (https://flic.kr/p/BV72eZ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/588/23277710290_9536ca682d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BsYmhA)DSC05257 (https://flic.kr/p/BsYmhA) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


The TN plane we'd take to AKL in about a week:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5769/23464895342_192099e422_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKvHT5)DSC05255 (https://flic.kr/p/BKvHT5) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/781/23547376256_c16b727070_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSNszN)DSC05258 (https://flic.kr/p/BSNszN) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5673/22946372333_4ea941af94_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXGa4c)DSC05259 (https://flic.kr/p/AXGa4c) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The lid snafu placed us squarely towards the back of the customs line which was being serviced by all of two customs agents. Not the most efficient of systems, especially when its already 90 degrees at 6 am and the airport has no air conditioning, but then again no one is asking for my opinions on the efficiency of the Papeete Airport Systems. (However, should some of you be interested, there are my opinions.)

[AJK: To be fair, PPT airport had signs saying they were under construction and therefore customs would be slower. But, I'm still not sure what the construction had to do with their only being 2 customs agents...]

After waiting in line for about 45 minutes, we eventually reached the customs agent. AJK dutifully handed over his passport to the gentleman sitting inside the glass cubicle as is the custom when one reaches a customs agent.

The agent opened up the passport and lifted up his stamp preparing to slam it down on an empty spot. Except... his eyes bugged out a little and his jaw opened. He put down his stamp and started to flip through the passport, this time with quite some intensity. He was going to find an empty spot dag nab it. Unfortunately for him, AJK had acquired this passport at the same time he acquired the knowledge of DDF so the amount of open space left in this passport was limited. After flipping through each page carefully, the customs agent finally found his spot and claimed it with a loud and aggressive stamping job marking his territory in AJK’s passport.

We headed to the one baggage carousel slowly moving around and quickly claimed our luggage. While neither of us quite cared that our suitcases had arrived, we both zeroed in on a navy, rectangular shaped piece as if we were drug dealers and our mother lode of smuggled cocaine lay inside. (Refer back to my earlier confession about my feelings regarding food to understand that this was our cooler containing 14 carefully chosen frozen pomegranate meals.)

Having once previously made the mistake of going on a trip to Fiji and thinking, “hey, I can last 5 days on PB&J and pringles,” bringing quality food is now a must have when I travel. (In AJK’s defense, that Fiji trip was in pre-AJK days, as he would never have let that happen.) Let’s just say that by the time day five of my Fiji trip rolled around, I was literally standing in the water with a spear, foaming at the mouth, delirious with hunger, hoping to harpoon some living, breathing thing that wasn’t a jar of peanut butter or a pringle. Never again.

 
Thankfully, for everyone involved, our cooler and all our meals made it safely, as did our other suitcases. We rolled everything outside, and a two minute walk away to the domestic Air Tahiti check-in counters. 

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5818/22945745664_2b315fb0b5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXCWLy)DSC05260 (https://flic.kr/p/AXCWLy) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We braced ourselves for the sticker shock. Having encountered a similar experience flying from MLE to the island upon which the Constance Halveli (https://www.constancehotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/maldives/halaveli/) was situated, we prepared ourselves to put down a small down payment for the luxury of checking in a third bag.

Seeing as there is usually only one or two small airlines flying to these little islands, they can charge you and arm, a leg and usually one or two other appendages for overweight and/or extra pieces of luggage.

We walked up to the counter and checked in our first two pieces. The lady behind the counter then asked if we were divers. AJK, ever the circumspect one, answered in the affirmative but asked why. (We both had became PADI certified divers on our trip to MLE.)

Apparently, being PADI certified allows you 5 extra kg each on Air Tahiti because they assume you will be taking diving equipment with you. While, I don’t know that short ribs and eggplant rollitini counts as diving equipement per se, I wasn’t going to let her know that. So she quickly deducted 10 kg from our overweight allowance and we happily paid the $4.50 for the remaining extra 2 kg.

After passing through a teeny metal detector where you were allowed to keep your shoes, overcoats, dentures and dignity intact we walked into a little waiting area. Obviously the Air Tahiti agents are posing a great danger to the aviation world by not being as thorough as our competent TSA agents. 

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/730/22946892743_b20d18f913_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXJPKM)DSC05261 (https://flic.kr/p/AXJPKM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

While most people in the waiting area were laid back, relaxed and already in vacation mode. AJK was in planning mode. (FYI-this is the natural mode of the AJK species.) Apparently, as you fly into BOB, the views from one side of the plane are spectacular (the left side) while there are basically no views from the other side (the right). Seeing as it was a little prop plane [AJK: an ATR-72 to be exact] the seats on the “correct” side would be in limited supply.

Due to the flight being a “first come first serve” seat assignment, one would need to board early to ensure a seat on the good side. Not willing to bank on the fact that the other passengers weren’t trying to throw us off our game by pretending to be all relaxed, we confirmed it was the left side of the plane we wanted and pretended to nonchalantly amble over to the boarding line quite a bit before boarding started.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5798/23547896406_fbd13a3c74_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSR8cU)DSC05262 (https://flic.kr/p/BSR8cU) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

A line quickly formed behind us as people tried to figure out what we knew that they didn’t. We snagged ourselves two seats on the left side in the front of the plane and prepared to enjoy the 40 minute flight.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5789/23573955705_363b133263_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BV9FJa)DSC05265 (https://flic.kr/p/BV9FJa) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/594/22945743074_5e894c16ca_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXCVZU)DSC05268 (https://flic.kr/p/AXCVZU) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5653/23491524911_4de507b2b0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMScVz)DSC05269 (https://flic.kr/p/BMScVz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

About 30 minutes into the flight, great, green mountains rise up out of the sparkling waters of the Pacific and Bora Bora comes into view. It really is worth getting in line five minutes early and being on the left side. You are treated to a view of the over water bungalows and Mt. Otemanu that is pretty much what you would get to see if you paid $500 for the sightseeing helicopters in Bora Bora.

First a video and then some pictures.  [AJK: The whole video (less about 2 mins) is worth watching but the good stuff--BOB--starts at about a minute in.]





(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5804/23281302890_2c87502212_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BthLeY)DSC05271 (https://flic.kr/p/BthLeY) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5810/22949970353_af5e79ceec_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AY1AC2)DSC05275 (https://flic.kr/p/AY1AC2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/754/22948813454_445f3f302d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/AXUEHu)DSC05279 (https://flic.kr/p/AXUEHu) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/681/23468483312_7503970ea6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BKQ7sC)DSC05280 (https://flic.kr/p/BKQ7sC) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5764/23577028275_f05e77ed01_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVqr6v)DSC05281 (https://flic.kr/p/BVqr6v) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: chff on December 07, 2015, 09:39:34 AM
Great TR!! Keep it coming
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 07, 2015, 09:50:17 AM
Wow wow wow
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: 3yummyboys on December 07, 2015, 09:52:11 AM
Wow, wish we would hear more from mrs. AJK! Love the writing style
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yoruel on December 07, 2015, 09:56:15 AM
Thanks a million.
Great Style.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 07, 2015, 09:56:43 AM
Can you now answer the million dollar question, the question that you spent a lot of time debating on two or three separate threads on DDF.

How does BOB compare to MLE?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 07, 2015, 09:57:20 AM
Quote
to protect you from crazy Dan’s Deals fans or stalkers. (A bigger problem than you might think.)
is this referring to something specific?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 07, 2015, 10:09:14 AM
Wow!
now thats a nice chanuka gift
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 07, 2015, 10:13:25 AM
Very nice write-up so far.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS91 on December 07, 2015, 10:17:55 AM
Following!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: sam28 on December 07, 2015, 10:20:36 AM
wow cant wait for more .
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Joe4007 on December 07, 2015, 11:04:56 AM
Awesome! I'm hooked.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: BrooklynCPA on December 07, 2015, 11:13:20 AM
And Mrs AJK Strikes again......!!!!! Great Job!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: LoLo on December 07, 2015, 11:33:57 AM
Awesome TR! Waiting for the next part, thanks
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 07, 2015, 11:34:31 AM
Uch. I hate you.


Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: tageed-lee on December 07, 2015, 11:48:00 AM
Incredible!! No words...
TY for sharing!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Super Speed on December 07, 2015, 11:49:53 AM
Awesomeness!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: stbaum on December 07, 2015, 11:51:23 AM
love the TRs by Mrs. AJK. awesome!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS1 on December 07, 2015, 11:56:14 AM
Great TR.
Now we'll have to work, save up and plan for 1-2 yrs to visit this amazing place. Excellent review!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on December 07, 2015, 03:42:22 PM
Yessss! This is fantastic (and you haven't even landed yet). Can't wait for more!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: coralsnake on December 07, 2015, 04:05:28 PM
I agree that operationally DL is the best of the big 3 and that their agents are the easiest and best to deal with IME.

But the reason that the Captain thanked everyone in J is because 9,999 times out of 10,000 they paid revenue or an exorbitant amount of miles for that seat.

The craziest thing about this story is that you were booked into saver J  JFK-LAX :P
[when it (as always) wasnt available].

But again, DL reps are more likely to help than most other airlines....
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Chapshnell on December 07, 2015, 05:30:45 PM
very nice job by the both of you, keep it coming.. am looking forward to reading more  :)
thanks in advance, beautiful! Thanks for the tip about the front left side!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 07, 2015, 05:49:32 PM


Thanks for the tip about the front left side!

That was my tip. I got no HT though

Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Chapshnell on December 07, 2015, 05:57:19 PM

That was my tip. I got no HT though

just curious, who told you about it?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 07, 2015, 06:21:54 PM
just curious, who told you about it?
My own experience
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yos9694 on December 07, 2015, 07:15:33 PM
I agree that operationally DL is the best of the big 3 and that their agents are the easiest and best to deal with IME.

But the reason that the Captain thanked everyone in J is because 9,999 times out of 10,000 they paid revenue or an exorbitant amount of miles for that seat.

Or paid $26 for the seat, but that was 2 years in the past already 😊
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lunatic on December 07, 2015, 08:23:14 PM

But again, DL reps are more likely to help AJK more than most others ....

Ftfy
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yaalili on December 07, 2015, 10:52:38 PM
Awesome stuff again AJK's!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yordai Dooma on December 07, 2015, 11:55:16 PM
Awesome!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: keepsmiling123 on December 08, 2015, 12:00:59 AM
Great TR, keep it coming!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Luvtotravel on December 08, 2015, 12:12:14 AM
an unexpected AJK TR that we didnt have to beg for? chanuka gift encapsulated! tx!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: enwhycee on December 08, 2015, 12:39:10 AM
Awesome TR Mrs AJK!!

I was able to hold 2 TN (Gasp) Y flights for Feb. Any pointers on obtaining the AF J seats?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: ilherman on December 08, 2015, 01:42:31 AM
Enjoyable read as always! And this is only the beginning, can't wait for the rest!

Are you going to share how you almost ended up in EY Apartments?  ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AharonInIsrael on December 08, 2015, 04:12:41 AM
Great stuff! Excited for the rest!
Really want to hear whether there were any DDF stalkers on the flight, or if that's just from the AJK's other experiences :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on December 08, 2015, 05:38:39 AM
Awesome TR Mrs AJK!!

I was able to hold 2 TN (Gasp) Y flights for Feb. Any pointers on obtaining the AF J seats?
IINM he was booked on TN and there was a cancellation (or something like that), so he got rebooked onto AF.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 12:31:32 AM
Thanks all! Mrs. AJK is inspired by your kind comments and she's furiously writing the rest.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 12:32:38 AM
The craziest thing about this story is that you were booked into saver J  JFK-LAX :P
[when it (as always) wasnt available].

Alas, you're not the first person to point that out :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 12:33:57 AM
very nice job by the both of you, keep it coming.. am looking forward to reading more  :)
thanks in advance, beautiful! Thanks for the tip about the front left side!


That was my tip. I got no HT though

Credit where it's due. It was in fact Hershelsdeals who pointed this out to me.

HT: Hershelsdeals
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 12:35:01 AM
Awesome TR Mrs AJK!!

I was able to hold 2 TN (Gasp) Y flights for Feb. Any pointers on obtaining the AF J seats?

Set an EF alert.

Enjoyable read as always! And this is only the beginning, can't wait for the rest!

Are you going to share how you almost ended up in EY Apartments?  ;)

All in good time, herman, all in good time.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 12:37:00 AM
IINM he was booked on TN and there was a cancellation (or something like that), so he got rebooked onto AF.

Bingo (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg1307436#msg1307436).

Though, it is possible to book AF J straight out using DL.
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on December 09, 2015, 01:27:48 AM
Incredible TR, as always. Wonderful pictures as well (is it just me or did the quality level of TR pictures around here increase exponentially in the last year or so? Compare these to, for example, your HKG TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=30766.msg549437#msg549437)).

Something tells me that this TR will end up hurting my wallet eventually ;)...

Due to a small snafu having to do with a misplaced camera lid, we deplaned with some of the last people left on the flight. [AJK: Seriously, anyone with the Sony Alpha line should understand this irritating eventuality, but why in the world did Sony not include a string to attach the lens cap to the camera?!  >:( >:( >:( This boggles the mind and frustrates me to no end.]

The reason for a string not being included is because the only thing more annoying than losing a lens cap is having it dangle from your camera at all times.

You want my advice? Throw your lens cap down a well and never look back. The only things lens caps are good for is for forgetting to take them off and missing the shot, or losing them constantly. People don't understand a. how resilient the front element of a lens is, and b. how utterly inconsequential a scratch on a lens is.

Here's an exercise: take a piece of post-it note around 1/4" square and stick it over the center of your lens. Set your camera to a large aperture (small number) and take a random picture. Now look at the result - nine out of ten times you'd never know that there's a blob of yellow paper stuck on the lens. Now of course this is an extreme example; if you'd use a smaller aperture it may begin to be noticeable. But the point is that it takes an incredibly large imperfection to show up in your pictures. A whole bunch of pictures in my Alaska TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=3395.msg797231#msg797231) were taken by a lens that not only was it scratched up, but it actually had a chip in it - a chuck of glass around 1/2x1/8" was actually missing. Did anyone notice? I think not. I looked for it and did not find any indication, not even once.

The other point is that lenses are made out of thick, hardened glass. On top of that they have multiple layers of coatings (usually around 12-16), the outermost of which provide an additional hardened and protective layer. Take a blade to your lens (don't :o!) and you'll see how difficult it is to scratch it.

I've been lens cap-free for years, and not once did I regret it. My lens hoods never come off, and these protect the lens from 90% of the scary world already. My only caveat is a particularly wide and bulbous lens, such as the Nikon 14-24 or the GoPro. These lenses if kept uncovered will always bump into things, and due to their particular shape it'll always be on the same spot. Not that even a significant scratch will be visible on those; it's just that due to their wide angle of view light will often be hitting them at an acute angle, which may strike the scratch and create a tiny reflection. But for regular lenses, ditch the lens cap and keep the hood on. It'll change your (photographic) life.

You're welcome ;).
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on December 09, 2015, 01:29:16 AM
If you insist, though, you could buy a Cap Keeper for all of seventy-three cents (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-PCS-Camera-SLR-DSLR-Lens-Cover-Cap-Keeper-String-Kit-For-Canon-Nikon-Pentax-/201173850583?hash=item2ed6e559d7:g:otgAAOSwxH1UGnTo).
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 09, 2015, 02:04:12 AM
Can you now answer the million dollar question, the question that you spent a lot of time debating on two or three separate threads on DDF.

How does BOB compare to MLE?

I also would love to know that answer to that question, so how do BOB and MLE compare?
Title: Re: The Two-Hop Pacific Stop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 05:59:59 PM
Incredible TR, as always. Wonderful pictures as well (is it just me or did the quality level of TR pictures around here increase exponentially in the last year or so? Compare these to, for example, your HKG TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=30766.msg549437#msg549437)).

Something tells me that this TR will end up hurting my wallet eventually ;)...

Thanks. Yes, I personally believe my photos have gotten better for a couple reasons, not the least of which having some proper tutelage :P

And, just wait, if you think these pics are good, BOB is a place that will make me look like Ansel Adams.

The reason for a string not being included is because the only thing more annoying than losing a lens cap is having it dangle from your camera at all times.

You want my advice? Throw your lens cap down a well and never look back. The only things lens caps are good for is for forgetting to take them off and missing the shot, or losing them constantly. People don't understand a. how resilient the front element of a lens is, and b. how utterly inconsequential a scratch on a lens is.

Here's an exercise: take a piece of post-it note around 1/4" square and stick it over the center of your lens. Set your camera to a large aperture (small number) and take a random picture. Now look at the result - nine out of ten times you'd never know that there's a blob of yellow paper stuck on the lens. Now of course this is an extreme example; if you'd use a smaller aperture it may begin to be noticeable. But the point is that it takes an incredibly large imperfection to show up in your pictures. A whole bunch of pictures in my Alaska TR (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=3395.msg797231#msg797231) were taken by a lens that not only was it scratched up, but it actually had a chip in it - a chuck of glass around 1/2x1/8" was actually missing. Did anyone notice? I think not. I looked for it and did not find any indication, not even once.

The other point is that lenses are made out of thick, hardened glass. On top of that they have multiple layers of coatings (usually around 12-16), the outermost of which provide an additional hardened and protective layer. Take a blade to your lens (don't :o!) and you'll see how difficult it is to scratch it.

I've been lens cap-free for years, and not once did I regret it. My lens hoods never come off, and these protect the lens from 90% of the scary world already. My only caveat is a particularly wide and bulbous lens, such as the Nikon 14-24 or the GoPro. These lenses if kept uncovered will always bump into things, and due to their particular shape it'll always be on the same spot. Not that even a significant scratch will be visible on those; it's just that due to their wide angle of view light will often be hitting them at an acute angle, which may strike the scratch and create a tiny reflection. But for regular lenses, ditch the lens cap and keep the hood on. It'll change your (photographic) life.

You're welcome ;).

Ahh, you have put my mind at ease. I will not be spending $10 to replace the lost cap this time! I will keep in case and be careful when it's out.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 06:00:43 PM
Can you now answer the million dollar question, the question that you spent a lot of time debating on two or three separate threads on DDF.

How does BOB compare to MLE?

I also would love to know that answer to that question, so how do BOB and MLE compare?

A fair question, the answer to which will come in good time.

This is Mrs. AJK's show.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 09, 2015, 06:58:07 PM
A fair question, the answer to which will come in good time.

This is Mrs. AJK's show.

Ok fine, we'll wait here patiently for the official pronouncement on the BOB/MLE debate from Mrs. AJK (I was being polite not to mention it but you know we all love her TRs and honestly think value her opinion the most anyway)!  ;) 8) ;D
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 06:59:19 PM
value her opinion the most anyway)!  ;) 8) ;D

Anything else would be foolish :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 09, 2015, 08:50:03 PM
Great TR so far!
Did they ask for your PADI ID?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 09, 2015, 08:59:44 PM
Yep.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lunatic on December 09, 2015, 09:02:21 PM
Thanks all! Mrs. AJK is inspired by your kind comments and she's furiously writing the rest.
Hope she is doing it at work as well
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: TimT on December 09, 2015, 09:23:47 PM
Great TR, thanks. Those pics out the plane window are absolutely breathtaking!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yakrot on December 10, 2015, 12:47:34 AM
This trip report kinda makes me forget that sf and the crew are still leaving me hanging in middle of the Iceland tr
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on December 10, 2015, 10:50:56 AM
Thanks. Yes, I personally believe my photos have gotten better for a couple reasons, not the least of which having some proper tutelage :P

And, just wait, if you think these pics are good, BOB is a place that will make me look like Ansel Adams.

Well that's aspirational ;D

Looking forward.

Ahh, you have put my mind at ease. I will not be spending $10 to replace the lost cap this time! I will keep in case and be careful when it's out.

I don't want to take this TR too far off topic, there's more discussion of this subject here (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=28108.msg1342872.msg#1342872).
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Sholom123 on December 11, 2015, 08:11:30 AM
Am I the only one who checks every hour for the next installment?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 11, 2015, 08:20:11 AM
Am I the only one who checks every hour for the next installment?
Yes. Everyone else just has thread alerts set
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: E-MAN on December 11, 2015, 01:26:49 PM
Wow! Can't wait for the rest
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Sholom123 on December 11, 2015, 03:56:27 PM
Haha.
You know what I mean.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Luvtotravel on December 13, 2015, 01:36:54 AM
Yes. Everyone else just has thread alerts set
doesnt that alert you every time any comment comes in (like this one  :P)?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: D93 on December 13, 2015, 02:40:29 AM
Great TR so far!
Did they ask for your PADI ID?
Yep.
When and where did you get certified?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: tzifanya54 on December 13, 2015, 07:56:36 AM
When and where did you get certified?
From his TR:
"We both became certified on our trip to MLE."
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 13, 2015, 11:19:54 PM
The airport is located on a tiny little island that contains the airport and nothing else. You must take a shuttle boat to the main island or to the island where your resort is located... unless you plan on spending your vacation in the airport. Which, I might add wouldn’t be as unlovely as say spending your vacation in JFK or in the third world country that passes itself off as an airport called Laguardia.

This “airport,” if you can call it that, has one runway, and a thatched roofed hut that doubles as check in area and baggage claim. A word about the baggage claim--No rotating, mechanized carousels here. The sign notating baggage claim is over two aluminum racks where baggage handlers (two men who literally look like I could bench press them) place your suitcases. The “parking lot” of the airport is actually a little dock where the resorts send boats to collect the incoming passengers.

[AJK: Some pictures of what might just be the prettiest airport on the planet...


(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5766/23491614672_0d7a64601e_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMSEBb)DSC05295 (https://flic.kr/p/BMSEBb) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5806/23574133616_0e707651b7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVaABA)DSC05283 (https://flic.kr/p/BVaABA) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5778/23574132936_677bdc0a73_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVaApS)DSC05286 (https://flic.kr/p/BVaApS) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5660/23304493030_03576c810b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BvkBRY)DSC05287 (https://flic.kr/p/BvkBRY) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5761/22973128933_be8e475d51_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B14hRT)DSC05288 (https://flic.kr/p/B14hRT) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/585/23304490090_9d520bd6dc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BvkAZh)DSC05293 (https://flic.kr/p/BvkAZh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



[AJK: Just to give you an idea of what the above photo depicts, namely airport pickup, see below, where the larger red box corresponds to airport pickup. (The smaller red box is where the first pic, the "Aeroport De Bora Bora" sign, and one of my fav pics, was taken.)]




(https://i.gyazo.com/1e6bd281648fffffd14e823b7826d91c.png)





For those of you interested, you can make out the same sign on the pic below, though truth be told it's just another excuse to post more pictures of this wonderland:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/674/23574127886_6d7862a42f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVayUN)DSC05294 (https://flic.kr/p/BVayUN) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/700/23232286819_29c36f062e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BoXxti)DSC05290 (https://flic.kr/p/BoXxti) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




This is how Polynesians pickup family from the airport... no Uber here!

[AJK: Our seder hayamim for BOB was as follows: First night at Intercontinental Le Moana (booked with IHG CC free night), then nights two, three, and four at the Intercontinental Thalasso (booked with points), and night five at the Intercontinental Tahiti (booked with IHG CC free night). I didn't know it at the time, but having the first night at the Le Moana was quite fortuitous as it turned out, as we'll explain.]

We were informed by the Intercontinental Le Moana that using their shuttle boat from the airport was mandatory for all guests at the low price of ~$60 per person per way.

(https://i.gyazo.com/57f420ef31953f24d8d59dc69aacc4f7.png)


While most people would accept this as Gospel and chalk it up to the costs of a luxury island vacation, AJK ain’t no fool. (Like I said people, always in planning mode.) AJK researched and found that there is a complimentary boat offered by Air Tahiti Nui that takes people from the airport island to the main marina on the main island, Vaitape.

We grabbed our stuff and headed thatta way. The transfer boat is a bi-level catamaran and it’s a great opportunity to have a free boat view of the islands.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5681/23232287619_129da67c13_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BoXxH6)DSC05289 (https://flic.kr/p/BoXxH6) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5734/23492141022_8004ce4318_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMVn5b)DSC05316 (https://flic.kr/p/BMVn5b) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/631/23491612842_70c3ee15fc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMSE4C)DSC05299 (https://flic.kr/p/BMSE4C) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We got some great shots of the main mountain on Bora Bora, Mt. Otemanu, and we tried to capture the colors of the waters. I don’t know if any of you were lucky enough as children to have a set of markers called magic markers. [AJK: These  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itNYSPP0-aM)guys.] These miraculous little wonders colored in one shade and then you could roll over them with a white tipped marker that would magically transform the shade to a lighter, electric shade. Now, for those of you who are sitting at your computers nodding and saying, “oh, yeah, I remember those” good, now you know what the water in Bora Bora looks like.

For those of you who are scratching your heads, first of all, go out Target right now and buy your kids those markers because you’re a horrible parent for holding out on your kids. And, while you're at it, grab a set for yourself, they’re a lot of fun, trust me. And also, you can take a look at some of the shots taken by AJK. The water goes from a light baby blue, to electric blue to, aquamarine blue, to dark blue and back in a matter of feet creating a landscape of colors that you literally cannot look away from. (If you don’t know what color aquamarine is, then your wife was obviously not born in March, or she was and you owe her a piece of jewelry with her birthstone in it.)


(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5634/23574657826_bf70c9835c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVdhrG)DSC05311 (https://flic.kr/p/BVdhrG) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/714/23492143522_febd6f03d9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BMVnPh)DSC05314 (https://flic.kr/p/BMVnPh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/23600702575_86056abd16_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BXvLD6)DSC05309 (https://flic.kr/p/BXvLD6) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/733/22973653853_4a3fa7647a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B16YUe)DSC05310 (https://flic.kr/p/B16YUe) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




The 10-15 minute boat ride was too short considering the amazing views it afforded, but we arrived at the marina in Vaitape quite quickly.




(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5660/23328048290_5700a04bd6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Bxqm29)DSC05315 (https://flic.kr/p/Bxqm29) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



From there, we grabbed our bags and within minutes were approached by a middle-aged guy in flapping Hawaiian print shirt who offered his taxi for a ride to our hotel. We agreed, and while he loaded our things into his 1970 model Volvo, AJK walked a couple mins down the road to the Bank of Polynesia and took out about $100 in XPF.

For the total price of $20 we were deposited at the Intercontinental Le Moana instead of the $120 the hotel had insisted was their mandatory shuttle price. AJK - 1, Intercontinental - 0.



(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5813/22995536204_af2c59fa54_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B338L9)DSC05331 (https://flic.kr/p/B338L9) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/688/23255791439_45a810352b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Br31zn)DSC05332 (https://flic.kr/p/Br31zn) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We were at the check-in desk by about 10:30 in the morning, and we were checked-in along with a few other couples (who by the way hadn’t questioned the mandatory shuttle route and had paid the $120 to take the hotel shuttle boat). We were shown to a little open-air seating area, given cool towelettes, a cold drink, and also a cool dose of reality: we were informed that check-in was not technically until 2:00 PM so we were free to wander around the resort, use the shower rooms, or just sit around for the next 3.5 hours.

Ehhhh, not quite going to work for AJK. After asking to speak with a manager, a rotund little, mustachioed man came over to us. AJK said something about admiral status, orange polka-dotted diamond membership, FBI, or things like that (I was kind of not paying attention being slightly distracted by the shining waters of the Pacific spread out in front of me.) But either way, the important thing is that we were immediately shown to our villa after a little tour of the resort provided by a lovely French girl who was interning there for six months from Paris.

Finding our luggage already safely ensconced in our beach front villa, we quickly looked around our new thatch-roofed home and found it quite lovely. We spent a little time exploring the villa and the beautiful beach in front of it. The ocean is literally ten feet off the back porch that has some lounge chairs and a little table and chairs for beachfront dining.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5832/22996685123_61ef87cab4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B392i6)DSC05319 (https://flic.kr/p/B392i6) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5697/22995554664_ab726c13e4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B33efq)DSC05321 (https://flic.kr/p/B33efq) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5814/23623737125_7ee2322644_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BZxQ1v)DSC05322 (https://flic.kr/p/BZxQ1v) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5736/22995525874_44a0243d57_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B335G3)DSC05323 (https://flic.kr/p/B335G3) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5688/23623736235_af72ddf92f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BZxPKa)DSC05324 (https://flic.kr/p/BZxPKa) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/594/22996680743_c62beccb7d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B38ZZz)DSC05325 (https://flic.kr/p/B38ZZz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/654/22995549554_d71a35b4e3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B33cJj)DSC05326 (https://flic.kr/p/B33cJj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/658/23515168822_1f1e73c5e2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPXord)DSC05327 (https://flic.kr/p/BPXord) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5659/23541330741_f1fb384302_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BSgtsM)DSC05328 (https://flic.kr/p/BSgtsM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5818/23597650296_5c034b5b1c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BXf8iA)DSC05329 (https://flic.kr/p/BXf8iA) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/676/23328028830_9aec179417_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BxqfeC)DSC05330 (https://flic.kr/p/BxqfeC) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We then set off to ensure that our cooler had made it to the hotel freezer and to check out the day’s activities. Mind you, we passed the other guests who had paid to be transported by the hotel’s shuttle, sitting gamely at the bar, drinking away the fact that they would have to wait there for another three hours before their rooms would be ready.

AJK - 2, Intercontinental - 0.

We headed down to the white, sand beach and appreciated the view of the gorgeous water laid out in front of the resort. On the right side of the beach, the water appeared to be the color of a swimming pool for about a mile out to sea. On the left side, the depths varied more and the water ranged from an electric blue, to what I refer to as melted ice pop blue, to “powerade” blue, to jewel-toned emerald and sapphire colors.

[AJK: We took a round about way to check on our cooler and took some photos of the water from different spots.  Prepare yourself for electrifying beauty... views that reinvigorate belief in a Creator...]




(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/775/23515153082_6fa5bdc726_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPXiKQ)DSC05335 (https://flic.kr/p/BPXiKQ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/632/22996660973_cb9714f14a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B38U7H)DSC05336 (https://flic.kr/p/B38U7H) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/654/23328020770_c110ccf7a7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BxqcQE)DSC05337 (https://flic.kr/p/BxqcQE) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/775/23597634056_5a9119cb9c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BXf3tA)DSC05338 (https://flic.kr/p/BXf3tA) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


One of my faves ^


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/740/23623711365_f4c749f9c4_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BZxGmn)DSC05341 (https://flic.kr/p/BZxGmn) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5761/23255783749_d80220a7c2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Br2YhM)DSC05342 (https://flic.kr/p/Br2YhM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5668/22996654933_b083bff6e9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/B38Sjz)DSC05358 (https://flic.kr/p/B38Sjz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We grabbed some stand up paddleboards from the beach attendants and headed out to sea to appreciate a view of the resort from on top of the water. The water directly in front of the resort stays at about three and half feet of depth for approximately a mile. You really could just walk all the way out if you wanted to, but it was more fun to paddle. The water is the temperature of a well-heated pool so in or out of the water is equally comfortable.

After about thirty minutes of paddle boarding I had reached my ‘exercise-on-vacation’ quota for the year and we headed back to shore. We enjoyed the view while sitting in chairs under an umbrella for the next hour or so. The sun is merciless here and you can get quite a burn or a tan without ever intentionally laying out in the sun.

After all that relaxing, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we headed over to the beach restaurant where our cooler was being stored. After quite a bit of back and forth with various employees, we finally were able to get the point across that we wanted one of our meals heated. The majority of people working at the resort speak French, French Polynesian, and a smattering of broken English.

You can imagine that explaining that we need a saran-wrapped meal placed in a microwave for fifteen minutes, and served to us without being opened, not dumped on a plate, and not even having the plastic taken off, was complicated.  Well, you'd be right. Let's just say it was an ordeal. Eventually though, it was worth it, because out came a steaming hot bag of plastic which we took back to our room to eat on our little porch overlooking the water.

After our first experience taking POM meals, we learned that they take kosher pretty seriously and a little plastic knife will not suffice to remove the amount of plastic wrap these people use to cover the meals. So now we travel with a lean, mean cutting machine specifically for the purpose of opening our POM meals. 

[AJK: Specifically, this bad boy: An Assisted Opening Tactical Folding Knife with a Half-Serrated Blade

(https://i.gyazo.com/67577f566f4f706e9c89d3cb8de7a4c0.png)

AJK went to work on the meal, and a few minutes later we lifted the lid to reveal penne vodka and we sat down to eat.


(https://i.gyazo.com/36a0870819a1742a9becae192689d149.jpg)



We showered and changed out of our stand-up paddleboarding clothing (yes, we have specific stand-up paddleboard clothing) and headed back out to watch the sunset.

(For those of you who believed we have stand-up paddle boarding clothing then I’ll add that we put on our special ‘watching sunset outfits.’)

On the way we stopped off at the pool bar for drinks where they had seats set up for people to enjoy happy hour and watch the sunset. However, we had done our research and found out the prime sunset watching beach was located just outside the hotel property. The only public beach on the island is right next to the resort and apparently has the best views of sunset on the island. The public beach is twenty feet outside the entrance to the resort so we just headed across the street and started to walk down the beach looking for the best place to photograph from.

What we didn’t anticipate was that the stray dog population of Bora Bora is larger than their human population. We were quickly joined by quite a few mutts including one that looked suspiciously like a pit bull. [AJK: It was.] None of the dogs really paid much attention to us and kind of just walked around us as we set up cameras and found a place to sit. After about ten minutes or so, a little girl probably no older than five walked outside from one of the little ramshackle houses whose backyards open up to the beach. She immediately began playing with all the stray dogs including the pit bull looking one whose massive head was about a foot above hers.

It was at this point I decided that if we let loose a bunch of stray dogs in Brooklyn we could cure Jewish children of their crippling fear of all things four-legged. Watching the little girl play with the dogs was actually more entertaining than the sunset, but I think AJK may have gotten some good pictures of the sun setting over the Pacific.

[AJK: Maybe I did, maybe I didn't... you be the judge!]


(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5695/23368598609_7833654b73_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BB1bdz)DSC05389 (https://flic.kr/p/BB1bdz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/636/23108392684_793e760258_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Bd1y4w)DSC05399 (https://flic.kr/p/Bd1y4w) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We stayed until dark and then headed back across the street to the resort where we found a hammock set up right next to the ocean and we stopped to stargaze and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. (Actually, I’ll amend that to AJK watched the stars and listened to the waves and I promptly fell asleep.)

After letting me nap for a bit, we walked over to the restaurant to try explaining that we wanted another meal heated up.   This time we were more successful and an hour later a knock at the door heralded a tray bearing a hot Pomegranate meal. It also bore a bill for $20 for the ‘trouble’ the resort incurred throwing a tin-foil wrapped square in their industrial size oven for one hour. Seeing as it was already 9:00 PM after a long day of travel, we signed the bill not wanting to debate it with the delivery boy. We ate our dinner of lamb meatballs sitting outside listening to the waves and then headed to bed, where I dreamt of elecrifying blue water and mesmerizing purple sunsets...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: TimT on December 13, 2015, 11:35:22 PM
WOW!! I can't stop looking at these photos.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: cholent on December 13, 2015, 11:43:53 PM
Incredible! Can't wait for the next installment!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: MosheD on December 13, 2015, 11:45:05 PM
Wow! Those pics are drop dead gorgeous!

And also, great write up Mrs. AJK. Thanks for taking the time. I am in absolute amazement after reading this. First class cabins impress me, but this, this is what makes it worth it.

P.s. I love the DROPR attitude
p.p.s. @sf the photos didnt just get better. This is next level  :D
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: ilherman on December 14, 2015, 01:25:38 AM
Breathtaking views! You guys had such a great time!!!! And all with little to no money out of pocket!

The great write up together with the pictures actually gave me the feel like I am in BOB right now...  Seriously.

Thanks!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: SamKey on December 14, 2015, 04:13:17 AM
Breathtaking views! You guys had such a great time!!!! And all with little to no money out of pocket!

The great write up together with the pictures actually gave me the feel like I am in BOB right now...  Seriously.

Thanks!
+1
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 14, 2015, 07:25:00 AM
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: 3yummyboys on December 14, 2015, 08:48:33 AM
Really amazing!! Anyone know the reason for the color gradients in the water?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 08:52:42 AM
Really amazing!! Anyone know the reason for the color gradients in the water?
I believe it's directly correlated to depth. The shallower, the lighter; the deeper, the darker.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Moshe123 on December 14, 2015, 09:25:06 AM
STUNNING!!!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: jaywhy on December 14, 2015, 09:32:01 AM
Wow! Good job!
Those photos are jaw dropping.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Luvtotravel on December 14, 2015, 09:36:00 AM
what a way to greet this drab, grey morning! stupendous TR mrs. AJK and the pictures are truly a notch above!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yitrap on December 14, 2015, 10:05:15 AM
Love it!

How much was the room?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 14, 2015, 10:17:05 AM
Love it!

How much was the room?
[AJK: Our seder hayamim for BOB was as follows: First night at Intercontinental Le Moana (booked with IHG CC free night), then nights two, three, and four at the Intercontinental Thalasso (booked with points), and night five at the Intercontinental Tahiti (booked with IHG CC free night). I didn't know it at the time, but having the first night at the Le Moana was quite fortuitous as it turned out, as we'll explain.]
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 10:47:12 AM
Awesome TR.
And:
Uch. I hate you.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 10:59:20 AM
Does MLE look anything like this? If not, I may need to change my trip.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: dealfinder85 on December 14, 2015, 11:00:29 AM
Does MLE look anything like this? If not, I may need to change my trip.
Hashem should grant you the clarity you need to make such a decision
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 11:08:12 AM
Hashem should grant you the clarity you need to make such a decision

lol
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 11:10:52 AM
Hashem should grant you the clarity you need to make such a decision
If the clarity is anything like how the water looks in BOB, I may have to ask from there.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: dealfinder85 on December 14, 2015, 11:12:22 AM
If the clarity is anything like how the water looks in BOB, I may have to ask from there.
if i were "Him", thats where i would be
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 11:16:35 AM
Does MLE look anything like this? If not, I may need to change my trip.
The water does look like that.
No pretty mountains in MLE though.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 14, 2015, 11:25:23 AM
Does MLE look anything like this? If not, I may need to change my trip.



I also would love to know that answer to that question, so how do BOB and MLE compare?


Can you now answer the million dollar question, the question that you spent a lot of time debating on two or three separate threads on DDF.

How does BOB compare to MLE?

Pure Inui Din .

How much longer will you tease us?

Uch. I hate you.


Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 11:30:56 AM
I believe it's directly correlated to depth. The shallower, the lighter; the deeper, the darker.

As a follow-up, you can see from Google Maps (below) that the reason BOB has such astonishing beauty is because the lagoon--the part inside the islets--is huge but in so many places shallow. That's one of the chief differences between BOB and MLE (the largest difference, of course, being that the former is blessed with Mt. Otemanu standing tall in the backdrop).

The map below shows the various gradients (i.e., the soupy mess of exquisite beauty), and I've noted in red boxes the places I've mentioned so far in the TR for your (and everyone else's reference):

(https://i.gyazo.com/3537d259e9b861c5f5de6e8a6819cf4b.jpg)


The shuttle from BOB to Vaitape went south along the western side of the island, and then we took the cab from Vaitape all the way to the southern tip.

As you can see, the IHG LM has the distinct advantage of being able to see sunrise AND sunset, given it's location.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 11:33:28 AM



Pure Inui Din .

How much longer will you tease us?

Being misgaber over your yetzer is a character building exercise, friend :P

Notwithstanding, can you articulate the specific question you're asking? In other words, are you asking (i) which is prettier? (ii) which we enjoyed more? (iii) which we'd sooner return to? etc
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS1 on December 14, 2015, 11:39:35 AM
As a follow-up, you can see from Google Maps (below) that the reason BOB has such astonishing beauty is because the lagoon--the part inside the islets--is huge but in so many places shallow. That's one of the chief differences between BOB and MLE (the largest difference, of course, being that the former is blessed with Mt. Otemanu standing tall in the backdrop).

The map below shows the various gradients (i.e., the soupy mess of exquisite beauty), and I've noted in red boxes the places I've mentioned so far in the TR for your (and everyone else's reference):

sounds really nice -- it's now higher on our travel list. I suppose that one who's been there can pen this descriptive phrase, "(i.e., the soupy mess of exquisite beauty), when explaining the map. Nice.
we've enjoyed our caribbean visits. This location would take them about 20 notches higher.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yitrap on December 14, 2015, 11:41:46 AM

Snip
Thanks, dunno why I couldn't find it before.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: TimT on December 14, 2015, 11:48:09 AM
Being misgaber over your yetzer is a character building exercise, friend :P

Notwithstanding, can you articulate the specific question you're asking? In other words, are you asking (i) which is prettier? (ii) which we enjoyed more? (iii) which we'd sooner return to? etc
Which would you say is prettier ?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 11:48:19 AM
Also, due to the fact that American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser, I'd be remiss if I did not point out that both (i) my conversations via WhatsApp to on DL One with Yehoshua regarding placing the BHT order, (ii) the ability to order the Uber from 27,000 feet were only made possible due to the ten GoGo passes included with the American Express Business Platinum Card.

--AJK, a small business owner

(or something like that! :P)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 14, 2015, 11:59:59 AM
do you really travel with Tabasco sauce wherever you go?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 14, 2015, 12:01:08 PM
In other words, are you asking (i) which is prettier? (ii) which we enjoyed more? (iii) which we'd sooner return to? etc
all will suffice
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 14, 2015, 12:04:08 PM
Being misgaber over your yetzer is a character building exercise, friend :P

Notwithstanding, can you articulate the specific question you're asking? In other words, are you asking (i) which is prettier? (ii) which we enjoyed more? (iii) which we'd sooner return to? etc
As I've often repeated 'round these parts MLE is better in certain regards:

1) Better premium cabins, especially F (which doesn't exist at all with BOB)
2) Easier to secure OWB with private pool
3) More options for routing, making awards easier

Put it this way, does your above argument stand, which means, that if not for the better premium cabins, easier to secure OWB with private pools and more routing options, BOB would dwarf MLE in beauty and nature as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach?

In other words, will i find MLE boring after visiting BOB ( without the premium cabins being part of the argument)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 12:06:50 PM
Put it this way, does your above argument stand, which means, that if not for the better premium cabins, easier to secure OWB with private pools and more routing options, BOB would dwarf MLE in beauty and nature as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach?

Oh, that's your question? That one is easy.

No. BOB does not dwarf MLE as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach. Not even close.

(But, why are we taking away the advantages of MLE? That's like asking, "If you took away Michael Jordan's height, his right arm, and his sight, could you beat him in a one-on-one?")

Back to regularly scheduled programming :)

Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 12:07:39 PM
Put it this way, does your above argument stand, which means, that if not for the better premium cabins, easier to secure OWB with private pools and more routing options, BOB would dwarf MLE in beauty and nature as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach?
I don't think anyone argues here. BOB is prettier than MLE and MLE has the better premium cabins and OWB options.

But no way is MLE Coney Island Beach. It's just not as heavenly looking as BOB.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 12:07:59 PM
Oh, that's your question? That one is easy.

No. BOB does not dwarf MLE as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach. Not even close.

(But, why are we taking away the advantages of MLE? That's like asking, "If you took away Michael Jordan's height, his right arm, and his sight, could you beat him in a one-on-one?")

Back to regularly scheduled programming :)
Probably not  :(
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 14, 2015, 12:08:57 PM
Oh, that's your question? That one is easy.

No. BOB does not dwarf MLE as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach. Not even close.

(But, why are we taking away the advantages of MLE? That's like asking, "If you took away Michael Jordan's height, his right arm, and his sight, could you beat him in a one-on-one?")

Back to regularly scheduled programming :)

I don't think anyone argues here. BOB is prettier than MLE and MLE has the better premium cabins and OWB options.

But no way is MLE Coney Island Beach. It's just not as heavenly looking as BOB.
In other words, will i find MLE boring after visiting BOB ( without the premium cabins being part of the argument)
 


Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: dealfinder85 on December 14, 2015, 12:09:29 PM
I don't think anyone argues here. BOB is prettier than MLE and MLE has the better premium cabins and OWB options.

But no way is MLE Coney Island Beach. It's just not as heavenly looking as BOB.
of course not
MLE, as far as i know, doesnt have a hot dog eating contest
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 12:11:07 PM
In other words, will i find MLE boring after visiting BOB ( without the premium cabins being part of the argument)
Do you snorkel/dive?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 14, 2015, 12:11:32 PM
of course not
MLE, as far as i know, doesnt have a hot dog eating contest
or anything else for that matter other then water and sand
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: IsraelGuy on December 14, 2015, 12:13:51 PM
I love this thread- can't wait for more Mrs. AJK commentary and AJK pictures. Planning for BOB myself now (and at an IHG hotel) so love all the details.

Can you comment a little more on the food situation also? I'll probably be coming from SYD so I don't think I'll have access to POM meals- is French Polynesia pretty strict about bringing food in (non-packaged, etc)?

or anything else for that matter other then water and sand
There's a lot to be said for what's under the water at MLE
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS91 on December 14, 2015, 12:15:07 PM
This TR is kind of making me less excited for my trip to MLE and has me wishing that I had booked BOB instead...  :(
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 14, 2015, 12:15:16 PM
Do you snorkel/dive?
Yes, but there are nicer, easier and cheaper places to dive, do people really go to MLE just for the snorkel/diving?



Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on December 14, 2015, 12:18:04 PM
Oh, that's your question? That one is easy.

No. BOB does not dwarf MLE as CUN would dwarf Coney Island beach. Not even close.

(But, why are we taking away the advantages of MLE? That's like asking, "If you took away Michael Jordan's height, his right arm, and his sight, could you beat him in a one-on-one?")

Back to regularly scheduled programming :)

I don't think anyone argues here. BOB is prettier than MLE and MLE has the better premium cabins and OWB options.

But no way is MLE Coney Island Beach. It's just not as heavenly looking as BOB.
In other words, will i find MLE boring after visiting BOB ( without the premium cabins being part of the argument)
 Like this guy is afraid of.



This TR is kind of making me less excited for my trip to MLE and has me wishing that I had booked BOB instead...  :(
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 12:21:23 PM
Yes, but there are nicer, easier and cheaper places to dive, do people really go to MLE just for the snorkel/diving?
People go to relax and have an OWB.
The incredible snorkeling/diving is a bonus.

Yes it will be similar to BOB if you had an OWB with a pool there.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:02:45 PM
do you really travel with Tabasco sauce wherever you go?

No, but I do take sriracha everywhere.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:04:43 PM
I love this thread- can't wait for more Mrs. AJK commentary and AJK pictures. Planning for BOB myself now (and at an IHG hotel) so love all the details.

Can you comment a little more on the food situation also? I'll probably be coming from SYD so I don't think I'll have access to POM meals- is French Polynesia pretty strict about bringing food in (non-packaged, etc)?

Absolutely no issue with bringing in Kosher food, just like MLE (minus the pork and alcohol).

There's a lot to be said for what's under the water at MLE

+100
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:06:21 PM
Yes, but there are nicer, easier and cheaper places to dive, do people really go to MLE just for the snorkel/diving?

Are there nicer and cheaper places to dive than MLE? There are probably some, but not many.

And, yes, I'd say it's worth it to go to MLE just for diving, which was otherworldly.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: MC on December 14, 2015, 02:15:10 PM
No, but I do take sriracha everywhere.
Gosh, you and my husband would get along so well.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:17:26 PM
Gosh, you and my husband would get along so well.

I choose my friends and business partners basically along these lines, so feel free to introduce us :P

I have a fundamental distrust for people who dislike Sriracha...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 14, 2015, 02:17:34 PM
No, but I do take sriracha everywhere.

Certainly a must. Thus >> this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/291618997536?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 02:17:50 PM
I choose my friends and business partners basically along these lines, so feel free to introduce us :P

I have a fundamental distrust for people who dislike Sriracha...
Sriracha meatloaf ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:22:25 PM
Certainly a must. Thus >> this (http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/291618997536?ul_noapp=true&chn=ps&lpid=82)

Chief, that wouldn't last me a week :P

Sriracha meatloaf ;)

Is that what made it spicy?? I knew I liked it.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 14, 2015, 02:27:02 PM
Chief, that wouldn't last me a week :P


Make this (http://sriracha2go.com/collections/all-products-1/products/sriracha-jerky) kosher please!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 02:29:49 PM
Make this (http://sriracha2go.com/collections/all-products-1/products/sriracha-jerky) kosher please!

Amen.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 02:38:55 PM
Chief, that wouldn't last me a week :P

Is that what made it spicy?? I knew I liked it.
Amongst other spicy ingredients.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 14, 2015, 02:46:00 PM
Amen.
speak to these guys they'd do it for you http://joburgkosher.com/
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 02:57:50 PM
People go to relax and have an OWB.
The incredible snorkeling/diving is a bonus.

Yes it will be similar to BOB if you had an OWB with a pool there.

Ok back from the Siracha discussion to the MLE comparison (although benjie1305 thanks for the link to those keychains, those are ridiculously awesome)! ;)  I know when I was trying to decide, we went ahead and booked MLE because it just felt so much more private and exclusive.  Would you say that is correct? 

The pool in the OWB was definitely a factor but for example I was cracking up about Mrs. AJK's stray dog story but when I was deciding between the two locations, I wanted to get the full package couples "getaway" and have zero interest in any local "color" and thought that MLE would be better that way (the idea of taking a seaplane to the resort seems really cool and since I grew up overseas in third world countries, not interacting with people living in poverty or stray animals is super appealing to me also).  :P  Also were more people on the beaches and around in the hotels in BOB? 

From FT, it seemed like MLE would give the utmost privacy and many people noted that they never saw others on the beach or at all around the hotel (except in the restaurants) since the whole island is the resort.  So not just external beauty but from issue of privacy and exclusivity that contributes to the whole package on a couples vacation like this, which one do you think was better from that perspective?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 14, 2015, 03:08:15 PM
since I grew up in third world countries,
i agree Denver is bad, but that bad?  ;D
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 03:12:32 PM
Ok back from the Siracha discussion to the MLE comparison (although benjie1305 thanks for the link to those keychains, those are ridiculously awesome)! ;)  I know when I was trying to decide, we went ahead and booked MLE because it just felt so much more private and exclusive.  Would you say that is correct

The pool in the OWB was definitely a factor but for example I was cracking up about Mrs. AJK's stray dog story but when I was deciding between the two locations, I wanted to get the full package couples "getaway" and have zero interest in any local "color" and thought that MLE would be better that way (the idea of taking a seaplane to the resort seems really cool and since I grew up overseas in third world countries, not interacting with people living in poverty or stray animals is super appealing to me also).  :P  Also were more people on the beaches and around in the hotels in BOB? 

From FT, it seemed like MLE would give the utmost privacy and many people noted that they never saw others on the beach or at all around the hotel (except in the restaurants) since the whole island is the resort.  So not just external beauty but from issue of privacy and exclusivity that contributes to the whole package on a couples vacation like this, which one do you think was better from that perspective?

Nope.

If it's seclusion you're after, skip the Le Moana (or indeed any resort on Vaitape) and head to IHG Thalasso (or indeed any resort NOT on Vaitape).

You won't have to interact with anyone (or anything for that matter (including dogs)) other than the people who are paying $1,000/night, and even then, you probably won't see anyone unless you're at the main pool or restaurants.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 14, 2015, 03:14:52 PM
Nope.

If it's seclusion you're after, skip the Le Moana (or indeed any resort on Vaitape) and head to IHG Thalasso (or indeed any resort NOT on Vaitape).

You won't have to interact with anyone (or anything for that matter, (including dogs)) other than the people who are paying $1,000/night, and even then, you probably won't see anyone unless you're at the main pool or restaurants.
Or 73 handwritten envelopes/night ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 03:17:12 PM
Or 73 handwritten envelopes/night ;)

Yes, for people like us.

But I'd say 90% of the people when we were there were paying guests.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 03:22:49 PM
i agree Denver is bad, but that bad?  ;D

Actually it was in the Philippines although I did get some third world flashbacks on my trip to Brooklyn last month and when I see all the shopping carts on the residential streets of Pico/Robertson in LA  ;D ;D :P :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 03:25:57 PM
Nope.

If it's seclusion you're after, skip the Le Moana (or indeed any resort on Vaitape) and head to IHG Thalasso (or indeed any resort NOT on Vaitape).

You won't have to interact with anyone (or anything for that matter (including dogs)) other than the people who are paying $1,000/night, and even then, you probably won't see anyone unless you're at the main pool or restaurants.

OK thanks, that's what I thought.  If I did go to BOB it would be at the Hilton, which is also on a separate island so it would hopefully be similar to the IHG Thalasso but I think I did make the right call to pick MLE since privacy is really important to us.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 03:26:19 PM
OK thanks, that's what I thought.  If I did go to BOB it would be at the Hilton, which is also on a separate island so it would hopefully be similar to the IHG Thalasso but I think I did make the right call to pick MLE since privacy is really important to us.

Not sure you followed what I said if you responded with "that's what I thought . . . I did make the right call to pick MLE."

Anyway, what hotel in MLE?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 03:35:21 PM
Not sure you followed what I said if you responded with "that's what I thought . . . I did make the right call to pick MLE."

Anyway, what hotel in MLE?

We're gonna stay at the Conrad MLE.  I think I follow you that the IHG Thalasso is similar in privacy and exclusivity, although definitely a number of the other hotels are not.  My points are all HHonors so it was a decision between the Hilton BOB and Conrad MLE.  The Hilton is way bigger, cheaper, more people, no pool in the OWB, etc. so the Conrad was more appealing.  The whole package of getting met at the MLE airport, taken to their exclusive lounge, flying directly on a seaplane to the resort that only has a small number of units is what I am referring to.

Honestly too though the issue of flights were also important (we're flying SQ in J) and doing a 3 day stopover in Singapore.  Your pics are awesome though and have added BOB back on the list of places to visit and I shouldn't think of it as an either/or of BOB and MLE and now might try to do both!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 14, 2015, 03:38:18 PM
We're gonna stay at the Conrad MLE.  I think I follow you that the IHG Thalasso is similar in privacy and exclusivity, although definitely a number of the other hotels are not.  My points are all HHonors so it was a decision between the Hilton BOB and Conrad MLE.  The Hilton is way bigger, cheaper, more people, no pool in the OWB, etc. so the Conrad was more appealing.  The whole package of getting met at the MLE airport, taken to their exclusive lounge, flying directly on a seaplane to the resort that only has a small number of units is what I am referring to.

Honestly too though the issue of flights were also important (we're flying SQ in J) and doing a 3 day stopover in Singapore.  Your pics are awesome though and have added BOB back on the list of places to visit and I shouldn't think of it as an either/or of BOB and MLE and now might try to do both!

There we have it... Conrad MLE >>>>>>>> Hilton BOB.

That alone seals the deal for me (or for you, as the case may be).
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 03:46:19 PM
I'll hopefully have a full report/review of the Conrad MLE by next month this time.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 04:12:49 PM
There we have it... Conrad MLE >>>>>>>> Hilton BOB.

That alone seals the deal for me (or for you, as the case may be).

Yeah, you're right, I guess I should have said the hotel brand limitation from the beginning as it makes a big difference!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on December 14, 2015, 04:14:35 PM
I'll hopefully have a full report/review of the Conrad MLE by next month this time.

I can't wait to hear about it and I'm sure everyone else would love a TR too.  If you have specific advice about if they were helpful heating up food and other details that would be really great as I know others are also reserved there.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Marco Polo on December 14, 2015, 04:15:45 PM
I can't wait to hear about it and I'm sure everyone else would love a TR too.  If you have specific advice about if they were helpful heating up food and other details that would be really great as I know others are also reserved there.
I plan on putting that information into the TR.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: etech0 on December 14, 2015, 05:46:48 PM
Awesome stuff! Pics are unreal! Can't wait for more...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: FlyFirst on December 14, 2015, 10:23:18 PM
Awesome stuff! Pics are unreal! Can't wait for more...

+1 Thanks so much the AJK family for Sharing with us all the details
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Lou Bob on December 14, 2015, 10:48:15 PM
Hey, i like sriracha  :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Super Speed on December 15, 2015, 12:02:39 AM
Hey, i like sriracha  :)
So you and MCs husband and AJK can make a sriracha club
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yakrot on December 15, 2015, 01:40:44 AM

So you and MCs husband and AJK can make a sriracha club
don't honk it's fair to ajk if he takes up two spots in this club
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yaalili on December 15, 2015, 07:46:22 AM
Just read part 2 (reply 61) amazing amazing stuff. Funny about the stray dog to human ratio, I felt the exact same when I was in FLN.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: damaxer91 on December 15, 2015, 09:31:05 AM
Amazing TR! I gotta make it there one day...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 09:45:30 AM
Amazing TR! I gotta make it there one day...
Totally.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 15, 2015, 11:57:42 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Joburg-Kosher-Beef-Biltong-Peri/dp/B00J5MWZGG
out of stock currently
actually now that i check their site you could order directly PeriPeri Biltong
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 12:16:11 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Joburg-Kosher-Beef-Biltong-Peri/dp/B00J5MWZGG
out of stock currently
actually now that i check their site you could order directly PeriPeri Biltong

 :o :o

Peri Peri ≠ Sriracha
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 15, 2015, 02:55:08 PM
:o :o

Peri Peri ≠ Sriracha
very true
Proper peri peri is minimum 50k units on the scoville scale and sriracha tops at 2500
not like we are trying to compare Lays Sriracha Chips to Simba Peri-peri
but in all likelihood you are right, the Joburg Biltong is probably pretty mild 
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 02:58:18 PM
very true
Proper peri peri is minimum 50k units on the scoville scale and sriracha tops at 2500
not like we are trying to compare Lays Sriracha Chips to Simba Peri-peri
but in all likelihood you are right, the Joburg Biltong is probably pretty mild

I don't mind the heat of piri piri... I just prefer the taste of sriracha.

Don't even get me started on that time I tasted the bhut jolukia...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dawie on December 15, 2015, 03:42:56 PM
I don't mind the heat of piri piri... I just prefer the taste of sriracha.

Don't even get me started on that time I tasted the bhut jolukia...
i think that deserves its own TR
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 03:44:12 PM
i think that deserves its own TR

I think you're right ;)

Back to regularly scheduled--non sriracha/hot pepper--business!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AharonInIsrael on December 15, 2015, 04:32:25 PM
I saw the second installment had posted when I woke up this morning, and had to use all of my delayed gratification skills to wait to read it in the proper time: "No, don't look at it on your phone! What about the pictures?" "NO! You only have ten minutes now! Not enough time!"
Happy I waited to finish writing a paper, grab a beer and enjoy. Amazing pictures, captivating writing- can't wait for more! Gotta send my DW the proper links :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 04:42:49 PM
I saw the second installment had posted when I woke up this morning, and had to use all of my delayed gratification skills to wait to read it in the proper time: "No, don't look at it on your phone! What about the pictures?" "NO! You only have ten minutes now! Not enough time!"
Happy I waited to finish writing a paper, grab a beer and enjoy. Amazing pictures, captivating writing- can't wait for more! Gotta send my DW the proper links :)

lol, we're happy you were able to be misgaber so you could fully enjoy at a more appropriate time!

(Yes, I've used misgaber twice in the same TR thread  :-X)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 15, 2015, 04:50:31 PM
Breathtaking views! You guys had such a great time!!!! And all with little to no money out of pocket!

The great write up together with the pictures actually gave me the feel like I am in BOB right now...  Seriously.

Thanks!

Thanks :)

Truth be told, after checking my spreadsheet, this flight itinerary was actually the second-most expensive redemption we've done due to YQ: $885.80.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 15, 2015, 04:53:55 PM
Thanks :)

Truth be told, after checking my spreadsheet, this flight itinerary was actually the second-most expensive redemption we've done due to YQ: $885.80.

OyVey! And what is in #1?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: LoLo on December 15, 2015, 08:03:13 PM
OyVey! And what is in #1?
BA F ex LHR?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 19, 2015, 07:05:19 PM
OyVey! And what is in #1?

This one. (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=33867.msg1150170#msg1150170)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 20, 2015, 11:35:01 PM
The next morning we awoke at 6:00 AM to the sun glittering off the water outside our bedroom window. They had brought us a fruit tray the previous evening (likely because AJK had mentioned something about super platinum diamond ambassador status in his efforts to get us a room before 3:00 PM). Either way, it made for a lovely breakfast while we decided on the day's plans.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/771/23249986383_48cb17e934_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BqwfWc)DSC05403 (https://flic.kr/p/BqwfWc) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/723/23508876449_00728daaa1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPp8W2)DSC05440 (https://flic.kr/p/BPp8W2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



We knew that by early afternoon we wanted to check-out and make our way across the BOB lagoon to check-in at the Intercontinental Thalasso Resort where we were going to spend the rest of our trip. So we had time for one activity in the morning. Because we had so much fun with our previous motorcycling experience in a near death encounter in Bali (TR to come!) we decided to give renting a motorcycle another go. [AJK: Moped, not motorcycle...]

AJK took care of ensuring we had a late checkout, and we had the concierge arrange with a rental company to deliver a bike to the hotel. By about 8:45 AM we were seated on the back of our little bike and we headed off to explore.  Seeing as the island has a circumference of only 32 km, and there is only one main road, we just headed off on the main road which you encounter as soon as you exit the hotel property.

(https://i.gyazo.com/edfbfaea039adad0f01d3f6c4fd9748b.png)

While a typical 32 km road can be traversed in about 40 min on a bike, if the views are as spectacular as they are in Bora Bora, then the 32 km road will take you considerably longer. We made our way around the island at a leisurely pace stopping to take pictures every few feet.



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/743/23248608604_2689fd7439_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Bqpcno)DSC05404 (https://flic.kr/p/Bqpcno) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




[AJK: Was super hot outside, so we grabbed some water at a local stand.]

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5648/23768445432_7d2c941026_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CdkuKj)DSC05411 (https://flic.kr/p/CdkuKj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5782/23581062360_e74d71f13c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVM7hG)DSC05412 (https://flic.kr/p/BVM7hG) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5748/23248605914_397210dc89_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Bqpbz1)DSC05413 (https://flic.kr/p/Bqpbz1) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5726/23876792675_69028598f9_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CnUNBe)DSC05416 (https://flic.kr/p/CnUNBe) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5691/23248604854_de9410e335_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BqpbfJ)DSC05420 (https://flic.kr/p/BqpbfJ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/751/23850687486_6898226513_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CkB1rL)DSC05423 (https://flic.kr/p/CkB1rL) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/689/23581058570_4f987cea51_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVM6am)DSC05429 (https://flic.kr/p/BVM6am) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




We eventually made our first loop around and decided we had time for a second. Which meant more pictures :)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/733/23850685696_552231f1de_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CkAZUU)DSC05430 (https://flic.kr/p/CkAZUU) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/714/23794286821_56d686eb6e_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CfBWuv)DSC05432 (https://flic.kr/p/CfBWuv) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/686/23768437472_df018f8b32_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cdkso5)DSC05437 (https://flic.kr/p/Cdkso5) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


We took the second loop at a bit faster pace stopping off in town to pick up some drinks. Seeing as the two cokes we’d had the previous evening had rung up at $10, which unless the coke is white, powdery and can be snorted, should never cost that much, we bought a six-pack of soda for about $5, threw it in our backpack and jumped back on our bike to head back to the hotel.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/603/23508878059_930c25fabc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPp9pM)DSC05436 (https://flic.kr/p/BPp9pM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr
 



At the hotel, we packed up our bungalow and headed to check-out. Our luggage was picked up by a man wearing a skirt, on a bike with a little cart attached to the back. He had about ten suitcases in the back and biked with one hand while he wheeled another two rolling suitcases along next to him. Quite impressive.

I went to the boat dock where the resorts transfer shuttle would take us across the lagoon to the Thalasso, while AJK went to see what he could do about the $20 fee they had assessed us for the hard work they went to throwing a foil-wrapped tin in their oven. AJK joined me ten minutes later... victorious. I’m losing track of the score between us and the Intercontinental Le Moana, but I’m pretty certain we’re winning.

The boat ride across the lagoon is spectacular and a great way to have a little tour of the lagoon. The ride is about 10-15 minutes long and all too soon we pulled up at the dock at the Intercontinental Thalasso.

Some pics from the ride:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/746/23850681346_743cc8d250_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CkAYBU)DSC05443 (https://flic.kr/p/CkAYBU) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/614/23508874749_bfdcfc8a24_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPp8qH)DSC05445 (https://flic.kr/p/BPp8qH) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/759/23581052100_3c77efd80f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVM4eN)DSC05447 (https://flic.kr/p/BVM4eN) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5645/23508873539_efd4ecb2f0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BPp84R)DSC05456 (https://flic.kr/p/BPp84R) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/770/23249972743_3e5c06512d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BqwbT2)DSC05458 (https://flic.kr/p/BqwbT2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/706/23768447392_a2aab5165f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cdkvk7)DSC05460 (https://flic.kr/p/Cdkvk7) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5792/23581064850_86602c93dc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVM82C)DSC05463 (https://flic.kr/p/BVM82C) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/614/23581064660_7a4feb6583_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVM7Ym)DSC05464 (https://flic.kr/p/BVM7Ym) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




We were met by a woman who handed us two flower leis which they must have sprayed with floral perfume because they smelled phenomenal. She escorted us to a golf cart parked on the dock. A little red emergency phone attached to a stand on the dock began ringing and she picked it up. After conversing with the person on the other end for a minute she hung up and asked us if we had any food we needed to store in the freezer.

AJK had emailed the general manager regarding our food prior to our arrival and it seems he was pretty organized. We took our cooler with us in the golf cart and while showing us a tour of the property we stopped off by the concierge desk where we were met by the head-chef and the general manager. We quickly explained how the heating up of the POM meals works and we were informed that they had a kosher wine list we could choose from to go with our meals.

We were also informed about the same $10 heating and $10 delivery fee. [AJK: While I didn't like the fee anymore at the Thalasso, at least they informed us we'd be charged.]

We were shown to some chairs in the check-in area, and they checked us in while they brought us drinks and cool towels. We were then driven to our over-water bungalow. The entire resort, including the pretty grounds, are newer and nicer than the Intercontinental Le Moana on the mainland.

[AJK: Pictures of the room in the next installment!]
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lechatchileh ariber on December 20, 2015, 11:51:06 PM
The pics just get better. Awesome! (I hope you guys enjoyed the coke)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: TimT on December 21, 2015, 12:12:15 AM
Which lens(es) are you using for these glorious pictures ?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Emkay on December 21, 2015, 06:03:12 AM
Awesome. amazing pics!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Joe4007 on December 21, 2015, 11:22:09 AM
Otherworldly!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on December 21, 2015, 11:27:04 AM
Cant wait!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: alpicone on December 21, 2015, 12:19:26 PM
Great pics. Are you editing these pics?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: tageed-lee on December 21, 2015, 12:23:18 PM
Incredibly Insanely Not Normal!!! Love it!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: etech0 on December 21, 2015, 12:28:08 PM
Awesome. amazing pics!
+1
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: MosheD on December 21, 2015, 12:32:12 PM
Awesome. amazing pics!
+2
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 21, 2015, 12:36:46 PM
Which lens(es) are you using for these glorious pictures ?

Surprisingly, just the kit lens from the Sony A6000.

Great pics. Are you editing these pics?

Of course; they're shot in RAW, so obviously needed to be cropped/edited in post-production. But not using any "fake filters" or any of that nonsense.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 21, 2015, 12:37:57 PM
The pics just get better. Awesome! (I hope you guys enjoyed the coke)

We did. Very much so :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: HBERG on December 21, 2015, 01:32:28 PM
are there any dateline issues (like hawaii)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 21, 2015, 01:32:57 PM
are there any dateline issues (like hawaii)

Yes. Contact LOR.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: mrprez27 on December 21, 2015, 01:51:18 PM
+2
+3
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: alpicone on December 21, 2015, 01:58:16 PM

Of course; they're shot in RAW, so obviously needed to be cropped/edited in post-production. But not using any "fake filters" or any of that nonsense.

Seems to be what makes a huge difference. Just made up my mind that I will shoot my next trip starting later this week in RAW. Hope I don't regret all the extra work I am creating for myself
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 21, 2015, 01:59:22 PM
Seems to be what makes a huge difference. Just made up my mind that I will shoot my next trip starting later this week in RAW. Hope I don't regret all the extra work I am creating for myself

I'd recommend it. But, you're concern is well-founded. As long as TR-writing/posting/editing is now, shooting in RAW and editing probably doubles it.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: stbaum on December 21, 2015, 02:03:49 PM
We took the second loop at a bit faster pace stopping off in town to pick up some drinks. Seeing as the two cokes we’d had the previous evening had rung up at $10, which unless the coke is white, powdery and can be snorted, should never cost that much, we bought a six-pack of soda for about $5, threw it in our backpack and jumped back on our bike to head back to the hotel.

alol

wonderful tr and such beautiful pictures!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on December 21, 2015, 02:06:06 PM
Seems to be what makes a huge difference. Just made up my mind that I will shoot my next trip starting later this week in RAW. Hope I don't regret all the extra work I am creating for myself

Good idea, but for the first time get an insurance policy: shoot RAW+JPEG. You'll have the best of both worlds, should you become overwhelmed.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on December 21, 2015, 02:06:47 PM
Yup, that's what I do.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: enwhycee on December 21, 2015, 02:13:34 PM
Great pics. Keep'em coming.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: alpicone on December 21, 2015, 02:14:32 PM

Good idea, but for the first time get an insurance policy: shoot RAW+JPEG. You'll have the best of both worlds, should you become overwhelmed.

Perfect. Didn't even know that was an option
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Proisrael on December 21, 2015, 02:50:47 PM
Whose BOB??

Great TR and Pics!!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: JoeyShmoe on December 21, 2015, 02:55:23 PM
Whose BOB??

Great TR and Pics!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bora_Bora_Airport
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: etech0 on December 21, 2015, 03:04:50 PM
Whose BOB??
this guy  (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=59206.0)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yehoshua on December 21, 2015, 03:44:11 PM
I know I'm a little late to the party with reading this TR, but WOW! Just amazing!

Also, due to the fact that American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser, I'd be remiss if I did not point out that both (i) my conversations via WhatsApp to on DL One with Yehoshua regarding placing the BHT order, (ii) the ability to order the Uber from 27,000 feet were only made possible due to the ten GoGo passes included with the American Express Business Platinum Card.

--AJK, a small business owner

(or something like that! :P)
I'm glad to have been of service!

I choose my friends and business partners basically along these lines, so feel free to introduce us :P

I have a fundamental distrust for people who dislike Sriracha...
Good thing I like sriracha then.

Actually it was in the Philippines although I did get some third world flashbacks on my trip to Brooklyn last month and when I see all the shopping carts on the residential streets of Pico/Robertson in LA  ;D ;D :P :P
Hey, those shopping carts are a far ways from the streets of Brooklyn.

So you and MCs husband and AJK can make a sriracha club
lol  :D
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Proisrael on December 21, 2015, 05:40:43 PM
this guy  (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=59206.0)

He was with them?? Now I am so confused :-\ :o
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: etech0 on December 21, 2015, 05:42:24 PM
He was with them?? Now I am so confused :-\ :o
No, but his name is Bob...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on December 21, 2015, 09:44:34 PM
He was with them?? Now I am so confused :-\ :o
No, Bob Sacamano was with them.

As far as the TR:
Uch. I hate you.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AharonInIsrael on December 22, 2015, 08:03:32 AM
Fabulous stuff again! Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yaalili on December 22, 2015, 08:54:58 PM
Wow nice!!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 01:17:18 AM
[AJK: Before proceeding, I realized I forgot some pictures from the previous segment so am repeating the last few lines of the last part with pics included. Can never get enough BOB pics!]

We were met by a woman who handed us two flower leis which they must have sprayed with floral perfume because they smelled phenomenal. She escorted us to a golf cart parked on the dock.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1685/23531657663_e1c1f19118_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpTZz)DSC05465 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpTZz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


A little red emergency phone attached to a stand on the dock began ringing and she picked it up. After conversing with the person on the other end for a minute she hung up and asked us if we had any food we needed to store in the freezer. AJK had emailed the general manager regarding our food prior to our arrival and it seems he was pretty organized.

We took once last glance at the boat upon which we had made our voyage and then we were off to check-in.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1652/23790625079_bfdd575015_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CfiaZ2)DSC05466 (https://flic.kr/p/CfiaZ2) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1555/23531656053_16cc7b76a1_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpTvP)DSC05467 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpTvP) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


We took our cooler with us in the golf cart, and while showing us a tour of the property we stopped off by the concierge desk where we were met by the head-chef and the general manager. We quickly explained how the heating up of the POM meals works and we were informed that they had a kosher wine list we could choose from to go with our meals.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1561/23862780290_5e07e1bab6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CmEZdo)DSC05497 (https://flic.kr/p/CmEZdo) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

We were also informed about the same $10 heating and $10 delivery fee. [AJK: While I didn't like the fee anymore at the Thalasso, at least they informed us we'd be charged.]

We were shown to some chairs in the check-in area, and they checked us in while they brought us drinks and cool towels.


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1486/24050351362_3a50ed12e6_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDfkyo)DSC05468 (https://flic.kr/p/CDfkyo) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


We were then driven to our over-water bungalow. The entire resort, including the pretty grounds, are newer and nicer than the Intercontinental Le Moana on the mainland. The bungalow itself is decorated beautifully and feels very luxurious and quite spacious. Really well-done.


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1650/24050350132_799e11ca01_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDfkcb)DSC05469 (https://flic.kr/p/CDfkcb) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1610/23790620459_93136dee7f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi9Bn)DSC05470 (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi9Bn) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1625/23531651463_e2aa23aab0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpS9F)DSC05471 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpS9F) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1549/23790603089_2ac6c97385_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi4rT)DSC05496 (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi4rT) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1473/24050330922_6f73b3c53c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDfetY)DSC05498 (https://flic.kr/p/CDfetY) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1610/24050849992_074a033087_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDhTMs)DSC05473 (https://flic.kr/p/CDhTMs) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1441/24132333566_85f882aebf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CLuw1E)DSC05474 (https://flic.kr/p/CLuw1E) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1625/24075818751_8385af9c9f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuS8i)DSC05478 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuS8i) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1589/23532133423_2d745e1455_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRskqk)DSC05491 (https://flic.kr/p/BRskqk) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1709/24075817491_cae37e9849_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuRKz)DSC05481 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuRKz) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1478/23531644103_b8497afe67_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpPXM)DSC05483 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpPXM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1590/24132329136_28597d5faf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CLuuGh)DSC05484 (https://flic.kr/p/CLuuGh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1647/24075814151_5ef33999b0_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuQKZ)DSC05485 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuQKZ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1520/23531641313_19f62d422c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpP8F)DSC05487 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpP8F) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1648/23862788200_4b485bd13f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CmF2yL)DSC05486 (https://flic.kr/p/CmF2yL) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1673/23530220484_0ba750997a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRhwLC)DSC05489 (https://flic.kr/p/BRhwLC) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr









Apparently, *someone* was in a rush to clean the bathroom... eh?








(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1712/23790607429_70abdc8871_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi5JH)DSC05490 (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi5JH) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The deck off the back has two lounge chairs to sit outside and relax on, as well as a table and chairs for eating. A few steps down from that porch you have a large dock area with a ladder leading into the ocean as well as a fresh water shower for rinsing off with after swimming in the ocean.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1476/24075819251_771fbddbcf_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuSgV)DSC05475 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuSgV) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1482/24132331646_ed1d3b7a0a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CLuvry)DSC05482 (https://flic.kr/p/CLuvry) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1671/24050334662_f73169bfe3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDffAs)DSC05492 (https://flic.kr/p/CDffAs) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1545/24075807991_1de3dc6300_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuNVM)DSC05493 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuNVM) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1444/23790604379_338f8f8bcc_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi4Q8)DSC05494 (https://flic.kr/p/Cfi4Q8) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1452/24050332602_578d7664b5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CDfeYW)DSC05495 (https://flic.kr/p/CDfeYW) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




We couldn’t resist the light blue, sparkling water right outside the room and immediately took a dip right off of our room. The water is the temperature of a pool which is quite refreshing and enjoyable. After swimming around for a bit we got out and decided to go exploring. We headed off to check out the grounds. [AJK: And of course, take some more pictures!]




(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1448/23531633413_65442cbfae_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRpLMt)DSC05500 (https://flic.kr/p/BRpLMt) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1696/24075803711_d8e876e243_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuMDZ)DSC05501 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuMDZ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1552/23862777490_d94fbf721f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CmEYo7)DSC05502 (https://flic.kr/p/CmEYo7) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1494/23530211014_9a3ae17eb5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRhtXm)DSC05504 (https://flic.kr/p/BRhtXm) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1685/23530209874_3f0686296c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRhtBG)DSC05506 (https://flic.kr/p/BRhtBG) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




We headed off to the dive shop at the resort to book diving for the next morning.

As the dive shop was shut for the day already, we walked over to the concierge desk and asked the young lady to look into setting up some dives for the next morning. Although the first three places she called were fully booked for the advanced morning dives she remained quite persistent on our behalf and told us she would find something and then call our room to let us know the results.

We walked over the restaurant next and asked them to heat some food up for us. When it was heated we picked it up and headed back to our room where we enjoyed delicious blintzes on our porch over the ocean.

(https://api.monosnap.com/rpc/file/download?id=W5ZzVqaEQZ8shc7emVsb4MjsGQX3xt)


Afterwards, we were drawn back to the beach by the sounds of live music and by the hope of being treated to a spectacular sunset. The resort is set up for a perfect view of watching the sun sink behind Mt. Otumanu spread out over the waters of the lagoon. Alas, the sunset was pretty muted [AJK: Oh, how quickly we get spoiled... you be the judge of the picture below.] we get and so we had to console ourselves with happy hour drinks and by listening to the musical entertainment which was actually quite good.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1465/23862773960_8a81f79552_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CmEXkf)DSC05507 (https://flic.kr/p/CmEXkf) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1700/24075798771_a71e759314_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuLbP)DSC05508 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuLbP) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1557/24075798071_73f9f0d60a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFuKYK)DSC05510 (https://flic.kr/p/CFuKYK) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1627/23530207414_47960b3456_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BRhsTh)DSC05511 (https://flic.kr/p/BRhsTh) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr






We both found ourselves dozing off and by the time the musician wrapped it up it was dark outside and we decided we would have them heat up our dinner. Seeing as it would take an hour for the food to be ready we thought there was no better way to spend that hour than night swimming in the resort pool--which we had completely to ourselves--and doing some stargazing.




(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1544/24158402425_2ea1d22119_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CNN8nK)DSC05520 (https://flic.kr/p/CNN8nK) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr



The pool was more bathtub temperature than pool temperature, and it provided the perfect warmth for a swim at night. The hour passed quickly and we hopped out to pick up our food and head back to our room. The walk back to the bungalow at night provides a different kind of beauty than during the day, but quite beautiful all the same. The dock is lit up with little lanterns casting a glow on the bungalows and over the water but not enough to take away from the myriads of stars spread out above the water. We sat on the back porch and enjoyed a dinner of Sino steak and beer.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1504/24076661351_c3d17dc80a_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CFzbAT)DSC05522 (https://flic.kr/p/CFzbAT) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

 

We then headed to bed in anticipation of an early morning start.


Friday morning we got the early morning start we had been anticipating, just at about two hours earlier than planned. It is difficult to describe the incongruity of lying in bed in an over-water-bungalow with the water gently lapping at your porch steps one minute, and then the next moment feeling as if you are a homeless person who made the bad decision of sleeping on the sidewalk outside of a busy Manhattan construction project.

Yes, you read that correctly. At 7am sharp AJK rolled over, sat up in bed and said to me, “wth!” To be clear, this is not the usual way he greets his beloved wife in the morning, but the circumstances demanded something a little stronger. I got up and pulled back the blackout shades and gauzy curtains covering our full floor to ceiling windows with views of the lagoon and the beach. And honest to G-d, spread out before me was sparkling, flawless, turquoise water leading to a white sandy beach, with two large backhoes revved up and creating a cacophony of immense proportions that was being carried across the water and rousing the inhabitants of all over-water bungalows and likely the people sleeping at the resort two miles up the lagoon as well. "Wth" indeed.



Turns out that a few weeks earlier a large storm had sent a swell along the beach of the resort and had wiped out some parts of the resort’s beach. Lucky for us, the two days picked to restore the beach using construction equipment brought over on a barge from the mainland, were the first two days of our stay.

Turning lemons into lemonade we got up early, enjoyed the sunshine, and set out to the dock to meet our dive boat. I’ll let AJK describe the diving experience in Bora Bora. For those of you terrified by the thought of scuba diving you can skip the following paragraph, and you can also live the rest of your lives with the knowledge that you are missing out on seeing some of the greatest wonders of the world and experiencing some of the most spectacular phenomenon of our universe.


[AJK: Well, with that exuberant and gushing introduction, I must be frank and admit that the diving did not measure up to MLE or the GBR. To be sure, it was beautiful and fun and relaxed, but it was not the *best* I've ever done. 

At about 8:30 AM, I was picked up at the dock and off we went.  As Mrs. AJK said earlier, because I waited until the last minute to book diving, my first choice of dive shop--TopDive, the one *at the resort*--was already fully booked. But no matter, the concierge had hooked me up with two advanced dives (i.e. to 30 meters) with Bora Diving Center (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g311415-d312293-Reviews-Bora_Diving_Center-Bora_Bora_Society_Islands.html) which had excellent reviews.  As it turned out, it was our dive guide's first time leading a group (interestingly, he had one blue eye and one brown eye), but he seemed to have everything under control... except for one thing which wasn't really his personal fault and which I'll talk about later.

Anyway, we boated to a couple other resorts to pick up some other divers. IIRC, there was a total of 6 of us not including the guide.  Had I known how beautiful the boat ride itself was going to be to the other resorts and dive sites, I would have gone even even if there wasn't any diving available.

Pictures and video (taken on GoPro 4) from the ride picking people up and to our first dive site:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1490/24097107762_fcbc763b20_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CHnYBd)GOPR0019 (https://flic.kr/p/CHnYBd) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1584/24205151675_32958ac730_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CSVJii)GOPR0022 (https://flic.kr/p/CSVJii) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1498/24122566981_80c3096d04_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CKCsKg)GOPR0023 (https://flic.kr/p/CKCsKg) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1492/24179067066_73406a7ab8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC3fE)GOPR0029 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC3fE) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1462/24179066856_d51e172d03_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC3c3)GOPR0031 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC3c3) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1562/23578341753_86676997fd_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVxaxF)GOPR0033 (https://flic.kr/p/BVxaxF) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1672/23576953894_8ff1c6af79_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVq3Z5)GOPR0035 (https://flic.kr/p/BVq3Z5) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1447/24179066186_6ca9c7c4a3_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Zu)GOPR0039 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Zu) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1590/23909564720_060ce04b75_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CqNLAu)GOPR0041 (https://flic.kr/p/CqNLAu) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1511/23837322509_0c7da6c6d5_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cjqvv8)GOPR0043 (https://flic.kr/p/Cjqvv8) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr





On the first video (and all need to be watched in 1080p!), please excuse my fat fingers which are clearly too big for the small GoPro  :-X










Our first dive site was Tapu, #1 below:


(http://www.topdive.com/images/stories/bora/carte.jpg)



Water was breathtakingly clear with some of the best visibility I've ever had, and we did see a black tip reef shark (sadly no lemons), a huge school of 2-300 barracuda, and a school of fish I can't I can't identify...






(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1466/24179065906_1911753192_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2UE)GOPR0046 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2UE) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1450/24179065636_42ccd69096_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Q1)GOPR0047 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Q1) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1464/24122564931_7016592a36_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CKCs8V)GOPR0048 (https://flic.kr/p/CKCs8V) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1706/24179064966_3f8d5de3c2_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Cs)GOPR0049 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2Cs) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1688/23578339783_d204b32908_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVx9XH)GOPR0051 (https://flic.kr/p/BVx9XH) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




After a 46 minute dive with a max depth of about 75 feet, we surfaced, re-boarded and headed to our second dive site, Toopua, #5 below:

(http://www.topdive.com/images/stories/bora/carte.jpg)



And we were treated to another wonderfully gorgeous 10 minute ride.  I dub the below picture "The Otemanu Volcano."




(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1483/23576952134_68e006912b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/BVq3sJ)GOPR0053 (https://flic.kr/p/BVq3sJ) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1508/24179064436_396625ff6f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2tj)GOPR0055 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2tj) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1552/23837320039_283c390d17_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CjquLx)GOPR0071 (https://flic.kr/p/CjquLx) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




Shortly, we were back in the water for dive #2.  During this 45 minute dive at a max of 80 feet, the visibility was nowhere what it was at Tapu, but we were treated to four or five eagle rays, giant clams, and moorish idols.


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1666/24179063956_e8e85167f7_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2k3)GOPR0072 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2k3) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1547/24179063866_ee8308e0ff_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2iu)GOPR0073 (https://flic.kr/p/CQC2iu) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


You can make out the two rays in the middle of the picture, the black triangles :P


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1445/23837320419_6d0576115c_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CjquT6)GOPR0074 (https://flic.kr/p/CjquT6) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


It's bit easier to see them here:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1504/23837319759_b46c2b1c2f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CjquFH)GOPR0075 (https://flic.kr/p/CjquFH) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr


Too quickly, the dive was over, and we were back on board for some more exotic scenery.








At this point, my GoPro died. Why, oh, why did I not bring my Alpha 6000? Views were stunning. But, without the camera, it allowed me to just bask.

There we were, without a care in the world, fatigued from diving, just enjoying the scenery headed back towards the east of Bora Bora to the IHG and the LM (where a couple of the other divers were staying)... and the boat just dies. In the middle of the lagoon. Ten minutes away from the hotel.

This first-time guide heads back to the engines, primes them a couple times, returns to the cockpit and we all hold our breath to see if they'd turn over. Viola!

We were off again.

...until we weren't.  Seconds later it died again.

And there we sat for 45-50 mins. And then we drifted toward shore.  At one point, because we were headed towards rocky shallows, the guide jumped overboard and, while swimming in the water, pushed the boat towards the dock of an abandoned hotel.  Once there, we secured the boat, and we waited a bit more. Finally, another one of the company's boats came and got us and dropped us at our respective hotels.

All in all, an enjoyable day of diving.
]

After returning from scuba diving, we relaxed in our bungalow and called to ask the staff to heat up a meal for us. After about an hour we walked up to the beach restaurant and enjoyed a delicious lasagna lunch.


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1471/24224175365_c176602bc8_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/CUBenX)DSC05523 (https://flic.kr/p/CUBenX) by AJK DDF (https://www.flickr.com/photos/131797381@N04/), on Flickr




We then prepared for Shabbos by...




...sitting on our porch, enjoying the view, and relaxing.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: cholent on January 07, 2016, 01:34:39 AM
I've been waiting for this installment, and just wow. The pics are incredible
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yehoshua on January 07, 2016, 01:44:59 AM
Wow oh wow, those pictures are stunning! Thank you both so much  for taking the time to upload this!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: MosheD on January 07, 2016, 02:06:04 AM
Once again, amazing!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on January 07, 2016, 02:13:47 AM
Wow oh wow, those pictures are stunning! Thank you both so much  for taking the time to upload this!

+100
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AharonInIsrael on January 07, 2016, 07:04:31 AM
Amazing stuff again! Thank you for taking the time to write and post it!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Mordyk on January 07, 2016, 07:36:26 AM
Wow!! Very well written. But i was hoping to see what you actually did the whole shabbos over there? Just looking at thw views? ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: elit on January 07, 2016, 08:04:50 AM
Are those the actual colors of the water or the pics are enhanced
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on January 07, 2016, 09:21:04 AM
Great! So how long was the overall diving tour? 2 hours?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Luvtotravel on January 07, 2016, 09:58:17 AM
at the very top of my bucket list...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on January 07, 2016, 10:00:43 AM
Beautiful!! Thank you for taking the time to continue!

Some questions:
How deep the water when you step off your ladder?
Is there a concern for sharks or the like in BOB?
On FT there is SO much talk about the room number you get - whether it faces the beach, the ocean, the mountain, etc. it's a bit nuts. Did you look into which room you wanted to get ahead of time and were you happy with what you got?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Ergel on January 07, 2016, 10:48:14 AM
Did you look into which room you wanted to get ahead of time and were you happy with what you got?
Clearly you don't know AJK
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on January 07, 2016, 10:50:14 AM
Clearly you don't know AJK
I was trying to ask nicely. I'm just surprised he got a beach facing room. Does it make it better now?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 01:19:08 PM
Thanks, guys!




Wow!! Very well written. But i was hoping to see what you actually did the whole shabbos over there? Just looking at thw views? ;)

Next segment, bro!

Are those the actual colors of the water or the pics are enhanced

As stated earlier in the TR, these pics are shot in RAW (aside from the ones I shot diving), so obviously needed to be cropped/edited in post-production. But not using any "fake filters" or any of that nonsense.

Those are the actual colors; take a look at the vids in 1080p to verify.

Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 01:20:35 PM
Great! So how long was the overall diving tour? 2 hours?

The two dives themselves were under an hour each, but the entire excursion was from about 8am to 1pm  (assuming we would not have broken down).

at the very top of my bucket list...

As it probably should be :P

Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: elit on January 07, 2016, 01:23:42 PM
Thanks, guys!




Next segment, bro!

As stated earlier in the TR, these pics are shot in RAW (aside from the ones I shot diving), so obviously needed to be cropped/edited in post-production. But not using any "fake filters" or any of that nonsense.

Those are the actual colors; take a look at the vids in 1080p to verify.
Gotchya I know nothing about photography so I skimmed really quickly over that. Absolutely amazing. Def on top of my bucket list. .... one day....sigh....
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 01:24:27 PM
Beautiful!! Thank you for taking the time to continue!

Some questions:
How deep the water when you step off your ladder?
Is there a concern for sharks or the like in BOB?
On FT there is SO much talk about the room number you get - whether it faces the beach, the ocean, the mountain, etc. it's a bit nuts. Did you look into which room you wanted to get ahead of time and were you happy with what you got?

1) 3-4 feet max.
2) Nah, if you see any by your OWB, they're gonna be harmless babies.
3) Frankly, for the first time in my life, I didn't concern myself with what room I got. I remember when I went to MLE I spent hours researching/emailing/fretting over which room I got and it just detracted from the experience.  In this resort, the rooms are all appointed *exactly. the. same.* The only difference is the view and considering we were going to be out and about, either at the pool which has a view, swimming in the lagoon which has a view, relaxing in the hammock which has a view, or on an excursion which has an even better view, I didn't research/email/fret and it was lovely. So, in sum, we were content with what we got and didn't even bother asking for a different one.

Happens to be, this resort quite possibly has the best view of Mr. Otemanu out of them all...


(http://cdn.luxatic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Intercontinental-Bora-Bora-Resort-Thalasso-Spa-1.jpg)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Mordyk on January 07, 2016, 01:38:33 PM
Thanks, guys!




Next segment, bro!

You better make it juicy. I have a hard time convincing my wife to go on vacation over a weekend
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 01:42:34 PM
No worries, I'll be able to show you all the gorgeous pictures I took on shabbas.

... I mean what are you expecting? :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: TimT on January 07, 2016, 01:43:39 PM
You better make it juicy.
Based on everything till now I have complete confidence.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on January 07, 2016, 01:44:10 PM
No worries, I'll be able to show you all the gorgeous pictures I took. I mean what are you expecting? :)

Have you always been into photography? And if so, throughout your trips and adventures, what has been your source of learning and getting better at your photography skills?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Mordyk on January 07, 2016, 01:44:17 PM
Based on everything till now I have complete confidence.
lol
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on January 07, 2016, 01:53:52 PM
1) 3-4 feet max.
2) Nah, if you see any by your OWB, they're gonna be harmless babies.
3) Frankly, for the first time in my life, I didn't concern myself with what room I got. I remember when I went to MLE I spent hours researching/emailing/fretting over which room I got and it just detracted from the experience.  In this resort, the rooms are all appointed *exactly. the. same.* The only difference is the view and considering we were going to be out and about, either at the pool which has a view, swimming in the lagoon which has a view, relaxing in the hammock which has a view, or on an excursion which has an even better view, I didn't research/email/fret and it was lovely. So, in sum, we were content with what we got and didn't even bother asking for a different one.

Happens to be, this resort quite possibly has the best view of Mr. Otemanu out of them all...


(http://cdn.luxatic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Intercontinental-Bora-Bora-Resort-Thalasso-Spa-1.jpg)
Thanks for all the answers! Glad you didn't kill yourself and rather just enjoyed it!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yitrap on January 07, 2016, 04:02:14 PM

No worries, I'll be able to show you all the gorgeous pictures I took on shabbas.

... I mean what are you expecting? :)
Kosher switch? :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 07, 2016, 04:04:21 PM
Kosher switch? :P

Shabbas goy!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: elit on January 07, 2016, 06:36:09 PM
How private is the swimming outside your room?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on January 07, 2016, 06:38:03 PM
How private is the swimming outside your room?
Anyone can swim or boat by. This isn't like the LM HKT with a walled in pool.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Ergel on January 07, 2016, 07:19:33 PM
Anyone can swim or boat by. This isn't like the LM HKT with a walled in pool.
Don't forget the cameras!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on January 07, 2016, 07:23:55 PM
Lol, good times.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Aaaron on January 08, 2016, 11:37:03 AM
Amazing installation!  Do you use a filter on your GoPro while diving? 
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 08, 2016, 12:38:43 PM
Amazing installation!  Do you use a filter on your GoPro while diving?
Thanks.

Usually, yes, a red filter. This time, no.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 08, 2016, 12:41:55 PM


Have you always been into photography? And if so, throughout your trips and adventures, what has been your source of learning and getting better at your photography skills?

Photography is always something I wanted to better understand, but never had the time.

With the advent of SF, the purchase of a new mirrorless camera, and lightroom, I've gotten more into it. And I quite enjoy it.

DO's have helped, YouTube has helped, ddf has helped. Get knowledge from everywhere!
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 08, 2016, 12:42:46 PM
Don't forget the cameras!
Say what...?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on January 08, 2016, 12:48:07 PM
Say what...?
Before your time, Padawan.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 08, 2016, 12:48:58 PM
Before your time, Padawan.
Not possible. There was no land before time.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on January 08, 2016, 12:49:23 PM
Here ya go: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=5486.0
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Dan on January 08, 2016, 12:51:13 PM
Which of course spawned several other threads, such as http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=10209.msg123249#msg123249
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 08, 2016, 12:51:47 PM
Oh, I vaguely remember that thread. But why does it matter about cameras if swimming tzniusly? I mean, we both wore bikinis, and specifically asked them to set up cameras, but just curious.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Ergel on January 08, 2016, 12:53:04 PM
Oh, I vaguely remember that thread. But why does it matter about cameras if swimming tzniusly? I mean, we both wore bikinis, and specifically asked them to set up cameras, but just curious.
POIDH
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: jshelton on January 12, 2016, 02:06:52 PM
your trip looks amazing. I want to go here one day. Why did you decide Bora Bora over Moorea? Both have IHG properties
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 12, 2016, 02:08:19 PM
your trip looks amazing. I want to go here one day. Why did you decide Bora Bora over Moorea? Both have IHG properties

While I know Moorea does have some die-hard fans, to me, from my review, there was no contest which is prettier.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: jshelton on January 12, 2016, 02:13:09 PM
Ya I'm not sure where I would pick, seems like a difficult decision, but as I mentioned before, your pictures are stunning and making me want to book ASAP. 
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: rediplus on January 12, 2016, 05:23:40 PM
how did you book the thalasso when they don't have the ability to book with points ? the calendar is blocked for the whole year.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 12, 2016, 05:28:03 PM
how did you book the thalasso when they don't have the ability to book with points ? the calendar is blocked for the whole year.

Availability opens up at end of schedule and close-in.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: rediplus on January 12, 2016, 05:45:06 PM
can i ask how many points per night ?
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 12, 2016, 05:45:39 PM
can i ask how many points per night ?

You can ask. It's also publicly available :P

50,000/night in OWB.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Buruch on January 12, 2016, 08:04:33 PM
When do additional nights open up - i.e. calendar expansion, and not cancellations or last-minute unsold rooms? PM is ok :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: rediplus on January 13, 2016, 06:25:37 PM
it is my opinion that the god's of chase, amex,  and citi and the lesser ones of which us mere mortals simply do not know have truly smiled upon some humans on this plane of existence called earth or DDF to be able to attain the unattainable. such feats as new zealand,  maldives, bora bora, and other unknown or unwritten trips that will only exist for us in our dreams.   :o  :'(
Title: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: yakrot on January 13, 2016, 06:31:12 PM
it is my opinion that the god's of chase, amex,  and citi and the lesser ones of which us mere mortals simply do not know have truly smiled upon some humans on this plane of existence called earth or DDF to be able to attain the unattainable. such feats as new zealand,  maldives, bora bora, and other unknown or unwritten trips that will only exist for us in our dreams.   :o  :'(
dont think like that. While I myself have not (yet) done any out of these out of the world trips you mention it is heresy not to believe its obtainable for all
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 13, 2016, 06:48:50 PM
it is my opinion that the god's of chase, amex,  and citi and the lesser ones of which us mere mortals simply do not know have truly smiled upon some humans on this plane of existence called earth or DDF to be able to attain the unattainable. such feats as new zealand,  maldives, bora bora, and other unknown or unwritten trips that will only exist for us in our dreams.   :o  :'(

Oh come now!  AKL, MLE, BOB and more are all available to you and all those who are sufficiently inquisitive, organized, disciplined, and ambitious.

Just a few short years ago, I embarked on this journey with a prayer and a BA 100K offer (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=45721.msg934663#msg934663). Oh, and I asked which hotel was best for the wedding night (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=9553.msg114854#msg114854). Oiy.

My point, you can do it if I could do it. There is nothing special about me. And I can assure you, Chase, AmEx, and Citi would agree with me on that last part ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: benjie1305 on January 13, 2016, 07:10:08 PM

Oh come now!  AKL, MLE, BOB and more are all available to you and all those who are sufficiently inquisitive, organized, disciplined, and ambitious.

Just a few short years ago, I embarked on this journey with a prayer and a BA 100K offer (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=45721.msg934663#msg934663). Oh, and I asked which hotel was best for the wedding night (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=9553.msg114854#msg114854). Oiy.

My point, you can do it if I could do it. There is nothing special about me. And I can assure you, Chase, AmEx, and Citi would agree with me on that last part ;)

I thought it was un-ajk-like to not post the equivalent links to your comments and am happy to see you having corrected that.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 13, 2016, 07:13:53 PM
I thought it was un-ajk-like to not post the equivalent links to your comments and am happy to see you having corrected that.

Not sure I follow.

Being un-ajk-like to not post equals ajk-like to post, so "I thought it was AJK-like to post the equivalent links to your comments and am happy..."

Nope, still don't get it :P
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: 3yummyboys on January 13, 2016, 07:32:05 PM
It think side conversations should be banned in these threads until the TR is finished
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Hershelsdeals on January 13, 2016, 07:40:40 PM


It think AJK should be banned until the TR is finished

FTFY
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on January 13, 2016, 07:42:53 PM

FTFY

 :o

People in glass houses (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.0)... should not throw stones (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.msg1183059#msg1183059).

Your entire TR of BOB consisted of about 8 lines.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS91 on January 13, 2016, 08:22:36 PM

My point, you can do it if I could do it.

THAT exactly. 3 years ago I thought I'd never be able to do it. This year, I'll be doing this (just under 50,000 miles):
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160114/e1e2a166dd40002f238455680520c284.jpg)
Point is, anyone can. Start off slow and before you know it, you'll be shocked at how much you've learned.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: mgarfin on January 13, 2016, 08:36:10 PM
Oh come now!  AKL, MLE, BOB and more are all available to you and all those who are sufficiently inquisitive, organized, disciplined, and ambitious.

Just a few short years ago, I embarked on this journey with a prayer and a BA 100K offer (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=45721.msg934663#msg934663). Oh, and I asked which hotel was best for the wedding night (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=9553.msg114854#msg114854). Oiy.

My point, you can do it if I could do it. There is nothing special about me. And I can assure you, Chase, AmEx, and Citi would agree with me on that last part ;)

So your the one that started the jacuzzi thread!

BTW Pls tell the Mrs., every time I see you posting here I'm thinking theirs a new segment, and then.......
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Denverite on January 13, 2016, 09:36:39 PM


Point is, anyone can. Start off slow and before you know it, you'll be shocked at how much you've learned.

+100. I also started less than a year ago.  I don't do any manufactured spend (although we do have biz expenses) but thanks to the knowledge of how to book flights from DDF and some new credit cards to maximize our points way better we are going to MLE in a few months.

Which BTW, on another note, when Mrs. AJK continues is she going to tell us which she liked better, MLE or BOB? ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: ilherman on January 13, 2016, 09:54:17 PM
:o

People in glass houses (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.0)... should not throw stones (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.msg1183059#msg1183059).

Your entire TR of BOB consisted of about 8 lines.
Ouch.   :-X
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: @Yehuda on January 13, 2016, 09:56:27 PM
:o

People in glass houses (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.0)... should not throw stones (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=53102.msg1183059#msg1183059).

Your entire TR of BOB consisted of about 8 lines.
Burn. And true.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: CS1 on January 14, 2016, 11:12:54 AM
Oh come now!  AKL, MLE, BOB and more are all available to you and all those who are sufficiently inquisitive, organized, disciplined, and ambitious.
Just a few short years ago, I embarked on this journey with a prayer and a BA 100K offer (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=45721.msg934663#msg934663). Oh, and I asked which hotel was best for the wedding night (http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=9553.msg114854#msg114854). Oiy.


Congrats on your 4 1/2 year anniversary. Almost time for a 5 yr trip. (Although this TR looks good enough to last through year #20 and beyond!)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on February 01, 2016, 03:53:13 PM
Friday morning we got the early morning start we had been anticipating, just at about two hours earlier than planned. It is difficult to describe the incongruity of lying in bed in an over-water-bungalow with the water gently lapping at your porch steps one minute, and then the next moment feeling as if you are a homeless person who made the bad decision of sleeping on the sidewalk outside of a busy Manhattan construction project.

Yes, you read that correctly. At 7am sharp AJK rolled over, sat up in bed and said to me, “wth!” To be clear, this is not the usual way he greets his beloved wife in the morning, but the circumstances demanded something a little stronger. I got up and pulled back the blackout shades and gauzy curtains covering our full floor to ceiling windows with views of the lagoon and the beach. And honest to G-d, spread out before me was sparkling, flawless, turquoise water leading to a white sandy beach, with two large backhoes revved up and creating a cacophony of immense proportions that was being carried across the water and rousing the inhabitants of all over-water bungalows and likely the people sleeping at the resort two miles up the lagoon as well. "Wth" indeed.



Turns out that a few weeks earlier a large storm had sent a swell along the beach of the resort and had wiped out some parts of the resort’s beach. Lucky for us, the two days picked to restore the beach using construction equipment brought over on a barge from the mainland, were the first two days of our stay.

I know you guys are waiting on the next installment, and it will come as soon as I dig my way out of my work and personal obligations, but for this egregious misstep, IHG gave me (what I'd say was a "meager") 25K IHG.

Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Yehoshua on February 01, 2016, 04:12:51 PM
That seems low, but it's better than nothing I suppose.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: 3yummyboys on February 01, 2016, 04:16:37 PM

I know you guys are waiting on the next installment, and it will come as soon as I dig my way out of my work and personal obligations, but for this egregious misstep, IHG gave me (what I'd say was a "meager") 25K IHG.

Seeing a new post from AJK got me excited ....
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: tageed-lee on February 01, 2016, 04:29:57 PM
for this egregious misstep, IHG gave me (what I'd say was a "meager") 25K IHG.

Did you show them the video? That sucks that they can't see how freaken annoying that would be to wake up to in BORA BORA...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: IsraelGuy on April 18, 2016, 04:34:37 PM
While I know Moorea does have some die-hard fans, to me, from my review, there was no contest which is prettier.

Can I ask what made you feel this way? I'm planning on FP in May and still no Le Moana or Thalasso space for the dates I want-may just end up doing Moorea (don't mind saving on the extra flight also).
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on April 19, 2016, 12:22:53 AM
I read some TRs from both, looked at Google images from both, determined for my own personal goals that BOB was better. Besides, BOB is the one that's been atop my bucket list for as long as I can remember, definitely since I was like 12 when I saw those computer screen savers with OWBs in BOB.

Wait until it's within the cancellation period. May catch a break then.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: IsraelGuy on April 19, 2016, 01:13:05 AM
I read some TRs from both, looked at Google images from both, determined for my own personal goals that BOB was better. Besides, BOB is the one that's been atop my bucket list for as long as I can remember, definitely since I was like 12 when I saw those computer screen savers with OWBs in BOB.

Wait until it's within the cancellation period. May catch a break then.

That's what I'm hoping for-Moorea seems more kid friendly though so either way I think it'll be fine- but their availability is also zilch when I'm looking so we'll see
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on April 21, 2016, 01:31:33 PM
That's what I'm hoping for-Moorea seems more kid friendly though so either way I think it'll be fine- but their availability is also zilch when I'm looking so we'll see

Not sure why it would be more "kid-friendly."

Either way, look into: (i) LM BOB using C+P, (ii) selling some points and staying at SR or FS. Can be some good rates in low season.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: IsraelGuy on April 22, 2016, 03:31:31 AM
Not sure why it would be more "kid-friendly."

Either way, look into: (i) LM BOB using C+P, (ii) selling some points and staying at SR or FS. Can be some good rates in low season.

Not sure but I think the atmosphere of the guests, hotel attitude etc.

FS would be nice but I don't think my Ihg cert will cover the 2k/night price :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on April 22, 2016, 09:41:03 AM
I've seen FS sub 1000, and the SR sub 750.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on April 24, 2017, 01:19:50 AM
We then prepared for Shabbos by...

...sitting on our porch, enjoying the view, and relaxing.

יום שכלו שבת, huh?

Any hope of seeing the rest of this TR? It's not like anything interesting happened to the AJKs in the year+ since the last installment, I'm sure there's been plenty of time to write...
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lunatic on April 24, 2017, 01:17:19 PM
יום שכלו שבת, huh?

Any hope of seeing the rest of this TR? It's not like anything interesting happened to the AJKs in the year+ since the last installment, I'm sure there's been plenty of time to write...

Perhaps we can get it at the same time as the overdue cuba installment  ;)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Something Fishy on April 24, 2017, 01:26:12 PM
Perhaps we can get it at the same time as the overdue cuba installment  ;)

That would be nice, considering that two Cuba installments will be posted in the coming days ^-^.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: 12HRS on April 24, 2017, 01:46:33 PM
That would be nice, considering that two Cuba installments will be posted in the coming days ^-^.

well played
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: Moshe123 on April 24, 2017, 01:49:20 PM
That would be nice, considering that two Cuba installments will be posted in the coming days ^-^.

Still waiting
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lunatic on May 03, 2017, 11:50:40 PM
That would be nice, considering that two Cuba installments will be posted in the coming days ^-^.

And now @ajk has no excuses
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: IsraelGuy on May 04, 2017, 12:28:14 AM
Water was breathtakingly clear with some of the best visibility I've ever had, and we did see a black tip reef shark (sadly no lemons), a huge school of 2-300 barracuda, and a school of fish I can't I can't identify...

After returning from scuba diving, we relaxed in our bungalow and called to ask the staff to heat up a meal for us. After about an hour we walked up to the beach restaurant and enjoyed a delicious lasagna lunch.

We then prepared for Shabbos by...


1) Was diving in BOB worth it, compared to just the snorkeling?

2) Did you eat your meals in the restaurant at all? If so was the staff fine with that?

3) Any other activities you'd or last minute advice while we await the end of this TR? Headed to BOB next week hopefully :)
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: AJK on May 07, 2017, 07:40:35 PM
1) Was diving in BOB worth it, compared to just the snorkeling?

2) Did you eat your meals in the restaurant at all? If so was the staff fine with that?

3) Any other activities you'd or last minute advice while we await the end of this TR? Headed to BOB next week hopefully :)

1) Diving, while clear, was not as good as some of the other places we've been (e.g. MLE, GBR, DPS, etc).  That said, visibility was great and it's definitely better than snorkeling.

2) Yes, we did. Assuming you're referring to Thalasso, yes, they were totally fine. They served it wherever we wanted without issue.

3)  Definitely rent a moped and bike around the island.  Only real way to get a feel for it, IMO.
Title: Re: The Two-Stop Pacific Hop: Bora Bora & Melbourne (A Mrs. AJK Special)
Post by: lunatic on May 08, 2017, 05:07:13 PM
1) Diving, while clear, was not as good as some of the other places we've been (e.g. MLE, GBR, DPS, etc).  That said, visibility was great and it's definitely better than snorkeling.

2) Yes, we did. Assuming you're referring to Thalasso, yes, they were totally fine. They served it wherever we wanted without issue.

3)  Definitely rent a moped and bike around the island.  Only real way to get a feel for it, IMO.
What a tease. When I saw @ajk post here, I was sure it was a new installment  :'(