Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 by

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Can you think of a better way to celebrate a 1st birthday than on a remote motu off the coast of Moorea? Me neither! Yes, we broke from tradition and all that comes with the customary Hawaiian baby luau. Oh well, the decision was made, tickets were bought, and the accommodations booked–no turning back now. My apologies to all the family and friends who could not attend. We arrived on Moorea a couple days before Rell’s birthday. The weather was ok, but the winds were less than pleasant at a howling 30+ knts. The winds turned the normally tranquil lagoons into a choppy mess, which had me secretly questioning our decision to celebrate her birthday this far from home. As luck would have it, on Rell’s actual birthday, we awoke to the most flawless weather with dead winds and sunny skies. Leave it to baby Rell to bring out the sunshine!

Our local captain, Stephane, gave us the all clear. We boarded his 26ft twin hull Tahitian cruiser and began our day. Immediately departing the dock, his fist mate treated us all to cups filled with local rum punch made from freshly squeezed fruits. Let’s just say, it hit the spot! For the next 6 hours or so, captain and crew took us to all of their favorite spots in bays both big and small. The landscape was just as intoxicating as the rum punch! We finally tied up to a buoy at Coco beach for our intimate birthday “picnic” luau. Just imagine the K-bay sandbar, but with much warmer and clearer water, friendly sharks and rays swimming between your legs…ok, never mind, it’s not even close! Tables and chairs were set up, bbq grill was lit, sashimi was sliced, fish were cleaned, pasta was tossed, and wine bottles were opened–all under the sun-drenched French Polynesian sky! We all sang happy birthday to Rell with a live acoustic guitar jamming at the same time. Sometimes things just work out!

As anyone that has traveled with a small child knows, it comes with its challenges and extra baggages. A huge mahalo goes out to Uncle Kai for helping with all of the heavy lifting during all legs of our journey, as well as setting up some of the highlight activities–jet skis were epic! Another honorable mention goes to Auntie Dee for being Capri’s constant companion and keeping the fun levels on point–selfie game was tight! Capri, you are the best big sister anyone could ever want–your unselfish behavior was admirable. The biggest credit goes to mama Kristen for planning this destination birthday, as well as keeping baby Rell soothed and calm the entire trip! Well done rad mom!

Happy 1st birthday baby Rell! We love you! The look of joy on your face and the sound of your booming laughter are priceless. Love and aloha – Dad

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Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by



Local lore has it that Moorea is the island that Tahitians go to for their vacations. Less heavily touristed, less expensive and more laid back makes it perfect for someone already accustomed to the paradise life. Moorea has all the attributes that come to mind when you think of a middle of nowhere location in the South Pacific. Gorgeous, warm translucent blue green waters, tropical sea breezes, palm trees swaying overhead and remote motus with deserted white sand beaches. Throw in a healthy assortment of marine life and you have the makings of a perfect Polynesian getaway for the ages.

The particular age in mention happens to be 40, yup you heard right I just hit the mid life crisis. Let me tell you though visiting Moorea for a week with my 2 ladies was anything but a crisis, more like a moment of clarity to get ready to tackle the next 40. We were beyond reach and moving at our own pace kinda like the island itself which only has one road circling the island and not one stop light or stop sign. Which was nice but didn’t matter much since the majority of our traveling was done on the water. We kept true to the Matthyssen style and once again shined the resort or any guided tours and relied solely on our intuition and sense of adventure to show us what lies around each bend in the waterway. When we weren’t exploring the lush interior or the dreamlike blue lagoons of the island we were indulging in explicit amounts of Hinanos, Tahitian rum and fresh fish.

Does it get any better than this? – RM