Thursday in Rarotonga

I woke up a year older then I’ve been for the past year. It didn’t feel much different. Deep down inside I still think of myself as a 21-year-old with lots of life still to live and things still to do. I suspect most old people probably think they’re younger than they are (younger than they look?).  So maybe I’m not half as ‘cool’ as I think I am.

Last night it rained quite a bit. There are three separate villas on the yard here; we are in the middle one. When we first arrived we were the only guests, but we got ‘neighbours’ a day or two ago on the one side — looks and sounds like they might be two youngish couples who like to listen to heavy metal music. Yesterday evening the owners here were busy cleaning the third cottage, getting it ready for guests who were expected to arrive late at night. I guess the plane out of Auckland had a bit of a delay and only arrived here around 3:30am, so our new ‘other’ neighbours were delivered to their villa by a taxi about an hour later. We woke up and watched it all from our open bedroom window. About 15 minutes later the world shook as that plane took off again, flying directly over our building. (Good thing the wheels retract after take-off, or we’d have tire tracks on our roof!) Thankfully, we had no trouble going back to sleep — we’ve become pretty good at sleeping here in the Cook Islands. 

When we DID get up, Sue made coffee and cut up fruit to go with our yogurt. I checked my email and found my inbox filled with happy birthday emails — most from people I actually know! Even Google said Happy Birthday and had a little tune to go with all the blinking candles. Pretty special!

We sat on the deck and read all morning. I finished my John Grisham book (Terrible! although Sue says I’m such a ‘negative ninny’ right now that it’s not the best time to do a book review). 

At lunch we finished off the last of some of the sandwich supplies in the fridge. Sue said, “Only 36 more hours.” The countdown has begun.

I had an afternoon snooze (all that reading and thinking about what an energetic and young-at-heart old fart I am had me all tuckered out!) and then it was time for some more crossword puzzles with Sue. 

Rudy’s 61st Birthday dinner at Trader Jack’s.

After a short happy hour and a quick shower it was time to go out for dinner. The sun was setting and with a light breeze coming off the ocean the half-hour walk to Trader Jack’s was relatively pleasant. We were seated at a reserved table near the water’s edge. The view of the ocean was lovely. Unfortunately, the view of mostly humungous people (many South Pacificers seem to be VERY large) eating at tables around us curbed our appetite considerably. But we made the best of it by gazing at the sea. We’d been told this was THE best restaurant in town so maybe our expectations were too high. We both picked at our plates for a while, enjoyed our drinks, and that was it for the birthday dinner! We walked back in the dark by the light of my phone flashlight and were home by 8:30. 

And that’s how we spent my birthday in Rarotonga. We’ve got one more day here. Tomorrow night we leave here at midnight and fly to Los Angeles for one more overnight before getting home late Sunday night.