Tag Archives: Fiji

My Best Sunsets of 2017

The Pearl Resort, Fiji, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset at The Pearl Resort, Fiji, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Catalina Island, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset at Catalina Island, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Pacific Northwest, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset in the Pacific Northwest, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Laguna Beach, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset at Laguna Beach, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Malibu 2017, Photo Skyler Campbell
Sunset over Malibu,  2017, Photo Skyler Campbell
Malibu, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset over Malibu, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier
Moon Festival, Chinatown, LA, Photo Romi Cortier
Sunset at the Moon Festival, Chinatown, LA, 2017, Photo Romi Cortier

My best sunsets of 2017   takes a look back at some of my favorite moments throughout the year. Any sunset that makes you stop and take notice is a great day in my book, and if it happens to take place on a special occasion, then it’s a an added bonus. With a year full of Breaking News alerts 24/7, it’s nice to take a moment and focus on what was beautiful and right in the world.

The Fiji sunset on January 2nd,  was one of the most serenely colorful sunsets I’ve ever seen. There was  the finest mist of rain coming down on that 80 degree evening, adding a little extra moisture and magic to the reflected light of the sunset. I’d forgotten  that I’d  started 2017 in Fiji, so this image is a beautiful reminder of one of the best vacations I’ve ever had.

Sunset on Catalina Island was  an amazing day for two reasons. I’d surprised my fiancé with a Helicopter ride to the island, which was fantastic because he’d made friends with the pilot while taking this photo below, who then invited him to sit up front on our trek across the channel. This made his first chopper ride an experience that kept him grinning for hours afterwards. The chopper flew at  about 300 feet above the ocean, making the 11 minute journey both quick and thrilling.

Recio and Romi, Helicopter transport from Catalina Express, Longbeach, Ca. 2017
Recio and Romi, Helicopter transport from Catalina Express, Longbeach, Ca. 2017

Part two of July 4th in Catalina was getting  the news about the surprise early birth of my great nephew Cannon, as the fireworks began over the bay.   Someone randomly played the Dynasty theme song on the beach as the fireworks exploded overhead…. magic!! Who could’ve ask for a better day.

Sunset in the Pacific Northwest was taken a few weeks later when I went to visit Cannon, the newly born little nugget. It’s hard to believe that I have three great nieces and nephews at my age…. who knows, at this rate I might get to see some great great nieces and nephews before my days are done here on planet earth. What makes me most happy about this news, is that both of my sisters are now enjoying being grandmothers at such early age.

Sunset at Laguna Beach was a day set aside to celebrate my fiances birthday by doing what he loves most, hanging out on the beach. This was  his first time visiting Laguna, which has always been a special place for me  because of its fantastic  art gallery scene.  Sue Greenwood Fine Art at 330 N. Coast Highway  is worth the drive down from L.A., and is a must see.

Sunset over Malibu Beach was a very special day, as it included one of the most beautiful beach parties I’ve ever attended, with a very small and special group of people.

Sunset at the Moon Festival in Chinatown was a happy accident. I went there to capture a few beautiful Chinoiserie buildings for my Artful Living archives and voila… celebration! It was magical,  fun, and incredibly colorful. I felt like I’d opened a beautiful fortune cookie giving me an unexpected gift.

I thank you for reading Where Art Inspires Beauty, and I hope you’re able to make some of your own magic in the coming year. May 2018 bring you riches beyond your wildest dreams, and most importantly, beautiful sunsets.

 

A Day at Fiji’s Beqa Island

Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Bequ Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Bequ Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

There’s nothing more relaxing than a day at Beqa Island. Located across the bay from Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, this tranquil oasis has about 3,000 inhabitants spread across nine villages… yes, nine. The native people here are known for their fire-walking skills, however, that wasn’t on our list of things to do on this day. If you’ve seen my earlier post, than you’ll know we arrived to Beqa Island by way of a European Hydrofoil called the Sea Venture owned by Sea Fiji Reefs. Since there was no dock on this part of the island, we dropped anchor off shore and were ferried to the shoreline via a much smaller boat called the Lawaki Delight.

Lawaki Delight, Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Lawaki Delight, Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

We walked the beaches, lunched and snorkeled ourselves silly for the better part of the day. I only wish I’d had an underwater camera for the blue starfish and the other colorful fish I saw below the surface. There were little or no waves which made the snorkeling very easy. And the waters were very shallow for at least 100 feet from the shoreline, therefore, a newbie snorkeler like myself found it very easy to enjoy the water.

Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Natalie Marletta (Romi, Recio, Natalie, Marie & Krystal)
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Natalie Marletta (Romi, Recio, Natalie, Marie & Krystal)

Our hostess Natalie Marletta, seen above, arranged this unforgettable day. Apparently it’s quite rare to be able to access this private island, but as Recio likes to say, Natalie is the First Lady of Fiji and can make things happen!  And boy did she. She gave us a day that we’ll remember for a lifetime. I so look forward to her next visit to LA so that Recio and I can return the favor. We don’t have a private island for her, but we’ve got the Polo Lounge and the Bel-Air Hotel, so we’ll see what she fancies when she arrives.

When it came time to leave the island, the Lawaki Delight had beached itself due to low tide, so an even smaller boat back took us back  to our hydrofoil. I absolutely love the shot I got of this little metal rowboat coming ashore to fetch us. It captures the serene beauty of this truly magical place. Thank you again Natalie.

Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Beqa Island, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

 

Fly atop the Ocean with Sea Fiji Reefs

Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Recio Young & Romi Cortier, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Recio Young & Romi Cortier, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Recio Young, Natalie Marletta & Romi Cortier, Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji
Recio Young, Natalie Marletta & Romi Cortier, Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

Sea Fiji Reefs owns this remarkable vessel called the Sea Venture, a revolutionary and innovative 35 ft glass bottom boat. Designed and manufactured in Europe, it has one of the biggest optical spheroid viewing ports available anywhere. The unique hydrofoil piercing system allows the vessel to literally fly on the surface of the water at speeds up to 40 knots. This is extremely important for people like myself who are prone to seasickness. I’m happy to report that I experienced absolutely no nausea on this excursion.

Our hostess Natalie Marletta chattered this stunning vessel to take us from the Pearl Resort to the ever chic and private Beqa Island for a day of snorkeling, beach combing, and lunch. There were easily a dozen of us onboard, and all of us had one of the most remarkable days on the ocean we’d ever had. On our return voyage back to the Pearl Resort, as the rain started to fall, we were all so happy to enjoy the balmy breeze blowing through our hair as we savored the moody afternoon skies. I felt like a 12 year old having the time of my life, forever changed by the exquisite beauty of this experience.

One of the things about a a vessel like this is that the glass bottom must be protected, therefore, we were ferried to the shores edge by a much smaller boat. It required two trips for all of our passengers, and was so completely fantastic as far as the overall experience.

Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
Sea Fiji Reefs, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

If you’re visiting Fiji in the near feature, you must consider chartering the Sea Venture. It just might be one of the finest ocean experiences of your life. Thank you again Natalie for making this a magical day for all of us.

SeaFijiReefs.com 

The Pearl Resort in Fiji, a place to call home

The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier
The Pearl Resort, Fiji, Photo Romi Cortier

The Pearl Resort in Fiji, what a wonderful place to call home.  Several of my friends recently stayed at this stunning waterfront resort for over a month while filming a new FOX reality TV show called Kicking and Screaming. Ok, lets get real, the crew and executives stayed at the resort while the contestants had to survive in the jungle… after all, that’s what makes it reality TV.

I joined everyone on June 5th, the day after they’d wrapped, and had an amazing five full days. From LA it’s an eleven hour direct flight to Nadi, and then a two hour drive to the resort. There’s nothing more welcoming than to reach your destination and walk into a three story atrium, as the balmy south pacific breeze surrounds you. Being a modernist, I instantly fell in love with the super chic white design of the recently built resort. Our room was top notch and beautifully appointed. It included a flat screen TV, a spacious shower for two with one of those huge square shower heads,  privacy doors made of frosted glass for both the shower and toilet,  ambient lighting under the cabinets, and a bevy of other design details that I’d love to have in my own home.  Our third floor balcony, seen above, had a fantastic view of the harbor.

The resort offers a huge complimentary buffet breakfast that  included everything from omellets, to scrambled eggs to various meats & cheeses,  as well as an assortment of pastries and juices.  After that, you can set sail on the harbor, grab a canoe, sit by the pool, or just walk along the sandy beach.

The staff at the resort greets everyone with an amazing warm hearted smile, and they’re  always more than happy to help you with any request. The big surprise about the Fijian staff is their amazing singing voices. The GM Natalie Marletta surprised me with an amazing bon voyage gift as I was preparing to depart the resort… listen below to hear the sound of angels.

Until we meet again Fiji….

The Pearl Resort

 

Fiji’s Queens Road – from Nadi to Pacific Harbor

Fiji, Public Park, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Public Park, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Public Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Public Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Public Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Public Park, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Seashore, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Seashore, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Seashore, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Seashore, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Public Park, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Public Park, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier

Queens Road starts at Nadi where the airport is located, and circles the entire island. Rumor has it that it’s a 12 hour drive to completely circle the island, however, our destination was the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbor, which only took about 2 – 2 1/2 hours. The drive is a bit daunting after an 11 hour flight from Los Angeles, but the views are certainly worthy of your time.

It’s slow going at times as you carefully crawl through the many villages along the way. Homes are frequently painted bright colors, reminding me of the Fijian currency.  Some have doors, some don’t. There are rarely sidewalks, and dogs, horses, cows pigs and even roosters shuffle along the roads edge despite the traffic. On several occasions my various drivers happened to be from one of the local villages, and they were very proud to point out where they lived. It’s hard to comprehend a living environment where families have lived for generations, never having left the island. Life doesn’t appear to be easy for many of the villagers, but they take tremendous pride in what they have. They often smiled and waved at our car as we passed through their towns. This gave me a renewed perspective on my life in L.A. where any drive down La Cienega or 3rd street makes you feel Mario Andretti navigating the pitfalls of drivers asleep at the wheel.

Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier
Fiji, Queens Road, Photo Romi Cortier

The thing that really strikes me when I look back at the photos from my  journey to Fiji, is how wide open the sky is. I guess that’s the beauty of being on such a small island. The night stars were often overwhelming in their beauty and I wish I’d taken more time to study them. Over the coming weeks I’ll write several more design diary entries from my 5 days in paradise. And with a bit of luck, I’ll be returning to Fiji to ring in the New Year. We’ll see what the travels gods have in store. That said, I feel fortunate to have made this journey, it was life changing in so many ways.