I really did have a proper holiday in Rarotonga. I'm very grateful to my niece (Harvey's brother is her father) for inviting me to her wedding, otherwise I might never have got round to going there.
My idea of a really relaxing holiday is to go to a lovely beach, find a good place to sit in the shade, and read a lot, breaking off only to go for paddles and beach walks and small local expeditions to find something to cook for dinner, along with an icecream. That's exactly what I managed to do most of the time, except that once other family members arrived, we went out to dinner instead (see Something Else to Eat) - it was so nice to have a crowd to go with every night, because having dinner alone is the thing I find most difficult when I'm away.
There are proper stops (one was right outside our place), but they also stop if you hail them from the roadside, or tell the driver where you want to get off. Yet they're always pretty much on time. Brilliant.
And of course it was warm. All day, every day, even during the one huge two-hour downpour. After the non-summer we've had here, it was incredibly soothing and relaxing.
The wedding day itself was the most perfect of all - no wind, no clouds, just sun and blue sky. And right on cue, a tropical sunset over the lagoon, the only one we had. I wished so much that Harvey could have been there with me to see it, and toast his niece and her husband as they stood barefoot and beautiful on the beach.
But one marvellous thing happened on the way over. My plane reached Auckland quite late, so I ended up cutting things a bit fine for my flight to Rarotonga. But I had to stop at the duty-free and buy a special bottle of red wine to take for the wedding dinner. I raced in, found a nice man and asked him to find me a good bottle of pinot noir for X dollars. He went to the shelf, reached one down and said "This is really good". I didn't even look at it - I just thanked him, bought it and ran off. Of course when I arrived panting at Gate 9, I found that the flight was delayed anyway. So I sat down and looked at the bottle. It was from Central Otago, the brand was Soho, and the name of this particular wine was - McQueen.