Posted by: monsonmadness | September 25, 2011

Best 24 hours that we can remember

From 2pm on Friday to 2pm on Saturday, we had no children and lots of things to see and do. We had 24 hours in Samoa, and it was BLISS. We could not have had a more perfect trip. We took so many great photos, but could only put a few up on here. This is a run down on what we did on our day in Samoa…

Here we are at the airport in American Samoa waiting for our flight. We got to watch a little bit of the BYU game while we waited. We were delayed setting off. There is a great story which I think Michael will cover on his blog, but it basically covers a government plane of secret agents landing on the runway and coming off with their suits and sunglasses, it was like a movie. When we asked one of them where they were from and what they were doing, he replied, “I can’t tell you that”. Hmmm, serious stuff!

It was finally time to get on our plane. It was a 16 seater, and we all had to be weighed before getting on to make sure we weren’t too heavy for the flight and that the weight is evenly distributed with the seating assignments.

Michael and I were the first to check in, so we were on the first row, right behind the pilot. Pretty cool.

I really loved getting a bird’s eye view of American Samoa, wish I could have been in a hot air balloon or something and just taken my time looking around. I really wanted to get a photo of our house from the plane so that you could see how close the planes really do fly over our house, so here you are, this is our house from the airplane thanks to a good zoom!

The plane ride was awesome. We saw two whales, and the pilot said he saw sharks and turtles, although we didn’t see them, not sure they were big enough for us to know what we were looking for. Here is the view of Samoa as we approached…

We got off the plane, picked up our luggage, and got our currency exchanged. We came out of the secure area and were immediately swarmed by taxi drivers wanting to take us into town. We had already reserved a rental car so went over to the office to do the paperwork. To our surprise the car rental office was closed down. Oh no. We started to panic. With only being here for 24 hours, we had planned lots to do in a short time, and this wouldn’t be possible without a car. One of the taxi drivers said that the office closed at 3pm, and they were gone for the day and wouldn’t come back. To cut a long story short, he was really sneaky and just wanted our money, when we said we wanted to call the car rental company, he pretended to call them on his cell phone, then told us that the number didn’t work. We were 15 minutes earlier than the agreement on the rental contract, so we decided to wait around until that time. At exactly 3.30pm, the agent shows up, you should have seen the taxi driver run. Everything was fine, and we picked up our car and were very happy. A couple of years ago in Samoa, they changed the law so now all cars drive on the left. How does a whole country suddenly decide they’re going to switch which side of the road they drive on? Random. This meant that I was the assigned driver, but it was definitely easier than driving in the UK because the car was an automatic.

The first things that we noticed about Samoa is that they had real roads! It was so nice to drive without all the bumps and potholes. We also noticed that it was much cleaner, and there were beautiful flowers everywhere. It seemed much less claustrophobic and there were still the same kind of homes and people, but more spread out, making it more beautiful. Michael’s words were, “American Samoa is like the armpit of the Pacific compared to this”

Our first stop was to a turtle pond off the side of the road. I really wanted to get in, but the water was very dirty and gross. Here is a picture of one of the turtles who came within a foot of us.

Next it was off to the temple to check in to our accommodation and change our clothes. I was so happy with the room, and thrilled with a REAL bathroom. Look…tile on the floor and a real shower! It also had air conditioning so we were nice and cool. Anytime you stay in a place nicer than the home you live in, it feels like luxury, and I was so happy that we were able to enjoy a luxury stay for only $15.72 (see here)

The Apia temple was just beautiful. We loved it, it was gorgeous on the outside as well as inside. I’d like to make another post about our temple experience later, but we felt renewed and rededicated and loved being there after all this time…

We found a great restaurant to eat dinner. It was early and we were the only people there, we were escorted out to a balcony which overlooked a huge forested gorge, the photos don’t do it justice. You could also see the ocean. The waitress turned on some love songs for us, and brought us delicious food. You can see from my face that I was happy because the portions were small enough that we had room for dessert! That doesn’t happen in the US!

The next morning, we got up bright and early and drove to Papaseea Sliding Rock. There were lots of stairs to climb down to get to the rocks. There are several to slide on, one was 17 feet which may not sound like much, but it was pretty scary! We were the only people there, other than the Samoan ladies who worked there who must have enjoyed watching us be babies about it. Michael reassured me that we are 34 years old now and break much easier! We also have more responsibilities and shouldn’t be taking risks now that we have children we are responsible for!!!!! Glad I was able to pack so much excitement and risks in before marriage! The photos came out really blurry, but I put a short video in here too…


After we were finished with the excitement of the sliding rocks, we decided to drive down through the middle of the island to see a waterfall. On the way, we found these cows in the middle of the road…

…and then the beautiful waterfall….

…followed by more driving and then this little piggy went wee wee wee, all the way home. Seriously, it was weird to see these animals because in American Samoa all they have are the wild dogs and chickens. No cows, no pigs, and we also saw donkeys and horses in Samoa too which was strange to us. It wasn’t just animals in the road that was different on this trip. We also watched a man get down in the middle of the road in front of us, do two push ups, then get up and smile at us and run off! When we were driving back to the airport, there was a fire at the side of the road which the firemen were trying to put out. I tell you…we packed a lot of action into our day 😉

So onto the best part. Have you heard of the 1953 movie “Return to Paradise” starring Gary Cooper? Well, we decided to stop in at the beach from that movie, even though we were running short on time. We were so glad we did. Check this out. It was PERFECT.

Again, we had the place to ourselves, it was very romantic. Michael drew this heart around me on the sand. I wanted to get in the water so badly but we didn’t think we had time. It was so secluded and so perfect that I suggested to Michael that we quickly go skinny dipping (I’ve never done that before but this place truly was paradise and there was no-one around) Michael wouldn’t hear of that, and said that we could stay for 15 minutes and to quickly go change into our swim suits. We ran to the car and stripped off and put our swim suits on about 20 seconds before another car pulled in with two older couples in it! That was a close one!!!!!!!

The water was so clear that there would have been no hiding anything. I love this picture of Michael because it not only shows up his big muscles but it does look like he’s naked, ha! ha! (He’s not)

Really wish we could have stayed longer….

We carried on driving around the island to get back to the airport, and were able to take some great photos along the way. Samoa is a paradise. It was just perfect. Have I already said that?

We stopped at a nice resort for our lunch. We checked out prices to see if we could afford to bring the kids here for Christmas. We can’t! They sure did have nice grounds though. We had a lovely lunch with a fabulous view of the ocean, and then it was back to the airport.

So, that’s everything that we crammed into 24 hours. Felt like a little honeymoon. We were so happy and can’t wait to come back here again someday. I couldn’t resist ending with this photo of Michael being escorted by a security guard to his luggage. He forgot that he had his penknife in his carry on bag, and they tried to confiscate it, but Michael didn’t want them to because it was a gift from his Grandpa. He asked them if he could put it into his checked suitcase instead, and since there was only one plane and one cart of luggage at the airport, it was easy enough to do!

Back to real life now. We’ll try to come again in 6 months or so….best 24 hours that we can remember.


  1. That really does sound perfect. You are the best trip planner ever!!!! I miss having you as my personal trip planner!

  2. It’s amazing how different the two islands are from one another. Western Samoa looks beautiful and how neat to be able to go to the temple.

  3. Thanks for planning a great trip, wife. Love me.

  4. What a great trip. You deserved it. Again, amazing job on the photos you guys. It is so fun to feel like I’m in on everything with you!

  5. thats fabulous. i hope you can go again soon.

  6. Cool :-))

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