Hollywood, California — A huge thanks to Mel Gee Henderson and Roy Henderson, Executive Producers of the extraordinary new television travel show Escapeseeker for the Grand Prize luxury trip we won to the French Polynesian Islands!!! Talk about the trip of a lifetime! Here’s how it all began…
POP STAR SENSATION, EMII ROCKEDTHE CROWD WITH HER EXHILIRATING VOICE!
ESCAPESEEKER PREMIERE PARTY VIP's ARRIVE! Little did we know what good fortune the night would bring...
For those who don’t know the story, my wife Katrina and I were guests at the Escapeseeker Fall Season Premiere Launch party held on August 26, 2011. This gala event was both fun and, like Escapeseeker, wonderfully exciting, combining a great venue, delicious cuisine, many Hollywood movers and shakers, a fantastic sneak preview of the Escapeseeker series, the amazing recording artist Emii who preformed live for us and a drawing for a grand prize trip to Tahiti!
- EMII…A BIG VOICE with A BIG HEART TO MATCH!
- EMII EAGERLY SIFTS THROUGH THE BAG OF NUMBERS TO SELECT THE WINNING NUMBER…#11, belonging to Michael Parks!
I should mention that at the time of the party Katrina was already 7 months pregnant with our first baby. This is important because we are sure that it was the rubbing of her pregnant belly for good luck, just prior to the drawing that helped us to win the trip.
- ESCAPESEEKER aka Mel Gee Henderson congratulates the night’s GRAND PRIZE WINNER. Yes, #11…ME!!!
The crazy part is the winning number was 11 and guess what the baby’s due date is: 11/11/11!!! To say we were awestruck is an understatement.
With the baby coming soon, we knew we had to act quickly. Two weeks later, we were whisked to the airport by our good friend Rochelle Vallese (an actress who guest stars in the Escapeseeker Fiji episode), and we were finally en route to Tahiti. The eight hour direct flight from Los Angeles is a breeze on Air Tahiti Nui. We arrived in Papeete and had a delightful night at the Radisson Plaza Resort overlooking the most beautiful black sand beach of Matavai Bay. After a morning stroll, we departed for the airport and flew via Tahiti’s domestic airline, Air Tahiti, to the island of Raiatea.
- Le Taha’a Island Resort’s Private Boat…gives whole new meaning to ‘airport transfers’ doesn’t it?
Now, here’s where the trip really reaches new heights! At the Raiatea airport, we were greeted by a private boat service that ferried us to Taha’a, a remote and exquisitely beautiful island. The five star resort, (the only Relais & Châteaux in French Polynesia) Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa perfectly combines luxury with the exotic and breezy charm of French Polynesia.
The stunning architecture of the resort is the perfect compliment to a location that can only be described as paradise.
The sea is a shining gem that changes from shades of turquoise and emerald to a deep lapis as the sun and breezes play overhead.
- Ahhh! The best cure for expectant Moms who need some relief from the extra (albeit temporary) weight they’re carrying…a week in Paradise!
After we had settled into the tranquility of our over the water bungalow, we took our first swim off our private porch. Apparently, floating is good for ‘preggers’ eager to get off their feet, and so that’s exactly what my wife, Katrina, did at least three times a day. The temperature of Taha’a’s waters are blissful – cool enough to be refreshing and warm enough to be comfortable for long periods of floating and snorkeling.
We were delighted to discover that Taha’a has one of the most amazing coral reefs, filled with tropical fish that seem eager to swim right up to your goggles and check you out! You can literally start snorkeling at one end of the island and drift leisurely down stream with a current for hours as new species of fish, each one more intriguing and colorful than the next introduce themselves. After our first snorkeling adventure, we decided to make this part of our daily ritual. What’s not to love about these amazing conditions?
We should mention that Le Taha’a’s staff are eager to assist their guests in doing as much or as little as they like. We decided to air on the side of doing very little because we just couldn’t bare to tare ourselves away from the resort. I did, however, go for a spectacular deep water scuba dive off the coast during which I swam with sharks and heard a nearby humpback whale sing. Katrina wisely opted out of this adventure and spent the day by the infinity pool drinking refreshing fruit juices, reading and occasionally gazing out at the horizon of the pool which seamlessly blends into the ocean beyond.
- Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa…Yes, it is as BLISSFUL as it looks! Just ask Katrina Parks!!!
- Daily HEALTHY Fare to meet even the most exquisite cravings!
The hotel’s three restaurants offer the perfect balance French and Tahitian inspired cuisine that takes the best of both cultures and makes something even better….. We started each day with the most amazing breakfast buffet we have ever encountered. Being consummately picky coffee drinkers, we are hardly ever pleased by the coffee we encounter on our travels, but this coffee (made in a stainless French press at our table) was rich and just caffeinated enough to enable us to take full advantage of the bountiful fruit, cheese, yogurt and pastry selections… not to mention the delicious crepes and waffles we ordered! Of course, even though we were stuffed after breakfast, we managed – it’s important to keep a pregnant woman’s blood sugar up – to indulge in the most incredible seafood for the rest of the day. The smoked salmon, the fresh lobster and crab, just melted in your mouth at every meal.
From reading about the food, you may imagine that we were too stuffed to do anything for the rest of the day, but fear not….
- Ahhh…now this is the most inviting stroll back to our over-the-water bungalow!
We had to stroll back to our over the water bungalow, where we could gaze through a glass floor panel as Manta Ray’s and fish slowly cruised by, we had to swim off our private dock and stroll to the infinity pool, and we most certainly had to watch the sun as it crossed overhead and went out in a spectacular display of reds and golds as we watched in our white bathrobes while holding hands.
- OUR ULTIMATE PRIVATE RETREAT!
- No caption needed…I shall allow this picture to tell our heartfelt story!
- THE LOOK OF CONTENTMENT AT LE TAHA’A…
This phenomenal routine went on for five extremely relaxing and soul reviving day, after which, we truly mourned having to leave Le Taha’a. Once back at Papeete, we decided to make the most of our last day and sojourned to the island of Moorea, which is a brief ferry ride away. We sadly took our last swim in Tahitian waters and had one more delicious meal, before boarding our plane back to Los Angeles.
Our only consolation is knowing that we can return someday.
We already eagerly await our return to Paradise!
LE TAHA’A ISLAND RESORT AND SPA…HEAVENLY PARADISE…PURE AND SIMPLE!
Book your own slice of PARADISE: http://www.relaischateaux.com/letahaa