Vacation in Samoa

Mariko, Leon, and I took a one-week vacation in Samoa this summer. Mia was busy with school activities (even in the summer!) so she didn't come this time. When she saw these photos and some video I took, however, she made us promise to take her at some point in the future.

The video on the right is a compilation of photos and video that I took on the trip. The audio is made up of songs that Leon chose to play in the car as we drove around the islands. If you click on the lower right-hand corner of the player the video should enlarge to file your screen.


We bought a whole skipjack tuna (a relatively small one; katsuo in Japanese) at the local fish market and Mariko made sushi for everyone. I was worried that there might be a lot left over but the sushi was very popular and eaten up quite quickly.


The Japanese candies Mariko brought were also very popular. Good thinking, Mariko!


This trip and a previous trip changed my image of coconuts significantly. First of all, I learned that they are filled with a mildly sweet water, not coconut milk. All you have to do is open a whole in them and you have a great drink. After you are finished drinking, you can break the coconut open and eat the fruit that lines the shell. It's delicious and very different from the dried coconut that I have had in the U.S.


The three of us spent our first night at a resort called Le Vasa. We had an absolutely delicious meal (the best of the entire trip, I think) at a table by the ocean. Here you can see the silhouette of Mariko and Leon chatting after dinner.


Here's a shot of Mariko at one of the several waterfalls we visited. Leon and I enjoyed swimming in the pool at the base of this waterfall. The water was crystal clear.


Leon is interested in diving. One of the things we did on the island of Savaii was to snorkle and scuba dive. Here's Mariko before she went snorkling. Unfortunately, she got sea sick after this but she was able to see some sea turtles while she was snorkling.


Leon has dived several times before but this was my first experience with scuba diving. It was fun. The film with which we took this picture got exposed to some light before it was developed (my mistake). I wonder how much clearer this picture might have been otherwise. Still, I'm really glad to have a visual momento of diving with Leon -- regardless of the picture quality.


By sunset, Mariko had recovered from her seasickness.


A very nice lady offered to take this picture of us when we were sitting on the beach. I think it's one of the best family shots of the trip. Our trip was greatly enriched by the many kindnesses, large and small, of the people met in Samoa.


We fed some captive sea turtles on the morning before we left the island of Savaii to return to the island of Upolu.


Leon took us to a spring by a cave. It was a great place to swim and enjoy the crystal clear water. Leon is pointing at some fish that came to check him out.