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Journey to Paradise – Precarious start

Last minute test at SFO

Eight turbulent weeks have passed since my last blog. Thank you for hanging in there with patience and by staying safe. Omicron in retreat, my good news for you is that another exciting adventure awaits. This time, literally and figuratively “to Paradise” as the French Polynesian Islands of Tahiti are referred to. As the title indicates, this journey is not without pitfalls – THANKS Covid-19 !

For a bit of background, as my research in preparation for this “dream trip” discovered, it was Philibert Commerson, a naturalist on the voyage of French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who first labeled the mountainous island of Tahiti “utopia” back in 1768. Over the two and a half centuries since, sailors from Fletcher Christian to James Cook, writers from Robert Louis Stevenson to Jack London, painters like Gauguin, and tourists by the tens of thousands have followed, all seeking the same – Paradise on earth.

Transit at LAX – lost in endless hallways

My pre-trip arrangements began several weeks ago, once the trip was confirmed as “a go” with testing reservations. As planned, I promptly arrived at 1130am at my SFO Worksite Labs location for a rapid PCR test. While friendly and efficient, the nurse looked at my confirmation and said “we do not do rapid ones here anymore, you will get your results within 12 hours.” With an 1050pm departure from Los Angeles, this proposal was not going to work for me. So the tribulations began.

Google searches showed me two other airport labs and a few forms filled out online, I got me a lab test at 215pm right at the United baggage claim in terminal 3. An hour of wait and 250 bucks later, I was set to go with negative test in hand.

Note to self: always build enough time into travel to cover off such eventualities.

One short United hop to LAX and miles of tunnel exploration later, I was at Tom Bradley terminal for the flight to Papeete. May the adventure begin in earnest…

Our Air Tahiti Nui flight on the ground in Papeete

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