7 Destinations for Couples Based on Your Travel Style - United Hub

7 destinations for couples based on your travel style

By Betsy Mikel

No two couples seek the same travel experience. Whether it's your first trip together or your tenth, your dream vacation comes down to what you enjoy doing together.

Do you seek action and adventure? Rest and relaxation? Some couples might find kicking back on a beach totally rejuvenating, while others might find it totally dull. If you're planning an upcoming trip with your partner, consider these couple-friendly destinations based on your interests.

Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

For lovers of ancient history and traditions

Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto provides the opportunity to truly feel like you're stepping back in time. Over 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines invite you to experience ancient Japan, infusing a reflective and reverent tone throughout the entire city.

While the city is walkable, you'll want to consider renting bikes while there to cover the most ground. Kyoto boasts 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with temples and shrines around almost every corner. The striking Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) is well worth the visit, even though you'll most likely be sharing the view with a large crowd. Visit Gion, the city's historic district, around dusk when you're most likely to see geishas in full traditional dress and makeup tiptoeing around the cobblestone streets on their way to evening engagements.

Experience Japanese culture to its fullest by staying in a centuries-old ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. Ryokans are sanctuaries of serenity, tradition and Japanese design. The rooms are simple, but the customer service is excellent — many feature in-room dining as well as your own private hot springs and gardens.

Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

For adventure seekers and eco-conscious travelers

Want an adrenaline rush as you zip through the rainforest and paddle through roaring rapids? Costa Rica is a popular destination for couples who seek adventure and excitement. The country's lush rainforests and natural beauty make for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Because Costa Rica's natural resources and wildlife are the main attractions for visitors, the entire country is committed to eco-friendly travel with natural lodges and sustainable hotels.

Adventure-seeking couples can use La Fortuna as their home base. The small town is the gateway to Arenal, an active volcano only a few hours away from the San Jose airport. Many companies in La Fortuna offer tours and excursions to experience the surrounding area and its natural beauty. Join a guide at the Arenal volcano to hike its trails or explore via a mountain bike tour. Zip lining and whitewater rafting are some of La Fortuna's most popular excursions, as are the area's hanging bridges and the breathtaking La Fortuna Waterfall. Always try to book the first tour or excursion of the day. Other travelers are more likely to get started later, which means you'll have the guides and rainforest all to yourselves in the morning.

After a day or two of adventuring, La Fortuna's hot springs offer the perfect respite for tired muscles. Many of the area's hotels are built next to thermal waters heated by the Arenal volcano, and you don't need to be a hotel guest to enjoy them. Day-long and half-day packages sometimes include a meal. It's recommended to pre-book your visit as many of the hot springs set a maximum capacity to make for a more private and relaxing experience.

Milky Way over Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, U.S.

For outdoor buffs and nature lovers

Want to take your vacation outdoors? Revel in majestic landscapes surrounded by snow-capped mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park. It's one of the country's largest national parks with 265,769 acres of pristine wilderness. At just a two-hour drive from Denver, you can make it an easy day trip or spend several days camping in one of the park's more remote areas. From easy and accessible walks to more difficult and challenging terrain, you can enjoy the 355 miles of trails no matter what your experience level is.

Couples can enjoy the park any time of year. From skiing or snowshoeing under a full moon in the winter to gliding through the lake on a kayak or paddle boat in the summer, it's more fun to share these experiences with a partner. Depending on where you explore within the park and during which season, you'll also likely spot some wildlife. Bighorn sheep, elk and mule deer all call Rocky Mountain National Park home. The park also offers horseback riding, fishing, and night sky and astronomy programs during the summer months.

This is also a great destination for couples who want to tie the knot; the park offers 13 pre-scouted locations for weddings and other ceremonies. You'll just need to reserve them ahead of time and pay the $150 fee.

Buckingham fountain and Chicago downtown skyline

Chicago, U.S.

For art lovers and foodies

Take in world-class art, architecture, outdoor public art and natural history in the Windy City. The Art Institute of Chicago contains famous paintings from nearly every era, including works by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Georgia O'Keeffe, among others. The Art Institute Modern Wing and the Museum of Contemporary Art are havens for those who love contemporary art. The two museums stand just 1.5 miles apart off Michigan Avenue, the city's largest shopping district.

Chicago offers a plethora of other opportunities to take in world-class art and culture. The Field Museum of Natural History houses the skeleton of the largest dinosaur that ever lived. Photo opportunities abound in front of the many famous public artworks, which include the giant reflective Cloud Gate, Picasso's 50-foot sculpture of a monkey and the iconic Alexander Calder-designed Flamingo sculpture. Just 10 miles to the west of the city is Oak Park, which is home to an enclave of historic buildings by the Prairie School architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple.

After a day of exploring museums and contemplating art, discuss your favorites over dinner at one of Chicago's 25 Michelin-starred restaurants. If fine dining isn't your style, there are plenty of more up-and-coming and established restaurants that span nearly every type of cuisine and price point. Head to the lively West Loop neighborhood to eat and drink, just a short cab or subway ride away from Chicago's downtown. From upscale Chinese and sushi to laid-back barbecue and the city's most sought-after burgers, West Loop offers a dining experience for every palate imaginable.

Bays and towns along the Dalmation Coast

Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

For a European city and beach destination

Croatia offers a part-city, part-beach experience for couples looking for a hybrid vacation. Start in Zagreb, the country's capital, where you can visit ancient churches, museums and farmers' markets to get the full old European city experience. Then head to the coast where the bright blue waters of the Adriatic Sea await — crystal clear and made for strolling and relaxing. Go on a sea kayak excursion, take a ferry or hire a private boat to explore the many islands and inlets that dot the coast.

Some of Croatia's most famous beaches are off the coast of Split, the country's second largest city, and Dubrovnik, Croatia's most southern coastal city. The beach options are varied, ranging from more popular to more secluded. Generally, the longer a trip it is to get to the beach, the less crowded you can expect it to be. Some are sandy and others are lined with pebbles, but all offer beautiful shorelines and pure, turquoise-blue water — perfect for enjoying the sun and the sea.

Kilauea Beach in Kauai, Hawai

Kauai, Hawaii

For a stress-free and relaxing vacation

Need to unplug and unwind? Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit in Kauai, Hawaii's oldest and northernmost island. Kauai is lush, green and beautiful. It's nicknamed the "Garden Isle" thanks to the tropical rainforest covering most of the island. You'll feel like you're in paradise as you relax on its peaceful beaches with sparkling blue water lapping at your feet.

You may choose to spend most of your time at one of Kauai's many resorts, which go above and beyond to ensure guests have a relaxing experience. Many offer oceanfront views, white-sand beaches, on-property pools and luxurious spas.

If you choose to venture out to explore more of the island, even driving in Kauai is relaxing. Scenic lookout points with beautiful photo opportunities dot the coastal roads. One of Kauai's popular natural attractions is Wailua Falls, a dramatic 85-foot-high waterfall that's easy to access by car. If you have more time, visit Waimea Canyon. It's known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, offering panoramic views of the colorful red, brown and green canyon.

vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza, Argentina

For wine and nature lovers

Sitting at the foot of the Andes Mountains and in the heart of wine country, Mendoza is one of Argentina's most romantic and beautiful cities. The wine is plentiful, the local culture vibrant and the scenery spectacular. With its wide tree-lined streets, a mix of art deco and modern architecture, and many plazas adorned with ornate fountains, Mendoza invites leisurely strolling. The city is lively and laid-back during the day, and becomes even more vibrant at night.

Many come for the wine — this is South America's top wine region, after all. Mendoza's sunny climate makes this region ideal for growing malbec grapes, its most celebrated wine. Everyone from novice drinkers to serious oenophiles will enjoy wine tasting and touring vineyards. The Mendoza region is vast with more than 1,500 wineries. If you're overwhelmed by the options, many private and group tours are available to guide your experience. There are even wine tours by horseback or bike.

There's far more to do here besides drink wine. Olive oil is another regional specialty; visit scenic olive groves for tours and tastings. Looking for an adrenaline rush? Consider whitewater rafting and ziplining through the Andes Mountains. Once you've worked up an appetite, indulge in Argentinian cuisine and sample asado grilled meats. And no romantic vacation is complete without some R&R. Take a day trip to the Cacheuta Hot Springs, just 18 miles from Mendoza, where you can soak in thermal waters, mud baths and hot pools while taking in the mountain view.

Getting there

When you've figured out the best getaway type for you and your partner, book your flight at united.com or by using the convenient United app, and share your story on social media with the #UnitedJourney hashtag.

Amazing destination

Porto: Portugal’s surprising second city

By Bob Cooper

“Second cities" or those that rank #2 in population often surprise world travelers. And second doesn't mean second-rate. Porto is Portugal's second city — so off-the-radar that many world travelers haven't even heard of it. Yet, Porto and nearby spots in northern Portugal can be delightful destinations even if you don't visit the more well-known city of Lisbon.

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Old city by day

The best place to get oriented, as in most European cities, is in the old city center. Porto's Old City is so well-preserved that it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 12th-century cathedral and the 15th-century Church of St. Francis, notable for interior wood carvings gilded by hundreds of pounds of gold, are mixed in with a rich collection of imposing granite, red-roofed Baroque buildings. Add 225 stairs and a stirring view to your walking tour by ascending the 250-foot-high Clérigos Church bell tower, built in 1754, which dominates the Porto skyline. Historic bridges over the Douro River and Soares dos Reis National Museum, an art museum housed in a palace, are also excellent sites to see.

Food and music by night

Porto's youthful population has turned it into a lively city after dark. You might start off the evening in the Old City at Abadia do Porto, a 1939 restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese dishes like roasted lamb and grilled octopus, or at Astoria, with its modern Portuguese fare served inside a former palace. Whether you choose a Portuguese, French or fusion restaurant, seafood is likely to be highlighted, drawing on Porto's proximity to the Atlantic and the Douro. Then, you can head to the large collection of bars and nightclubs in the nearby Galerias district, which includes Radio Bar, inside a former court building, and Gare, a disco in a tunnel that stays open until 6 a.m.

Head west to the beaches

The closest Atlantic beaches to central Porto are at Foz do Douro (mouth of the Douro), just 20 minutes away by city bus. But why settle? In a rental car you can explore Atlantic beaches and beach towns that extend for hundreds of miles along Portugal's coastline. Two of the best are Foz do Minho, the nation's northernmost oceanic beach that's just across the Minho River from Spain, and Quiaios, a dune-fringed paradise of sand south of Porto. Many beaches in northern Portugal are cradled in coves protected by rocky promontories, similar to northern California and Oregon beaches.

Or east to the wine country

The Douro Valley wine region is another World Heritage Site and one of the world's best and most scenic wine regions. It's up the Douro River from Porto by boat or 90 minutes by road. Namesake port wines and other fortified wines are the region's signature beverages, which can be sampled at tasting rooms on the Douro along N-222, a wine road that's been called the world's most scenic drive. While you're in the area, check out the wine and anthropology museums in the wine towns and yet another World Heritage Site — Coa Valley Archaeological Park — known for its prehistoric rock carvings.

The basics

Portugal's Mediterranean climate and coastal breezes bless it with mild weather year round, as the average temperature ranges from 57 degrees (and rain) in January to 78 degrees (and a little rain) in August. Whenever you come, there's no need to learn Portuguese as English is spoken even more widely than elsewhere in Western Europe. Once you arrive, rent a car only if you don't mind ridiculous drivers. The trains are more relaxing — light-rail and subway trains crisscross the Porto area and funicular cable cars climb its steepest hills. There's even a scenic train that follows the Douro nearly to Spain, with a roundtrip fare of only about $30.

Getting there

Portugal requires that visitor passports don't expire until at least three months after the arrival date, so check that. Next, buy some Euros (for a great exchange rate) and reserve a flight. United Airlines flies nonstop from New York/Newark to Porto and MileagePlus® award miles can be redeemed to cover accommodations and Hertz rentals. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your trip.

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Contributor

United 787-10 Dreamliner launch

By The Hub team

Story was contributed by: Jennifer Lake | Photography: Alicia of Aesthetica

It was a typical Monday morning. I'm sitting at my desk at work, drinking coffee, reviewing my to-do list for the week. All around me, heels are clacking through the office and phones ring intermittently. However, this particular Monday morning was different. Ultimately, I would receive an offer from my favorite airline for a collaboration to participate in the United 787-10 Dreamliner launch from Los Angeles LAX to New York/Newark EWR. Read the full story here featured on Style Charade.

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Fit for the runway: We begin testing new uniforms

By The Hub team , January 16, 2019

Last year we announced new partnerships with Tracy Reese, Brooks Brothers and Carhartt — best-in-class fashion and apparel designers — to help reimagine uniforms for more than 70,000 of our employees. Focusing on high quality fabrics, improved breathability and overall enhanced fit, our goal is to design and develop a more cohesive collection that looks good, feels good and enables employees to perform at their best on behalf of our customers.


United employees can learn more on the uniform designs by visiting Flying Together.

An insider's guide to Boston

By Betsy Mikel

Boston is a pack-it-all-in kind of place. Founded in 1630, one of America's oldest cities does many things well. Boston's many claims to fame include many of America's oldest historic landmarks and one of its oldest ballparks. It's a destination for history buffs, culture vultures, foodies, sports fans, families and more. No matter who your travel companions are or what they're interested in, everyone will find something to pique their interest in Beantown.

Getting there & around town

Fly direct to Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) from many U.S. cities — visit united.com or use the United app to book your flight. Flights are 90 minutes from New York, two hours from Cleveland and five to six hours from California. From Logan International Airport, it's easy to hail a taxi, use ridesharing apps or take public transportation. If you want to take the scenic route, take a water taxi across Boston Harbor directly into downtown.

Downtown Boston is easy to navigate. It's walkable and taxis are plentiful. The MBTA, Boston's public transportation system, offers affordable access to Cambridge, many attractions and the suburbs. Keep in mind it's one of the oldest transportation systems in the country, so expect a few bumps. Because the city is dense, parking can be expensive or hard to find, so avoid driving if you can.

When to visit

Summer and fall are the most popular seasons to visit. Summer is prime time to enjoy Boston's many parks, outdoor eateries, open-air concerts and baseball games at Fenway Park. Mild fall weather, beautiful autumn foliage and Halloween festivities in nearby Salem, Massachusetts make October one of Boston's busiest months. The city also sees an influx of visitors for the Boston Marathon in April. You'll find smaller crowds and more affordable prices in winter, but brace yourself for the cold.

What to do

There's so much to take in just by walking through Boston's cobblestoned streets. Downtown is quaint, compact and easy to explore by foot. The small city is packed with historic sites, New England's finest food, proud sports fans and friendly locals.

As the birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston's historic sites are an attraction in themselves. Walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail to visit 16 of them around the city, including Revolutionary-era museums, churches, buildings and an impressive warship. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is on the trail, too, and is one of Boston's top attractions, with plentiful shopping, dining and live music. Not much of a walker? Boston Duck Tours operate land-and-water historic tours on World War II-inspired vehicles, which transform from truck to boat mid-tour.

Many museums and sites are tucked along Boston Harbor. The waterfront is always bustling with activity year-round. The harborwalk is the perfect place to meander and explore without a strict agenda. Plan to visit a major attraction or two, but leave time to enjoy the scenery or to pop into a café for a coffee and sweet treat (award-winning Flour Bakery + Cafe is a local favorite).

Deemed the “Athens of America," Boston boasts not only some of the country's oldest and most architecturally significant buildings, but also a thriving arts and culture scene. You could spend your entire trip touring its dozens of world-class museums. Take in classical music at the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra, or take a leisurely stroll through Boston Public Garden and Boston Common, the city's most well-known public parks. Riding the giant Swan Boats through the Public Garden lagoon is a kitschy, yet delightful experience, especially for kids.

What to eat

What must you absolutely eat in Boston? In short, everything. Long ago the city was nicknamed Beantown, allegedly after slow-cooked molasses baked beans served to sailors and traders. Today, Boston continues its reputation as a great eating city. From clam chowder to cannoli, the most popular dishes here are often hearty and decadent. Boston is also known for fresh lobster rolls, roast beef sandwiches and, of course, Boston cream pie.

Ask any Bostonian where to find “the best" of anything, and everyone will recommend a different spot. Cannoli from Mike's Pastry, Boston cream pie from Omni Parker House (where it was invented) and the roast beef 1000 sandwich from Cutty's frequently top the must-try lists. If you make it to a ball game at Fenway Park, Fenway Franks are a Boston staple.

Featured story

Our role in ‘Spider-Man™: Far From Home’

By Matt Adams , January 15, 2019

In Columbia Pictures upcoming release in association with Marvel Studios, "Spider-Man™: Far From Home," our web-slinging hero finds himself – yep, you guessed it – far from his home in New York City. And since flying is one of the few superpowers Spider-Man doesn't possess, we gave him a little help, meaning United is featured in the film.

The scenes of Peter Parker and his pals traveling to Europe take place on one of our Boeing 777s with the all-new United Polaris® business class, and several of our employees – including members of our Tech Ops, Inflight, Flight Operations and Airport Operations teams – served as actors and production support during shoots at New York/Newark (EWR) and London-Stansted (STN).

London-Heathrow (LHR) Customer Service Representative Manjit Heer and LHR Cargo Warehouse Operations Manager Richard Miller were background extras on board, and multiple flight attendants had a role, including San Francisco (SFO) Flight Attendant Tammy Harris.

"It was extremely surreal," said Tammy. "I was in my element because I was on the plane in uniform, but not really, because I'm not an actor."

Tammy said she hit her mark and delivered her line with gusto, and she's excited to see if she made the final cut when "Spider-Man™: Far From Home" hits worldwide theaters this summer.

"Hopefully, I'll have my two seconds of fame and all will be well," she joked.

Los Angeles (LAX) Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor Fernando Melendez is a veteran of several film shoots but said this one was his favorite. When the production went to London, he was one of five members of LAX Tech Ops who went over to look after our airplane and make adjustments to its interior based on the filmmaker's needs.

"When we parked the plane at Stanstead, there were lights and cameras surrounding us. It was like the plane was the star of the movie," he said. "Each day, we would work with the assistant director; he would go through and say, 'Okay, for this shoot we need these seats, or these panels removed,' so they could get the camera angles. Pretty much, the airplane was our responsibility; we opened it in the morning and closed it at night. We were the first ones there and the last ones to leave every day."

Fernando said the actors were all very gracious and engaging, and said the whole experience was fantastic from start to finish. It also earned him a little cooler cred with his 18-year-old son, who is a massive Marvel fan.

Leading up to the film's premiere this year, there will be plenty of ways for employees and customers to get into the Spidey spirit in anticipation of our cameo. Stay tuned for more details.

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Peter Parker returns in "Spider-Man™: Far From Home," the next chapter of the Spider-Man™: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!

Directed by Jon Watts, the film is written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The film is produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel, Eric Hauserman Carroll, Stan Lee, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach serve as executive producers. The film stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.

"Spider-Man™: Far From Home" makes its way to North American theaters on July 5, 2019.

What to expect from our improved app

By United Airlines , January 15, 2019


"Talking Points," host Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, is joined by Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer at United Airlines to discuss what passengers can expect from our improved app.

Read more about the improvements to the United app here.

20 million miles and counting...

By The Hub team

On November 7, while flying from Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, United customer Tom Stuker made history when he reached 20 million miles flown on a single airline. We were fortunate enough to capture the milestone he reached with us.

To mark the special occasion, we hosted a celebration in Mr. Stuker's honor at the United Polaris lounge at O'Hare International Airport on Saturday. The celebration was delayed a couple of months, so Mr. Stuker could celebrate the event with his family.

The party included a room full of employees, media members and Mr. Stuker's friends and family enjoying food, cocktails, stories and laughs. To thank him for his long-standing loyalty to United, we also presented Mr. Stuker with gifts made specially for him.

"United makes my dreams come true," Mr. Stuker said to the room full of people.

He also praised United's MileagePlus program, the United Polaris lounges across our system and Oscar's leadership of the airline but, most of all, he praised the service he receives from our employees.

"My favorite part of United is the people. United is such a big part of my life…you are a family to me," he said addressing the United employees. "It would take me days and days and days to say thank you in the right way to the right people. They all know me by now and know how much I care about them as people, how much I care about this airline and its success, and how much I care about the greatest leader this airline has ever had, Oscar."
Amazing destination

Bora Bora: The most beautiful island in the world

By The Hub team

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By Chicago-based United Club Customer Service Representative Amile Ribeiro.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know it can be very subjective but, once you set your eyes on it, I'm sure you'll agree with me: Bora Bora is the most beautiful island in the world.

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There are very few things that can get me out of bed early in the morning, and airplanes are one of those things. We were already in Tahiti and woke up at the crack of dawn to catch our quick flight to Bora Bora. After checking in at the airport and getting a quick breakfast, we headed over to the gate to line up for our flight. Air Tahiti has an open seating arrangement, and we wanted to make sure we got the best possible seats. We were able to secure two windows seats. Travel tip: Sit on the left side of the plane when landing in Bora Bora. We took off from Papeete and within minutes we were flying over Mo'orea. Then we flew around Ra'i ātea and Taha'a, and finally arrived in Bora Bora, the island that Polynesians call "First Born." Pora Pora is the actual local pronunciation, but the first explorers misunderstood it and 'Bora Bora' stuck. Though after setting foot on the island, I've come to call it "Paradise on Earth."

At the airport we were met by a representative of our resort, given flower leis and directed to our high-speed boat. I couldn't believe the color of the water; it was as if Paul Gauguin himself had painted it. After a thrilling ride, we reached our hotel's dock, where a local playing the ukulele welcomed us. We were then given a tour of the astonishing property and were taken by golf cart to our overwater bungalow. We have stayed in many beautiful properties around the world, but when we opened the door of our bungalow our jaws dropped. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that all should have at least once in their lifetimes. And worth every penny. The view of majestic Mount Otemanu is something right out of a fairy tale. After the sun set, the nighttime dance show was equally enchanting.

Employee and her husband at local ball

We had planned to be in Bora Bora during the final leg of the famous Hawaiki Nui Va'a canoe competition, which happens to be a major event in the cultural life of French Polynesia and has the reputation for being the toughest canoe race in the world. The center stage was at the island's most beautiful beach, Matira. We stood in awe as the winners reached the finish line after several hours (and days before that) of frantic paddling from island to island, showcasing the power of human strength and endurance. Besides being an incredible sporting challenge, it is also a colorful spectacle that filled the beach with flower-clad women and the air with the pulsating beat of drums. We were also able to celebrate and dance with them later that night at the local ball in Vaitape (Bora Bora's largest city). It was a marvelous way to get a deeper understanding of another culture!

Besides having the time of our lives at the resort's infinity pools, inner lagoons and beach, we also went to the Turtle Center and had a chance to feed these amazing creatures while they're being rehabilitated to go back into open waters. From there, we took a boat tour of the main lagoon and went swimming with stingrays and sharks. Few things scare me in life, and sharks are on the very top of that short list, but I mustered the courage and what a thrill it was! To commemorate my bravery on the last day of our trip, I got my very first tattoo: a hammerhead shark. Polynesians believe that such sharks act as guardian angels to humans and protect us from the Great White. My husband got a Polynesian design that was custom made just for him, and it represents travel, freedom and courage. We also got a set of matching Polynesian wedding bands. Since the art of tattoo originated in Polynesia, this is the most enduring souvenir one can get from such an amazing culture, but I'm sure the memories of our trip will also stay with us forever!

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