Finding supplies we'll need in Fiji...In part, today's story is for the girls only...A treasure of a find in a church by the sea...

St. Mary's by the Sea in Port Douglas is near the pier and is located on the ocean with fabulous views.
As we begin thinking about leaving for Fiji in slightly over a month, I've started to evaluate our inventory of toiletries and supplies.  Looking online for stores on the remote island of Vanua Levu makes me realize that we'd better have the items we'll use with us when entering the remote island. 

Most of the shops in Fiji sell typical tourist clothing and trinkets, none of which we'll need or want.  Vanua Levu is not the main island that most tourists visit for holidays/vacations in Fiji.  It is the second largest in the chain of Fijian islands and considered to be the most beautiful and unspoiled.  More on that once we arrive.

This church was originally built in 1880, destroyed by a cyclone and rebuilt in 1911.
With our desire for the ""most beautiful and unspoiled" we always pay the price of having everything we'll need with us that we can carry with the exception of food and in that case as well, much will be lacking. 

Will we be able to find organic free range eggs, grass fed butter, grass fed meat, coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, ground golden flaxseed and flavorings we use to make our few low carb muffins and treats? 

The numerous stained glass windows have an ocean theme.
With the high cost of flying with overweight luggage, there's no sense in attempting to bring the dry goods into the country, especially with certain restrictions on importing foodstuffs.  Its not worth the expense or potential trouble when we enter the country.

As for clothing, with a recent shipment from the US on its way to us as we speak containing one pair of everyday shoes and five tee shirts (for me) and jeans (for Tom), we'll be tossing the worn items when the new items arrive, essentially avoiding any additional weight over our already additional weight.

What a pretty spot for a small wedding with the view of the sea out the window at the alter.
With a shopping list of toiletries we'll need on an app on my phone, yesterday we headed to the Smithfield Mall so I could go to the largest pharmacy in the area, not where we'd purchased my few prescriptions but, another pharmacy comparable to CVS in the US.  Well, not quite.

Many women out there will relate to my list, especially those who like pretty fingernails and toes, who wear some makeup and have a nighttime cleansing and moisturizing routine.  As you can see from my photos over these past years, that's me. 

Seashell stained glass.
Some women who fuss considerably less than I do, have suggested I get rid of it all; cut my hair, stop wearing and using cosmetics, wear glasses instead of contacts and go bare bones.  That's not me.  From the time I was a little girl, I loved "girlie" things.  Why I'd change that now escapes me. 

Would I stop shaving my legs and other parts as well, to avoid the inconvenience of finding the appropriate blades to fit my shaver?  This is me, traveling the world, not becoming a different person.  I still and always will enjoy the fun of getting dressed and ready for an evening on a cruise or, in fact getting ready for each day.

I'm not one of those women that takes hours to get ready even for more dressy occasions.  From the time I step into the shower each morning, I'm out the door of the bathroom, dressed and ready to go in less than 30 minutes, all prepped for the day, ready to go out the door if necessary.

Sailboat stained glass.
Once a week, I do my nails with enough products in my possession to last for the next few years. Once a month, I do my own pedicure, removing the old polish and starting again although, if the polish wears off sooner, I'll do a quick retouch.  These items easily fit into two small zipper sandwich bags only taking a small space in our luggage along with the other toiletries items.

None of this takes me more than 15 minutes all of which I enjoy doing.  I certainly have the time.  Plus, its good to be able to stretch enough to do one's own toes as we age.  I'm always stretching to ensure I can continue to do my own toes.  As seniors its important to stay limber enough to go about normal daily activities which includes bending and stretching.

That consists of my litany of "girlie" prep, all of which I thoroughly enjoy as a part of who I am, none of which I intend to change if I have any say in the matter. 

Clamshell stained glass.
Yesterday, Tom waited for me on a bench reading his book while I wandered through the long indoor mall on my way to the Smithfield Pharmacy, optimistic I'd find everything on the list as follows:

  1. Hairbrush - found
  2. Hydrogen peroxide for teeth cleaning - not available (will find elsewhere)
  3. Eye makeup removed pads - not available (found alternative, via separate bottle of remover and cotton pads)
  4. Polish remover pads - not available (found alternative, via bottle of remover and cotton pads)
  5. Night face cream - brand not available (found alternative)
  6. Retractable brow pencil - not available (found alternative requiring a pencil sharper which I already have on hand)
  7. Portable, replaceable, sonic toothbrushes - not available (found alternative)
  8. Whitening toothpaste - brand not available (found alternative)
  9. Emery boards for pedicures - not available (found alternative)
  10. Organic, low chemical, deodorant/antiperspirant - not available (didn't find alternative)
Product availability is different in each country we visit.  It is imperative that we adapt to those differences by accepting that we can't always find our favorite and familiar items. 

Historical photos posted in the entryway.

Sure, four of the items on this list is for me, the remainder are toiletries used by both of us.  If we couldn't find them here in modern Australia, we certainly won't find them in Fiji.  Thus, before we leave here, I also need to find the above listed and not found items which should be fairly easy at other stores:
  1. Hydrogen peroxide (most likely available at other pharmacy)
  2. Organic deodorant/antiperspirant (most likely available at health/vitamin shop)
With my heavy bag on hand after spending slightly over AUD $100, USD $73, I headed back out to the mall looking for my next item, some type of night shirt for me to wear to bed.  Recently, my one remaining pair of cotton pajamas has felt too hot at night and after washing frequently has begun to fall apart.  Lately, I've been wearing one of Tom's tee shirts instead. 

Tom's tee shirt is too big for me, resulting in my continually untwisting it during the night. With many warmer climates facing us in the future, a comfy cotton women's night shirt would be ideal.  Entering a store in the mall that had a women's lingerie department, in no time at all, I found a small rack of nightshirts.

Another stained glass window looking out to the beach park and pier in Port Douglas.
My dilemma was the size.  I didn't recognize the size numbers, different than in the US and other countries we visited where on occasion I may have purchased a few items.  With the help of a friendly salesperson, she found my size in the backroom.  I purchased two at their sale price of AUD $18, USD $13.10.  What a bargain! 

After changing into one of the comfy, baggy but not too baggy nightshirt last night after dinner, I was thrilled with the fit and the comfort of the fabric which ultimately attributed to a better night's sleep with no middle-of-the-night untangling required.

St. Mary's by the Sea in Port Douglas was originally a Catholic church, is now multi-denominational performing services for a variety religions.
Content with my purchases, I found Tom as expected awaiting my return whiling sitting on the bench outside Woolworth's reading his book.  After a quick trip into the market for a few items to last until Thursday's upcoming shopping trip, we were on our way home.

Today, we'll be working on financials, updating the spreadsheets with the recent purchases and if the sun stays out, we'll head down the steep steps to the new comfy chaise lounges by the pool for a 40 minute dose (20 minutes each side) of Vitamin D. 

Later in the day, we'll be off to the fitness center ,which will complete a day not unlike a day in the life of any retired person, anywhere in the world, living life on their own terms, with lipstick and polished toes or not.

Photo from one year ago today, August 4, 2014:

We walked a few miles to the French Army Museum in Paris, Musee de l'Armee de Invalides.  For more photos, please click here.


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