Passport for Your Palate-The South Pacific’s Poisson

No comments

I have a taste for travel. That is to say when I travel I like to taste. One of my favorite things to do is try the local food no matter which destination I land in. For me, slipping into the culture and habits of the people makes the trip all the more fascinating. Often a destinations food can be it’s true definer.

What is South Pacific Poisson?

While visiting French Polynesian’s Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Le Taha’a, I couldn’t have been more excited to discover that their famed delicacy is Poisson Cru. Poisson Cru literally means raw fish. Being a major fish lover, especially for raw fish, I was delighted when told I must try their Poisson Cru.

Poisson Cru is a famous Tahitian dish

similar to Latin Ceviche, Hawaiian Poke or Kokoda. It consists of raw fish marinated in coconut milk and citrus juice. The coconut milk gives it a softer texture. One try of this dish and you will be craving it! For me, finding out that it was available on nearly every menu, meant I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I did!

The dish is fairly easy to replicate at home, but won’t taste nearly as good as having it in the island backdrops of the South Pacific. Using simple ingredients (the fresher the better) with minimal preparation time you are going to want to try this dish at home.

Here is a recipe from About.com I have found and made.

Poisson Cru

Takes: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients:
1¾ pounds of fresh tuna (sushi grade)
½ cucumber (3½ ounces)
1 tomato (1¾ ounces)
1 green pepper
1 large onion
8 limes (juiced)
1 glass coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Preparation:
Dice the fish into ½-inch cubes, rinse with fresh water, drain and place in a large bowl.
Squeeze the limes and pour the juice over the fish, mix well and chill 20 minutes in refrigerator.
Cut onion and green pepper into thin slices, cut tomato into small cubes, remove seeds from cucumber and cut into thin half-moons.
Drain some of the lime juice, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
Add the coconut milk five minutes before serving.
Serve chilled. Present on a bed of lettuce, in a coconut shell or your prettiest bowl.

For another fabulous poisson dish try Kokoda.

It is a similar recipe to Poisson Cru (Marinated fish in Coconut Cream) that I received from Melissa Watt with Travel2 after our trip to French Polynesia in December 2014. Kokoda is a refreshing dish from Fiji. This recipe uses coconut cream instead of milk, white fish and less vegetables.

Ingredients:
1kg Fish Fillet (White Fleshed Fish)
Half cup lime juice (fresh)
1 coconut crème
1 Tbsp Red capscium finely chopped
1 Tbsp Green capsicum finely chopped
1 Tbsp Red onion finely chopped
1 Chili finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
Cut fish into small cubes
Place fish pieces in a bowl and marinate 100ml of lemon juice and a little salt
Store marinated fish in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours (best overnight)
Wash fish and drain the water out
Mix with coconut crème, capsicum, onion, chili, remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper
Serve chilled immediately & garnish with twisted slice of lime

ENJOY!

Updated 8/30/2020


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-The South Pacific’s Poisson
read more

The South Pacific-The Home of Romance

No comments

The South Pacific islands offer some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery of anywhere in the world.

Mountains, stunning stretches of beach, sparkling surf, calm lagoons, crystal clear blue waters, and scenic natural environments above and below sea level make the South Pacific ideal for romance. For years, filmmakers have used the amazing island backdrops to create movies such as South Pacific, Blue Lagoon, and Couples Retreat, leaving moviegoers wanting to visit this unspoiled, unique environment of extreme beauty and tranquility.


February is the season of romance. Whether celebrating a honeymoon, an anniversary or just rekindling the love, there is an island spot for you in the South Pacific. Whilst there are numerous islands in the South Pacific to explore, only about 500 are inhabited. Of those inhabited islands, some have become the favorites for couples looking for romance- French Polynesia, Fiji, and The Cook Islands. Each destination has its very own romance personality.

The Cook Islands
A Polynesian nation with a fierce pride in its people, history, and culture, boasting a warm, welcoming climate any time of year. Lying within the same time zone as Hawaii, the Cook Islands’ location makes it convenient for travelers who like to keep in touch with home while they are gone. No visa required! Visitors can stay up to 31-days with just a valid passport and return ticket home. The Cook Islands are comprised of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, and the Sister Islands. One of the coolest things visitors can do is obtain a Cook Islands Driver’s License from the Police Station in Rarotonga or Aitutaki. It makes for an awesome souvenir even if you don’t intend to use it. Another unique feature is the Cook Islands are one of the few places in the world without chain hotels or high-rise buildings. Most accommodations are locally owned and operated.
A romantic rendezvous is easy in a place where it is forever summer. The fall/winter (May – October) is ideal for weddings, honeymoons, renewal of vows, anniversaries, and romantic getaways. A myriad of stunning and intimate locations are available to say “I Do.” A bonus for the happy couple is that weddings are legally recognized internationally. They need only be in the country 3 business days before the wedding to obtain their marriage license. A great selection of venues, facilities, and professional coordinators are on hand to plan and take care of every fun activity and detail. Memories from the Cook Islands will last a lifetime.

Fiji
Bula! Welcome! Fiji consists of 333 mountainous islands of volcanic origin. It is in the heart of the romantic South Seas and is the first country to see each new day’s dawning. The perfect destination for those looking to escape the doldrums of winter with pleasant year-round temperatures. The warm waters of Fiji are great for snorkeling. This destination is perfect for the laid back traveler where the dress is casual all year-round (no ties, gentlemen). While Fijian and Hindustani are most commonly heard, English is widely spoken and taught in schools, making it an easy place for American travelers’ communication. There is a wide variety of unique and fascinating things to do and see, but if you are looking to stay put, you will find many activities are centered around the pool, beach, or lagoon. Many activities are water-based such as swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing, but you will also find various land activities to include tennis, golf, and horseback riding. One of the best things to do is to get out and meet the Fijians. Every city and town has an open-air market- a must stop for any visitor. Attractions and activities here are truly endless and cater to the laid back all the way up to the heart-pounding adventurer.
The beautiful, fragrant garden of tropical flora make Fiji a great place for romance, weddings, and honeymoons. Simple ceremony or full-on with a choir, warrior escorts, and traditional costumes could be the start of a new life together. To experience this, grandeur couples must get a license from the nearest marriage registry. Typically a minimum of 36 hours. You must also reside in the country at least 1 working day before the wedding. You will need a valid 6-month passport and your original birth certificate as well. You can choose to marry in a hotel or resort, on a beach or in a church. It is even possible to make arrangements to have the whole resort to yourselves. Imagine a wedding in total privacy.

French Polynesia
Better known as Tahiti and Her Islands (the Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands), French Polynesia is famous for her magnificent, sensual, sun-drenched landscapes. Comprised of 118 islands and atolls, lying half-way between the United States and Australia, it is the Society Islands – home to Moorea, Bora Bora Taha’a, and Tahiti that are most often visited. The islands speak French and Tahitian, although English is widely heard. Offering lush tropical backdrops encircled by coral reefs and surrounded by beautiful azure, turquoise blue lagoons, this destination screams romance!
While a 14 hour flight from Los Angeles, this destination does not require crossing the dateline and is only a 2-3 hour time difference from Pacific Standard Time depending on daylight savings. The claim to fame for this destination is being the home to the overwater bungalows—a signature accommodation where visitors sleep above the waters in their own thatched-roof bungalow villa or suite. Many of them with glass floor viewing areas to see the sea and coral below. Start your day off with a quick trip off the deck for a morning snorkel. The island resorts provide Polynesian spa experiences that will relax and rejuvenate. What could be better than a couples’ massage or maybe a bath in a tub full of flowers?
Weddings come with an array of locations. Wedding Chapels are available at many resorts for couples that prefer to have a Western-style ceremony. Like privacy? Choose to celebrate your wedding on your own tiny private islet (called motu in Tahitian). If you like to really go out, you can even get married underwater. Whilst weddings in French Polynesia are legally recognized, there is a bit more paperwork for this destination. It is highly recommended you work with a destination specialist when planning a wedding to ensure all legal documents are procured and translated. The typical process takes 3 to 5 months. An option would be to have a legal ceremony done stateside then have a symbolic traditional Tahitian wedding performed during your stay. And of course, like the other islands of the South Pacific, the array of land and water activities is endless. Take a 4 – wheel drive tour of the mainland or spend the morning swimming with shark and stingray and the afternoon shopping for cultured “black pearls.” Most of all, be sure to discover the rich history and culture of this captivating destination.
Everything here whispers romance. From the north to the south, from the mountains to the seas, these fragrant paradises combine all the truly generous and wonderful landscapes Mother Nature has created.

The South Pacific is your gateway for a romantic getaway!

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslThe South Pacific-The Home of Romance
read more

Bora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion

No comments

Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt Dunt….. Did your mind quickly conjure up the movie Jaws? Jaws was a thriller, blockbuster film released in 1975, by director Steven Spielberg, with the unforgettable theme music to portray the shark attack. Were you, like me, afraid to enter water ever again?

Nevermind, thinking of swimming, especially thinking about swimming in deep ocean water. Since the film’s release and its later sequels, I wonder how many of us developed this fear of being eaten alive.

For me, I was fine with going in the ocean or other waters as long as I could see my feet and touch the bottom. Dark, deep waters were out for me, especially after I was subjected to swimming in lake water where I could not see but only feel the things that rubbed up against me. I still shudder.


However, on my most recent trip to French Polynesia and her island of Bora Bora, I participated in an excursion, which became one of the best moments and activities of my entire visit. We did the Swim with the Sharks and Sting Rays excursion.

I was so excited! My mind was like, “cool,” we will be in a contained area of shallow water with sharks and stingrays. Wrong!

The Shark and Sting Ray excursion in Bora Bora is roughly a 3-hour small-group excursion.

They take you out by boat. And when I say out, I mean out to the wide, open, deep, blue sea. Clear as a bell, but don’t even think about touching here. When the boat dropped anchor and realized we were getting out into the open waters, my heart started pounding. Snorkel gear was handed out, and we were told that if we didn’t want to get in, we could stay in the confines of the boat, where I could watch the feeding of the sharks while the others snorkeled with them. Well, as they say, “When in Rome..” So, I gathered up all my nerve, put on my gear, scooted my rear to the edge of the boat, and jumped in! Oh my gosh, it was so amazing to put my face in the water and see the tropical fish and shark swimming around me as the driver of the boat sprinkled food across the top of the water. These were blacktip sharks, not known for desiring humans, and certainly not nearly as frightening as the Great White portrayed in Jaws. We also saw a few nurse sharks a bit deeper in the water.

Once back on board the boat, I was so exhilarated. I was just beaming, for not only the experience, but the fact that I had conquered my fear. I was so excited to head to our next spot to see the sting ray. The sting rays were awesome! When the boat anchored here, all we needed was a pair of reef (water) shoes. The water was only about waist deep. Once we were all in the water, the guide got in with a bucket of food. The sting rays along with a few more blacktip sharks immediately surrounded us. They were like puppy dogs or cats, but much more slimy feeling, rubbing up against us. So playful! We had fun stealing kisses and petting them. I hated to leave and move onto our third stop.

The last stop of the excursion took us to the Coral Garden.

We once again donned our snorkel gear and hopped overboard for a swim amongst the rainbow colored coral and tropical fish. The fish loved to get really close whenever you stayed still, even bumping into your face mask. We all tried very hard to capture a picture of ourselves underwater with the “I Love Bora Bora” written in the depths below us. The morning couldn’t have been any better. It was truly an event I will never forget and certainly will repeat on future trips to Bora Bora.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslBora Bora Shark and Sting Ray Excursion
read more

Souvenirs that Last a Lifetime

No comments

Are you a collector?

Most people have collections or souvenirs of some sort. I come from a family of collectors. I have gathered various collections over the years of my traveling. Some I have inherited from my family and others I have started on my own. I have a collection of elephants and tea cups that are on display in my home that came from my great grandmother. In my younger years I had a book of stamps. I was particularly fond of the ones from foreign countries. As I got older, my tastes changed and I switched to collecting spoons. I still purchase a spoon from each destination I visit as a memento. My husband and I began a collection of beer glasses and steins during our marriage which he still adds to on a regular basis. Our children have followed suit and they each have their favorite souvenir. Our eldest collects shot glasses, the middle collects key chains, and the youngest snow globes when we vacation.

This year I began a new type of souvenir, tattoos;

they not only remind me of where I’ve been, but are an expression of my passion and love for travel. Travel for me, is more than visiting a place and having a good time. I have truly been affected by the places I’ve been. When I travel, I am like a snake, shedding a layer of myself and growing with each new destination experience.

I have always wanted a tattoo, but it wasn’t until my second visit to Australia that I was so profoundly affected that I came back and began getting the artwork on my body. The first tattoo I received was an outline of the country of Australia, located on the inside of my right wrist. Always I have been in love with this country, as long as I can remember, and it is the passion that I have for this beautiful place that led me to open my travel agency Boomerang Escapes. The map outline itself was copied by my tattoo artist from the name badge that I wore during my #amazingaussieadventure sponsored by Travel2, a supplier of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific vacation packages. It truly inspires me as I glance at it during my work day.

I received my second tattoo on the same day as the first. It too represents my love for Australia, but also the passion for my business. I showed the artist my business logo, which is comprised of two koalas on a branch, and adapted it to a tattoo for my lower back right hip. For me, it provides reinforcement and drive to make my business a success. In addition, I get to see my favorite animal in the mirror.


My third tattoo, came only a short couple of months later. It is a dragon fly located on my left big toe. I chose the dragon fly first because whenever I go out to my backyard to lay out at the pool they gather around me and settle often on my toes as I sit soaking up the sun. They are such a beauty to watch. The second reason is what the dragonfly symbolizes:
Maturity and Depth of Character
Power and Poise
Defeat of Self-Created Illusions
Focuses on Living in the Moment
The Opening of One’s Eyes
These are all characteristics that I seek to practice and embody in my own life and work. I find travel to be a powerful tool for achieving these states and the tattoo on my toe a reminder of the direction I am heading.

My fourth tattoo came with my last trip. This tattoo was more than getting a tattoo, but to actually have it be part of my trip experience. We were made aware that it was possible at several of the resort locations in French Polynesia that we would be visiting that we could have a tattoo artist meet with us in the resort’s spa. I decided to wait until my last island experience on Taha’a to arrange to have an artist from Rangiroa come over to the spa. It was such a special experience as the artist asked what I wanted and why I wanted it. He then created a one of kind tattoo to represent something personal for me. I ended up with four flowers that encompass the French Polynesia triangle. Within the tattoo is a the Tiare for Tahiti, one for Rangiroa and one for Taha’a with a final flower that brings all the islands together. In addition there are other symbols, such as triangles to represent shark’s teeth for protection.

You may have noticed I did not say my last tattoo. I have plans to collect at least 3 more souvenir tattoos to complete the areas of the South Pacific that I specialize in, Cook Islands, Fiji and New Zealand.

Just recently I did a webinar on New Zealand and found that I can take care of this when I visit Roturua on New Zealand’s North Island. Similar to Tahiti, you can meet with an artist and discuss your design and what meaning it has for you. However, for those of you not quite ready to take home a permanent souvenir on your skin, you may have your tattoo design done on fabric. Your unique design and cultural artwork could then be framed and become an original piece for your wall at home. No matter what you collect or bring home for a souvenir it is bound to have lasting memories of an experience your heart treasures.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslSouvenirs that Last a Lifetime
read more

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI

2 comments

As many of you may be aware, my 2014 ended with a fabulous training familiarization trip to Tahiti. It is part of the three step process that Tahiti Tourisme requires for travel agents to become Tahiti Tiare Specialists.

Visiting a destination provides such valuable information that cannot be found in brochures or online. I am privileged that I had the honor of being selected to attend this event and obtain this first hand knowledge of truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am excited to share with you a recent press release regarding my trip to the islands of French Polynesia.

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI

Memphis, TN (January 8, 2015) – Lisa Rossmeissl, owner of Boomerang Escapes, was one of a select few travel agents from the US and Canada to be invited to the Tahiti Travel Exchange, which included a two week tour of the islands. The tour consisted of learning more about the layout of the French Polynesian’s Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Taha’a), the climate and it’s culture. Thorough inspection of the resort facilities included various amenities, food and beverage menu selection, food and beverage tasting and overall quality of service. Lisa also participated in several excursions as well, providing a full immersion experience. Some of the amazing highlights included 4WD tours, snorkeling coral gardens, and swimming with sharks and stingrays.

In addition, Hotel Le Meridien showed its spirit of giving by supporting the Association of Perehau Here O Te Tama (“The Wings of the Growing Child”) for the pediatric unit at Taaone Hospital. Lisa and other attendees were asked to bring a tree ornament that represented who they are and where they are from. This provided the children an opportunity to see different ornaments from all across the country. The tree was sponsored by TTNA.

Travel2, a well renowned travel agency supplier, bestowed the well deserved honor of selecting Lisa for this unique Tahitian tour. She is nationally and internationally certified in a number of travel categories. Her expertise and testimonials from clients and colleagues truly speaks volumes. To learn more about Lisa, Boomerang Escapes, travel information and more exciting adventures, please call (844) 386-3600, email Lisa@boomerangescapes.com or visit the website at www.boomerangescapes.com.

About Boomerang Escapes: B.E. helps couples and families return to their ‘happy place’ by allowing them to escape the tethers of life by providing unique custom vacation experiences that leave them transformed.

updated 2020


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslLOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY OWNER SELECTED FOR SPECIAL RESORT TOURING IN TAHITI
read more