We stayed married for 15 years!!Brent and celebrated our 15th anniversary (married January 15, 1993) by traveling to Hawaii in March 2008. It was so great that I was checking for flights to go back three days after we arrived home.
Here's what we did on our island trip:
- Our sweet neighbor friend and Delta Airlines employee, Cindy, offered us an opportunity to purchase *BUDDY* passes to Hawaii back in November. I refused her generosity several times before I gave in when she assured me they would go to waste. March 11th came sooner than I could imagine and we flew a 6 hour-non-stop flight from Salt Lake to Honolulu. We rented an orange Mustang convertible, found hotel, and ate dinner at McDonald's. We were pretty tired and went to bed at 9:00 p.m. (midnight Utah time).
- Shopping at the Honolulu Swap Meet was so fun. We picked up lots of cute, cheap souvenirs. I wish we would have saved this activity for one of the last days that we were there so that I knew better what to get but it was great anyway. We picked up lots of T-shirts, foam flower hair clips, key chains, shell jewlery, and a mandatory ukelele.
- We made a brief stop at Pearl Harbor. We looked around a bit and took some pictures but since niether one of us are big World War II buffs, we didn't stay long. I didn't want Brent to start thinking too much about the government's unnecessarily large and IMMORAL role in our lives. (Insert rolling eyes here!!)
- Waikiki Aquarium was small but lovely. We learned the Hawaiian names of some of the beautiful tropical fish and enjoyed the nice day.
- Northern Waikiki Beach was right behind our hotel--accessible, beautiful, and so fun. How could a beach not be? We relaxed and watched thousands of others doing the same thing. Yeah, it was somewhat crowded but still magical.
- On the recommendation of many, we visited the Dole Plantation. We took a train tour around the pineapple fields. The plants looked way different than I imagined and the iron-rich, red soil looked like something straight from Southern Utah. We cankered our mouths with the delicious fresh pineapple and Brent downed some Dole Whip (pineapple sherbet). Soooo delicious.
- We decided on a whim to drive to the North Shore since it wasn't too far from the pineapple plantation. The legendary waves are legendary for a reason and we enjoyed watching some surfers try their luck. We were able to see several sea turtles in a small cove but were equally entertained by a crazy lady who was going nuts at the sight of them and who even tried to touch one! We purchased some snorkeling equipment for Brent at a great surf shop and he tested it out in a tide pool near Shark Cove the sun set. I got some great photos of the orange horizon. If an inept photographer like me can get pics like that, you know that you're in a beautiful place!
- We left at 5:00 am for "Wildlife" tour, catamaran ride. We were unable to find any dolphins to see or swim with but were were able to snorkel with sea turtles, see an amazing flying fish and a mommy and baby humpback whale. Absolutely amazing!
- Back to the North Shore and Hawaiian temple. The Visitors' Center missionaries gave me a flower for my hair as we toured the grounds--beautiful and serene.
- BYU Hawaii was fun. The campus wasn't anything terribly exciting or special but I loved the circle of flags in front of the student center and picked up some fun souvenirs for my sisters who once attended there.
- The Polynesian Cultural Center was phenomenal. We took a lovely canoe ride through the "villages", attended a luau and dinner, and were stunned by the grandeur of the famed Night Show.
- Because we'd had such a long, touristy day on Friday, we relaxed on Saturday with a little shopping, beach visit, and a delicious outdoor dinner at a fun restaurant--Waikiki Cheeseburger.
- We took a short hike to the top of Diamond Head and took in the great view as Brent cursed getting sweaty!
- Hanauma Bay was crowded but we loved it anyway. I was a little more brave with my snorkeling attempts this time and saw sea turtles, coral, and dozens of species of fish including eels.
- Knowing we were leaving this evening, we kept things simple with our third trip to the North side of the island. Wiamea Falls and Botanical Gardens was a relaxing and beautiful end to our holiday.
- Our non-stop flight during the night was uneventful but not very relaxing. I didn't sleep much and was dog tired when we arrived home Tuesday morning at 7:45 a.m.