You Had Me At Aloha – Part 1

On March 7, 1992 I married my high school sweetheart. We were so young and in love. We had no idea what we were doing, but as the awesome Jon Bon Jovi said we were just “livin’ on a prayer”.

Fast forward 25 years and while we are certainly older and wiser somethings haven’t changed. We are still sweethearts and still just making it up as we go along.

Celebrating our 25th anniversary in Hawaii was a dream we had for years. To be honest it actually felt more like a fantasy, something we hoped for but never really expected to occur. But as the time was approaching we decided that dream was going to become a reality.

The first step was deciding which island to visit. We talked to friends who had traveled to Hawaii and the general consensus was that Oahu was a great island for first time visitors. There are so many sites to see and things to do that it felt like the perfect choice.

Initially I was going to use a travel agent to book this trip. I have always planned our vacations in the past and been very happy but this was a completely different level. This was going to be the longest vacation we had ever taken, the furthest we had ever traveled and most definitely the most expensive trip we had ever taken. The thought of planning this trip myself was daunting, but after doing a lot of research I began to feel fairly confident so decided to just go for it!

I must admit I spent many, many hours planning this trip and I loved every minute of it! From Priceline to Pinterest, I read everything I could find to help me the find the perfect place to stay while in Oahu and ended up deciding to stay on Waikiki beach in Honolulu. The pictures of the beautiful beach and views of Diamond Head seemed like paradise and exactly where we wanted to be!

But before we even got to Hawaii we had some important anniversary business to attend to first. I think I’ve mentioned that my husband loves sports. Many years ago, on our 10th anniversary I think, I bought my hubby tickets to see his very first NBA basketball game. It was in Oklahoma and was the Hornets at that time. He loved it. I tried to love it but we were poor and happy to afford the cheap seats and since unfortunately I HATE heights, I ended up spending the entire game glued to my seat trying not to have a nervous breakdown.

Since that time we have been trying to attend as many different NBA games as we could for our anniversary. We have traveled to Charlotte to see the Bobcats, to Memphis to watch the Grizzlies, seen the Denver Nuggets in Colorado and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Whew! The hubby should be proud that I actually remembered all of those teams without having to look them up!

We are trying to see different teams with the ultimate goal of visiting all 30 NBA arenas. Maybe we will make it by our 50th anniversary!

But for now we had to decide the whole logistics of traveling to a NBA game and then continuing on to Hawaii. We would have loved to have gone to San Francisco to see the Golden State Warriors, but were unable to make it work so we decided to head back to Los Angeles. We had seen the Lakers before so this time we were going to watch the L.A. Clippers.

So the first leg of our anniversary trip was a quick, and I mean like 16 hours quick, trip to L.A. We arrived at our hotel just in time to change and catch an Uber to the Staples Center. Since the Lakers and Clippers share the arena the hubby even took this awesome picture with a statue of his all time favorite basketball player Magic Johnson.

I have learned over the years that if I splurge for good seats it is a much more enjoyable time for both of us. So we had a great time with a great view. I will admit that I probably spent as much time looking for celebrities as I spent watching the game. We were in L.A. after all, but sadly the only famous people I recognized were on the court.

After the game we made it back to our room for a short night’s sleep before heading to LAX and continuing on to our final destination, Oahu!!! I barely slept a wink because I was beyond excited to see the place I had dreamed about for years.

When planning this trip one piece of advice we received was to travel first class. It is a long flight from Los Angeles to Oahu and my husband always complains about the lack of leg room so we decided that if we were ever going to fly first class this was the time.

Let me tell you it was great! The leg room was awesome. The service was superb. And the food was delicious!

As we exited the plane I must admit I was a little disappointed that there was no Lei welcome like what you see on TV. I guess the Honolulu airline does that but we flew in a different airline so I would have to wait to receive my floral necklace.

It was obvious before we even left the airport that we were someplace special. The airport had open air walkways with beautiful flowers growing outside and it smelled amazing!

After getting our luggage we headed to pick up our rental car. This is another area we decided to splurge on. Taking the advice of someone who had traveled to Hawaii we upgraded to a Jeep and we were so glad we did! We loved it! As a matter of fact I’m seriously considering on buying a Jeep for my next new car.

After loading our luggage into the Jeep we headed off to continue our journey. Excited for the adventures that lied ahead and ready to explore our island paradise we set out together, just like always. Knowing that with my sweetheart at my side this would be a vacation I would never forget.

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