Love at first sight

Not sure if I believe in love at first sight when it comes to finding that certain someone, but I sure do believe in love at first sight when it comes to places. For me, that place will always be Hawaii.

The past year has been a whirlwind. Almost too many milestones to digest at once: graduations, entering the empty nester phase, a couple of family health detours, new adventures and our self-proclaimed year of travel. Our philosophy on airline miles and hotel points? Use them now. Life is short and you never know. Carpe diem.

We went to Istanbul. We went to Greece, Italy and France. For my husband’s milestone birthday, we went Costa Rica. And then there was a trip to Oahu that we had planned for our anniversary in March: Now on hold with work and other obligations.

They say that April is the cruelest month, but I disagree. In the Midwest, it is March. February is a close second. The holidays have come and gone. The snow, cold and ice remain. Even in a mild winter, there is darkness. There is sleet. There is black ice on the roads. In April there is hope—the days finally seem longer after the cold and we rejoice in the fact that we’ve turned a corner. Although I painfully remember that we had snow in May of last year.

So, in the meantime, I think of my one true love. Yes, that would be this guy—the one I married on my first visit to the Island of Hawaii many moons ago. For anyone contemplating the idea of a Hawaiian wedding, I highly recommend Rev. Libby from Weddings A La Heart. Here she is with us on the Kohala Coast signing our marriage certificate—before they went electronic. Our ceremony could not have been more perfect. Love.

Scan 12

For today, I’ll dream of the place in the world where it all began. The thermometer tells me that it is -2 degrees outside today. In my heart, it’s 78 with a light breeze. Happy Valentine’s Day. Aloha.









In August 2000, my now husband proposed on a hot air balloon ride above the scenic St. Croix River dividing the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I quickly discovered, however, that as much as I wanted to be married to Tom, I didn’t want a wedding.

I had visions of us running down to city hall over our lunch breaks. Still, we both wanted a special and memorable event to launch our new lives together. Tom looked at me one day and said, “How about Hawaii?” See why I love this guy? So, off to Hawaii we went.

With a generous wedding gift of a week in a timeshare, we requested anything available in March 2001 on any of the Hawaiian Islands. Our luck of the draw was the island of Hawaii—or the Big Island as it’s called. What? I thought they were all the islands of Hawaii. It turns out that the Big Island of Hawaii shares its name with the state of Hawaii. It is also, as its name implies, the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands. So big, in fact, that all of the islands together could fit onto the Big Island. It is also the largest island in the United States.

As we flew into Honolulu in early March 2001, I looked out from my window seat to see a rainbow sweeping the sky as we landed. It was a magical layover before our flight into Kona. Who knew that a layover could be magical? It was. After an airport mai tai, we were off on Hawaiian Airlines for a quick flight into Kona. It looked like we had landed on the moon. And so, the adventure and love affair with Hawaii begins.