Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Perfect Anniversary!

12/7/05 – 10:14 PM

What an absolutely perfect 31st anniversary we had! The day began a lot like yesterday, except that I slept an extra hour, and by the time I got up, brewed the coffee and went outside, it was already starting to get light. So I took the camera and my coffee and went out to the bench overlooking the ocean. Today there were a lot more people milling around than yesterday. After I finished my coffee, I walked down to the jetty and took a seat on a slab of rock overlooking the inlet where the sea turtles nest, hoping I’d see one. I didn’t, but I did see an amazing sunrise, and took pictures of it so I’d win my bet against Frank. (He predicted I’d sleep through sunrise today, and now he owes me a dollar.)

After breakfast, we took a swim, then showered and checked out of Bellows. Before heading back to Honolulu, we stopped at one of my favorite places on Oahu—the Valley of the Temples and the Byodo-In Temple. It was just as beautiful and tranquil as I remembered. (I swear I must’ve been a Buddhist in a former life because that place moves me so deeply.) Before entering the temple, we followed custom and rang the gong which is supposed to grant us long life and happiness according to the nearby sign that reads:

An offering and ringing of this sacred bell brings happiness, the blessings of Buddha, and a long life to the ringer of the bell.

Then we walked up some stone steps to a meditation temple that looked out on a waterfall and a pool filled with koi. And a really cool thing happened. We were all alone—in fact, when we arrived at the temple, there were no other cars in the parking lot. I’m not sure which one of us first suggested it, but we found ourselves renewing our vows right there in that temple—just the two of us surrounded by nature. And just after we finished saying our vows to each other, someone rang the gong from down below. It was so romantic, and I will always remember it as one of the most special moments of my life.

A young couple started coming up the steps to the temple, and I told the girl it was our 31st anniversary and asked her to take our picture. Their timing was just perfect (because I’m assuming they were also the ones who rang the gong.)

After lunch, we went to Waikiki and checked into the Imperial Hawaii. Our timeshare is very nice and we do have an ocean view—not a great one, but who cares?

Tonight we met Diana & Jim at the Hale Koa for wine, and then went to the Aloha Tower pier for our sunset dinner cruise on The Star of Honolulu. It was wonderful! Dinner was filet mignon and King crab legs—delicious! And the show was also fantastic. Honolulu looks so beautiful from the sea at night.

After the cruise, we went back to Diana & Jim’s room at the Hale Koa, and we all shared the bottle of champagne we ordered for them the other day. And it was really good.

We’re getting up early for a golf game tomorrow so I’m off to bed. The time is just going by way too fast!


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