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The REAL Thing
Dedicated to My Friend, Wife, Soul-mate, Terri
Submitted by Philip
When my wife and I first married in 1986, I chose to take her on a honeymoon to Disney World. We stayed in the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel. I had always dreamed of one day going to Hawaii. Everything I had ever read about, heard about or seen on TV and movies made me think Hawaii was paradise. We thoroughly enjoyed the Polynesian Village, the Luau, etc. But as a young couple struggling to make ends meet, we certainly could not afford the "real thing".
Five years ago, my career began requiring me to travel frequently. So I began to secretly scheme of a way to take a trip to Hawaii. I saved my Frequent Flyer miles and hotel points and hatched a plan.
On Valentine's Day, 2001, I surprised my wife with a card and a note that said: "Happy Valentine's Day! We celebrated our marriage with a honeymoon to the Polynessian Village Resort in Disney World . . . . Now to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, I want us to enjoy the "real thing". I have made reservations to fly just the two of us to Hawaii the day before our anniversary. We will spend our anniversary and the next 5 days in Hawaii!!"
She was thrilled. And the islands did not disappoint us. We were stunned by the beauty of the islands and taken away by the Hawaiian people. On our anniversary, we had dinner watching the sunset at Jameson's by the Sea near Waimea. There is no way I could ever dream of a better way to spend an anniversary with the woman I love.
We had been to tropical islands before in the Carribean. The interesting thing is the stark contrast between the two.
vWhen you visit places like the Bahamas, they warn you at the hotel to stay close and not venture out without a trusted guide.
vWhen you visit Hawaii, the hotel staff encourages you to venture out beyond the tourist areas and get to know the local culture and people.
vWhen you do venture out in the Bahamas, you are shocked and dismayed by the crime, poverty, and lack of pride in their own living conditions.
vWhen you venture out in Hawaii, you often stumble across the incredible untouched beauty of the native land or, you come across a home, whether humble or wealthy, that is clean and well kept. And the people are incredibly kind and friendly.
There is just no comparison.
We fell in love with Hawaii in every way. We look forward to an opportunity to go back.
P.S. We loved Hawaii so much that we saved our miles again and in 2003, we went back with our two children and had the best vacation we have ever had. We even re-decorated our living room in a tropical / Polynessian theme with a framed picture my wife took of the Green Sand Beach.