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Year 2005 Winner!
Best Places Hawaii, home of The Hawaii State Vacation Planner, proudly announces the winner of their “Love Stories of Hawaii” promotion for 2005. The lucky winner was Anna Akulyan.


From Near Death to True Love
Submitted by Anna
Dedicated to Jan

On my 19th summer, something compelled me to go on a daring adventure to the magical Hawaiian Islands all by myself. The day I boarded the plane to Honolulu the day was smiling upon me — the sky was beautiful and the sun was shining.

On my first full day in the islands, I decided to stay in the hotel and rest from traveling, but something — some voice — beckoned me to get up and go to the beach right then. And so I did.

Since I’m not a good swimmer, I decided not to venture out too far from shore. Nevertheless, I somehow happened to drift far enough out to sea to be in real danger of being swept away into the depths of the Pacific. Was the ocean calling me, taking me in its arms? Before I had time to panic, I found myself in the arms of a handsome lifeguard. I fell in love in that moment, and so did he.

From then on, I had the feeling that he was “the one.” In the evenings, we walked along the beach. I was in his arms (again) and he sang songs just for me. He wrote poems just for me. He was so romantic, saying beautiful things like, “Hawaii is a paradise when you are in it.”

I was so happy that he found me, saved me. He was my first true love.

Time goes by fast in the islands when it’s time to leave. The separation was unbearable, but I had to go back home. I gave him my phone number and address and left him and my heart behind in paradise.

When I got home, sadder than I ever have been, I went into shock. There he was, standing on my doorstep with a ring in his hand. He proposed and I could only say yes. He saved me from drowning again and we have been happily married ever since.