Sunday, April 1, 2012

Leaving tomorrow!

Hey everyone!

This will be short, since there isn't much to report today but just wanted to check in and let everyone know we are leaving tomorrow!

For those who don't know our schedule, our haven't visited our wedding website ( here is what our itinerary looks like:

March 25th- Arrive in Honolulu, HI -Waikiki beach & dinner at Alan Wong's
March 26th- Oahu- Hike Diamond Head, get our marriage license, lunch at 'Ama'Ama (At Aulani resort),    beach at Ko'Olina, check into Bungalow on the North Shore
March 27th- Oahu- Explore town of Haleiwa , Get Married!, dinner at 21 Degrees North (At Turtle Bay resort)
March 28th- Oahu- Mokuleia beach, LOST tour in Koalua ranch, Nu'uanu Pali lookout, Paradise Cove luau at night
March 29th- Oahu-Valley of the Temples, lunch in Honolulu, relax at the bungalow
March 30th- Fly to LA- Disneyland this evening, meet the kids and Sarah at the hotel
March 31st- Disneyland! (Early morning Honeymoon photo shoot in the parks with Sarina Love Photography)
April 1st- Disneyland (morning), Disney cruise to Mexico (afternoon)
April 2nd- Cruise (Day at Sea)
April 3rd- Cruise (Day at Sea)
April 4th- Cruise (Puerto Vallarta)- excursion to Las Caletas island
April 5th- Cruise (Cabo San Lucas)- Medano Beach day
April 6th- Cruise (Cabo San Lucas)- free day
April 7th- Cruise (Day at Sea)
April 8th- Cruise docks in San Pedro- head back to Disneyland! (Easter Sunday)
April 9th (Jess' & Aidan's birthday!) head back to Seattle

This week has been pretty crazy- tons of packing (our luggage situation is insane) and cleaning house.  Sarah (my best friend) will be staying at our house with the kids for the 5 days we are in Hawaii until she flies with them to meet us in Disneyland.  I got the stomach flu yesterday so that put a huge damper on my mood:(  So far Matt hasn't gotten it, but I am worried he will get it overnight tonight (no clue how we would be able to travel then) or the kids while we are gone.  Luckily it is a short lived virus (out of my system within the night).

We leave at 6:30 tomorrow morning, and land at noon (6 hour flight to Honolulu, with a 3 hour time difference).

Hopefully I will be able to post each day, though on the cruise it may be every other day (internet is spotty at best).

Wish us luck that no one gets the flu that I have and that we have great weather for our wedding!

Day 1- we made it!

March 25th

Today our morning started very early! My alarm went off around 4:30 and I thought I would be dreading it, but I had actually fallen asleep pretty early the night before since I was still recovering from the flu and gotten about a good 6 hours of sleep. I got ready pretty quickly, woke Matt up around 5 and were both pretty much completely ready to leave by 5:30. The kids woke up a little before 6 (when Sarah was scheduled to arrive) and Aidan was in a good mood. Piper seemed to be happy but as the minutes passed she increasingly seemed more frantic and just kept repeating that she didn’t want us to leave. By the time our town car showed up at 6:15, she was buried under a blanket basically sobbing. It made me sad:( I know she will be fine, but I still felt pretty guilty leaving her like that.

We got to the airport around 6:55, walked right up to the ticketing counter to check our luggage and walked right through security. I think I texted Sarah at 7:05 letting her know we got here ok. Easiest and quickest airport security/lines ever! We got coffee and relaxed until the started boarding at 8:10. Our flight was pretty turbulent, which sucked for me because I hate flying in general. Matt read a book off and on and I read Hunger Games and started the 2nd one as well. Otherwise nothing worth mentioning about the flight. Our landing was really rocky though, we walked forever to baggage claim and then waited another almost 30 minutes to get our bags so it seemed to take forever to get out of the airport! We went and got our rental car (a convertible!) really quick and were headed to our hotel at about 1:30.

We checked in early and our bags were brought right up (yay!) and we could finally relax. It was about 80 degrees today so a cold drink and some good food was just what we needed. We got settled into our room (though didn’t unpack since we are headed up the coast tomorrow) and off we went to Rumfire- a hotel restaurant that we saw featured on a Rachel Ray show awhile ago. We decided to try the fish tacos that we saw on the show and each get a yummy drink. We were right on the beach and had a great view of Diamond Head.

We stayed at Rumfire for about an hour and a half before we decided to go shopping and walk around. I hadn’t brought any sweats to lounge in so we stopped in Victoria’s Secret to get a pair and also a cute Hawaii tee they sold there:) I decided quickly that I definitely was glad we weren’t staying in Honolulu during our stay here. While the hustle and bustle and endless shops and restaurants is fun for an afternoon, it isn’t my idea of a Hawaiian vacation.

We went back to the room to get a little more organized and then call the kids (who are 3 hours ahead of us) to say goodnight. We didn’t have our laptop set up so skype was a little unsuccessful (my phone app for that sucked) but at least we got to talk to them (ok, well Piper. Aidan didn’t care. Lol).

We got ready for dinner and I was so thankful I was back to feeling 100%- we were headed to Alan Wong’s- an award winning chef and restaurant in downtown Honolulu. The food and service were amazing. We each got a flight of wine, shared 2 appetizers (the nori wrapped ahi and also the ahi sashimi), I got the clam and shrimp penne with lemon garlic black with bean sauce and Matt got the braised short ribs. I couldn’t even finish all my wine (I don’t think I have ever done that!) or my entrĂ©e. Matt finished like a champion though AND ordered dessert- some sort of chocolate nestle bar thing with truffles). We also each ended with French press local Hawaiian coffee that was so good:) Our waiter was great and took a cute picture of us (looking horribly run down after a 15 hour day!). I think this has been the most expensive dinner we have ever done.

After dinner we came back, watched the sunset, watched Amazing Race and are now just relaxing for the night. It’s only 8 here but we definitely are on Seattle time still so it feels super late. We have another great day tomorrow and then Tuesday is our wedding day!

Day 2- Diamond Head, Aulani and our bungalow in Haleiwa

March 26th

My day started out not exactly as planned. Lol. We were super tired last night and fell asleep about 10ish here (so 1 Seattle time) and figured we would sleep in until our alarm went off at 5:45. Nope! I was wide awake and laying in bed at 4am. At about 4:30 I decided I might as well just get up, so I took a shower and Matt got up around 5:15. We planned on hiking this morning but first decided we definitely needed coffee. We walked a few minutes to Starbucks and got breakfast and lattes and then back to the hotel to get our car.

We drove about 10 minutes to the parking lot of Diamond head and were pleasantly surprised it was pretty empty (it was about 7:30). The average person gets up and down the crater in about an hour and a half to 2 hours. We did it in one hour flat! Go us:) It was pretty cool though- lots of stairs, a great view all the way up, some dark tunnels to go through and some abandoned never used bunkers to explore. The view at the top was pretty great.

After Diamond head we drove a few minutes to the Hawaii dept of health to get our marriage license.. Oddly, it was completely dark and no one was there. A very small moment of panic hit me… we were getting married tomorrow and kinda needed this piece of paper. I noticed a phone number on the widow for an after hours agent and decided to call her, thinking even if she couldn’t help me directly maybe she could tell me why the office was closed. She quickly informed me that it was a holiday today (of course it was- just my luck)- and that if we could fill it out online then she could print it and sign/file it for us. At her house. So we did what she said. We sat in the car and filled out a lengthy form on my smart phone, paid the fees and then drove to her house about ten minutes away. We pulled up to a duplex in a cute neighborhood with some patio furniture our front. There was an older couple in swim wear waiting there as well. We watched her give them their paper work and take oaths, pay her and off they went. Then it was our turn- explanation of paperwork, pay her and then take oaths. At her patio table. Lol. We tipped her well because we felt bad for this little Hawaiian lady having to scramble all day for people like me:) It was a very funny and odd experience for us.

We left our funny lady who gave us permission to marry, and headed back into Waikiki. We still needed to semi pack (we never really unpacked), change clothes for the day out of our hiking stuff and then get out of the city. We left around 11 or so and headed up the west coast to Ko Olina where the new Disney Aulani resort is. We plan on taking the kids there next year so we wanted to check it out. Plus there is a very nice restaurant there that we had lunch reservations at. We walked around for about an hour, taking pictures to show the kids and seeing how we felt about it all- plus we had to get the kids a couple gifts from here. The resort is really great- Disney really pulled it together here to make an amazing experience. It feels somehow authentic, yet still has Disney touches to it. We can’t wait to take the kids here!

 Our lunch was great- we ate at Ama’Ama and while I had heard some negative reviews we got great service, great drinks and great food.  Our table looked right out over the lagoon but was still in the shade.  I had a ginger vodka lemonade to drink and Matt had a blue Hawaiian drink of some sort.  We shared the jumbo shrimp with hearts of palm apetizer and each had the same dish- a mahi mahi that was cooked in a black bean sauce with veggies.  Very good!  My dessert was a liloka'i fruit meringue with a fruit sorbet and Matt had a cocolate lava cake with a brittle on top and ice cream on the side.  Yum!

We headed up the North Shore to Haleiwa after a few hours at Aulani. It s definitely surfer country out here. Beaches just line the side of the highway and cars are always pulled off to the side where people just cross the street to get to the ocean. I had done some research and wanted a bungalow or house to stay in up here so we had some privacy. We came across Ke Iki beach bungalows and I booked them right away. I am not disappointed! The owner Greg is really nice (a total hippy surfer guy) and basically just gave us our key (a real house key) pointed us to the bungalow and said have a great week. Super easy. There are multiple bungalows here but ours is the only one up on stilts so you can see the ocean perfectly. We are right on famous Sunset beach.

After getting settled in, unpacking and talking with the kids (again, only Piper) on skype we headed into town to get some food. We settled on this great fusion Mexican restaurant and were both really happy with the choice. Our margaritas were great (Matt got classic, I got passionfruit) and we both got the fresh catch of the day which was swordfish with a pesto sauce, tomato marmalade over saffron rice and grilled squash. It was very good!

 After that we headed to Foodland (grocery store) to get a couple things for the week then back home to our bungalow. We are still jetlagged- it is only about 8 here and we are very tired. It has been a long day though. Tomorrow is our wedding day, and while it sounds bad, I just want it to be done. lol. I will feel better at the end of tomorrow when we are just married and can enjoy the rest of our vacation. In the meantime I am trying not to stress about potential things going wrong!

Day 3- Wedding day!

March 27th

Our day started with me getting woken up super early in the morning (pre dawn) to massive rain storms. It lasted a bit throughout the morning here in Haleiwa until about 8 or so when it cleared up- I was very glad that we wouldn’t have to move our wedding indoors!

We packed up all our wedding day items, along with things we needed for our dinner at the resort and loaded our car up and headed to Ted’s – a local bakery down the road. We got some giant pastries and coffee and came back to our bungalow to relax a bit. We watched the ocean (and whales and dolphins!) and took a walk along our secluded beach. I handled some phone calls from our planner and made sure all was in order for the day.

Around 10 or so we headed out for the day and headed into town. We found a great little kids store called Growing Keiki’s and spent WAY too much on things for the kids, but we miss them! We walked to a couple surf shops, bought Piper her much requested big dried starfish and then decided to head up to Turtle Bay.

We checked into our dayroom around 11:45, and I started my hair around 12:15 or so after getting everything all organized. It took me about till 1:30 to get it done (with a couple hiccups along the way). Normally it would’ve gone much sooner but nerves definitely didn’t help me here (the pressure to get it right!). I had two small French braids on with side going back to a messy curly bun with some orchids in my hair. Very simple and out of my face for a windy beach wedding. Matt went and got food from the bar downstairs (and a drink I later find out!) while I started my makeup. He came back when I was about halfway done with it and I tried to eat the lunch he brought me but I was too focused and nervous to eat much then. I got done with my makeup around 2:15 and then we headed down to the florist at 2:30. I picked out my bouquet wrap color and my ceremony lei color and we were done!

 Our photographer (Elizabeth Morgan) showed up right at 3:00 and told us to basically ignore her while she did detail shots (dress, shoes, flowers, ring) – she talked to us the whole time though so we got to know her. It was nice- Matt and I just sat and watched tv while she did her thing and she commented how we relaxed we were:)

After getting all her detail shots we did some getting ready shots- Matt getting me into my dress, putting shoes and jewelry on, and some fun ones of us on our balcony. Elizabeth seemed pretty happy to be working with us- all my years of watching Top Model certainly helped me out when I knew what she was asking for in certain shots. I’m excited to see them!

We went down to the lobby at 3:50 and met our planner Joann and off we went to the ceremony in a golf cart! Our pastor was waiting for us there and we all talked a bit about how the whole thing was going to work.

Our ceremony started with a Hawaiian prayer and then him talking at us a bit about marriage. We chose to partake in the Hawaiian lei ceremony, which is an exchange of leis and Hawaiian words to symbolize your unity. Then came our vows, then our rings, then more talking, then we were married!

 We signed our certificate and then Joann (who took all the pics here since we won’t have our photographers back for awhile) and our Pastor left. For the next hour and a half we did photos with Elizabeth- I can’t wait to get them back! We took photos in the woods, at the stables with the horses, at the barn area and up on the farmhouse porch, as well as in the water. Great location (nothing was more than 50 feet away or so from our ceremony location) for our wedding and photos!

At 5:30, with Matt and I completely covered in sand, the bottom 12 inches of my dress soaking wet and twigs all over me, we got picked up again by Joann. We thanked Elizabeth and dropped her off at the car, then thanked Joann and off we went to change! Traipsing through the lobby was pretty funny- we definitely looked like a mess! We got back to our room, changed clothes and packed up and checked out of our room. We put everything back in our car then headed back to the resort for our wedding dinner. It was so great! Comped bottle of wine and a coursed dinner- prefect way to end the night. Afterwards we did some shopping in the gift shop then came back and sat on our patio for awhile watching the ocean.

 We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day!!