Friday, May 28, 2010

Our Anniversary

So, as I mentioned earlier in the week, Rich and I got to spend a week in Maui for our anniversary! Sounds extravagant, I know... but let me tell you about our amazing deal! First, we got our flights free with frequent flyer miles, and then got a great package deal from Costco.com for the Hyatt in Maui, including a car, and lots of extras like hotel food credit and free buffet breakfast every day! And, on top of that, I even used my American Express/Costco rebate this year to pay for most of the trip.The deal really did seem too good to be true, and we sort of had a running joke before we went that when we arrived at the Hyatt they would not have our reservation and laugh when we tell them the deal we thought we had! I seriously think our week-long trip in Hawaii ended up being cheaper than a little weekend away locally. Gotta love that....what a blessing!

We actually went to the Hyatt for our honeymoon 23 years ago, and I would have never in a million years ever thought I'd be there again. It was very special to return, but also funny how I hardly remembered the place (honeymoon daze?). Here are some photos of the Hyatt. If you ever go to Maui, this is the premier resort to go to. It's on Ka'anapali beach, in west Maui, and it's stunning, elegant, and very Hawaiian.

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The open-air lobby ~ they even had a penguin habitat with 7 tiny African penguins, along with exotic birds and a koi pond, amongst the beautiful foilage.

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The view from our room's balcony. We loved sleeping with the patio door open, listening to the crashing waves at night...and the birds would sing in the morning.

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Some of the spectacular 40-acre grounds ~ swans and flamingoes hung out in this area.


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Sunset on the beach near the hotel. We temporarily ditched our table at a beachside restaurant to grab the last of the sun in paradise.

And here are some photos from our wonderful breakfast every day. As usual, I was the only one taking pictures of the food in front of me, but I'm used to it. I usually had to get two plates, one just for all the juicy tropical fruit I enjoyed each morning and one for the rest of my food (I loved the eggs benedict and their omelette bar, and also splurged on their yummy pineapple/coconut/madadamia nut bread and other pastries!). There is nothing like Hawaiian papaya and pineapple. Eating those fruits was such a highlight of our day.

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The view from the stairs walking down to the restaurant. I told you the Hyatt was amazing.

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Not a bad seat in the house, but there were a few extra special tables we sat at, like this one. Sometimes a swan would swim by.

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I miss this fruit every day!

We were both on the same page for the week: do very little and stay at the resort. Other than one day (Rich's birthday) when we went on a beautiful drive and a short climb down some lava rocks to the Olivine Pools, and two times that we went snorkeling (two great snorkeling places: Black rock on Ka'anapali, and Honolua bay), we spent most of our time reading by the pool or walking on the beach. It was wonderful. I read two very good books: My wife, her shining life by Jim Rosscup, and I will carry you by Angie Smith. I also read a stack of Cooks Illustrated back issues that I scored off eBay! How I enjoy having the time to read a food magazine from cover to cover. The weather was perfect, the pool refreshing, ocean warm and crystal clear, and a constant warm breeze kept us saying "ahhh" the whole time.

As adventurous as we are food-wise, we were perfectly content to go to the same buffet breakfast every day (if you saw it you'd understand why) and eat our lunch at the pool. When you get hungry, you flag down one of the waitresses and they bring you a grilled vegetable/goat cheese wrap, a beautiful salad, or something equally good right to your lounge chair. It was rough, but we finally got used to it.

We did go out to some amazing dinners: Mama's Fish House (best restaurant on Maui, I think), Mala (a great find), Sansei (not the chain we have here; best sushi on earth), Haliimaile General Store, and we also went to a dinner comedy/magic show called Warren & Annabelle's that was the best show we've ever seen. I know, I know - it sounds funny to go to a magic or comedy show and especially on Maui, but it was totally clean and we laughed so hard! Warren did some tricks that we are still scratching our heads about. If you ever go to Maui you have to go to the show - seriously, it was so much fun! Here are a few of the places we ate:

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Haliimaile General Store. Since this restaurant is near the airport, we stopped here right after landing for a late lunch/early dinner. It looks very nondescript, but inside this former "general store" off the beaten path is the amazing creative cuisine of well-known local chef Bev Gannon.

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Our lunch ~ "Sashimi Napoleon" ~ Crispy wontons layered with smoked salmon, Ahi tartare,
sashimi and wasabi vinaigrette, on a bed of Kula greens. A work of art and a giant tastebuds party! I could seriously eat this every day. I loved the Kula greens we were able to have a few times while in Hawaii, and the fresh fish is amazing.


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Mama's Fish House for our anniversary dinner. They gave us fresh leis and surprised us with personalized anniversary wishes printed right on our menus!


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Mama's specialty: mahi mahi stuffed with crab and lobster, sauteed in madadamia nut breading, with pineapple beurre blanc. It just melts in your mouth. Even that lame looking rice was to die for, it was flavored with lemongrass. I practically licked the plate.

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The amazing man I'm married to.

It was so nice to get away with my sweet husband and celebrate the gift from God that our marriage is. We are so compatible and enjoy so many of the same things, and tend to see things very much the same way. We even think alike, even in the little things... one afternoon at the pool, I went and ordered a (virgin!) Pina Colada to surprise Rich - and when I brought it to him he laughed because he had just ordered one too, from the waitress who had just come by! We just had to smile. We thank God that we can enjoy the blessing of a strong and happy marriage - we don't know any secrets or formulas, and we know it isn't anything we've done but the Lord working through us to love Him and each other. We do love this life God has given us, we so enjoy serving Him together, raising our kids together...so thankful for the many blessings He has given us to enjoy. And, that's not all but an eternity to look forward to beyond this....we are blessed indeed.

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4 comments:

Erin said...

What a lovely vacation and congratulations on 23 years. What an example you are! =)

Blessings Flow Down said...

Wow, my eyes are welling up with all the beauty God created for us to enjoy! I so look forward to returning to Kauaii with Ron one day. Yippy, you guys did it and practically free...you are the E-Wife! ;D What a blessing, the Lord opened all those doors.

Jensen Family said...

Karen,
I love you and the way you love life, your man and our Lord! Thank you for sharing.
love, sabrina

Pur et Simple said...

I love living vicariously through you!! What a wonderful vacation for you and Rich! Your marriage is always a beautiful example for all to see.