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Fifteen years is a long time. Fewer and fewer marriages survive fifteen years. I knew so many people in college who rushed into marriage. After a year they all said the same thing, “If I had to do it over again I would have married someone else.” That really bothered me even back then when I was failing at getting my M.R.S before a college degree.

I wanted to be married too but I didn’t like my prospects. After four years I earned my degree and moved back home knowing it was the best move for my career but also knowing I would never get married. I made my peace with the idea of being eternally single. Who knew that moving back home would be where I would find my other half? God works in mysterious ways.

Heath and I have known each other for almost sixteen years. Our relationship has a learner’s permit and will get a real drivers license in July! As much as we wanted to go back to Victoria, BC for our tenth anniversary, it wasn’t meant to be. We had no big plans for our fifteenth. Nothing much beyond a contented sigh that we are still best friends after all these years and crazy life experiences.

The pieces to the puzzle we weren’t even seeking started to fall into place. Heath was promoted and received a nice raise at work. That happened last September and he brought up the idea of maybe going to Hawaii. Gwen turned 8 less than two weeks after our anniversary. Grandma and Grandpa were fine with extending their visit to California. Our anniversary trip was born. We have been enjoying every second of it ever since.

The flight is a little over five hours from Oakland to Honolulu. I don’t get out much and have never flown longer than two hours. I tried to imagine what five hours on a plane would be like. I kept telling myself that it would be like driving between St. George and Salt Lake City. Heath and I tried to put together fun things to do on the plane to pass the time. Games, books, movies, etc. When we settled into our seats I told him if we could survive a fourteen hour drive from Seattle to Salt Lake City shortly after getting engaged, we could survive a five hour flight together. As if there was a question!

The flight went quickly. We paid to watch The Intern. Great movie. I was dying not being able to laugh or scream out loud. It was one of those movies! After the movie I snoozed and tried to read. Next thing I knew we were flying over paradise.

Gina the Garmin GPS gave us history and stories as we drove from Honolulu to the Turtle Bay Resort. Since arriving we have had a long walk near the beach. We were wandering around the hotel and the grounds. We went to the Hawaii Temple where we saw basketball legend Shawn Bradley. We toured the Polynesian Cultural Center in a deluge of rain and wind. And we loved every minute of it. We danced on stage at the luau with other couples celebrating honeymoons and anniversaries. We went on a helicopter tour of the island. We ate ice cream on our lanai while I sunbathed because the pool area was packed with sun worshipers like me. It’s been a fabulous trip.

I will have to post more stories and pictures later. Heath took 1,089 pictures on the helicopter tour alone. He has sunrise pictures from our first day. We have tons of video of the PCC and I personally shot nearly two hours of video on the helicopter tour. On our flight home we will build a photo book. The sun is up fully now. The wind is blowing and it’s going to be another beautiful day in paradise.