panorama of Maui from the zipline

Remember I was sharing The Secret to Happiness a few weeks ago? I said that most unhappiness is the result of disappointed expectations, and I stand behind that.

That’s why I tried not to over-anticipate anything for Mike and my 25th anniversary—the plan included everything from promises to potential disaster.

And that’s why, when an amazing day just happens, you want to slow down time and savor every beautiful moment.

Mike knew how anxious I would get over his idea of “renewing our vows on the beach” so he told me we were going ziplining beforehand—if I had any nerves to speak of at the end of that it would be a miracle. So we packed and set off on an all-day adventure with the Flyin’ Hawaiian Extreme Zipline—third longest zipline in the world (!!!) free tickets to which Mike had won in a photography contest.

My hair was sure to be a disaster for the beach pictures, said a little voice in my head, and I was probably going to get sunburned. Windblown and sunburnt is how I look in most pictures, so I ignored that useless whisper.

Ziplining was truly a blast. I screamed with the same wonderful excitement rollercoasters elicit as I “flew” over valleys and mountains, bonding with our Indian and Canadian fellow adventurers as we saw hidden vistas.

me ziplining!

Sweaty and hungry,  we drove  to Native Intelligence in Wailuku where the gallery owner, Kapono`ai Molitau,  a wonderful Hawaiian kumu (teacher) and artist, had personally made a haku (head lei) for me of all native Hawaiian flowers and foliage and a rare maile lei for Mike. We both shed tears thanking him for the time, thoughtfulness and honor of this blessing.

Feeling a bit pinched for time since it was 3:30 and our vows were set for the beach at 5 PM, we hurried to Mama’s Fish House where we had a room  and dinner reserved. Mike knew the manager and to surprise us, they’d upgraded us to a beachfront cottage that looked out to the beautiful spot we’d chosen for the ceremony.

It was just truly awesome—the way the other .0001% lives. I cried again, dammit.

My hair somewhat cooperated, I was only slightly sunburned, and crowned by Hawaiian flowers I felt like a queen. With family and some of our closest friends, we made our promises in front of the ocean that’s been such a part of our lives in a short, sweet ceremony. Saying those words reminded us how naïve and passionate we were the first time, not understanding what “in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow” really meant.

We know what those promises mean now.

Now we know.  Saying those words ignites the fuel that will light us into the next 25 years.

After a champagne toast and pupus (appetizers) on the beachfront patio with family and friends (our son toasting us teared me up AGAIN) the day STILL wasn’t over.  We walked over to the famous restaurant in our leis and found one of the best tables in the house reserved for us with personalized congratulations, more leis, and our (horrendously expensive and utterly perfect) meal covered by gifts.

the famous restaurant at night

My own ‘expectations’ could NEVER have anticipated such a golden day filled with joy, fun, thrills and good wishes. . .  Not to mention snuggling against the strong shoulder I’ve chosen to lean on for the rest of my days.

Sometimes happiness sneaks up and just gives you a wallop beyond your wildest dreams.

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