Saturday, January 19, 2008

Romancing the isles in Islands of Hawaii

Who said love is something between people of only one race or culture either? Love was everywhere.

It was on the beaches, in the lone candle flame flickering between two bent heads at the Hawaii-Islands-Honeymoon-Fern Grotto-Wailua-Riverrestaurant, in the silent unspoken shy smiles on faces, in the soulful eyes of strangers staring at each other while watching Hula dancers ululating to the magical strains of Hawaiian music. There were gray haired couples on second honeymoons and droves of Japanese couples. A local informed us that each summer people arrived from mainland USA after renewing marriage vows or getting hooked in Las Vegas.

By the time the conference ended, we were replete with the cups of delicious Kona coffee, downed each morning to the accompaniment of the pineapple slices and Hawaiian drums. When the organizers sprung a surprise weekend trip to the oldest of the six islands of Hawaii, we whooped with pleasure.

The Garden Island, Kauai, is the oldest and most beautiful of all the islands. Kauai was everything and more than we imagined. We were awed by the grandeur of Waimea Canyon, the serenity of the Fern Grotto and Wailua River. The secluded beaches at Hanalei Bay with its Princeville Resort sitting atop the towering cliffs overlooking the white sands just took our breath away.

What we loved most was the secluded waterfront hideaway across from 10 miles of private beaches – a place made for love and eternal happiness. Some of the hotel staff accompanied us to the Vow Exchange. Mystified, we stared at the theatrical “Bollywood” like sets. The staff decoded the words atop one set and told us that if any of us ever wanted to get married the Vow Exchange offered an abundance of exquisite sites for every type of ceremony! An exotic flower garden, tropical waterfalls , lofty vistas...any thing for the all important knot tying!

Hawaii was the perfect paradise. Right from the traditional welcome with Lei garlands and cheers of Aloha, to the beaches, it was a place where time stood still. No one can, after all, resist the shimmer of moonlight on the water that makes the white sand glisten like silver...

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