Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not Just Married

abstract: Seventeen years ago, Sue and I were married in a hot church in North-Central Pennsylvania. Today we celebrated the event and renewed our vows in a grassy field on the Ko Olina grounds of West Oahu. (pics)

It was a busy day. I got up two hours before sunrise to shoot some North Shore waves at Pipeline with a friend, David McDaniel. After the surf, I met up with Sue and the kids they cheered me on at the Cholo's Waimea Bay Swim. The hugs and shakas must have helped out because I miraculously came in 17th* and third in my division.

After the awards ceremony we headed back to Ewa for a long nappy afternoon. We needed the naps; I had gotten up early and competed, and Sue was pooped from shuttling the kids to the Bay. Besides, we were going to need our strength. I had put together some very special surprise anniversary arrangements for the evening.

I chartered one of the old sugar cane trains from the Hawaiian Railway Society five miles from our house. The train ride on the old tracks goes through a lot of the undeveloped Ewa side, and then shoots through Ko Olina. Tracks from there go all the way to "tracks beach" on the West Side. For our sortee though, Sue and I stopped in small grassy field not too far from Roy's Ko Olina restaurant.

Our pastor, Rev. Bob Miyake-Stoner of Trinity United Methodist Church, met us by the tracks at the end of our locomotive trek. We disembarked. There in the field, Susan, the pastor and I recited our parts verbatim from the ceremony seventeen years ago. The charge, the pledge, and the exchanging of rings.

Susan has on of those rings where the engagement ring Jengas together with a second band from the ceremony. After the ceremony the band and the engagement rings are soldered together into one piece. When I bought Sue the ring, at the age of 21! I got her what I could afford. I sold off a coin collection I had been building from all the yards I'd mowed as a kid. The ring has years of sentimental value, but it was time to change the center stone to something less miniscule. I presented Susan with her reworked ring during the exchanging of rings portion of the ceremony. This pleased Susan :)

After the ceremony Sue and I proceeded in for a 6:30 dinner reservation at Roy's. If you've never been, I really recommend it. It is fine dining in fusion style. For apps Susan and I shared an ornate sushi/tempura butterfish maki roll, drizzled with sauce goodness. I had a sampler plate with dinner: ribs, salmon, prawn. She had a three part meal featuring mac nut mahi mahi.

It was a stroke of luck that Daniel Dae Kim (Lost: Jin, '10 Hawaii-5-O: Chin-Ho Kelly) was also at the restaurant dining with friends that night, and I swear I saw Grace Park (BSG: Athena/Boomer). Maybe not. Regardless, a friend sighted her at Ala Moana mall on Friday night, so, she is on-island.

After dinner the restaurant treated us to a complimentary anniversary desert. We sat back and thought about all that had happened in this last year, and all the blessings we've enjoyed together since 1993. We enjoyed reliving the memories and making new ones.

(*: When I came out of the water I was 17th place. I told everyone I planned it that way because it was our 17th anniversary, and my honey had come to watch me swim. In the end though, someone in the top 17 was ousted after the race, so technically I came in 16th. This maybe the only time in my swim career that I was SAD to move up a spot. Ah well, go with me here, I was 17th!)


  1. Congratulations guys, glad to hear the day turned out so well. Cheers to 17 more years!