It was time to leave Waikiki and head up North so everyone was up early. Gaz, Stu and Becky went and collected our ride while the rest of us packed and we all met up for breakfast at the usual time. We soon discovered that the Mustang would not take all of our luggage so we waved the boys off with some bags and off they went on a two and a half hour bus journey. Tracy, Becky and I ran around Waikiki for a couple of hours before leaving and heading to the out of town shopping mall to buy among other things wine glasses and tinkerbell presents for a special soon to be three year old.
The boys arrived on the North Shore first so after lunch by the pool, they went and found the Fagan's beach shack and spent some time there whilst they waited for us to arrive. The drive was great and it was fantastic to be in an uber cool car with the top down. It did wonders for our street cred I think, even if the back seated was overloaded with luggage! It wasn't particularly scenic until we reached the coastal road and then we saw the gorgeous beaches Hawaii is so famous for and I fell in love. This is what it's all about!
We pulled up quickly at the Fagan's and said hello and let the boys know we had arrived. We carried on five minutes down the road and the boys followed, buying fresh coconuts from a roadside stall, which were absolutely delicious. We pulled into Turtle Bay Resort, our home for the next four nights and once again I ran around like a delighted child. This was a very smart resort and our villa was gorgeous. We divided up the rooms and we were lucky enough to get one ensuite, which faced the front of the building and had great views of the beach, so we were exceptionally happy. The boys headed off to the supermarket (any excuse to take the car) while the girls unpacked and investigated the set up of the resort. It was great to have everyone close by; Tracy's family were in a villa two doors down and Stu's family were a further two down so all within shouting distance. The pool was in between us all and the beach was directly through the gate in front of us.
Becky and I went and finalised the bookings for Tracy's hen do the next day and came back to find the boys were back and had bought the whole of the supermarket. A huge BBQ commenced and John, Lucy and Maisie arrived for dinner and everyone hung out together on the lawn. We used our villa to host the meal once the food was cooked and everyone had a delicious meal. One by one people slithered off back to their rooms and the Fagan's went home leaving the rest of the crew to get rather drunk and have a late night.
The boys (Dan, Gaz and Rick) woke early and drove to meet John at his place to work on their speeches for the big day. I had a quiet morning before joining Tracy and the ladies for the very delicious lunch. Tracy and I shared a delicious prawn pasta which was absolutely mouth watering and we washed them down with equally yummy cocktails. After a couple of hours everyone left to go and have an afternoon siesta apart from Tracy, Becky, Pip and I who went and treated ourselves to the best massage I have ever had. Words cannot describe how relaxing it was and despite being on holiday for the last nine weeks my masseuse still managed to find knots in my shoulders! I didn't want it to end it was so good and we were all thoroughly relaxed when we were finished.
I went with Rick and Gaz to do a spot of shopping in Halewe while the girls were enjoying their afternoon. We took in some of the fabulous North Shore, like Waimea Bay, which was as flat as a pancake! However, the sunny weather and being driven around in a convertible Mustang more than made up for it! On our way back we grabbed food for the barbie and were relatively early to bed to ensure we were all on top form for the big day tomorrow.
The wedding day had finally arrived and everyone was up bright and early. The service wasn't until 3:30pm and we weren't leaving the resort until 2:45pm so it was a very calm atmosphere in our place. No one was running around and anyone passing by wouldn't have known that anyone was getting married later that afternoon. The boys had risen earlier than everyone else again and had met John to run through their speeches one last time. In the mean time I had cooked breakfast, ensuring the bride and groom had eaten before the ceremony. Once the boys had come back and eaten their share the four of us left Stu and Tracy to it and hit the gym for an hour, giving them space to get their thoughts together. When we returned Tracy had left to go and get ready at the venue and Stu was locked away in his room rehearsing his speech.
Before we knew it it was time to make our way down the road. Loulu Palm was a lovely place with access to the beach. An arch and some chairs had been set up at the very edge of the lawn overlooking the sand and sea and two musicians were playing gentle music on their strings. One by one everyone started to arrive and we all took our seats.
Tracy looked beautiful and the ceremony itself was very moving. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place as the happy couple took their vows, and happy they did look. Jim led the ceremony very well and half way through he asked everyone to walk down to the beach to say prayers and we all formed a circle around Stu and Tracy. It was very moving and a true test for my waterproof mascara!
Afterwards the photos took place and the bar opened and the rest of the day was very informal and relaxed and everyone had a great time. We were given mussels and other hors d'oeuvres before we tucked into a Hogs Roast (a complete hog, head, trotters and all!) All of the speeches were exceptional and very funny. Stu should take up public speaking because he was remarkable and had everyone roaring with laughter.
Laurence was the icing on the cake and everyone really enjoyed listening to him. The perfect end to the day was toasting marshmallows on the fire and spending time with some great people. All the stress in the build up from co-coordinating a wedding from so far away with a lousy wedding planner had definitely dispersed and it truly was an amazing and romantic day. Well done Mr & Mrs Archer!
The shuttles came and collected us and took us back to the resort, where the newly weds went to their room and everyone else came back to our place. There was a lot of rum, some jaeger and (God help us) Vodka and I don't remember all of it, which is probably just as well!
Needless to say I was very ill the following morning and did my best to sleep of the worse hangover I had had in probably a couple of years. Whilst I slept Dan went with the rest of the gang and tried to snorkel while everyone else attempted to surf but he didn't have a good time as the wind made the water murky and visibility was very poor so he gave up and came to check on me. I finally got out of bed at lunch time feeling very cross with myself at wasting the final morning with everyone. Dan decided to go and play golf with Dave and DJ as it was a really nice course, (was used in Lost and they met Hercules while playing) so I wandered over to where the others were surfing as they swam back in. We all had lunch near the beach and I slowly started to feel more human. Afterwards everyone left me to go down to Pipeline beach and buy food for our final BBQ so I went for a swim.
John, Lucy and Maisie arrived and we gave the birthday girl our presents, which she was thrilled with and we ate together one final time. The seven of us had a quiet drink together once everyone had left and marvelled at what had been the most awesome couple of weeks and vowed to meet up around the world every couple of years. There won't be any argument from us I can tell you!!
Dan & Elles xx