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Best Places Hawaii, home of The Hawaii State Vacation Planner, proudly announces the winner of their "Love Stories of Hawaii" promotion for 2002. The lucky winner was Lu Pierro, of Asbury, New Jersey who dedicated her winning story "Our Hawaiian Adventure: Paradise is a State of Mind" to her husband John. Unable to afford an actual Hawaiian honeymoon, Lu created their own Hawaii paradise in a New York City Hotel room. After 30 years of marriage, the couple will finally get to experience the "real" thing.
Lu won an eight-day seven-night stay at the luxurious Radisson Kauai Beach Resort, pictured below...
Our Hawaiian Adventure: Paradise is a State of Mind
Dedicated to John
Submitted by Lu Pierro
I lay across the bed with all the travel brochures in the days before I could find everything I wanted to know online. I was imagining our honeymoon at exotic locations... by far, the most beautiful daydreams were of Hawaii. John came into the room and glanced at the brochures.
"Any luck in finding a place that accepts coupons?" he said.
"No." I turned to him, "If you won the lottery, where would you go?"
"Hawaii," he said without hesitation.
"OK, Hawaii it is."
"How are you going to manage that?" John asked.
"Trust me on this one, John. Just be ready. Pack your shirts, swim trunks, and tanning lotion."
"OK," he said and left the room whistling a Don Ho tune.
Our wedding day was spectacular. We got married in a little church and had a lovely reception at the firehouse. We ate and danced the night away with friends and family. That night we slept in our apartment and the following morning we were off on our "Hawaiian Adventure."
"Ready for Hawaii?" I said to John as I kissed him on the forehead and handed him a glass of pineapple juice.
I whipped out a pair of sunglasses, put them on him, and ushered him to the car.
"We are going to Hawaii by car?" he said in disbelief.
"Yup," I said, "Told you that I was magical." When we got to the car I looked at him and said, "On second thought, I think I will blindfold you."
I took off his tie, and used it to create a blindfold. He went along with this little game, as we drove for about an hour from our apartment.
"We there already?" he inquired.
"Yes, next stop Maui."
I led John out of the car and across the parking lot. I removed his blindfold and we were standing in front of a luxurious hotel in New York City.
"Looks like Hawaii to me," he said.
I smiled and led him into the lobby where the receptionist greeted us.
"Aloha," he said as he handed us the key to our suite. We took the elevator to the third floor and opened the door to the honeymoon suite. I opened the door and there it was in front of us: paradise.
The room was filled with hundreds of paper flowers that girlfriends and I had made weeks before the wedding. My girlfriends went into the room the night before and transformed the suite into a Maui wonderland. On top of the TV were videos of the different wonders of Hawaii. On the nightstand next to the bed was an array of Hawaiian flowers. A basket of tropical fruit was on the other nightstand.
John looked at all of it in awe.
"I should have known you would pull this off," he said.
I reached up and wrapped my arms around him. "Being with you anywhere is paradise."
Thirty years later, we still reminisce about our home-made "Hawaiian adventure."