We slept until 7:00. We had run out of milk and cereal and our bagels were stale, so we headed to the hotel restaurant, The Palms, and were seated for breakfast. I ordered a breakfast very similar to the brunch I had eaten at the Koke’e Lodge three days before: eggs, Polynesian sausage, and white rice. Chris ordered the “pancake sandwich”—two pancakes and two eggs. The pancakes came with maple syrup and coconut syrup. We had never tried coconut syrup before. It was a cloudy white color, like coconut milk, and not as thick as the maple syrup. It was very sweet, but definitely tasted of coconut. After trying it, Chris opted for the maple syrup instead.
We spent a couple hours reading in the shade by the pool before we drove to the Marriott for our massages. While we were reading, the Marriott called and said their manicurist was out sick. They asked if we could change Chris’s manicure appointment to 5:30. We told them we would be at a wedding in Poipu at that time, so we would not be able to fit in the manicure. Chris checked the Yellow Pages again and made a 1:30 appointment at a nail salon in the Kukui Grove Center Mall in Lihue.
We arrived at Alexander’s just before noon, but the receptionist was on the phone ordering some spa equipment. Several minutes later, she interrupted her conversation to ask us if we had an appointment. When we told her we were there for a beach massage, she gave us directions to the cabana and went back to her phone call.
We hurried to the beach where we met our masseuses. The cabana had a wooden platform floor and green canvas cover, but was open on the sides. When we made the appointment, we were told to wear our bathing suits. The reason was obvious—there was no privacy, so we needed to keep our suits on. After a little bit of paperwork and introductions, we settled down on side-by-side massage tables and relaxed as the masseuses kneaded our muscles and the waves crashed on the beach nearby. The whole experience was very soothing, and the fifty minutes passed far too quickly.
On our way back to our car, we looked around the Marriott. It seemed like a very nice place. The pool area was huge. In fact the whole complex was so large we ended up getting lost on our way back to the lobby. We eventually found our way and returned to our car. The mall was a very short drive away, and I dropped Chris off at one of the entrances. I found a place to park near Sears and headed into the mall from there. I almost immediately passed Professionail, where I saw Chris waiting for her manicure.
I would be video-taping the wedding that afternoon. I had grown concerned about the audio quality, since the wedding would be on the beach. The wind and wave noise was sure to obscure the ceremony. I needed some new equipment to overcome the problem. At Sears I bought a Sony digital voice recorder. At Radio Shack, I bought a small microphone that Friar Chuck could clip to his shirt. The recorder was small enough to slip into his pocket. While I waited for Chris, I experimented with the mike and recorder and verified they would work together. I would use the recorder for the ceremony audio and then synchronize it with the video in the editor. [Note: The system worked perfectly. On the final video, Chucks, Heath’s and Mini’s voices are clear.]
While Chris was having her manicure, she talked with a local woman. One of the topics was where we could eat a late lunch. The woman suggested La Bamba, the Mexican restaurant next door to the nail salon. It was a good recommendation. Chris enjoyed a taco salad and I had a heaping plate of beef enchiladas, rice, and refried beans. The service was a little slow, but we were in no hurry. We were surprised to see a pre-teen boy bussing the tables. We figured he must be the son of the owners.
By the time we returned to our hotel, it was after 3:00. We showered, put on our wedding clothes, packed up the camera gear, and drove to Poipu for the final time. At the Hyatt, we ran into Mini’s parents who directed us toward the wedding area. I set up the video camera and got Chuck set up with the microphone and recorder. We were able to hide the mike inside his shirt where no one could see it.
Heath and Mini get Married
As we waited for the ceremony, the couple’s family and friends arrived and assembled on the beach. A Hawaiian guitarist played gentle music and set the mood. The “altar” was made of two vertical rustic poles with another rustic pole joining them across the top. The simple altar was decorated with flowers and a few leis.
At 5:30 an attendant announced the beginning of the ceremony with a toot on a conch shell. The flower girls and ring bearers made their way to the altar, and then Mini joined Heath for their walk down the aisle. The guests gathered close around the couple as Chuck performed the ceremony. His service combined perfect amounts of humor, remembrance, and promise for the future. And it was short. In less than 15 minutes, Heath and Mini were pronounced married, and the congratulations poured over them in a chaotic receiving line a few feet from the altar.
Soon the couple and their guests made their way to the reception on a grassy area nearby. For the next three hours, we enjoyed excellent food, drink, conversations and music. After a buffet dinner, Mini cranked up the dance music. About half the guests overcame their shyness enough to dance in one form or another. By 9:00, I was getting tired and starting to think about our drive back to Kapa’a and our flight the next day. We said our goodbyes, withstanding the ribbing at leaving so early.
For the second time that day, we got lost on our way to a hotel lobby. The Hyatt’s public area is huge, and it was dark. The signs we had used to navigate to the wedding were gone, and no signs pointed to the lobby. We finally asked a couple of employees how to get there. One said, “I’m on my way in that direction now,” so we followed him and his trolley of dishes up the path until we could see the lobby’s back entrance.
From there it was easy to find the car. Traffic was light on the highway, and we were back in our room at the Aloha Beach Resort at 9:45. I set my alarm for 8:00 (just in case) and we went straight to bed.