Sometimes, the plans get tossed

…and sometimes a Global Pandemic decides to toss them for you.

I know we don’t owe anyone an explanation on why we decided to cancel our wedding even though it was “still so far out,” and I don’t want to be apocalyptic. I do want to [as briefly as possible] be realistic about why we cancelled our July wedding in March. I also want to share how we chose to handle it.

First up, why we cancelled

    1. Over 1/3 of our guests were without question in one of the initial high risk categories. With more recent information made available to the public, it seems that everyone is substantially at risk, and to be entirely honest even one person is one person too many for me.
    2. There is not much known about this virus. We have a lot of educated guesses at this point, but the reality is that there is still a long way to go.
    3. Fundamentally, it was our call to make and we made it. We talked about hypothetical situations and concerns for weeks and enough information finally became available that we did not feel comfortable with keeping the old plan under any circumstances.

After we made the decision, then came the phone calls updating everyone, and the emails to vendors. Everything we had booked over 6 months prior was cancelled in 2 days with 4 months to go, and it was a huge bummer. The next week or so had us trying to figure out re-planning the wedding which we thought at the time we could do closer to home on the same date.

Then, things started getting worse faster.

How we chose to handle it

I had half-joked about getting married at the courthouse from the time we got engaged nearly a year ago. About a week and a half after cancelling Hawaii, we started talking about it seriously and weighed the pros and cons. In the midst of that, we had a phone call with my dear friend Tyler that included some major points to consider and swayed our decision greatly.

Pros:

    • We would no longer be bound by a timeline to have the actual marriage legally solidified so we would be able to enjoy planning the new celebration instead of stressing out about all the factors at play
    • We could start working on the (already slow moving) name change process
    • Legal benefits that directly tied in to how we picked our original wedding date since right now we really don’t know now when will be a “safe” time to reschedule for

Cons:

    • Our families would not be able to be there
    • Ryan’s dad would not be the legal officiant as we had planned
    • My wedding dress is in CA
    • It felt a little more informal than we wanted

Pros and cons weighed, we decided on a Wednesday afternoon around 4:30 to see if we could set up a marriage license appointment and get on the calendar to be married by the judge the next day.

We both worked our shifts for the day, met each other at the County Court Clerk’s office for our 2:45pm license appointment, met at home, changed into clothes to be married in (items we already had in our closets, and I was super stoked my dress had pockets!), and were at the Courthouse at 4:45pm.

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As far as exchanging rings, I was already planning on just using my engagement ring as my wedding ring. We also knew getting Ryan’s “real” wedding band would be delayed from our wedding no matter what, so we used the carbon fiber ring he has had since last year around the time we got engaged.

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The judge who officiated said really nice things about marriage and partnership which was an appreciated touch. We are also grateful that we did have a couple of friends who were able to come to the courthouse to witness (Arizona requires 2), and we do have a video of the whole ceremony.

After the ceremony, we picked up food to-go, went home, put on pajamas, and called our family members.

What’s Next?

This is not how either of us saw our wedding going at all. At this point, we are grateful for our health, the support of our families and friends, and of course each other. We will still have a celebration with those close to us, I will still wear *the* dress (he still wants to know nothing about it), and we still have the rest of our lives together.

We have already started brainstorming what we want the celebration to look like, which will be different from what was previously planned. We found a photographer we love, know what our new destination is, and at this point we are navigating married life knowing at some point in the future, we will be able to truly start re-planning our wedding.

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Hawaii – Part 3

…continued from Hawaii – Part 2

On day 4 of the trip, mom spent some time perusing lists of things to do on Maui and found a snorkeling excursion in Wailea she thought we would all like. After discussion, we ended up booking the snorkeling as the main activity to do on the 6th day of our trip.

After the excursion to Honolulu on day 3, followed by the fun yet somewhat stressful expedition that was the road to Hana on day 5, we were in serious need of an adventure that didn’t span the bulk of the day but still got us out and enjoying what the island has to offer. Snorkeling ended up being the perfect activity.

Day 6

Our group got up nice and early on the morning of our 6th day of vacation, and promptly loaded into the Jeeps so we could start the trek around the island to Wailea.

We had pre-arranged our snorkeling adventure through Swim with Turtles Maui, which was located near the Wailea Beach Resort by Marriott. We opted for a private guided tour where we kayaked out to a cove, anchored our kayaks (single anchor in the sand, not in the coral reef), and spent the next couple of hours snorkeling around in the water between Wailea beach and the Molokini Crater. We were fortunate enough to see some eagle rays, tons of tropical fish, a few turtles, and some eels.

When we finished our snorkeling adventure, it was time to re-bandage Ryan’s foot. The rest of the group took the opportunity to change into dry clothes, and we all met back at a small restaurant by a hidden pool at the Marriott.

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After lunch the group made our way back to the west side of the island and spent the afternoon relaxing. That evening, we had reservations for Duke’s, the restaurant that sat on resort property near the boardwalk that connected the string of resorts along Ka’anapali.

Ryan and I went down to the restaurant a little over a half an hour before the rest of the group so we could grab a drink just the two of us as a mini celebration of our engagement.

Day 7

Earlier in the week we had requested a late check out from the condo we were renting and we got that request approved. As such, we had some more time that morning to wander around on the beach, and to make the boys put on something nice for a group shot.

Following pictures, we changed into comfy traveling clothes, finished packing up the condo, and checked out. Our group had previously decided that we were going to check out the Maui Ocean Center on our way from Kaanapali back to the Maui Airport, which was pretty cool.

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Our flight home was a trip from hell as it was not only a red-eye, but there was a young child screaming and kicking Nich’s seat the last 3 hours. The parents approach to taking control of the situation was arguing loudly with one another – a bold strategy I must say.

Trip Reflections

This vacation was impactful for a number of reasons, and was hands down one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.

  • Pearl Harbor absolutely blew me away and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on that day tour. My dad and brother toured the memorial the last time the family went to Hawaii in 2010, and I always felt like I had missed out by choosing to not go with them
  • Snorkeling was something I had always wanted to do but was a little scared of. I’m glad I got over that mild fear because it was such an amazing experience!
  • I don’t know how I go so lucky as to have a significant other who is as up for just about anything my dad is AND as equipped to make the “just about anything” happen because LORD knows I would not have been equipped to do that Road to Hana trip (as much as I liked to think I was)
  • We could not have gotten a better group together – everyone had a buddy, everyone got along, and everyone had similar goals for the trip, so it was super easy to plan excursions

I’m so grateful to my parents for the opportunity to go on a trip like this – here’s to more fun adventures as adults!

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Hawaii – Part 1

Since my father retired, my family has been making an effort to make big trips together more. Back in 2018, we had decided to make a big trip in 2019 as it is the year my younger brother graduates with his Bachelor’s Degree.

The original trip we had planned over the CSU college system’s spring break was a cruise to Mexico, which we backed out of almost 2 months later for a variety of reasons including food options, freedom to create our own schedule, and the desire for more available activities than drinking.

We knew we still wanted to go somewhere tropical, and decided that a trip to Hawaii better fit the kind of vacation we were looking for.

Seeing as my brother and I are older now, we each got to bring a friend – a travel buddy if you will – so that everyone had someone to do things with. My younger brother Preston brought his best friend Nich, and I brought my boyfriend Ryan.

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Day 1

As soon as we got off the plane in Maui, we grabbed our baggage and wandered out to the shuttle area so we could work on getting our rental cars. We ended up renting our cars through Maui Lifted Jeeps and they were P E R F E C T for our group and the trip we had planned.

With the cars loaded, we made our way to the west part of the island to where we were staying near Ka’anapali. As soon as we were checked in, Ryan and I wasted no time changing into our bathing suits and heading down to the beach with my mom.

The view from our room – the wall of windows from the living room to the balcony folded away entirely to create a true indoor/outdoor space!

Day 2

The following day, myself, my mom, and Ryan got up early (still on California time) and went for a walk on the beach together. To stick with the relaxing theme for the day, Ryan and I had scheduled a 90 minute couples massage for 11am at the spa on the main floor of the resort building we were staying in.

Later that day, our group made our way to Lahaina for a late lunch and to walk around by the Banyan Tree.

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That night was the season premier for the final season of Game of Thrones, so naturally, the 5 of us on the trip who were invested in the show gathered in the living room as soon as we were able to stream it.

Day 3

The following morning around 4:00 am, dad, Preston, Nich, Ryan, and I made our way back to the Maui airport. The five of us had opted to spend one day of our vacation on Oahu to do the Pearl Harbor memorial. Preston and my dad had gone to the memorial the last time my family went to Hawaii in 2010, and I had regretted not going ever since.

When the five of us got off the plane at the Honolulu airport, we were taken from the airport to the memorial via transport my dad has arranged when he booked our Pearl Harbor tour.

Once at the main visitor’s center, we swapped our receipt for physical tickets and made way to the ferry that would take us out by the USS Arizona Memorial – the dock for the ferries was still undergoing construction when we went, so we were unable to get out and walk over the top of the sunken vessel.

Once back on land, we wandered the grounds a bit before making our way to the shuttle that would take us to the USS Missouri and continue the loop to the Aviation Museum on Fort Island. On USS Missouri, we jumped into a tour group to learn a bit about the history of the ship and it’s significance in not only WWII, but in relation to the USS Arizona. For those who are unaware, the ships sit in the harbor bow to bow where Arizona marks the true beginning of the war in the Pacific theater and the Missouri marks the true end as the Japanese surrendered on her deck.

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After the tour, we wandered the ship’s innards before heading back to the shuttle stop so we could get food and visit the Aviation Museum.

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With the Aviation Museum explored, our group got back on the shuttle to the main visitor center. On our return, we made our way directly to the USS Bowfin to explore the submarine.

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Preston wouldn’t stop making faces, so here’s his punishment

By the time 4:00 pm rolled around, we were all exhausted from our adventures (and because we were up so early that morning to fly to Honolulu). We flew back to Maui that evening and all promptly passed out in our beds.

Day 4

The next morning my mom and I got up and walked on the beach together. This day was set to be a “down” day because the previous day had been so packed and we had equally lengthy plans for Wednesday.

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On our return to the condo, Ryan and my dad cooked omelets and turkey bacon for everyone. With leisure in mind, my mom, Nich, Ryan, and I headed back down to the water.

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Ryan tried his darnedest to get Nich to follow him out on these rocks he had gotten me on our first night in Maui but he was unsuccessful. Ryan ended up cutting his foot pretty bad in 2 places on some coral and had to head back to the condo shortly after. Nich and my mom stayed down by the water for awhile longer, but I figured I should join my travel buddy upstairs.

For those of you who don’t know, my dad was a paramedic in his early 20’s, and was arguably one of the best fit people to assist Ryan in his injured state. I won’t get into too much more detail about what happened, but I do have a picture that properly summarizes what happened after my dad did the initial clean out and went to bandage the wound:

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That evening, Ryan and I got dressed up and went out to dinner with my parents at a nice restaurant in Lahaina. We sat down about 20 minutes before sunset, and we ended up having such a lovely time that we were at our table for several hours.

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to be continued…