It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog and quite a lot has happened since!
The end of June saw Gerald and I celebrating our 6th anniversary since meeting and one way or another this ending up with Gerald suggesting we head to Vegas to get married by Elvis! Within the next 48 hours we had booked flights, accommodation, the wedding chapel and applied for our marriage license! By mid July we were on a plane to Honolulu for a five day stay in Waikiki.
We stayed in a lovely place called Hotel Renew – a small boutique hotel just a block back from the beach. Our room was lovely with a great view of the ocean. We managed to check in early and so headed straight for the beach, when we arrived back there was a bottle of champagne in the room to congratulate us on our forthcoming marriage!
On our second day we had a 2pm appointment at Tiffany’s to choose an engagement and wedding rings. We decided to do a geocache on the way, maybe not the best idea as it was ridiculously warm and we arrived at Tiffany’s looking a little hot and sweaty!!! We were greeted by big bouncers at the door and then seated in large velvet chairs. Akiko and Tracy welcomed us before putting on little white gloves and then presenting us with a large black box that opened up to reveal 3 very sparkly diamond rings! After trying each one on several times the decision was made. Next the wedding rings were brought out – again in a big black box, handed over by white-gloved hands! An hour or so later rings had been chosen, paperwork was filled out and we were assured the rings would be re-sized and ready before we left for Vegas.
That night there were free cocktails in our hotel lobby so we had a drink before heading out to a delicious dinner at Duke’s and followed up with a night browsing the shops.
Day three was another beach day, in the evening we hired a little MX5 and headed to the outlet stores for a few hours. The traffic heading out of Waikiki was ridiculous and we crawled along the huge multi-laned highway for miles and miles. Thank goodness that we did actually come home with lots of purchases!
The next day we were up very early to drive to the North Shore of Oahu for our microlight lesson at Paradise Air. We spent a little over half an hour flying over the coastline of the North Shore watching turtles swimming in the turquoise waters below.
Apart from the take off and landing Gerald and I both controlled our own microlights. It was a really great experience and a fantastic way to see the island. The flight was all over by about 8.30am and we spent the rest of the day exploring the North Shore beaches. The first stop was at Lanikea Beach famous for it’s resident turtles. Everywhere you looked you could see turtles popping their heads up and swimming around and every so often a few would come up on to the beach.
We made a few other stops – the longest one at Sunset Beach where we did a spot of swimming and sunbathing.
When we finally got home (after getting a little lost in the city!) we returned the car and headed off for another delicious meal at The Cheesecake Factory.
Day five found us making our way to Tiffany’s to collect our rings – Tracy was very excited to see us and we were trying to figure out if she is a very good actress or just a complete and utter hopeless romantic that just loves to help couples find that perfect ring!!! Either way she made us feel very special as we walked away with our little blue Tiffany bag. We spent the rest of the day at the beach watching the surfers and soaking up the sun.
Whilst I was getting ready for dinner Gerald snuck my ring out its box and retied the box so I wouldn’t know he had it. We went off for an early dinner and as we headed to a bar on the beach the sun was setting and Gerald suggested we go down the beach to watch. The next minute he was down on one knee and produced the ring out of his pocket! Of course I said yes!!!
We then made our way slowly up the road for our tattoo appointment. We had made an appointment earlier in the week at Skin Deep Tattoo to get matching tattoos to mark the occasion of getting married. We thought xo xo (kisses and hugs) was fitting for the situation! I think the prep took longer than the actual tattoos did. We left bandaged up looking like we had attempted a double suicide!
Our last day gave us just enough time to visit the beach for a couple of hours before heading back to pack and make our way to the airport. With the time difference we eventually landed in Vegas just before midnight. We arrived at our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, not long after midnight. We took our time exploring all the things our suite had to offer – great views of the strip, remote controlled lights and curtains, TV’s in every room including the bathroom! A fully stocked bar, walk in wardrobe and the biggest bath you could imagine!
The bell boys sent up a bottle of wine to say congratulations and then five minutes later the doorbell went again and reception had sent up a bottle of champagne too.
The next morning after eating breakfast in the strip we headed to the County Clark office to collect our marriage license. The rest of the day was spent at the pool to try and avoid the fact that temperatures were in the 40s.
We had a lovely dinner in Wolfgang Puck, watched the fountains at the Bellagio, had drinks in one of the bars at the Cosmopolitan hotel and ended the night with a drink in the sky bar at our hotel.
More outlet shopping the next day before heading off for our dinner theatre package. We had dinner at Planet Hollywood and then watched an incredible show ‘Absinthe’ at Caesar’s Palace. The show was a mix of comedy, burlesque and daring acrobatics. All the acts were amazingly talented and had you holding your breath as you watched.
Whilst we were in the show our friends had arrived from the UK so we went and met up with them and headed off for some food and drinks before watching the Bellagio fountains (can’t get enough of them!).
The others were tired after their travels so we called it a night sometime in the early hours.
Wednesday was wedding day! All six of us met up for breakfast at Denny’s. We then headed back to our own hotels for a little bit of pool time as it was ridiculously hot again. I went to get my hair and makeup done at the hotel spa & salon. When I got back to the room yet more champagne was sent to the room compliments of the house! Gerald and I got ready and then the others arrived for a quick drink in the sky bar before having to head off.
We got the call from the limo driver to say to meet him downstairs and we all piled into the back of the stretch limo singing to Elvis songs as we made our way to Graceland Chapel.
When we arrived Gerald and I had a little bit of paper work to do, we then had to meet with Pastor Jean Claude who officially married us before having our Elvis ceremony.
I was walked down the aisle by Elvis singing ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’
We then said our ‘Elvis vows’ amongst much laughter, singing and dancing.
Gerald and I grinned the entire time and can safely say we will never forget the experience! Lots of photos were taken afterwards and then we climbed back in the limo to return to the strip.
We had our wedding meal in ‘She’ a new restaurant nearby to our hotel. The food was divine, steak that could almost be cut with your fork. They also provided entertainment in the form of show girls wandering around whilst you eat!
After dinner we took some photos by the Bellagio fountains before heading back to our suite for the wedding cake and to watch the DVD of the ceremony.
Thursday was our last full day, we met the others for breakfast and then organized a trip to shoot guns! All the boys had shot guns before but all three of us girls had never even held a gun so we were pretty nervous. The boys went a bit more hardcore shooting much bigger more powerful guns. We stuck to the pistols and rifles. We ended up being pretty good though and we absolutely loved it!
That night we had a meal at the burger place in the Mirage before heading off to watch Cirque de Soleil’s Beatles Love.
It was a very surreal show with so many different things going on at once you didn’t quite know where to look! It was very entertaining and the music, of course, was great! After a couple of drinks it was time to head back to our hotels as we had to be up early in the morning to fly home. An amazing 10 days in the States!
Before we knew it we were back home, back to work, back to reality….The whole trip was amazing we did pretty much everything that we had wanted to do and loved every minute!