A few months late, but finally here I am… The month of March brings with it several reasons to celebrate. It signals the end of the winter, in other words, it’s pure joy. But better than that, we got married in March… the 7th to be exact, and four short days later it’s my birthday!  Some people don’t care about celebrating their birthday. I don’t “get” that. I am totally into it. So there you have it, March is a triple joy month. This year was our 15th wedding anniversary, which of course feels special, although at the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, each anniversary is very special to me.


If we both had to pick a place to celebrate life the way we love it, Hawaii would be it. We love everything about it,  the sun, being outside, playing golf in amazing courses, jogging along the coast. The North shore of Oahu is the closest spot to paradise for us. It has none of the commercial, touristic stuff of Waikiki, it’s a more pure and wild experience. So, that’s where we went to celebrate the date. It was a rather short visit, but we savored each moment.

This was the view from our room’s balcony at Turtle Bay…

One of the cool things we did was performing a major exorcism. An explanation is obviously needed. When I was 13 years old I went for a trip with my older sister Nyrma and her husband. They arranged a horseback riding session for me (the first of my life), but unfortunately it did not have a happy ending. It was with a group of teenagers from the hotel, most of them quite comfortable riding. To make a long story short, one of the teenage boys, trying to show off, started galloping real fast, and startled my horse.  All I remember is that my horse behaved like the one from Zorro, raised the front legs way up in the air, and took off like a maniac!  Soon we were far away from the group, I was hugging the neck of the horse for dear life, but then my saddle started to slip sideways! At some point I was pretty much hanging to one side, almost parallel to the ground, with my head passing just above the roof of cars parked on the side of the street. Yeah, the horse decided to gallop through town. I heard people on the sideways screaming “somebody help her! that little girl will fall”… Keep in mind that at age 13 I looked more like a 9-year-old… (sigh).  My crazy horse left town again, galloped some more, until he decided he’d had enough and stopped to munch on something by a tree. That’s when I finally fell off.  Let’s say that experience traumatized me quite a bit, and even though I love all animals, horses make me a bit nervous.  But I don’t like to sit on my fears. I’ve always wanted to turn the page and be able to ride a horse again. Thanks to Phil, I managed to finally go for it.

But first things first… I had to keep my composure  while getting close to the horses…. The instructor at the hotel made sure I got a very gentle horse (the thought of “famous last words” crossed my mind).


We were a group of 6 riders plus the instructor. I got to ride right behind her, and Phil following behind me. Talk about feeling safe… It was perfect. Midway through the ride,  I was comfortable enough to pose for a photo… The ride was slow, nice, and peaceful. Could not ask for more. Full disclosure: Phil said that when I first climbed on the horse my face was  as white as a Hawaiian cloud. Indeed, I toyed with the idea of jumping off and running back to the safety of our hotel room. But the horse was too tall and I did not want to risk breaking a leg or two. So I stayed up there, pretending all was fine. I’m glad I did. It felt great to overcome a major fear. Page turned. Next time, I want to go for a faster ride. HA!


Another fun part of our trip was paying a visit to the famous Banyan Tree….


I had high hopes of seeing Jonny Depp around, but no luck with that. No worries, I had my private George Clooney with me at all times. The tree is nothing short of magnificent. Everything you see in the picture is part of a single tree, it actually covers a huge area!


During the horseback riding, the guide led our group around the tree, but I took the picture the following day, when we went back for a walk around the area. They don’t like to advertise too much the location of the tree to try and protect it from vandalism, but if you find yourself near the North shore of Oahu, make sure to stop by.  Who knows, maybe Jonny Depp will show up and say hello…

As usual, we enjoyed great meals, mainly seafood in all its glory!

Simple Dinner22SimpleDinnergolfCourse
But, the highlight of the trip was the celebration of our 15th anniversary!  Here is yours truly ready to party…


Our dinner at Pa’Akai was wonderful!  Sorry, no photos of our plates, it was such a romantic setting, I could not bring myself to break the atmosphere to snap photos. However, we did ask the waiter to take one of us as a souvenir of the special evening…



Until next time, Aloha!

ONE YEAR AGO: Light Brioche Burger Buns

TWO YEARS AGO: Sourdough Blues

THREE  YEARS AGO: Headed to Hawaii

FOUR YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

SIX YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways

26 thoughts on “FIFTEEN YEARS!

    • thank you! You are coming up on your first anniversary soon…. if I remember correctly that is…😉 What comes first, PhD defense? First wedding anniversary? Great to have many reasons to celebrate! and I know you will do that comme il faut! 😉


  1. What a wonderful post! Belated Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!! No huge happy exorcism – your childhood experience sounds horrendous! Well done for your horse ride🙂
    Everything looks and sounds fabulous xx


  2. Congratulations on your 15th anniversary and your birthday. By the way, you looked amazing in that party dress.

    Conquering your horse fear is a wonderful accomplishment especially in such a beautiful location.


    • I thought the setting was perfect – the only thing is everyone was trying to gaze at the ocean to see maybe whales or dolphins, but I could not. I was fully focused on the horse, the way ahead, and maneuvering him. Maybe next time I can relax more and admire the sea too

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to travel to Oahu on business frequently. Many people ignore that island in favor of Maui. I was always fascinated by Oahu — lots of wonderful things packed into a pretty small place. And — you do great “glam” shots!


    • We went to Maui once, very nice too… but our hearts beat faster for the north shore of Oahu… we cannot get enough of it. One running route in particular is my number one favorite spot to jog. No other route comes close to it in beauty. Sunset Beach, Pipeline… WOW….


  4. Hi Sally. Congrats on the B-Day and 15 years. We love Turtle Bay and North Shore. Baby Lady’s sister lives in Honolulu so we go to Hawaii whenever we can. Not only do we love Oahu but we get to see Marta as well. Seeing Marta is probably the best part of the trip because we see her so seldom. We used to Stay at Ko’Olina but it has gotten overdeveloped with hotels, resorts and timeshares. While Waikiki is hustle, bustle and touristy, it’s close to Marta’s condo. Also, we dearly love Hanama Bay and it’s closer to Hanama Bay than Ko’Olina. Have you tried Kawaii? It’s much more rural and undeveloped. The north shore is better there, as well.
    BTW-I love your wood sculpture. Do you remember where you got it??? We collect couples and I would love to find one like it. It’s fabulous!!!


    • The wood sculpture (glad you noticed it…) was my gift for Phil for our anniversary – I love it! It is from the National Geographic store NOVICA, made by an artist from Indonesia. You can find a lot of nice wood work in this link

      We stayed in Ko’Olina once, and totally agree with your assessment… Haven’t tried Kawaii yet – I think we’ll go to Oahu next summer, taking little grand daughter with us… that is the plan, we just have to “make it so, Mr Spock” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. I hope you don’t mind but I bought one just like it for Baby Lady (and me, of course😉 ). They only had 2 left. I really like it a lot and we must have 20+ different couples from Willow Tree to Lladro to Waterford to Lenox to who knows. Anything with couples dancing, kissing, hugging, getting married, falling in love, etc. we collect them. They remind us of our deep abiding love for each other. I am wildly in love with the Baby Lady and always will be.🙂


        • Mind? Mind? I LOVE IT!!!!! Your comment made my day, and trust me, this day has been absolutely perfect, so you see how much I love it that you bought one!

          it took me a while to choose that one, I wanted something that conveyed exactly how I feel, and… that was it.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for the lovely story and pictures: have been at that banyan tree quite a few times. Naturally double congratulations are in transit even if a little late. The North Shore tends to be a wee bit too windy for me especially during Kona weather . . . I also feel you would thoroughly enjoy Kauai: my favourite ‘Sandwich Isle’, altho’ tourism with its ills seems to have ‘attacked’ that beautiful place since I was last there . . . and yes, I love that outfit also . . .


    • Glad you liked the post! I know it took me way too long.. when I realized we were leaving for a summer trip and had that memorable trip still sitting on my computer “to blog soon”, I had to act. It is easier to do it while in vacations, though… I am now working on the Birthday dinner, which was… believe it or not, in Washington DC… (we were traveling a lot then)


  6. Congratulations on your anniversary and Happy belated Birthday. So glad you were able to enjoy horsebacking riding this time around. Great photos.


    • Thank you so much! I feel bad that it took me so long to write this post, after all it’s been ALMOST 6 months after the fact. But I draw the line at 6 months. That HAD to come out before.. 😉


  7. …as white as a Hawaiian cloud… no kidding! what a terrifying experience; you can get seriously hurt on a horse; good for you for getting back in the saddle again😉 and ready for more speed no less! A new happy ending. Hawaii suits you both… gorgeous photos – love your dress Sally ~ you are positively glowing! Congratulations on 15 years and may there be many more ❤️ xx


    • That’s one of the things I love about Hawaii – no matter the time of the year you can always wear a nice, open dress – maybe a little light thing walk to the car or the hotel room, but no need for scarves, gloves, heavy coats, you know, the stuff that kills me. 😉


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