Aloha, my dear. I miss you terribly. I realize that Valentine’s Day is three weeks away, but I couldn’t wait to confess my love for you. There, I’ve said it. I love you, Lanai.
After our New Year’s Eve visit, I can’t get you out of my mind. I write this letter to you, dear Lanai, to tell you all the ways you have stolen my heart. Will I be able to complete my task? I will make my earnest attempt.
I love you, Lanai, because your people are so warm and welcoming. When I walked through your city (Lanai City) several days after New Year’s Day, at least a dozen strangers wished me a happy new year. Each resident I encountered shared their warm spirit of aloha and I felt sincerely welcomed.
I love you, Lanai, because you teach me how to relax, unwind, and savor your island beauty. How do you do it? How do you make this engineer and efficiency expert take such sweet respite from the rush of life’s daily grind? I’m convinced you do this by some magic that you disburse through the gentle trade winds.
I love you, Lanai, because you offer so many different environments — from the warm, sunny Hulopoe Bay Beach at Manele to the most unusual wind-worn landscape at the Keahiakawelo (Garden of the Gods) to the crisp, clean air of green Lanai City and Koele. You surprise me at every turn.
I love you, Lanai, because you have a sense of humor. Your finest joke is the naming of Lanai City. Your only city, Lanai City, has no stop lights, no traffic jams, no fast food chains, and no self-absorbed people. There’s nothing city-like in Lanai City.
I love you, Lanai, because you spoil me in luxury. For such a tiny island, you host two fantastic Four Seasons Resorts with properties and services that far exceeded my expectations. Your resorts are surrounded by spectacular scenery and tropical gardens. Your resorts’ artwork and antiques would rival the collections of any major museum. I’ve never felt so pampered as when you delivered chilled Evian spritzes, chilled towels, and fresh pineapple as I enjoyed some time at the beach. I know you do that for all the guests, but you really made me feel special.
I love you, Lanai, because you encourage the cultural arts. You have a thriving art community. You celebrate the many ethnicities that have made Lanai so culturally rich. I can’t wait to return to explore all the stories and treasures in your brand new Lana’i Culture and Heritage Center.
I love you, Lanai, because you are so romantic. When I think back to the the times we spent together, they were some of the most romantic times I’ve experienced in Hawaii. I recall the sunset hike to Puupehe (Sweetheart Rock) you provided to Andy and me. My mind also wanders back to the sunset couples massage at the ocean hale (private hut). Of course, I will never forget the romantic dinner we experienced at the ocean hale. We’ve dined across four continents and we must say that our dinner at the ocean hale was absolutely one of the best and most romantic dinners in our lives. I think Andy and I will still be talking about that romantic dinner even when we’re old and gray.
I love you, Lanai, because you feel so remote. When Hawaii feels remote and away from it all, you feel even more so. I love that you give me this feeling of being in an exotic far away place, yet you’re still so accessible by plane and ferry.
I love you, Lanai, because you offer unique adventures. From 4-wheel drive journeys through contrasting landscapes, to sporting clays, to hikes with memorable views. You encourage me to make new memories.
I love you, Lanai, because you do the driving. I don’t have to worry about renting a car or navigating. Your shuttle service takes those cares away.
When, dear Lanai, will we meet again? I cannot wait!
With my fondest aloha,
A selection of photos from Lanai: