Finding Love on a Trip to Hawaii
Posted by Mary-Frances Walsh
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Hawaii, Travel
Linda and John Izzard recently celebrated 14 years of marriage – 14 years that might never have come to pass had the two not traveled independently on a trip to Hawaii with Tauck in 1999. Linda headed there from New York City, where she’d had a less-than-healthy winter: her boss had said, “Do us a favor; go someplace warm.”
John had traveled from London to celebrate his mandatory retirement from the British Civil Service at the age of 60. His travel agent recommended Tauck – but John was thinking, “I hope I don’t get stuck with a bunch of honeymoon couples.”
It was the first Tauck trip for John, but Linda’s sixth. She’d been a Tauck traveler since hearing a travel agent refer to Tauck as the “Cadillac of tour companies,” and her experience backed that up. As a solo traveler, she always felt “secure and comfortable” with Tauck – especially important to her when venturing all the way to Australia.
On arrival at the Honolulu Airport, when Linda met the driver for her transfer to the hotel, he asked, “Where’s the gentleman traveling with you?”
“I’m by myself,” Linda explained. “But he was on the same plane,” insisted the driver, “his name is John Izzard.”
Linda looked around and spotted the "lost gentleman" with his Tauck travel documents in hand. She approached, verified that he was indeed John Izzard, and he joined her on the drive to the hotel. Hearing his British accent, Linda explained that she had not only been to London with Tauck, but had quite a few friends there (made on another Tauck trip).
At the hotel, they were greeted by their Tauck Director who explained that dinner at the hotel was included that night. And doing something she “ordinarily would never have done,” Linda invited John to join her for dinner. Afterward they went for a walk. “He’d been in the air, traveling for hours – totally stuffed up.” She brought along extra tissues and they found a store to buy more. In Kauai, she realized that John was watching to see if she would follow him into a store, wondering if she really enjoyed his company or was merely being polite.
They found themselves spending their free time together, discovering how much they had in common. Both are history buffs and love learning about new places. They visited the Bishop Museum, where John shared his knowledge about Polynesian culture and their techniques of boat and housing design. “He’s a scientist-type [a former industrial engineer] and I’m a listener [a former marketing research analyst, used to working in the quiet].”
They went sailing together, where John realized that Linda had been “clinging to the rails” because she wanted to be with him. And when a waiter on the Big Island accidentally facilitated her “getting clobbered” with water and wind as they were dining, John admitted that he really liked the way that Linda calmly handled the situation. In Maui, they nearly missed the Tauck coach, after taking a little too long to choose a painting that still hangs over John’s fireplace in England. Linda says she loves how it reminds her of the Hawaiian breeze and waves.
For the luau celebration, Linda purchased a traditional paraeo (wrap-around) but was “clueless as to how to actually wear it.” So she enlisted the concierge assigned to her hotel floor for help. Fortunately for Linda, the concierge on duty was a woman; she helped to piece the fabric in place with an amazing number of safety pins. “It was so hard for me to sit down in it, that I spent most of the night getting drinks for everyone at the table,” said Linda.
Both John and Linda knew that something special had occurred on tour, but as a New Yorker, she didn’t really believe that they’d see one another again. However... John soon after went to visit friends in Philadelphia and called to see if they could rendezvous in Manhattan. They met up at Penn Station, and Linda shared her hometown with John, who stayed on for a full week. They took the time to discover one another… for as John says, “Life is not a Tauck tour.”
After returning home to England, John began sending flowers – much to her co-workers’ consternation. “This will never work out,” they opined; “you’ve both been single too long.” Linda’s mother worried that he was too old for her – and would take her off to England for good. Three months after their Hawaii tour, Linda and John were engaged. A month later, Linda traveled to England to meet his friends. “Some of the older ladies, motherly types, cried -- thinking that marriage was never going to happen for him,” she said.
They spent their honeymoon (Where else?) on a Tauck tour. Originally settling on the Canadian Rockies, their plans changed when they realized that he might have trouble (as a U.K. passport holder) re-entering the U.S.A. after the trip. So Linda called Tauck and asked for another option within the U.S.A. for the same period: Williamsburg and Washington, DC it was. And “it was really nice!”
The Izzards have been on eight Tauck tours as a married couple and are scheduled to depart soon for their first river cruise. “So much for being ‘good for old people,” says Linda.