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-   -   Gidget Goes Hawaiian- Kauai & Aulani 8/2012 TR- 5/24 COMPLETE!! (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2986038)

podsnel 09-02-2012 12:05 PM

Gidget Goes Hawaiian- Kauai & Aulani 8/2012 TR- 5/24 COMPLETE!!
 
Hi there- again! :) I'm Ellen, and I am ready to start my TR of a lifetime, our trip to Hawaii which was from August 17th to 28th. It was a second honeymoon, kind of sort of, in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary. That was in 2011. But Aulani did not open in time last summer for us to go until now- so....I guess we went to Hawaii to commemorate our 26th anniversary! :thumbsup2 We brought along two of our three sons- Tyler, age 15, and Timmy, age 13- our oldest, Sean, is severly autistic, and while we would desperately LOVE for him to come along, he did not because 1. He does not want to go anywhere new 2. he would have been a wreck on a 10.5 hour flight 3. He is MUCH happier going to camp in August because that is what he is used to and what he expects and 4. He would never have wanted to participate in 95% of what we did in Hawaii. So....

I'll be back to post the first installment in just a minute!! I hope you'll join me reliving the GREATEST vacation EVAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!!!:thumbsup2

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...auaiwat061.jpg

Table of Contents

Day 1 & 2- Kauai - Kauai Beach resort, Tip Top Cafe, Waimea Canyon, Pihea Hike, Jojo's Anuenue, Hanalei Bay Resort, Kauai Grill http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...92&postcount=3
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Day 3 - Kauai -Wake up Cafe, Princeville Ranch Zip & Dip, HBR beach & pool, Tahiti Nui, Hanalei pier
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Day 4 Woods golf, Kilauea, Na Pali coast on UFO, Hanalei Pier, Hanalei Gourmet
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Day5 Hanalei coffee Roasters, Dry Caves, Kalalau Trail, Ke'e Beach, Tunnels Beach, Pat's Taqueria, Wailua Falls, Duke's and AULANI!!!!
Posted 10/16
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Posted 10/17
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=231
10/19
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=239
Updates 10/20
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10/22
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10/26 AULANI BEGINS!!!!!!!!
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Day 6- AMA AMA brekkie, Aulani, Mama's Snacks, Daily & Weekly Iwa, Golf clinic, Ko Olina Golf, Ama Ama dinner

10/27 updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=307
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10/28 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=324
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Day 7- Olelo Brekkie, Haleiwa Kayaking, Macky's, Aoki's, Shark's Cove Scuba, Olelo Room & Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

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12/10 Update
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1/2 Updates
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DAY 8-Hawaiian Fire Surf School, Mama's Snacks & the Waikolohe Valley, Roy's Ko Olina dinner, Starlit Hui & Off the Hook

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1/4 Updates
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1/9 Updates (Roy's)
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1/11 Updates (Starlit Hui & Off the Hook)
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DAY 9- Olelo Brekkie, Poolside dining, a little Ko Olina walk, Laniwai, Menehune Adventure,Azul
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1/19 Updates
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2/8 Updates
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2/12 Update Azul
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Day 10 Pearl Harbor, Aulani at sunset & villa art, Makahiki Buffet, Explore the Stars, Nighttime at Aulani

2/14
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2/15 Updates
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2/21 Update
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2/25 Update
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Day 11, August 27 Checking out, Ama Ama lunch, Paddleboarding 101, Goofy hot tubbing, meeting a monk, Luana Lounge

2/27 Updates
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2/28 updates
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3/1 updates
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http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=682

5/24 ALOHA and OUT! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=733

AND WAIT!! United First Class flight home- it STINKS! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=740



DAILY IWAS http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=609
Bonus- Once upon a time, at a college not so far away....The story of Pods-n-El(len) http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=287

Misskitty3 09-02-2012 12:44 PM

Looking forward to reading your trip report! This will be the first TR on Aulani that I have read!

Happy 26th Anniversary!!!:love:

podsnel 09-02-2012 12:59 PM

I started planning this Hawaiian odyssey quite a while back- probably a year and a half at LEAST before we were to go- and in the end, I felt like we had a great vacation because of it. 4 nights on Kauai (although, to be perfectly honest, I could have spent a few more nights there- wow, is that island PARADISE) and 6 nights on Oahu staying at Aulani. We had saved up miles for YEARS, so we were able to use them to secure all of our planes- coach on the way out, and first class on the return. :cool1: THAT saved a BUNDLE! On the way out, we had a direct flight from Newark, NJ, to Honolulu on United- then on to an Island Air puddle jumper to Kauai. Some of us were more excited about the 10 1/2 hour portion of our flight than others-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...74040110_a.jpg

But I have to say, that plane was EXTREMELY comfy, we had our own tvs, I watched 3 movies, we flew over the Rockies which were very pretty, even saw Mount Rainier snowcapped and all and it really was not so bad! In 10 hours, we were landing on Oahu!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7408.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7409.jpg

We made our way over to the Island Air terminal, and had about an hour or two to kill- so we got some snacks for the boys, and Pods and I went to have the first Mai Tai of the trip-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...46661489_n.jpg

A word on the interisland flights- there are 3 airlines- Island Air (which we flew to Kauai), Hawaiian Air (which we flew back from Kauai) and Go! Mokele. IA has mostly puddle jumpers, but they are reputable- HA has mostly jets which are larger and faster (I like them best), and Go! Mokele- well, based on what I saw, I would NOT fly them EVER- they had cancelled ALL of their flights for 2 days while we were there, and some passengers had been trying to get off Oahu and to Maui or Kauai for 2 DAYS!!!!! with no luck. :scared1: Please keep all this in mind when you are tempted by their cheaper airfares- that was one BIG angry mob in that airport!!

So, anyway....by the time we landed on Kauai, it was 8 pm- with the 6 hour time difference, to us it felt like 3am- and we were just a little tired! :scared: We had rented a car from Alamo on both islands, all through DiscountHawaiiCarRentals- they had the best pricing I could find, a full size (Chevy Impala, I think) was $214 (including all fees and taxes) for the Friday to Tuesday rental out of Lihue Airport. For the first night, knowing we were going to be zombie like once we arrived on Kauai, I had booked a hotel very close to the airport- it was literally 5 minutes. Well recommended on Trip Advisor, our first night was spent at Kauai Beach Resort- for a grand total of $150, including tax, for a mountain view room- which they upgraded to an oceanview, when I arrived. :thumbsup2 This property was the Hilton, but is now managed by Aqua, and it was absolutely fine (if a little dated) and beautiful with comfy beds and very pretty grounds. i would ALWAYS stay here on my arrival night!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7416.jpg

At this point, not much mattered except finding the toothbrushes and calling it a night! Of course, in the morning, I was up before sunrise- along with lots of others, but no one in my family, LOL!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7420.jpg

I quietly put on my clothes and ran out to the beach for daybreak-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7424.jpg

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Back to the room, it was time to wake the family- macnut pancakes and gorgeous day in Waimea Canyon were waiting.....

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2/IMG_7457.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012004.jpg

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http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012012.jpg

Up next- soup for breakfast and WOW!! Kauai is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!


podsnel 09-02-2012 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Misskitty3 (Post 46024971)
Looking forward to reading your trip report! This will be the first TR on Aulani that I have read!

Happy 26th Anniversary!!!:love:

Great!! Thanks for reading, and thanks for the good wishes! :goodvibes

KristiMc 09-02-2012 01:17 PM

I'm in! It was nice seeing some of your pics on FB. Looking forward to reading about your adventure.

jedijill 09-02-2012 01:18 PM

Aloha and Happy Anniversay!

I'm along for the ride....all these Hawaii trip reports are convincing me I need to revisit some of these days.

Jill in CO

kid-at-heart 09-02-2012 01:21 PM

Yea! Love your title! Now to start reading. :cool1:

podsnel 09-02-2012 01:35 PM

The island of Kauai is really not very big- and of all the islands in the chain, it is fairly undeveloped (compared to Oahu, Maui & Hawaii, that is). It is the oldest of all the islands, and because of that, it has more dramatic scenery than anywhere else- Kauai has been the backdrop for more movies than I can even begin to name, and with good reason- the Garden Isle has a lot of lush, green wilderness, many different climates, many different things to see. It is the island that idealizes what most people imagine when they think of Hawaii. Since we were going to be staying on the North Shore for the remainder of our time here, we began our 1st day with a trip south and west- we were going to visit Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. We had our Keens on, and we were ready to do some hiking! But first....a stop for breakfast. We chose nearby Tip Top Cafe, a locals hangout for our first Hawaiian meal. Tip Top is known for yummy mac nut pancakes with home made guava pineapple jam and coconut syrup, and for Oxtail Soup- even at breakfast! My family thought I was CRAZY when I ordered it, but- they got over their disgust once they tried some- it was yummmmmmmm......

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012015.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012016.jpg

Sorry about the bite- I just couldn't wait! The bananas added were excellent, wow- this was an awesome, and quick, brekkie!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012018.jpg

We had about an hours drive from there to the Canyon- but we never minded driving on Kauai, because everywhere you looked, it was jaw-dropping gorgeous-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012019.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012021.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012022.jpg

Uh-oh- Photobucket's acting up- back in a minute-

Jillpie 09-02-2012 01:35 PM

Oh I am going to love this report!! Beautiful pictures:). And guess what, we just celebrated our 26th too! (May 24, 1986) give us lots and lots of pictures, love your reports! (oh, and we have three sons too, what a coincidence!)

podsnel 09-02-2012 01:49 PM

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012024.jpg

There are two roads to get up into the canyon- we chose Waimea Canyon Road, because it was first and is more scenic, and it ended up being a very good thing- more on why a little later. After a steep climb, we approached our first glimpse and overlook-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012032.jpg

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Mark Twain nick-named Waimea Canyon the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and the nick-name fits. It is so beautiful! I was actually worried about how my teenagers would react to all this natural beauty we were going to be taking in- you know, teenagers are sooooo cool and nonplussed about everything- well, I need not have worried, Ty & Tim really "got" it- they fully understood that they were laying eyes upon some of God's greatest work!

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012040.jpg

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Back in the car, a little further up, we noticed some kids running around on the left- so we pulled over to explore.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012055.jpg

Photobucket frozen AGAIN!!!! Back in a bit-



saintstickets 09-02-2012 01:50 PM

Glad you started posting before we left for Aulani tomorrow! Great start and I look forward to reading more later. Gotta love Kauai. DW and I went there for our honeymoon 30 years ago this past week!

jenseib 09-02-2012 01:57 PM

joining in!!!!!

jenseib 09-02-2012 02:06 PM

Oh my word....caught up no and what a beautiful site to see. I can't imagine just how wonderful it was in person. I can't wait to read more. :lovestruc

podsnel 09-02-2012 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KristiMc (Post 46025267)
I'm in! It was nice seeing some of your pics on FB. Looking forward to reading about your adventure.

Hi Kristi!! The fb pics were just with my iphone- hopefully the ones on here will be more detailed! :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by jedijill (Post 46025281)
Aloha and Happy Anniversay!

I'm along for the ride....all these Hawaii trip reports are convincing me I need to revisit some of these days.

Jill in CO

Yes you DO!! And thank-you!

Quote:

Originally Posted by kid-at-heart (Post 46025307)
Yea! Love your title! Now to start reading. :cool1:

I loved Gidget movies when I was a kid- I always wanted to be Gidget- I always wanted to surf-

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jillpie (Post 46025424)
Oh I am going to love this report!! Beautiful pictures:). And guess what, we just celebrated our 26th too! (May 24, 1986) give us lots and lots of pictures, love your reports! (oh, and we have three sons too, what a coincidence!)

Happy Anniversary! :lovestruc Don't worry- there will be too many pics, I am sure! Hope you are having fun with all your boys, too!

Quote:

Originally Posted by saintstickets (Post 46025555)
Glad you started posting before we left for Aulani tomorrow! Great start and I look forward to reading more later. Gotta love Kauai. DW and I went there for our honeymoon 30 years ago this past week!

BILL!!!!!! I am SOOOO excited for you!!! Aulani is a beautiful resort! The CMs are great- my 2 favorites were Jaren (he is a Valet captain, he is awesome) and Alohalani (her name means heavenly love:love: - how beaut:love:iful is that? )- she works at the Olelo Room in the morning- try their almond croissant, it is addicting! We ate at AMa Ama 3 times- all were very good, but my favorite was the plate lunch special-OMG- soooo much food! Pods loved the chopped salad, he ate it twice. Make sure you grab directions from the valets when you go out- the GPS sent us to a residential neighborhood and 2 naval bases instead of Pearl Harbor- we really hated driving on Oahu, but the North Shore was worth it, so was PH- Roys is really good, too. Walk over past the Marriot on the right and down to the beach- there was a monk seal hanging there all day on our last day. On the North Shore do NOT miss Sunset Beach (lanikea)- it's where the turtles hang out on the beach- lots and lots of them- you'll know you're in the right place when you see all the people and cars- also, there are loads of fish in Shark's Cove up there- it's where we scubad, and it's where locals go to snorkel (rather than Hanauma Bay). SOOO excited for you!!!! Happy 30th!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenseib (Post 46025616)
joining in!!!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenseib (Post 46025692)
Oh my word....caught up no and what a beautiful site to see. I can't imagine just how wonderful it was in person. I can't wait to read more. :lovestruc

Hi Jen!! It was all stunning- like nowhere else we have ever been-

podsnel 09-02-2012 03:17 PM

Here's a little perspective on where we were-

click to play-
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...h_VID00271.jpg

click to play-
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...h_VID00272.jpg

So- this area with the red, iron rich soil everywhere was SO COOL! We ran around here for at least half an hour- my kids LOVED it, it was like someone had let them out of a cage! My DH remarked that this was the most active he had seen Tyler since he was a two year old, they were having a blast.

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012056.jpg

We traded cameras with a Japanese family to get this pic-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012059.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012060.jpg

THIS was AWESOME-
click to play-
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...h_VID00274.jpg

click to play-
http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...h_VID00276.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012064.jpg

Tyler and his war paint-

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012069.jpg

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012071.jpg

The whole time we were being swooped over by a couple of helicopters- we kidded the boys and told them that was the next adventure for them- riding around in the basket hanging off the copters.

Do you know, they actually believed us? :scratchin

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012088.jpg

What was going on with the copters was they were trying to extinguish a small fire near the canyon- the baskets were being filled with water that was diverted from a waterfall- which they have the ability to stop and redirect to wherever this was they were scooping up the water from. I thought that was pretty interesting that they could actually STOP a waterfall. :firefight

http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...ust2012076.jpg

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http://i246.photobucket.com/albums/g...2089edited.jpg

Just slightly red and dusty, we climbed back into our chevy- there was sooo much more to see!



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