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Old 09-02-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
podsnel
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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! 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!!!!!!!!



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
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...20&postcount=8
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http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...9&postcount=15
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http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...5&postcount=36
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http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...2&postcount=70
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Day 3 - Kauai -Wake up Cafe, Princeville Ranch Zip & Dip, HBR beach & pool, Tahiti Nui, Hanalei pier
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=117
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Day 4 Woods golf, Kilauea, Na Pali coast on UFO, Hanalei Pier, Hanalei Gourmet
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=162
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=177
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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
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=215
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=216
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=221
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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
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=254
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=255
10/22
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=261
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=263
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=265
10/26 AULANI BEGINS!!!!!!!!
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=289
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=290

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
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=309

10/28 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=324
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=327


Day 7- Olelo Brekkie, Haleiwa Kayaking, Macky's, Aoki's, Shark's Cove Scuba, Olelo Room & Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=372
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http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=375
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12/10 Update
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=399

1/2 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=426

DAY 8-Hawaiian Fire Surf School, Mama's Snacks & the Waikolohe Valley, Roy's Ko Olina dinner, Starlit Hui & Off the Hook

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=428
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=429

1/4 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=451
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=452
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=454

1/9 Updates (Roy's)
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=476
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=477

1/11 Updates (Starlit Hui & Off the Hook)
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=489
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=490

DAY 9- Olelo Brekkie, Poolside dining, a little Ko Olina walk, Laniwai, Menehune Adventure,Azul
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=495

1/19 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=525
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=531
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=532


2/8 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=567

2/12 Update Azul
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=592

Day 10 Pearl Harbor, Aulani at sunset & villa art, Makahiki Buffet, Explore the Stars, Nighttime at Aulani

2/14
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=610
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=611
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=615

2/15 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=624
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=625

2/21 Update
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=641

2/25 Update
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=652

Day 11, August 27 Checking out, Ama Ama lunch, Paddleboarding 101, Goofy hot tubbing, meeting a monk, Luana Lounge

2/27 Updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=662
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=663

2/28 updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=673
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=675
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=676

3/1 updates
http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=681
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

Last edited by podsnel; 05-24-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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Looking forward to reading your trip report! This will be the first TR on Aulani that I have read!

Happy 26th Anniversary!!!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:05 PM   #3
podsnel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskitty3 View Post
Looking forward to reading your trip report! This will be the first TR on Aulani that I have read!

Happy 26th Anniversary!!!
Great!! Thanks for reading, and thanks for the good wishes!
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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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
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Yea! Love your title! Now to start reading.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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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!)
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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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......





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



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-







Uh-oh- Photobucket's acting up- back in a minute-
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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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-









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!







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



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


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Old 09-02-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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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. 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-



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!





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-



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. 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! 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. 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!



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!



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









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











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

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #10
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I'm in! It was nice seeing some of your pics on FB. Looking forward to reading about your adventure.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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Yay! I actually made page 1 Now back to read!

ETA: Shoot! It WAS still page one when I started to post
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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A-MAZING so far! We have to visit Kuai now! The scenery is beautiful! I love your excitement over the boys just having fun being boys! I loved the comment, "Sudden Death."
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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I'm here, need to go catch up!
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:10 PM   #14
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always behind! but omg those views are amazing makes me wanna book a trip and head back there. Last time i was there i was 18 for about 2.5 days after doing 2 weeks in Australia. WOuld love to go back and really experience the island! Cant wait to read more and see all about the islands!
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:49 AM   #15
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Smile ** So - how were the macadamia/bananna pancakes? **





Subbin'
Beautiful Hawaiian weather, wonderful food, GREAT WINES..........


& yet here I am headin off to 60% chance of rain IN NYC this week.
(not to mention the US Open and the Cowboys opening up at NY Sept 5th)



Thares somethin a miss here!!



Can't wait to hear more.



ALOHA

&

T.T.F.N.
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Last edited by knewton64; 09-03-2012 at 06:03 AM.
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