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Old 06-21-2013, 05:21 PM   #241
eandesmom
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Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Thankfully, I wasn't too far behind after being gone for almost two weeks. I love the updates, and I love the photo of you and Jeff in your tubes floating. You can just see how relaxed you are and enjoying the moment.

Can't wait to read more.
Yes, I am a bit behind on the updates, the last 2 weeks of school are ugly! The river was SO relaxing and fun, we spent hours in it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:48 PM   #242
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I tell you: Germany has all the answers for you!!! We do have nudist family vacation resorts in this country where you are required to be cloth-free even in the supermarket!
Yeah...I can go to Big Sur too! Lol. Scar my children for life.

No thanks, I'd rather be itchy
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #243
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Those are exciting reasons for possible complications!
They sure are. I'll let you know if I join your ranks.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #244
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First off, so sorry to hear your allergies are being such a PITA! The thought of having to give up the bulk of your wardrobe is Hope you find some good options!

Also can relate to how annoying it is when others don't realize that their indecision impedes the planning process!! You are certainly making the best of it, however, and I agree the booking separate ADRs for parties of six and eight is a great solution with built in flexibility!!

I had good luck getting BOG for October so fingers crossed the same is true for you. You may already be aware of this (I wasn't) but the new online system can't "comprehend" the 180+10 thing so you have to call the dining line. I think I was on the phone for a good 40 minutes (mini rant - couldn't they at least make it a toll free call??) but I did get everything I wanted.

Your other ideas are great. I've heard Trails End is a terrific value and with teen boys and their appetites it sounds like a winner. And I've also heard the decorations at the campsites are amazing.

This won't be for the picky eaters but I believe the new Morrocco restaurant will be open late fall and is built right on the lagoon (i.e. fireworks viewing). No idea when ADRs would be available or if they'll take ADRs. Just something to keep in mind.

Also, in a pinch, there are also the restaurants at the Swolphin. I love Blue Zoo and have heard great reports on Shula's and Il Mulino. Think they tend to be less crowded and are used to larger convention groups so might be an option if you're strapped one night and looking for a walk-up...
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #245
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They sure are. I'll let you know if I join your ranks.
I saw your FB post

how very very Grand!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
First off, so sorry to hear your allergies are being such a PITA! The thought of having to give up the bulk of your wardrobe is Hope you find some good options!
It's frustrating but it's better at the moment. I was having a few very bad days. Hopefully some of the changes (and things still on order lol) will help with the day to day minimzing so I can hang on to other things.

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Also can relate to how annoying it is when others don't realize that their indecision impedes the planning process!! You are certainly making the best of it, however, and I agree the booking separate ADRs for parties of six and eight is a great solution with built in flexibility!!
Well, I can't take credit for the idea but I do think it's perfect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
I had good luck getting BOG for October so fingers crossed the same is true for you. You may already be aware of this (I wasn't) but the new online system can't "comprehend" the 180+10 thing so you have to call the dining line. I think I was on the phone for a good 40 minutes (mini rant - couldn't they at least make it a toll free call??) but I did get everything I wanted.
It seems the 180+10 hasn't worked for DVC for a long time so I kind of figured I had to call anyway.
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Your other ideas are great. I've heard Trails End is a terrific value and with teen boys and their appetites it sounds like a winner. And I've also heard the decorations at the campsites are amazing.
I really want to fit this in. Although I did just realize that if we go for lunch...lights won't be on so not really the same.


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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
This won't be for the picky eaters but I believe the new Morrocco restaurant will be open late fall and is built right on the lagoon (i.e. fireworks viewing). No idea when ADRs would be available or if they'll take ADRs. Just something to keep in mind.
Oooh! I would LOVE that. I'd forgotten about that.

Screw the picky eaters. LOL! My gang would love it.

the rest can eat hummus



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Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Also, in a pinch, there are also the restaurants at the Swolphin. I love Blue Zoo and have heard great reports on Shula's and Il Mulino. Think they tend to be less crowded and are used to larger convention groups so might be an option if you're strapped one night and looking for a walk-up...
Those might be a bit on the higher end for a kids trip but I do agree there are some good options over there and am definitely going to keep it in mind. I've reviewed my ideas with the kids and Jeff and we've made a few tweaks. Cracks me up how definite some of their opinions are!
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:23 PM   #246
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ADR plan, V2

Slightly updated version after chatting with the kids and Jeff, my main struggles are trying to fit in both PTC and WCC without giving up other things and still somehow see the decorations at the Fort. I did just realize that the current plan would have us seeing them on the 3rd…not sure if they are still there…and during the day so that’s not ideal. And our DHS potential dinner is also 1/3…not sure how late Osborn lights are up so may been to move things around. Ideas welcome! Not enough nights for everywhere we want to go and I"m not a fan of more than 1 sit down per day, most days anyway.

10 days till I can call

Saturday, December 28
red eye

Sunday, December 29 (BWV)

Breakfast: Kouzzina or Captians Grille for 4, Grocery store shopping (snacks at villa), Dinner: Biergarten CP

Monday, December 30 (BWV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Villa, Dinner: Ohana with fireworks after? (back up WCC)

Tuesday, December 31(BWV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Villa, Dinner: Rose & Crown (La Hacienda backup)

Wednesday, January 01(BWV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Villa or Beaches and Cream, Dinner: Big River or Beaches and Cream or Villa.

Thursday, January 02 (BWV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Villa, Dinner: BoG, (WCC or PTC back up and then possibly BoG for lunch one day instead).

Friday, January 03(BWV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Trails End and check out Fort Decorations, Dinner: PTC OR
Villa for kids, date night at FF for Jeff and I, OR and adult only dinner at FF, kids in villa?

Saturday, January 04(THV)
WWOHP Day although this could move…most likely to the 2nd
Breakfast: Three Broomsticks, Lunch: TBD: Villa, Dinner: Margaritaville with WCC Back up ressie

Sunday, January 05, 2014 (THV)
Breakfast: Raglan Road, Lunch: Villa, Dinner: Villa (possibly PTC or WCC Backup ressie)

Monday, January 06, 2014 (THV)
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Villa, Dinner: Olivia’s

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 (THV)
WDW, 6:25 fly home
Breakfast: Villa, Lunch: Via Napoli

Booking Order

1. BoG
2. Rose and Crown
3. Ohana
4. Then everything else
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:33 PM   #247
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Totally Tubular!

The clock and sun exposure starting to tell us we needed to hit the grocery store we swung by bell services and grabbed our bags. Im all for people delivering stuff but really it was on the way and fundamentally we are cheap. Plus no reason we couldn't wheel them ourselves! We dropped them in the room and headed off to the store. Aulani itself is in its own little resort area called Ko Olina. There are 3 main resorts/timeshare on the 4 lagoons, plus a golf course. Small shopping center (strip mall type) across the street from Aulani and some recreation nearby as well. Other than that, thats it within walking distance. However Kapolei is nearby, only 1 exit away so about 10 minutes. There youll find pretty much anything you need and would find at home. Our first stop was Safeway. We were hoping to get everything on our list there, it is our main grocery store at home these days. It didn't used to be but with their offering discount points on gas (and 2-4x the points on gift card purchases) I've migrated most of our shopping there. So not only were we familiar with the store, which is always nice, Id be getting gas points.

For the most part, we did quite well but we had our hearts set on grilling fish one night and the selection was pathetic. We have better fish at home. No joke. So, Safeway complete we headed to Costco. Originally wed thought to avoid it as its just generally too big for 2 people but I had heard that they had a nice selection of pre-made local items and wanted to check it out. Plus Jeff really wanted trail mix for our hikes and the "ahola" mix Id picked up at ABC did nothing for him&the man needed M&Ms in his. Our plan was for 2 dinners and nothing had grabbed us at Safeway for the 2nd night. At Costco we found the treasure trove of pre-made Hawaiian items for dinner entrees and decided to try one out. We also found a better selection of fish but sadly not what we had been hoping for either. What we'd been hoping for was something we couldn't get at home, like Ono, Swordfish, Moonfish or Monchong. Nope, but at least they had Ahi and Mahi Mahi. We picked up some of the latter, Jeff's trail mix and then some berries. With that we headed home! At Aulani, parking is free for DVC members. It is not for resort guests (though I think it is if you are staying on points but not a member yourself). They have very large signs telling you that the entry to the garage is NOT a passage way to the resort and instead want you to go up a floor through a passageway. We were almost always able to get a spot right next to that entry gate. Did we walk up a floor? Nope. Rule breakers. We were quite the sight to see with our bags, between the 2 of us we could barely carry them all and it must have looked like we were going to be cooking a lot! But...fundamentally we are cheap and having bell services wheel our groceries up that we could easily carry (though 2 trips might have been wiser) just seemed silly at the time.

We unpacked our items both grocery and luggage and got ready to check out our sunset. What would it be like? I decided to enjoy it with these treats



YAY for shatterproof wine glasses that easily survived the flight.

And the view as our light changed



I wanted to check out the expansion construction, they were done for the day



A close up of the slide entry



Kids play area, the Menehune Bridge



Makahiki looked pretty busy though most seemed to opt to sit inside which I don't understand unless it's raining!



This is the main entry to the lazy river and where you grab your tubes. To the left of the picture is the stairs you take up to the slide entry.

Here is where you come out!



The beach activity had quieted down, I played with my settings





Uh oh



The sun was setting



Right behind the darn JW Marriott!

Bummer.

With the clouds thats about all I got that night for "sunset". Jeff things that depending on the time of the year and position of the sun it is possible/probable that our room location could get a nice sunset view. It is also possible/probable that the ocean view rooms on the island facing side of the Waianae building may get sunset. Still, we were thrilled with our view and would pick that exact location again (though would like a little higher just to see if that helped with the sunset&we dont think so).

As we finished our first Lama pa'ipa'i on the Lanai (which yes, is "cocktails on the balcony")..Jeff having the cocktail and I my wine, Jeff had one pressing question. It was now 7:30

Can we go swimming?

And not grill?

Sure! Why not.

So we did. We headed down to the valley and got new towels, and decided to have our first ride on the tube slide and using the double tubes. Its funny, it doesn't look that fast or really even big enough for the double tubes but I assure you it is on both counts. I promptly fell out of the tube upon river entry. So Much Fun! We then floated around, having more lazy river zen time. At dusk, with all the twinkling lights...with live Hawaiian music played at Oleo as we floated by, it was truly truly magical. Really good stuff. The stuff commercials are made of. Sadly, it was 8 and the river was closed, we had to move on.

We needed showers! And realized...we had missed a few spots on the sunscreen. Oops! Slightly crispy. Oh well. I got busy making dinner. Which wasn't really making anything, just reheating and washing the dishes I'd packed first.



What Hawaiian specialty had we decided to try? This





We had no clue what it would taste like but anything with sweet potatoes is usually worth a try in my book!



Hmmn....interesting

To go with it we had Hawaiian sweet bread


And some pasta salad.

Heating these up were interesting, there was a LOT of Taro around them and that Taro was wrapped by the Ti leaves so it was hard to tell if it was fully heated or not.



It's a mystery!



Unwrap the outer layer and it looks like...a ball of spinach





Cut into it and this is what you find



It was...interesting. The pork was actually quite good, just not enough of it in proportion to the Taro. Same thing with the sweet potato. You could definitely taste the butterfish which they use to preserve the meat. I liked that, Jeff not so much. I also liked the Taro but I love cooked spinach. Jeff not so much. If it would have had a lot more meat and potatoes and less Taro, I think we both would have liked it much more.

The Hawaiian sweet bread and Mediterranean pasta salad though&yum!
I'd try something like this again but maybe go for just the "normal" Kalua pork instead.

Dinner complete we retired to the lanai to enjoy our drinks, the sound of the surf, the view of the lazy river and the live music drifting up. As wed been up since 6 we were ready to hit the hay and hit it pretty hard, probably around 11. Sometime in the middle of the night we woke up and the room was quite warm! The previous night in the other room wed had the ceiling fan on. This room, we didn't see the fan. A few hours later we woke again and realized DOH, different room layout and the fan was more towards the living space and not directly over the bed. Fan on, we drifted back to sleep in comfort.

Up next, Freshwater Heaven
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:53 PM   #248
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Slide and lazy river at night, how heavenly!!!

I too would have carried all the stuff up, I just don't like to tip when it's something I can easily do.

Sounds like your shopping adventure was successful. Glad that item only had two portions so you didn't have to decide whether or not to eat it again.


I am feeling like such a doofus but what are WCC and PTC?
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:02 PM   #249
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Nice update! I like that you chose regional selections at Costco. What a great idea.

Bummer on the Marriott/sunset view but it was still quite lovely.

Is PTC, 50's? That's the only thing I can come up with. We loves loves loves 50's and will it definitely be one of our rare do-agains. Admittedly our server made it amazing but we thought the food was good too and they have some thing for every taste and size of appetite.

Nice wine and trail mix combo. A protein with the carby wine. That's where I make the mistake. I go for some sort of pita chip with hummus, both carbs. I'm trying trail mix next time I imbibe.

I would always choose to sit outside too, weather permitting. In fact, I'm on the deck right now soaking in a little sun before I have to go to a wedding reception tonight.
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #250
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Oh my gosh, your picture of the evening light looks like a postcard or an ad for the resort! Just beautiful!
What a lovely relaxing evening - I too would always opt for sitting outside unless it's super windy or raining.

Your dinner - yeah, interesting is the word! I think we would have preferred kalhua pork too.

WCC = Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge
PTC = 50's Prime Time Cafe at DHS

Oh - yeah, your dining options look good! I agree, better check as to when the Osborne lights are done and try to go to Fort Wilderness in the evening. Do they have Trails End buffet for dinner or just lunch?
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #251
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WCC = Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge
PTC = 50's Prime Time Cafe at DHS
Thank you! I was at a complete loss and figured I might as well just ask.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:04 PM   #252
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I don't think I could get past the looks of the stuff wrapped in leaves to even taste it! Glad the wine glasses made it through, now you could enjoy fine dining in style!

We don't like tipping for things we can do ourselves, cheap is also a factor!
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #253
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First of all, so sorry to hear about your allergy. Total PITA! I generally enjoy the benefits of spandex, but I can see how it would be really tough to find clothes without it.

What an incredible evening you had. It really does sound like heaven. The taro thing looks...interesting. I don't even know what butterfish is. But I do love sweet potatoes!

Your plans for December look great. We did lunch at BoG back in December and it was cool. The food was good and we definitely got to take in the atmosphere, which is really the point anyway, right?
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #254
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Cynthia your evening trip down the lazy river and the sunset photos... that just screams vacation!

Since I'm getting caught up.... several highlights that stuck out.

"Vacation brain" I may have to borrow that phrase since I am well acquainted with what that feels like.

The view from your second room is so very perfect. Your planning and research to know what to request certainly paid off!

What's up with rx sunglasses not having the lenses inserted? But on the other hand, what awesome service from the CM.

I completely understand about the family trip madness and need to book ADRs.
I was going to suggest Big River Grille but you are ahead of me on that one. I'm glad to hear that Raglan Road has a Sunday brunch option. Or is it other days they offer breakfast as well? Captain's Grille is always a nice back up in case it is ever needed for any meals. I guess I should keep in mind you are talking about up to 14 people so definitely advance planning is necessary.

And finally, I'm so sorry for the frustration with your contact allergy. I have never given thought to the fact that much of the construction of necessary undergarments are made with the offending fabric. Yikes! I completely understand the fact that trying to rebuild a wardrobe to eliminate these items is not only difficult but costly. Hang in there and I hope that you find a solution quickly that brings relief.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:25 AM   #255
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All caught up! I totally understand the end of year crunch & craziness! The boys finished school on Thursday & I finally feel like I can breathe! We didn't have any graduations to deal with but plenty of field trips, concerts & sporting events.

I'm am really enjoying reading about Aulani! It sounds so relaxing. Sorry you didn't get to see the sunset from your villa but the view is fantastic!

Sorry about the difficulties in planning the NYE trip. I cannot even imagine planning for so many groups. I think your idea of ADRs for 6 & 8 is a good one. Best of luck with Be Our Guest. We got lucky and didn't have any trouble getting ADRs there for our trip last April. I actually had three at one point until we narrowed down our itinerary & canceled the two extras. Hopefully I made someone very happy. I'm hoping someone will make me happy & cancel an ADR that I can snag for my October trip. So far I'm having no luck on that one. I'm determined to get back there in February on the next family trip. We all loved it so much!
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