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Old 06-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #286
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Originally Posted by GoofyFan1515 View Post
Ok fair, but how about a real glass that is shaped like a wine glass and not a paper cup, coffee cup or refillable mug? Which would have been my other options had I not packed these. LOL!

No straw though, with TK on that!

Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
Cynthia, I know I never commented on your trip updates, sorry!! I really loved them. Your room looks gorgeous, has a wonderful view and the pool area looks so relaxing!! I really need to figure out how I can make a Hawaii vacation work in the next few years!! I always wanted to go there, but knowing that I can stay at such a wonderful resort with my DVC points makes me want to get there even more.
If you break it up with Cali on the way there or back (or Seattle!) it might not be so bad. It is an amazing resort and worth the trek, plus there are so many other islands to see and things to do once you've made it that far.

Originally Posted by Flossbolna View Post
The lazy river with the water slide start sounds like a dream to me!!
It is! (was, sniff)

Originally Posted by englishrose47 View Post
Good Morning Cynthia !!I finally have a LAZY morning !! Checked at work and everything is under control as of right now !! BUT I am expecting a call within the hour , that I have to go in by 10:30 a !!Time will tell!!!
Morning Rosie! I hope it stays lazy....
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:22 PM   #287
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the dish sounded good in theory but yeah looking at it not sure i would try it.

but that bread looks really good, i love that kind of bread.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:37 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by FauntleroyFAN07 View Post
the dish sounded good in theory but yeah looking at it not sure i would try it.

but that bread looks really good, i love that kind of bread.
yes, better in theory than actuality but I'm glad I tried it. The bread was wonderful, I love Sweet Hawaiian bread!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:50 PM   #289
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Freshwater Heaven

Well it would appear that I didn't get all of my photos uploaded for the last update! This is what happens with too many phones and cameras! And when photobucket doesn't seem to like your uploads in their original file size. Sigh. Just when I think it's working ok.

A few more shots from the room while we were making our drinks.

And then the infamous refillable mugs, or at least Jeff's, all that rum had to go in something. LOL! They are more expensive here. $18.99. According to my photos we were poolside with drinks in hand by 12:20 so less than an hour to ABC, back with drinks. Not so bad. LOL!

This is the funky little spot around the back side of the single rider slide that we sat at on this first day.

On the way to the room to head out shopping, I was able to convince Jeff to get a picture with Stitch. His "favorite". Or so he said in Hawaii. His favorite seems to change!

After shopping, a fridge loaded for bear (and mixers of tropical juices to go with the rum!).

A few more twilight shots

My Lama pa'ipa'i!

I will say, the Kapolei Safeway had a much nicer wine selection than ours at home does!

After finally figuring out how to turn on the fan (after we finally figured out where it was in comparison to the previous room) we slept deeply and well.

Of course, we started the day with

Coffee on the Lanai!

Id forgotten to mention that at some point in the evening I had picked up a new coffee cup. It is a rule really, I need a new mug for each trip and use it in the room. I love coffee cups. I have a lot of them. I choose by my mood, day of the week, weather, season, what Im wearing&all kinds of different things might make me choose one over another. Most of them are Disney. I'd had a hard time picking as there were several I liked, and one that "matched" one that I had at home, part of a set. The problem with the set is that they aren't dishwasher safe and I'd had 2 die as a result already (almost 3 as of yesterday but somehow it survived the dishwasher). Adding something that required hand washing to live wasn't in my best interest. I present to you the official Aulani trip coffee cup!

Having avoided the work I needed to do for 2 days I decided to test out the internet connection and see what I could get done.

It was pretty darn good and all went smoothly and in less than an hour things were complete and sent off. Done for the day on the work front it was time for breakfast. On the lanai of course!

Really it's not just strawberries. I'd brought granola from home so it's greek yogurt, granola and strawberries. Yum! Jeff had oatmeal (also brought from home) and a cinnamon roll.

We had a 10 am spa appointment and the plan had been to get there an hour early and enjoy the hydrotherapy garden. Between work, breakfast, coffee&Jeff surfing the net on his phone or reading his book&we just didn't move that quickly and did not make down there it much before 10. I honestly don't recall what time we got up but either I worked more than an hour or we were just bums on the lanai for longer than planned, I really don't think we got up later than 7. Oh well. You can use the garden after your therapy. You can't however use it after you leave the spa even during the same day. I imagine they suggest prior so you dont wash off any oils/lotions/whatever or to relax you more but its not like you miss the opportunity to go after your treatment if you dont go before.

Originally I had booked just a treatment for me.

Kilikili (fine gentle rain)
Begin with a Journey through the Kula Wai. Select your exfoliation of choice followed by a lomilomi, a traditional Hawaiian massage. Enjoy a relaxing, smooth-flowing lomilomi enhanced with fragrant coconut oil under streaming jets of warm water. Feel delightfully re-energized and refreshed afterwards.
Finish with a signature body butter to nourish the skin. Relish in the resulting smooth, hydrated and invigorated skin. 80 minutes $220

Jeff has only ever had a massage twice in his life. Once, on a reward trip to Vegas, part of the "award" included spa services and we each got one, at Mandalay Bay.

His comment after..


Hes a pretty "tight" guy so that was certainly part of the issue but not only did he not find it relaxing, he found it painful and swore never again.

Then, a few years after that after our wedding, we booked a couples massage at the Lodge we had our wedding at. He didn't seem to mind that one but also never asked to do it again. So I was a bit surprised when he said he'd like one this time. I did mention that I'd seen 3 great reviews from other couples and that may or may not have tipped the scales. I called to find out what my options were. There was a very small upgrade available for DVC members.

Instead of this

This traditional Hawaiian massage was passed down from generation to generation by healing k¯upuna (elders). This hands-on technique provides a gentle, rhythmic massage, releasing tension, pain, and fatigue, and infusing the mind, body and spirit with positive energy, increased circulation and muscular tone. 50 ($150) or 80 minutes

You could get this

Signature Lomilomi
This traditional Hawaiian massage is passed down from generation to generation by healing kkpuna (elders). This hands-on technique provides a gentle, rhythmic massage incorporating, as needed, lomilomi sticks and warm river stones to release tension, pain and fatigue and replenish the mind, body and spirit with positive energy, increased circulation and muscular tone. 50 ($160) or 80 minute.

For the same price. Normally the "signature" is $10 more.

But what we really wanted was this

Honihoni "Sealed with a Kiss" Duet
Lomilomi massage with a choice of tropical body butter kisses. 50 ($150 per person for 50 minutes) or 80 minutes

But with the DVC promo "signature" upgrade. If I was giving up my special scrub and rub, I wanted my tropical butter kiss AND hot stones and sticks.

Not so easy. The promo was only for the signature, which meant booked in single rooms. The duet is in a special dual bed room, the Honi Honi. So even though the price on the duet was exactly the same for the basic massage single or double&they couldn't book it that way and give us the promo. What they did was book us each separately but noted that we would like the Honi Honi room if available. I would have LOVED an 80 minutes massage but for 2 of us, not positive how much he'd like it, it was a hefty price tag anyway.

Breakfast and coffee completed, we headed down to the spa (which took us a minute to find!) and checked in to "Freshwater Heaven" (which is what Laniwai means).

I checked out the shop

As you walk in they have you close your eyes and each pick "wishing stone" that will be your thought that you will focus on for the day. Words are printed in English and Hawaiian on the river rock.

We picked the same stone.


Awww&.it was kind of cool actually!

We each dropped our stone in the reflecting pool along with our thoughts and cares.

They then took us into the relaxation room, where wed come back to await for our treatment and on a brief tour of the Kula Wai (hydrotherapy garden) . They then took us to the mixing bar to choose our fragrance for the custom body polish (essence, soft cane sugar, olive oil) that they give you to take home.

Continued in next post

Last edited by eandesmom; 06-26-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #290
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Freshwater Heaven, con't.

Continued from previous

We were then led separately into the locker rooms where we each got ready and into our robes and slippers.

We met back up in the relaxation room and enjoyed some water and snacks. Well actually I tried to enjoy the snack, no sooner had I filled a tiny cup with what looked to be a very yummy trail mix and we were called in for our treatment which brought us to…the Honi Honi room!

This is obviously NOT us but you get the idea!

Once in we each got to choose our body butter which was a coconut milk based lotion (yum!) which they'd use during the massage. I've had a few spa massages in my time. More than a few. Many, if not most, disappoint and they aren't cheap. This one...wow. It was the perfect combination of heat with the river stones to loosen things up and great technique. I'd have killed for another 30 minutes but oh did we leave after 50 feeling like whatever cares hadn't floated down the river the day before had been rubbed right out. Jeff felt the same and in that moment, became a convert. It was worth every penny!

There was part of us that didn't want to wreck the jelly leg mojo and changing into swimsuits sounded like a lot of work but we really wanted to test out the Kula Wai. We went off to change and met back up outside.

Kula Wai
The only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on O‘ahu, Kula Wai offers private vitality pools, co-ed mineral baths, 6 different "rain" showers, whirlpool jet spas and more.

Supposedly the two herbal pools have color significance (a green one infused with seaweed to help purify the body from toxins, and a blue one with eucalyptus to help soothe sore muscles and prepare them for treatments. I’ll admit, on our tour they rattled off so much info we could barely keep track. For us it was more like that pool = HOT, that pool = FREEZING, those pools = NICE. LOL! We started with the herbal pools. Which both look blue to me so I don’t think the green one and spiel existed. The Kula Wai had just reopened the day before so maybe that was a change?

They were, nice that is! Pretty warm but not horrible. Too warm for Jeff in the middle of a warm day though as you might be able to tell by the slightly pained expression on his face. In general a jacuzzi on a tropical vacation isn't a place we visit...it's just too warm out already! He whined that it didn't have bubbles...it's an herbal tub...not a jacuzzi! While there, a CM was picking up leaves, and flowers constantly, it was impossible to keep them out of the pools and paths.

I thought these lights would be super pretty if you were there in the evening

If you were in a island view room in the Wainiae Building, this might be your view.

We then decided to try out the reflexology path.





Jeff stepped on a pebble that made it out of the garden and into the path and due to color, blended right in. Ow! I loved the path, it felt very good in a painfully cool way on my tootsies and I went back and forth on it several times.

We decided to skip these (the uber hot and the freezing cold)

Guess the phone is there in case you have a heart attack from either one? As the CM described them we were like NO THANKS. LOL!

The rain showers were next. They are fascinatingly different and in some cases, temperamental. We'd dance trying to get them to turn on. The CM came by and showed us some tricks, there are timers apparently but they were not consistent. We did get them all to go at least once and our favorites worked great so it was ok.

Apparently I only took one picture here, guess I didn't want a wet iphone. There were 2 I really loved, one was like standing under a waterfall, so cool! And warm...it wasn't cold water at all. We played around in water for some time, went back and forth on the reflexology path, back to the rain showers.
Blissed out beyond belief we decided only one thing could make things more perfect.

While it wasn't five o’clock in the islands yet, it certainly was somewhere and our hands craved a tropical concoction. The infused water we'd been drinking was lovely but, it was vacation! And going on noon. With that we gathered up and went off to "dress", which simply meant putting on a cover up in my case. LOL!

On my way back in I saw this...guess you can have a private bath?

An outdoor shower after your rain shower before your locker room shower?

Reflecting as we walked out

At check out they presented us with our chosen scrub and a packet of bath salts that represented our word "Dream" or "Moe’uhane". And at that moment, we both definitely felt like we'd just been in a dream!

On the way out, we stopped to check out the fitness center


Coffee on the lanai, an hour long massage, an hour in the Kula Wai and we were two VERY happy and relaxed campers who had loungers calling our name.

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend Laniwai to anyone headed to Aulani. And if you go for a massage, DVC or not, spend the 10 bucks and get the heated stones. I've had stone massages before and this isn't exactly that but oh does it make a huge difference. Huge. I think it was the key difference for Jeff. Next time I might allow time for the Kula Wai before AND after treatment! I apologize for the profoundly lame photos and promise that any of the 3 TR links mentioned at the intro to this TR have far better pictures.

I was relaxed. What can I say?

Last edited by eandesmom; 06-27-2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:55 PM   #291
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Oh - I have had that Starborough wine. One of the few types of white I like - Sauvignon Blanc!

A morning in the spa - That sounds just heavenly! I'm getting relaxed just reading about it and seeing the "lame" pictures!

Gosh, I wonder what you did next?
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:12 PM   #292
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What a wonderful start to your day! I do want the scrub and massage though. Man I wish I wasn't out of points until 2015.

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Old 06-26-2013, 09:24 PM   #293
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Sounds like you and Jeff had a great spa morning !!! Your pix of the resort are wonderful !!I am soooooo hoping I get a Free Trip to Hawaii next year !!! I told Carol to ask as I got the cruise this year so it is her turn and of course I will oblige her and go alongJudy would be soooo jealous She is still saying cruise next year but with Vegas for me this September I can see her wanting that !!!
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #294
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Oooohhhh ahhhhhhh! Your spa experience sounds perfect! Glad they were able to still give you the upgrade even if they had to be creative booking it.

Your Aulani mug is really pretty.

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Old 06-27-2013, 07:06 AM   #295
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Wow, that sounds wonderfully relaxing! What a great way to start the day on vacation, I bet that would really put you in a mood well suited to a vacation atmosphere!

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Old 06-27-2013, 09:10 AM   #296
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Ok, I've never been into the spa/massage thing myself, but that actually looks pretty awesome. I can see why Jeff changed his mind.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #297
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I love your Aulani mug. And that's saying a lot. I use the same mugs every day. They're my absolute favorite. I vary it with one other. They're both Jack Skellington. But your mug is PRETTY!!!!

That massage sounds like heaven. I'm so glad Jeff was able to enjoy it. I've had some rough massages, so I really understand what he means. When you leaving feeling more ow than wow, it's not good.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:16 PM   #298
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What a wonderful start to your day! I've never had a massage but the one that you described sounds heavenly. Oh and the mug that you chose:

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Old 06-27-2013, 03:03 PM   #299

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other than the "hour of work" part, the day sounds like it got off to a wonderful and relaxing start! I can't wait to go to the spa at Aulani, I've heard so many wonderful things about it! I would probably end up breaking the bank there I'd want so many treatments!

I like the coffee mug too! One thing in my coffee mug criteria is that it must be large!
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #300
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That spa looks delish! I could use a massage like your's, it looked heavenly. What is with the bathtub? Is that area so private a bath could be had there or would you be in front of God & everybody?,
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