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Old 10-18-2011, 10:24 PM   #16
rentayenta

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I'm in too! Thank you for including your non-Disney Hawaii planning links. I too, am a meticulous planner.
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Old 10-18-2011, 10:30 PM   #17
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Looking forward to reading more about your trip! Thanks for posting your photos!!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #18
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Thanks for posting! I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:16 AM   #19
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I've subscribed.

We are going to Aulani in April so I am enjoying this so far.

Thanks for doing this.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:13 AM   #20
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OK I am waiting for more!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #21
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Thank you so much for doing this trip report....

I am contemplating Aulani for next summer. I turn 50 in June and 2 sons have graduations, so I am thinking what a great celebration.

We have never been to Hawaii, so I am interested in hearing your prospective and only doing one island....

Waiting anxiously for more....thanks again for sharing.

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Old 10-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #22
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More, more!!!

We leave this Friday on our honeymoon. I can't wait!!
I am hoping to read more of your trip report before I actually have to leave.

Thanks!!

Kelly
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:48 PM   #23
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YEA! Very happy to be reading this report. Can't wait for more.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:03 PM   #24
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Can't wait to read more. We are heading there in 6 short months!!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:51 PM   #25
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So happy! An Aulani TR!!! I just booked our air yesterday- we had enough FF miles to fly r/t, and on the way back 1st class. Well, at least for part of it. I figured I should book that while I can- and the kauai portion of our trip....while I wait and pray for something to be available at 7 months at Aulani...

I'm looking forward to all of your pics and hearing about all of your fun!
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:37 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
I'm in too! Thank you for including your non-Disney Hawaii planning links. I too, am a meticulous planner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wdrl View Post
Looking forward to reading more about your trip! Thanks for posting your photos!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof3poohlovers View Post
Thanks for posting! I can't wait to hear more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mouseaider View Post
I've subscribed.

We are going to Aulani in April so I am enjoying this so far.

Thanks for doing this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TagsMissy View Post
OK I am waiting for more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper4me View Post
More, more!!!

We leave this Friday on our honeymoon. I can't wait!!
I am hoping to read more of your trip report before I actually have to leave.

Thanks!!

Kelly
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scraper View Post
YEA! Very happy to be reading this report. Can't wait for more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieFan4ever View Post
Can't wait to read more. We are heading there in 6 short months!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
So happy! An Aulani TR!!! I just booked our air yesterday- we had enough FF miles to fly r/t, and on the way back 1st class. Well, at least for part of it. I figured I should book that while I can- and the kauai portion of our trip....while I wait and pray for something to be available at 7 months at Aulani...

I'm looking forward to all of your pics and hearing about all of your fun!
Thanks everyone for joining in and for your encouragement - now I really feel motivated to post!

For all of you that are looking forward to upcoming vacations - I'm so jealous! It was definitely a vacation well worth the wait and any and all savings put towards it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbn1122 View Post
Thank you so much for doing this trip report....

I am contemplating Aulani for next summer. I turn 50 in June and 2 sons have graduations, so I am thinking what a great celebration.

We have never been to Hawaii, so I am interested in hearing your prospective and only doing one island....

Waiting anxiously for more....thanks again for sharing.

There was more than enough to do on the one Island - there was lots we didn't even get to in the 7 days we were there! In addition to what we did there was also snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Aloha Stadium Swap Meet, and Pearl Harbor!
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:54 PM   #27
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Day 2, Part 1 - Yoga and Aulani Pics



A less blurry picture of Waikolohe Valley

I woke up at 5am (10am our time), but DH was up too, so we went out to the porch to find it still pitch black outside. I decided to start on my Trip Report for both myself (so I can remember all the details of this awesome vacation) and for the DIS, because I was hanging on every typed word about Aulani before I came here! I also enjoyed the free wi-fi! DH went and got the IWA (newsletter) for the day so we could see what was going on at the resort that we might be interested in. Turned out there was Sunrise Yoga at 7am, one of the things I especially wanted to try! So we headed out a little after 6am to wander the Waikolohe Valley to sightsee while the resort was quiet before we met for yoga. Before we left though we got to see the resort start lighting up and we felt like the ocean got a big reveal as it went from pitch blackness to beautiful ocean view!



There's an ocean out there!


We head to the beach around 6:15am, walking through the Waikolohe Valley and seeing lots that we didn't explore yesterday.











Pool by "Off the Hook"



Hot Tub






You can see the rental chairs with top up here (no cushions though)


Entry Gate (requires room key)


Makiki Joes' Beach Rentals


Then we go to Makiki Joes Beach Rentals. The beach had a few people either sitting in the sand, swimming laps in the cove, or walking/jogging the trail. At around quarter to 7 the yoga instructor and a few other people showed up and around 6:50 we start heading to a "more private location." On our way down the path she told us information about the area (the resorts, the cove, etc). She was very knowledgeable, friendly, and answered all of our questions - a perfect Disney Cast Member (which tickled me, because I never had a Disney Yoga instructor before!) The yoga wasn't actually on the sand part of the beach, but it was over (past the chapel) in a beautiful grassy area with palm trees.








It wasn't a particularly intense yoga session (there was one first-timer out of the five of us) but it was really nice, just what we needed after a day of travel. I'd never practiced outside before, so it was really nice to hear the water, see the birds and the trees, feel the grass, and let the sun warm us up. The instructor said they have 2 people teaching classes right now, and they will have 5 by Christmas. She said right now they have 3 classes a day right now (alternating between yoga, stretching, walking, different level of pool workouts, and muscle fitness). She also said they are working on programs for teen fitness, which I found interesting.


View of Aulani as we walked back from Yoga


Cabanas


Restrooms in the Waikolohe Valley (there are key card inserts by the doors, but DH said he got in without it so maybe it's just for nighttime?)


Signs pointing to the Lava Shack, and Papalua Shaved Ice stand behind it


Lava Shack


Looking at fish in Rainbow Reef


Fish in Rainbow Reef!


Oh! Water! Dont mind if I do!


Lazy River


Kukui nut torches


Up Next: Day 2, Part 2 - Aunty's Breakfast Celebration and North Shore Adventure

Last edited by Leitadala; 07-24-2013 at 11:18 PM. Reason: adding links
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:05 PM   #28
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Thanks, keep it coming. I would love to see more photos, read about the food and hear about how diificult it was to get free beach chairs.
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:08 PM   #29
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Day 2, Part 2 - Aunty's Breakfast Celebration and North Shore


Our Room Number


A more well-lit view


After yoga we went back to the room to change and then headed down to the Makahiki restaurant to see if we could get a table at the character breakfast. We could, with a half-hour wait (at about 9am). While we waited we read the stories on the walls in the Makahiki room. When we entered we got our picture with Mickey (which we could purchase for $30 and then get put on our photopass - although they did offer to take a picture with our camera), and across the way we saw Stitch taking pictures (too bad he couldn't come to the breakfast - I love the Ohana Breakfast with Stitch at the Polynesian).











Mickey Waffles!

This breakfast only had Mickey (when you enter), Minnie, and Goofy (plus Aunty, who provides some really upbeat and cheerful entertainment with lots of participation opportunities for kids). Comparing it to the other character breakfasts it doesn't come close (I think my favorite interactions are at 1900 Park Fair, although here they each had a handler to take pics for us) and comparing it food-wise I think Chef Mickey's and Tuskar House have a much better selection of food. DH really liked the food though, he was so happy he got rice and Dim Sum for breakfast. The worst part was the bill, considering we always get the dining plan and never get a bill at WDW!!!

Back to the room to shower and prepare for our drive to North Shore! The drive up there was about 45mph, sometimes 35mph, so it was hard keep the foot off the gas!


Lots of time to enjoy the view!


At some point after the North Shore sign traffic gets really backed up, and I'm unsure why (although it could be all the people darting across the road, cutting through traffic). We had a ways to go past that first North Shore sign to get to the shrimp trucks though. We (and by we, I mean DH) ate at Romy's (it was actually a building though, not a truck).




Menu

He got the (mild) spicy shrimp and it came with a drink and two scoops of white rice. I got a salad of mixed greens and croutons and a side of Italian dressing. DH liked his shrimp (but it seemed a lot of effort to de-head, shell and sometimes de-vein them). This place also served huge prawns, so don't take any sea-life loving children there! DH actually said that the shrimp at the Polynesian was better (and less effort).


Next we had to find the turtles. I found online that they go to Lanikai beach, but my google map directions weren't that great. We finally looked at my print-out from the site and were able to find exactly where the beach was (we had passed it twice - but it's a little beach off right by the road and there were 3 tents pitched that we had seen and wondered about when we drove past it), and were amazed that there really were 5 giant sea turtles just sitting there in this tiny little area!






They were breathtaking to see, but that's coming from a turtle lover. We could have stayed there forever gawking, but when a bus unloaded and it got super crowded (there was already a nice little crowd) we left.


On the way back from North Shore

On the way back it was time for dole whips (and time for me to get food in my belly). At the Dole Whip plantation I got my dole whip (no swirl though, which was sad because I love the vanilla and pineapple flavours together) and a hotdog (which I can't properly review because by then I was just so hungry!) and DH got a dole whip float in a plastic pineapple souvenir cup. We got there pretty late (4:30 and it closes at 5:30) so doing everything wasn't an option (besides, I was only there for the Dole Whip, lol) but once you get there and see the pineapples you start thinking you'd like to know how those pineapples grow, so if we had more time we probably would have done one of the tours, but instead we decided to do the maze (dole whip in my hand, dole whip float in DHs).


There are about 6 stations that you are supposed to find and then stencil the proof onto your card. We found 2, but we also weren't trying (actually, I was trying to get us lost to see how long it would take us to find our way out lol). At one part we rounded a corner and almost walked right into a peacock! We were pretty startled lol.


Maze guard

We found another way around her and then heard the next couple encounter the peacock (well, we heard them shriek). No idea if that peacock lives in the maze or was just lost herself. Was the maze worth the $13? I guess, it was fun for a 1-time thing, but we'd only do it again if we had kids to take through it too.

Back in the car - this time to Target for groceries.


Hawaiian Target

We found the prices just a bit more than our normal prices at home in Winnipeg. We got all the essentials, plus the things that I should have brought but overlooked (swim shoes, goggles).

Back at the hotel we quickly put away the groceries and changed into our swim suits for a lap around the lazy river before it closed (we got in it at 7:40 and it closes at 8!).


Then we hoped in the beautiful hot tub to look out at the dark beach and relax. After that we went and laid in chairs to rest and enjoy the night - clear sky, big almost-full moon.


DH went to get towels and was told he needs a wristband every day (whoops! We forgot about that before we got in the river!) and even though we were done swimming she still give him his daily wristband. We laid by the pool (which was open till 11) for a bit, until I realized if I stayed any longer I wouldn't be able to get up (I was falling asleep, it was so peaceful).


We were in bed by 9pm (2am our time)!


Up Next: Diamond Head, Koko Crater Botanical Garden, and Manoa Trail


*A word on jet lag: I did a little research on jet lag before we left. I knew we would feel off and have weird sleep patterns. We didnt try to adjust our sleep/wake patterns before we left, but we did make sure to stay hydrated on our travel day. We also normally avoid caffeine and didnt partake in alcoholic beverages, so Id like to say the only problem we had was waking up early and going to bed early. They say it takes one day for every hour off, and it seemed to be true because by the end we were sleeping in more and staying up later!

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Old 10-19-2011, 08:15 PM   #30
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Thanks, keep it coming. I would love to see more photos, read about the food and hear about how diificult it was to get free beach chairs.
Just in case I don't address those topics later I can tell you now that food was so-so. DH LOVED everything, but he loves food in general and especially asian food. I found it hard to find food I liked (from the 2 stores, quick service, and buffet) but there was grilled chicken on the Private Dining (room service) menu that was REALLY good. I had the kids meal chicken and fries one day and a grilled chicken salad another and they were both superb. Then I tried to get the grilled chicken and fries kids meal from Poolside dining and it was NOT the same. I don't know if this is a Phase 1 thing, or if it will always be like that (probably from different kitchens serving the food). Picky eaters (like me) might not be very happy with the food, but adventurous eaters will probably be in love with it.

As far as the free chairs, there were PLENTY the whole time we were there. There were always chairs available around the pool, we always could get an umbrella table to eat lunch at by the pool if we wanted, and there were always beach chairs available (either set up and empty, or folded up for anyone to take out and use by the grass) by the cove. Of course, "always" for us was Sunday-Friday, so I would guess weekends would be busier.
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