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Old 06-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #136
eandesmom
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Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Hi there!

Just found your TR and thankfully you aren't too far in!


Aloha and Just getting started, so happy to have you here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
I laughed when I saw your view and thought, that looks just like lurkyloo's view. I hope your next room is better!
I laughed when I looked outside when we arrived, it was very funny.

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Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Breakfast sounded delicious! DH & I are heading to Aulani in Sept so I've been doing lots of research, especially with the restaurants there to figure out if I want to make any ADRs.
Unless you are there over a holiday, or maybe peak dining time Fri/Sat, I don't think you need them. I made them, changed them, remade then and honestly I don't think I needed to in any of the instances. May depend on where you are going though, plus we eat late.

Breakfast was very good! I'm generally not a buffet person at all but was quite happy with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Is that pic of your view of the petroleum plant? I think I saw that nearby when I was doing my research.
Yes, it's a Tesoro refinery but it appears is slated to close or be sold and they are shutting things down slowly.

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Originally Posted by Jennifer48 View Post
Thanks for sharing, keep it coming!
More to come!

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Originally Posted by mickeystoontown View Post
Cynthia, I have, indeed, started my trip report. The link is in my signature.
On my way!

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I know that you put that little gem in there for me and some other gutter-minded types. Thank you.
I know my audience

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Uh oh, is that a walkway projecting out from that blue circle?
Had to set the stage

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Yep.

How funny!
It really really was funny! Would not have been so funny if it was our view for the whole week.

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
I see that there is a big industrial park south of Aulani, and although I found some tanks like that one with Google streetview, I couldn't find that specific one, so wasn't able to narrow down which company's it is. Sheesh, of all of the industrial sites I've visited over my career, I never gotten to go to one in Hawaii!
It's a Tesoro refinery that it looks like they are trying to get rid of.

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Does everyone who checks in get something like this? Very cool.
Yes they do! All the men get those, I'd assume boys too? I was a bit bummed as I knew mine would melt out in the sun so had to leave it in the room which bummed me out. Jeff's was easy to hang onto, we brought it home with us.

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I like how excited Jeff looks in this picture.
Miserable isn't he? Tortured by the characters

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
They are amazing at that talking without talking!
Goofy was really good! I was bummed he didn't come back by simply as the character interaction was so good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
The same architect did Aulani as AKL? And Wilderness Lodge too, I guess, since I thought that was the same person?
Yep, all the same and you can really feel it throughout. For me, interior is more AKL/AKV but a lot of the pool area made me think WL.

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Originally Posted by glennbo123 View Post
Happy Birthday Evan! He's really stretching out!
He is! It was so odd to me...if you see my note to Claire above you'll see I ended up with one of his birthday presents by default. It boggles my mind that a shirt that fits him...actually was a bit on the small side...fit me. In my mind he is so much smaller than I am but pictures and clothes definitely show otherwise.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #137
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A room with a view

With our stuff dropped at Bell Services we were now officially homeless and made our way down to the pool to find some loungers. As we exited we noticed Donald out for photos. I joked that we should stop and Jeff wanted nothing to do with it. A CM noted that he was "rare" and not out often but Jeff wanted nothing to do with it. Poor Donald! Ok really, thats a bit strong, the man just wanted to get out in the sun, by the water and I was on the same page, it didn't have much to do with Donald at all, he was just a possible delay for our big priority. If you want to see what Donald looks like in his Hawaiian gear, checkout lurkyloos recent update&we didn't see him again and I did not get a picture. Though it was only 11, mentally it felt like 2pm and like we had done nothing yet and our first day was wasting away. Which it wasn't but mentally we were both freaking out a little like MUST.GET.IN.SUN.NOW! We knew we were being illogical but boy we were both on the same page with it. Guess when you aren't used to a lazy breakfast and your internal time clock is still 3 hours ahead it can mess with you a bit. The room change did tip us over. I dont regret it but somehow that made us nutty for just a small bit.

At Aulani, you need a wristband to prove you are a resort guest and use the pool/river, loungers etc. It is also how you get your towel. It took us a little bit to find where to get the towels, and since our room had been on the Ewa side, as would be the new room, that is where we started as it's how we knew to get down to the pool area. We'd have been better off, from the lobby, going into the other building and taking the elevator but who knew. There was a surprising lack of stairs in our opinion. The towel pickup and bands are over on the other side, near the Wainaea building. If there are signs that tell you where you are supposed to go for this, I missed it. It may be that its a moving target depending on construction I am not sure. From where we were there is really 2 "good" ways to get to that area. Walking on the other side of the river running parallel to Makahiki or by going over what looks like a small bridge. The bridge is by far the most direct route from that area of the resort. It takes you to a secondary small Jacuzzi that is ADA enabled and is a short cut to the stream entry.

Of course the bridge didn't have a sign telling us it was the bridge, all we saw was a route going up and an ADA wheelchair sign. We assumed that meant it was an ADA ramp to something (and not meant to to be a main thoroughfare) so we chose not to go over it. Instead we walked all the way around along the front side of the pool, back through the store and quick service food locations to finally find where the towels were&which is over by the Menhune Bridge (kids play splash zone). Room keys presented we were banded and issued towels. I like the bands here much better than the papery kinds of ones you get at SAB. These were kind of a vinyl that come in all kinds of cool colors, different ones each day. A lot of the kids (and some adults) would save them so that they'd end up with an armful of colored bands, kind of pretty! They did not repeat colors over our 7 days. One other thing I loved about Aulani is they would ask how many towels you wanted. Perfectly fine to have 2 for yourself. Which I like! I want the whole lounger covered. Towels in hand, we looked for loungers. And looked. And looked. It was pretty crowded! We wanted some sun, some shade but not too congested. We ended up here!



This is on the very back side of the pool as you face the ocean. Kind of interesting, one row of loungers the back row) faced the ocean, the rest toward the pool. We were actually facing the pool but I took the picture the other way. Go figure. Towels set, we got busy with the sunscreen and I perused the Daily IWA and the initial maps we had been given at check in to try to figure out where things were.

Of course, had I looked at this page...I'd have known where to go but seriously I did not see signs anywhere. Then again we were clueless a lot of this trip so&vacation brain is all I have to say!



General info (star is where the Starlit Hui would be) and I think the Mickey Head is where the character photos are



You get a new one of these each day (well you do if you go get one...unlike DCL it isn't delivered to your door though it would have been very cool it it was!)









As we applied our 30 spf we discussed the plan of attack. We both wanted a poolside drink to enjoy in our loungers with our reading materials. Neither of us wanted to pay the resort drink prices but without a room, we couldn't really go get ingredients yet. Our plan had been to buy the official refillable mugs and use those for our pool drinks that we'd make in our room. Both of us were avoiding soda so simply purchasing some rum and adding coke, wasn't going to work. What to do? What to do? (yes, these are the important things we worry about on vacation). Just then&a text!

Your room is ready!!!!!!!!

Seriously. At 11:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We decided to leave towels and books at the loungers, head across the street to the ABC store, get our drink and snack supplies, pick up our mugs, check out the room and make our pool drinks! Yeah...so much for Donald keeping us from our loungers, we were going to keep ourselves from them now! The good thing about being homeless is we had the car keys with us. On the way to the garage we went into the Lava Shack to get our refillable mugs and then headed to the car. A quick drive to ABC (literally across the street) and we picked up drink supplies and snacks. I swear the snacks took us longer to pick out! It was pretty funny. Back at Aulani we parked and went to find our new view.

This time...we'd be located here!



Want to see the room?

Kitchenette



Hallway leading in, you can see the effect the angle has in the sitting area



Bed



Shower/Tub. It has both a rain shower head and a handheld one



Bad bathroom shot



You can see the lovely Aulani robe hanging in the mirror reflection. They provide 2 for use in a studio (no idea about a 1B) and I used mine daily. A lovely touch.

Oh wait, you dont care about the room do you&you want to see our view!

Approaching the lanai



Looking out from the Lanai to the right





To the left







Straight out



Zooming in to see if our stuff was still there



Zooming in to our cove



And...a Panorama



To say that we were thrilled with our view and location is an understatement. Other than maybe being higher up (which there is only 3 more floors above where we were) its as good as we think we could have gotten for what was important to us (sunset, afternoon sun, close to grill). Drinks made, snacks packed into the day bag we headed back down to our loungers. We had a stop to make first. Jeff had ordered some new prescription sunglasses prior to the trip. He had paid through the nose to have them expedited to arrive before we left. In the days leading up to the trip the company he ordered from botched it over and over again and they didn't get the order out in time to arrive before we left. He was able, after multiple emails and calls, to get them to ship the glasses to Aulani instead. While in the room he had received Fed Ex notification that they had arrived so we went off to see if we could find them. It was the lovely Malia again! She let us know that receiving would let her know when stuff arrived and theyd call and let us know but shed be happy to call down and check on it to see if it was here. Jeff was very worried, after all the drama, that the resort signing for his package wouldnt be enough (as it was a signature required delivery even though hed specifically asked that it not be) and somehow it would be held up. She called and sure enough, it was there! She asked us if it was large (no, its just sunglasses) and said shed run down and get it for Jeff.
Ok, we were not asking for that! Before we could say oh thats ok, we can just pick it up when it makes its way up here and she was gone! During which I inquired with the concierge about an event that was happening that evening.

IMI LOA NA HOKU (EXPLORE THE STARS)
Fees Apply
9:00 p.m. for Adults Only; Meet at Pau Hana Room; Activity Held at an Outdoor Location
Gaze at the stars through a powerful telescope as you learn about Polynesian navigation from a local astronomy expert. Reservations are required.

The fee? $30 per person.

We decided that was 6 mai tais at resort prices and decided it was more than we wanted to spend. There is a family version of this at 8pm, we had been interested in the adult one but for what it was, the fee seemed really high. $15? We might have done it.

Malia was gone a good 10 minutes. We felt really bad but oh was my husband happy to see that box! He was less happy to open it and realize that the lenses were not actually in the glasses and hed have to put them in but once that was complete, box tossed a very happy man who could now see and read while out in the sun and I headed back. By now it was almost 1 and we were both freaking out that our day was almost over and wed yet to dip a toe in any water! Of course our day wasn't almost over...our brains just thought it was 5pm. Back at the loungers we found our stuff intact. For anyone going to Aulani, don't do what we did. It was silly and unnecessary. A few days later we were informed of the chair policy. If stuff is left on a chair for more than 60 minutes, they will pick it up and take it! Now, we were only told this over the weekend on those specific days (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon) it wasnt mentioned the other days so we figure its a weekend enforcement thing. Still, we really didnt need to save our spot. By the time we got back down there the sun had moved, and so did we. Re-settled, this time on a small spur on the backside of the pool we read a little bit and finished our pool drinks. Which had mostly turned into hanging in the lobby drinks but thats ok. It was warm out and it was finally time to cool off!

The Waikolohe Stream was calling our name.

Plunge into more fun in Waikolohe Valley at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spawhich features spectacular streams and winding waterslides designed to delight every member of your ohana. Waikolohe means mischievous water in the Hawaiian languageand with so many interactive and imaginative elements, Waikolohe Valley truly lives up to its name.

WAIKOLOHE STREAM
From atop Puu Kiloa majestic mountain in Waikolohe Valley that was designed and created by Walt Disney Imagineersembark on 2 tubing adventures: one extreme, the other serene. The rapids twist through caverns, while the lazy river glides gently along the Hawaiian landscape.
Whichever experience you choose, you'll explore Waikolohe Valley and discover unique details inspired by natural Hawaiian beauty. As you float around rock formations, you'll encounter caverns and fountain springs that offer bursts of cooling refreshment.

WATERSLIDES
In Waikolohe Valley, 2 unique waterslides offer thrills galore:
" Volcanic Vertical: An enclosed, extreme body slide that plunges you into Waikolohe Pool
" Tubestone Curl: An open-air twisting and turning tube adventure with single and double tubes that eventually launches you into Waikolohe Stream


We elected not to do the slide to start and just go lazy. And it was! It is perhaps the best lazy river we have ever been on. Its nice and long&but not too long. It has variety. It is stunningly gorgeous. It has plenty of shade. Basically it is zen in a tube. At least for us it was. We considered a second float around but decided that a refill and snacks were in order.

So we did. This was not as easy as it sounded. First we had to get back to our loungers, which wasn't all that close to the river exit and the pool deck was hot! I hopped hopped hoped my way around in my bare feet. Once there we thought that it would be just as fast to walk up the stairs to our room given how close we were to that end of the building. There had to be stairs there, right? We went in the entry closest...no stairs. Ok, went down to the elevator and up, we will walk down! Yes, sure enough the stairs were at our end of the building near the grand villas. Clearly, they were not meant for daily use, it screamed FIRE EXIT all over it. Not only were they not meant for daily use, they didn't have a ground floor exit. I can't honestly recall if there was one and it was locked, or if it said the alarm would go off or there just wasn't one but we could NOT exit on the ground level. instead we had to go back up to floor 3, walk down to the elevator and take that to the pool level.

By the time we got back to our loungers I think we weren't there more than 10 minutes and we were ready to go back in. The river that is.

So we did.

Twice! as in we didn't get out and just went 'round again.

On the second round we happened across a photopass photographer in the river. Who caught us in our zen float mode.



After our second turn we went back, dried off on our loungers and finished our drinks, enjoying a little snack. We realized we'd had about 2 hours of sun (other than time lost looking for stairs and exits) which was probably enough for the moment. Those 2 hours may have been some of the most restorative hours I can recall on a vacation. Maybe it was the poolside drinks. Maybe it was the lazy river or just the magic of Hawaii and Aulani. All I know is that somehow, in those 120 minutes we reset our clocks and truly got on island time. No longer did we feel like our day was getting away from us, it seemed as if we had hours left in it, and we did. Relaxed and content we headed up to the room. Not only did our skin need a bit of a break, we had a kitchen to stock!

Totally Tubular
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #138
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I love that picture of the two of you! You look like you are having a fabulous time!

The sky is so blue... very beautiful!


Looks like there is a hotel that shares the same beach?

Love your pool side drink strategy!

The room is beautiful, but maybe a tad tight if more than two people were in it, yes? The view is quite amazing!!!

cant wait to read more!!
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:31 PM   #139
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Wow! That place just screams relaxation! So beautiful!
That Malia is one awesome CM!

Remind me what category room you had?
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:36 PM   #140
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Sounds like a cool and relaxing day once you got everything all sorted out. Yay for not overpriced poolside drinks!

I'll be interested to see where the sun sets in comparison to your room. Yours is the first Aulani TR I've read that shows the building maps (or that I've paid attention to them ), so I'm perplexed at the sun location vs Ocean View concept. I guess I should have paid closer attention to Aulani's location on Oahu and the island shape.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:37 PM   #141
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Wow - great view! I can't wait to visit there in the future. It is tentatively on our 2016 summer schedule .
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #142
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Okay, how did I miss that you started this TR? Good thing I read your siggie so I wasn't even further behind!!!

Guess I will be perpetually behind............not that that is unusual.......
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #143
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I like this view much better! And woo-hoo on having your villa ready so early.

Nice abs! I also have a bright yellow bikini.

Very smart to head across the street to pick up provisions. Did they have a decent choice of products? I guess it really doesn't matter as almost anything is better than getting gouged at the resort.

I'm pretty sure if you've got to be homeless, Aulani is the best place to be.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:13 PM   #144
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Great View----

That looks and sounds like an amazing pool and lazy river.

Good to know the liquor store is across the street.
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:57 AM   #145
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Great new room and view! The pool and beach at Aulani are both so pretty. sorry it was so complicated to find the Towels and wristband station. So cool that there is a Lazy River there. I love lazy rivers, so relaxing.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:30 AM   #146
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Awesome view! I'm glad you guys were able to get out of that "we are wasting our day away" mode and set your watches to Island Time It's difficult to adjust to vacation sometimes, because we are all so used to our days being scheduled and segmented and trying to avoid the chaos of one segment falling out of place. The even more difficult adjustment (for me) always comes at the end of vacation, "Wait, they expect me to be at work right now? And staying on task?!" lol
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:33 AM   #147
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Oh what a gorgeous view from your room!

Too bad about the running around looking for things - (stairs, towels, etc) but it sounds like you made up for it in that awesome lazy river! Love the pp pic, you look so relaxed!

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Old 06-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #148
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So pretty - and the lazy river sounds heavenly!
If I were brave enough to get into swimwear, I could spend some quality tube time floating around and around on that.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:05 AM   #149
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Cynthia! I'm going to blame you for having me rethink next years birthday plans. Aulani looks so amazing! Love the new view, it's gorgeous! I know you were saying the lanai is smaller with the room like that but it looks nice.

Malia is awesome, glad Jeff got his glasses. I hope they didn't charge him for shipping since they messed up.

Sorry about the confusion getting back to the pool. Would you get a car next time, did you use it a lot?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:20 AM   #150
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Sometimes you just need to sit in the sun and relax. Fabulous view from your room. Lovely photo on the lazy river.
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