Coffee on the Verandah -The Last Slide, Recap & Souvies 5/29 - Link to Aulani TR 5/31

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Angies1274

    Angies1274 DIS Veteran

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    Yay for Aulani!!:yay: Ooohh...I really want to go there! So excited for you!

    Great beach pictures! The boys looked like they were having fun! Love the mermaid pic!:rotfl:
     
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  3. Disney9.9.10

    Disney9.9.10 DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I haven't read your whole report yet, but I remember you from when I was more active on the boards, so I thought I'd stop in! I am so so jealous of you getting to go to Aulani!! One day, I will make it there lol Looking forward to reading the rest of your report
     
  4. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Yes I must! Booking a room is one step but that's easily cancelled in most cases, even with points. Flights though...that makes it real!

    It's funny, in flight time FL is a little bit closer but not much, but there are so few direct flights that it's not as easy to get to without it taking an entire day to do it. With the time change, even a direct flight eats up a ton of time. Hawaii on the other hand is crazy with flight options and a lot more directs, so that is where us west coasters go, though I've been to FL over twice as many times lol. I'm in the minority, as are the boys. Their friends have all been to HI, many annually, whereas they've been to FL.

    When we bought DVC we really did plan to use our points at Aulani, the nice thing about being relatively close with so many flights is that we can be flexible and go at the lower point seasons. I really considered getting points there but as we will probably never really "want" to go during peak time, I didn't feel I needed the home resort advantage. What is pretty exciting to me is that if we love it, it is definitely a place we could go to once all the kids are gone, on a very regular basis with our points and that's just pretty darn cool.

    Historically we've been able to get there for around $300 each if we really track and pay attention. The last few years have been a LOT higher and certain times of year are brutal so it's been much more in the $500-900 range. I think we paid $800 each for our last trip which was pretty brutal. I consider anything under $400 a good deal and I think at full price these would have come in about $410 each. There were non direct options for less though.

    You do have a lot of pretty spectacular places close to you...much closer than Hawaii is to me! I really wish it wasn't so expensive to get to Europe from here. I would love to take the kids over there but the flights are ouch! Someday, I really really hope!

    Well the FB was a limited announcement, didn't need the kids seeing it! It was just on a couple of disney pages but I think you are on at least one of the two I posted it on. Anyway...we are going 5/21-28. It is more accessible from a flight standpoint for sure, time wise on the non stop it's a little bit further but not bad, maybe 30 minutes. It's pretty exciting to me to check it out. Realistically, after the kids are gone, I could see us using points here on a fairly regular basis since we do have the flexibility to go in off season and Jeff can only handle so much WDW. LOL.

    It will be a very different kind of Hawaii trip for us. In the past we've done condo's on other islands. Neither of which were right on the beach though they were ocean view. It will be a little hard not having the full kitchen but it will be awfully nice to have the beach right there without driving and full resort amenities. Plus it will be very nice to spend some time with my family there, my favorite cousins are there! It will help us plan the family trip there too, hopefully for Feb or April of 2015 I'm thinking and I'm thinking that will be a 2 island trip but we will see. Of course with all of this I'm looking at the points for HI, the points for the NYE trip and going hey...where are the extra points for girls trips? Sigh. Never enough huh. Out before you start.

    It was interesting though. I could have easily gotten a studio or 1B in Cabo for the same, or less points. Flights would have been more and weren't as cheap which is why HI won by a landslide, plus heaven forbid something happened I still have flexibility with the points. For $95 I don't understand why folks say RCI trading is such a bad deal, those places were gorgeous! I guess maybe because the rack rates at those places aren't as high as at WDW or Aulani so they don't feel they are getting as much for their points? I dunno but I do know we will be using ours at one of them in the future for sure, it's an easy trip from here.

    Yay is right! It is SO soggy here right now that it makes me smile just thinking about it.

    They were. They are going to be a bit mad about the Hawaii thing but I do think the NYE trip will make up for it. I'm grateful they are old enough to get that we can only do and afford so much and that the big trip with cousins will mean waiting now. They also do understand that couple time is important to us. However, since Jeff and I are also going to SF in 2 weeks they may be a tad bitter. Don't think they care so much about SF in Dec but Hawaii is another story. I am going to have to assure them that they get to go the next time, and stick to it.
     
  5. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    Well, it sounds like a wonderful trip and its great that you will be seeing family and enjoying Aulani. Bliss!

    No - there really are NEVER enough points for everything you want to do.

    OK - so let me get this straight - Hawaii in May, WDW in December / NY's 2013, big family trip in 2015? You've got some serious planning to do.:thumbsup2

    I am thinking of F&G in 2014 since I will be at the tail end of the PAP. Not sure if Denny will want to go back or not, but just throwing it out there if you are interested. I am definitely going with or without him and you are always welcome!
     
  6. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Yep, the current plan/wish list is...

    Dec '12 SFran (not Disney I know but we might go to the family museum!)
    May '13 Aulani, just Jeff and I
    Dec'13/Jan'14 Large family trip WDW for NYE
    Feb or April '15 Aulani with the E's.
    Summer 14 or 15 maybe a cruise?
    Late Winter Australia trip just Jeff and I '14 or '15?

    F&G 2014 is a definite possibility. I will have my AP and would love to get one more trip out of it so it'd either be F&G 2014 or F&W 2014. I will probably know by the 11 month mark. But I definitely will not have any points. That's still my 2013 UY so I'll be totally broke! The potential complication with F&G is that we are hoping to get a big couples trip to Australia in there somewhere. If that happens in 2014 it is unlikely I'd be able to do both. It is more likely to happen in 2015 in my opinion though. It is all dependent on Taylor graduating lol and timed with Jeff's annual bonus and I just don't see it all coming together in time to plan for 2014. If it's 2015 it puts a wrinkle in the Aulani plans. So, it's a definite maybe. Then again we may just tweak the time of year on Australia so it's not an issue. Weather and cost wise we'd love to do Feb/March but summer would be easier with the kids in some ways. We will see. It's all pie in the sky now.

    And frankly, between you, me and the wall, K will have expenses for college then and I don't think Jeff is factoring it in as much as it probably will be. She is visiting UCSD today.
     
  7. FauntleroyFAN07

    FauntleroyFAN07 Commander of Donalds Crew Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy

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    not bad at all round trip from us to hawaii runs between 700-800 a person.

    but we save on the trips to disney living closer than you so i guess it all evens out.:wave2:

    what airline are you flying into hawaii on?

    alaska has some good deals from you guys over...u might want to look into there credit card for the trip there with the E's buy one full price ticket, the second 100 bucks.

    you can also get some good deals with points on the rest of the tickets.

    ohh and they give a few drink when getting about 1 hour out of the islands...:thumbsup2
     
  8. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    We paid a little over $700 each 2 years ago, by far the most we'd ever paid but I think it might have timed with some spring breaks and that's why it was so much more. If you avoid summer and Christmas you can usually get it somewhere between $300-500.

    Historically I've gotten flights to MCO for around $225 but this last family trip was ridiculous, more than twice that. My girls trip though was back at the good price

    Alaska there and Delta back. I used miles on Alaska so that leg only cost us $200 total which was cool and then the Delta legs were $178 each. Bummer though as they were $167 the day before. I love Yapta, thanks to tracking it really helps me know when to buy. Saved on this leg and then big time on the girls trip in Oct.

    I don't recall a free drink on Alaska to HI but then again I think the last trips were United, and Hawaiian so it's been a bit. You do get them on their Horizon flights locally, free beer or wine, so that will be something to look forward to! We love Alaska, use it for most things if we possibly can. I may look at the cc again for the big trip, we had in the past but at the time it didn't make sense as for whatever reason.
     
  9. GreatBiscuit

    GreatBiscuit Golden but never flaky

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    Finally caught back up. Cool turtle experience!
     
  10. PracPerfPatricia

    PracPerfPatricia DIS Veteran

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    Dis ing while I'm testing out potential cocktails to serve at dinner tomorrow...:thumbsup2

    Congrats on your Aulani deal/trip...;) Awesome deal to an awesome place.... Nice getaway to SF also... (I'm drooling at both...)

    I hope that you and your family have a fabulous Thanksgiving...gooble...gooble...:goodvibes
     
  11. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Cynthia, just wanted to stop by and wish you, Jeff, the E's, Kendall and the rest of the family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Misskitty3

    Misskitty3 DIS Veteran

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    Just got caught up....wow!

    The bike trip and beach time look like a lot of fun! A walk along the beach sounds like heaven right now!

    I will keep your family and friends in my prayers. Some very tough situations....that is for sure.

    Aulani is very exciting! And, yes, Alska does serve a complimentary Mai Tai about an hour before landing in Hawaii. I don't think they do it on the return, though.

    Also, very interested to hear about your trip to Australia. I am in the very, very beginning stages of also planning a trip to Australia. And to be honest, I am a MAJOR trip planner/researcher ......but I don't hold a candle to you!:thumbsup2. You are amazingly gifted when it comes to trip planning! Australia is tough to plan because it is so huge and we are limiting the trip to about 2 weeks. So far, I have it narrowed down to Sydney, Uluru and Port Douglas. Still thinking on Kangaroo island.....
     
  13. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Hi and :welcome: I am VERY excited about Aulani, I think it will be wonderful. It is very fun to start doing research on it too!

    It was incredible!

    Testing is very important! What won? I'm too cheap to offer cocktails, I make everyone bring a bottle of wine. Saves a fortune. :rotfl:

    I am enjoying a lovely "light" eggnog with a little bourbon and nutmeg and DISing by the fire now that the morning's pumpkin roll is made and the pie dough is chilling and the kitchen is clean. :thumbsup2

    Well you know that you enabled the SF trip! I was actually looking back at your PM just last night making notes on dining options, I really need to figure out some of our plans. I am so excited for Aulani, it is really lovely to have it to look forward to.

    Thank you Patricia! You too! Are you cooking? I'm assuming so by the cocktail test....

    Thank you Kathy! You too!!!!!!!!! Are you cooking and having everyone over? I'm behind on your thread (and most, sigh) so I'm not sure what you and Mark are up to but I hope it's wonderful.
     
  14. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Doesn't it? We need an Ark! It was so soggy 2 days ago I got out my fancy rain boots and wore them to work. It has to be pretty bad for me to wear those into the office, cute as they may be.

    Thank you :goodvibes

    Well it's good I have Alaska on the outbound then! We have Delta on the return. I am SO happy we are not on United. Have done that the last 2 HI trips, not direct for at least part of it and none of it was very pleasant for a variety of reasons. I am very excited about Aulani.

    Jeff has been before and is rather adamant that it's Port Douglas the entire time. We will see about that but we will be at 2 weeks or less as well. I will definitely keep you posted and would love to hear your planning details as well!
     
  15. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Wow, all your trip plans sound exciting! I would love to go to Australia one day, however for exotic far away places, Japan is at the moment at the top of my list and I very much hope to finally get there within the next two years.

    I think it very much makes sense that people fly to Hawaii from the West Coast for a warm beach vacation. From everything I have heard so far it sounds like the climate is nicer there than in Florida (i.e. less humid).

    Are flights to Europe really that expensive for you? Or is it because if you take the family you would be looking at doing it during the summer?
     
  16. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    SO jealous of all your plans! San Fran in Dec, I love San Fran (not as much as Disney of course), then Aulani in May that'll be amazing, then NYE at WDW, I so want to go back at that time of year.
     
  17. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    [​IMG]


    To you and your family, Cynthia, and your online family, too!

    .
     
  18. natebenma

    natebenma DIS Veteran

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    Wow, lots to talk about since I was here last!!!

    First off, WTG Kendall!!! She must be thrilled and I'm sure you are all super-proud!

    Aulani!!! :woohoo: Got to love the "Well, we had no choice, it was go to Hawaii, or lose our points"

    Really "settling" on that one, aren't you! Great deal on the airfare too. So.Very.Jealous of the location and the couples trip in general.

    Back to Vero. I love the beach. Beaches are truly the most magical places on earth (sorry Disney). The water, the sand, the smells, the sounds, the views.

    Looks like you all had a wonderful afternoon, from the free loungers to the yummy beach drink in a super cool (see what I did there) cup to the transformation of one of your children into a beautiful sea creature.

    LOVE IT ALL!!!
     
  19. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    One world - WOW!
    And Australia - Nice! I've been to New Zealand - its fabulous. Highly recommend it.

    I like that "Definite Maybe". Well, here's the think - my points replenish in March so I will be all good for F&G 2014 and I am flexible re: travel dates. Anytime between March and May!

    That must be a really cool visit. Yeah! But boo to the money! I'm there - so I know! :faint:
     
  20. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I have to confess, Japan isn't even on our list but that has a lot to do with the fact that Europe is right after Australian and New Zealand on our list. And there are so many places in Europe we want to go, it's a long list! I was tantalized looking at the RCI exchanges and seeing all the lovely places in Madiera. For some reason that place fascinates me. Largely I'm sure as it's featured in so much British chick lit! :rotfl:

    The climate is consistent year round, pretty much, which is not at all true in FL. It is humid, most definitely, but it's also a lower temp compared to high summer in FL so is much much nicer and you've got the lovely breeze off the ocean.

    It used to be you could get to Europe for maybe $750. Now it's hard to find anything under 1K. Which for a family of 4-6 makes it very cost prohibitive. I've priced other times of the year and it's been about the same. It would have to be summer though as we'd want at least 2 weeks. I am hoping to pull it off summer of 14 or 15 though. The boys will be there in the spring of '16 but that will just be to Ireland, for school. All that said, getting to Cabo would be much easier and cheaper all around and that may well bump Europe as a family trip. We will see, the boys are absolutely dying to go to Germany. They live in those shirts, it's a riot. Good purchase though.

    SF is a great town and truly a great couples town. Very much looking forward to our date weekend there!

    NYE will be magical, I have never been during the holidays. My sister and her boys will be at DL next weekend and see those decorations but we've never done it.

    Thanks Dee! You too :goodvibes

    We are! She was nominated for all area but we don't know about that one yet. She has a big college showcase tournament starting tomorrow in San Diego and is visiting UCSD while there. Exciting times for her to be sure.

    Yeah, brutal I know. :rotfl: You know, we really debated this one, mostly about cost. But at the end of the day we firmly believe the family is only as strong as the couple behind it and that couple needs nurturing as well. Not at the expense of the family but it does need to be a priority. Logistically if we didn't do one this spring or summer, it would be at least another year before we could even consider it and 18 months from now is just too long to not have that kind of time together. I am glad we were able to pull it off.

    I love the beach too. I really could do that as a vacation every year. It is magic, just magic. And boats and ballads and boat drinks! I mean beach drinks. :rotfl: I'm actually going to have beach drink cups made for the aulani trip, very excited about it. I put in our room requests yesterday so hope we have some lovely ocean sounds from our verandah at Aulani as well!

    It's the little things.

    Eric was a fabulous mermaid wasn't he?
     
  21. Poolrat

    Poolrat I am alive, sometimes I wonder too.

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    HAPPY THANKSGIVING CYNTHIA. Hope dinner with family went fabulous!!!
     

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