Gidget Goes Hawaiian- Kauai & Aulani 8/2012 TR- 5/24 COMPLETE!!

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by podsnel, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    Hi there- again! :) I'm Ellen, and I am ready to start my TR of a lifetime, our trip to Hawaii which was from August 17th to 28th. It was a second honeymoon, kind of sort of, in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary. That was in 2011. But Aulani did not open in time last summer for us to go until now- so....I guess we went to Hawaii to commemorate our 26th anniversary! :thumbsup2 We brought along two of our three sons- Tyler, age 15, and Timmy, age 13- our oldest, Sean, is severly autistic, and while we would desperately LOVE for him to come along, he did not because 1. He does not want to go anywhere new 2. he would have been a wreck on a 10.5 hour flight 3. He is MUCH happier going to camp in August because that is what he is used to and what he expects and 4. He would never have wanted to participate in 95% of what we did in Hawaii. So....

    I'll be back to post the first installment in just a minute!! I hope you'll join me reliving the GREATEST vacation EVAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!!!:thumbsup2

    [​IMG]

    Table of Contents

    Day 1 & 2- Kauai - Kauai Beach resort, Tip Top Cafe, Waimea Canyon, Pihea Hike, Jojo's Anuenue, Hanalei Bay Resort, Kauai Grill http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46025092&postcount=3
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46025420&postcount=8
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46025547&postcount=10
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46026309&postcount=15
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46035489&postcount=34
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46035915&postcount=36
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46055948&postcount=49
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46056484&postcount=51
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46056730&postcount=53
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46057949&postcount=55
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46058716&postcount=57
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46067762&postcount=70
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46174798&postcount=112
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46175362&postcount=114

    Day 3 - Kauai -Wake up Cafe, Princeville Ranch Zip & Dip, HBR beach & pool, Tahiti Nui, Hanalei pier
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46175851&postcount=117
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46244095&postcount=134
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46246752&postcount=135
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46247727&postcount=138
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46251074&postcount=147
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46251953&postcount=148
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46261507&postcount=153
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46261886&postcount=155
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46262393&postcount=156

    Day 4 Woods golf, Kilauea, Na Pali coast on UFO, Hanalei Pier, Hanalei Gourmet
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46282268&postcount=162
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46375991&postcount=177
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46376600&postcount=178
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46381166&postcount=182
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46381564&postcount=184
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46381742&postcount=185
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46449936&postcount=200
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46450027&postcount=201

    Day5 Hanalei coffee Roasters, Dry Caves, Kalalau Trail, Ke'e Beach, Tunnels Beach, Pat's Taqueria, Wailua Falls, Duke's and AULANI!!!!
    Posted 10/16
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46459236&postcount=215
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46459305&postcount=216
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46460976&postcount=221
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46461429&postcount=222
    Posted 10/17
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46470077&postcount=231
    10/19
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46491301&postcount=239
    Updates 10/20
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46498590&postcount=254
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46498652&postcount=255
    10/22
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46513094&postcount=261
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46514005&postcount=263
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46514302&postcount=265
    10/26 AULANI BEGINS!!!!!!!!
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46555295&postcount=289
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46555407&postcount=290

    Day 6- AMA AMA brekkie, Aulani, Mama's Snacks, Daily & Weekly Iwa, Golf clinic, Ko Olina Golf, Ama Ama dinner

    10/27 updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46562066&postcount=307
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46562521&postcount=309

    10/28 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46569575&postcount=324
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46570429&postcount=327


    Day 7- Olelo Brekkie, Haleiwa Kayaking, Macky's, Aoki's, Shark's Cove Scuba, Olelo Room & Mo'Olelo Fire Pit Storytelling

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46759985&postcount=372
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46760221&postcount=373
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46760576&postcount=375
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46760641&postcount=376

    12/10 Update
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46893380&postcount=399

    1/2 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47055268&postcount=426

    DAY 8-Hawaiian Fire Surf School, Mama's Snacks & the Waikolohe Valley, Roy's Ko Olina dinner, Starlit Hui & Off the Hook

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47056533&postcount=428
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47056805&postcount=429

    1/4 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47077889&postcount=451
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47078065&postcount=452
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47078398&postcount=454

    1/9 Updates (Roy's)
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47132135&postcount=476
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47132700&postcount=477

    1/11 Updates (Starlit Hui & Off the Hook)
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47155301&postcount=489
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47155793&postcount=490

    DAY 9- Olelo Brekkie, Poolside dining, a little Ko Olina walk, Laniwai, Menehune Adventure,Azul
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47161718&postcount=495

    1/19 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47238706&postcount=525
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47242645&postcount=531
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47242796&postcount=532


    2/8 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47443182&postcount=567

    2/12 Update Azul
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47482692&postcount=592

    Day 10 Pearl Harbor, Aulani at sunset & villa art, Makahiki Buffet, Explore the Stars, Nighttime at Aulani

    2/14
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47505676&postcount=610
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47505949&postcount=611
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47508792&postcount=615

    2/15 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47513347&postcount=624
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47513654&postcount=625

    2/21 Update
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47579473&postcount=641

    2/25 Update
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47620715&postcount=652

    Day 11, August 27 Checking out, Ama Ama lunch, Paddleboarding 101, Goofy hot tubbing, meeting a monk, Luana Lounge

    2/27 Updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47643645&postcount=662
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47645954&postcount=663

    2/28 updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47654819&postcount=673
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47655926&postcount=675
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47656073&postcount=676

    3/1 updates
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47664212&postcount=681
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47664509&postcount=682

    5/24 ALOHA and OUT! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48487397&postcount=733

    AND WAIT!! United First Class flight home- it STINKS! http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48489343&postcount=740



    DAILY IWAS http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47504181&postcount=609
    Bonus- Once upon a time, at a college not so far away....The story of Pods-n-El(len) http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46554462&postcount=287
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Misskitty3

    Misskitty3 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,439
    Looking forward to reading your trip report! This will be the first TR on Aulani that I have read!

    Happy 26th Anniversary!!!:love:
     
  4. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    I started planning this Hawaiian odyssey quite a while back- probably a year and a half at LEAST before we were to go- and in the end, I felt like we had a great vacation because of it. 4 nights on Kauai (although, to be perfectly honest, I could have spent a few more nights there- wow, is that island PARADISE) and 6 nights on Oahu staying at Aulani. We had saved up miles for YEARS, so we were able to use them to secure all of our planes- coach on the way out, and first class on the return. :cool1: THAT saved a BUNDLE! On the way out, we had a direct flight from Newark, NJ, to Honolulu on United- then on to an Island Air puddle jumper to Kauai. Some of us were more excited about the 10 1/2 hour portion of our flight than others-

    [​IMG]

    But I have to say, that plane was EXTREMELY comfy, we had our own tvs, I watched 3 movies, we flew over the Rockies which were very pretty, even saw Mount Rainier snowcapped and all and it really was not so bad! In 10 hours, we were landing on Oahu!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We made our way over to the Island Air terminal, and had about an hour or two to kill- so we got some snacks for the boys, and Pods and I went to have the first Mai Tai of the trip-

    [​IMG]

    A word on the interisland flights- there are 3 airlines- Island Air (which we flew to Kauai), Hawaiian Air (which we flew back from Kauai) and Go! Mokele. IA has mostly puddle jumpers, but they are reputable- HA has mostly jets which are larger and faster (I like them best), and Go! Mokele- well, based on what I saw, I would NOT fly them EVER- they had cancelled ALL of their flights for 2 days while we were there, and some passengers had been trying to get off Oahu and to Maui or Kauai for 2 DAYS!!!!! with no luck. :scared1: Please keep all this in mind when you are tempted by their cheaper airfares- that was one BIG angry mob in that airport!!

    So, anyway....by the time we landed on Kauai, it was 8 pm- with the 6 hour time difference, to us it felt like 3am- and we were just a little tired! :scared: We had rented a car from Alamo on both islands, all through DiscountHawaiiCarRentals- they had the best pricing I could find, a full size (Chevy Impala, I think) was $214 (including all fees and taxes) for the Friday to Tuesday rental out of Lihue Airport. For the first night, knowing we were going to be zombie like once we arrived on Kauai, I had booked a hotel very close to the airport- it was literally 5 minutes. Well recommended on Trip Advisor, our first night was spent at Kauai Beach Resort- for a grand total of $150, including tax, for a mountain view room- which they upgraded to an oceanview, when I arrived. :thumbsup2 This property was the Hilton, but is now managed by Aqua, and it was absolutely fine (if a little dated) and beautiful with comfy beds and very pretty grounds. i would ALWAYS stay here on my arrival night!

    [​IMG]

    At this point, not much mattered except finding the toothbrushes and calling it a night! Of course, in the morning, I was up before sunrise- along with lots of others, but no one in my family, LOL!

    [​IMG]

    I quietly put on my clothes and ran out to the beach for daybreak-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back to the room, it was time to wake the family- macnut pancakes and gorgeous day in Waimea Canyon were waiting.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Up next- soup for breakfast and WOW!! Kauai is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

     
  5. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    Great!! Thanks for reading, and thanks for the good wishes! :goodvibes
     
  6. KristiMc

    KristiMc DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,571
    I'm in! It was nice seeing some of your pics on FB. Looking forward to reading about your adventure.
     
  7. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    5,890
    Aloha and Happy Anniversay!

    I'm along for the ride....all these Hawaii trip reports are convincing me I need to revisit some of these days.

    Jill in CO
     
  8. kid-at-heart

    kid-at-heart DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,611
    Yea! Love your title! Now to start reading. :cool1:
     
  9. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    The island of Kauai is really not very big- and of all the islands in the chain, it is fairly undeveloped (compared to Oahu, Maui & Hawaii, that is). It is the oldest of all the islands, and because of that, it has more dramatic scenery than anywhere else- Kauai has been the backdrop for more movies than I can even begin to name, and with good reason- the Garden Isle has a lot of lush, green wilderness, many different climates, many different things to see. It is the island that idealizes what most people imagine when they think of Hawaii. Since we were going to be staying on the North Shore for the remainder of our time here, we began our 1st day with a trip south and west- we were going to visit Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. We had our Keens on, and we were ready to do some hiking! But first....a stop for breakfast. We chose nearby Tip Top Cafe, a locals hangout for our first Hawaiian meal. Tip Top is known for yummy mac nut pancakes with home made guava pineapple jam and coconut syrup, and for Oxtail Soup- even at breakfast! My family thought I was CRAZY when I ordered it, but- they got over their disgust once they tried some- it was yummmmmmmm......

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sorry about the bite- I just couldn't wait! The bananas added were excellent, wow- this was an awesome, and quick, brekkie!

    [​IMG]

    We had about an hours drive from there to the Canyon- but we never minded driving on Kauai, because everywhere you looked, it was jaw-dropping gorgeous-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Uh-oh- Photobucket's acting up- back in a minute-
     
  10. Jillpie

    Jillpie Can you package some Main St. music and send it to

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2002
    Messages:
    8,300
    Oh I am going to love this report!! Beautiful pictures:). And guess what, we just celebrated our 26th too! (May 24, 1986) give us lots and lots of pictures, love your reports! (oh, and we have three sons too, what a coincidence!)
     
  11. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    [​IMG]

    There are two roads to get up into the canyon- we chose Waimea Canyon Road, because it was first and is more scenic, and it ended up being a very good thing- more on why a little later. After a steep climb, we approached our first glimpse and overlook-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mark Twain nick-named Waimea Canyon the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and the nick-name fits. It is so beautiful! I was actually worried about how my teenagers would react to all this natural beauty we were going to be taking in- you know, teenagers are sooooo cool and nonplussed about everything- well, I need not have worried, Ty & Tim really "got" it- they fully understood that they were laying eyes upon some of God's greatest work!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back in the car, a little further up, we noticed some kids running around on the left- so we pulled over to explore.

    [​IMG]

    Photobucket frozen AGAIN!!!! Back in a bit-


     
  12. saintstickets

    saintstickets DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,671
    Glad you started posting before we left for Aulani tomorrow! Great start and I look forward to reading more later. Gotta love Kauai. DW and I went there for our honeymoon 30 years ago this past week!
     
  13. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    27,272
    joining in!!!!!
     
  14. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    27,272
    Oh my word....caught up no and what a beautiful site to see. I can't imagine just how wonderful it was in person. I can't wait to read more. :lovestruc
     
  15. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    Hi Kristi!! The fb pics were just with my iphone- hopefully the ones on here will be more detailed! :)

    Yes you DO!! And thank-you!

    I loved Gidget movies when I was a kid- I always wanted to be Gidget- I always wanted to surf-

    Happy Anniversary! :lovestruc Don't worry- there will be too many pics, I am sure! Hope you are having fun with all your boys, too!

    BILL!!!!!! I am SOOOO excited for you!!! Aulani is a beautiful resort! The CMs are great- my 2 favorites were Jaren (he is a Valet captain, he is awesome) and Alohalani (her name means heavenly love:love: - how beaut:love:iful is that? )- she works at the Olelo Room in the morning- try their almond croissant, it is addicting! We ate at AMa Ama 3 times- all were very good, but my favorite was the plate lunch special-OMG- soooo much food! Pods loved the chopped salad, he ate it twice. Make sure you grab directions from the valets when you go out- the GPS sent us to a residential neighborhood and 2 naval bases instead of Pearl Harbor- we really hated driving on Oahu, but the North Shore was worth it, so was PH- Roys is really good, too. Walk over past the Marriot on the right and down to the beach- there was a monk seal hanging there all day on our last day. On the North Shore do NOT miss Sunset Beach (lanikea)- it's where the turtles hang out on the beach- lots and lots of them- you'll know you're in the right place when you see all the people and cars- also, there are loads of fish in Shark's Cove up there- it's where we scubad, and it's where locals go to snorkel (rather than Hanauma Bay). SOOO excited for you!!!! Happy 30th!!!

    Hi Jen!! It was all stunning- like nowhere else we have ever been-
     
  16. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,998
    Here's a little perspective on where we were-

    click to play-
    [​IMG]

    click to play-
    [​IMG]

    So- this area with the red, iron rich soil everywhere was SO COOL! We ran around here for at least half an hour- my kids LOVED it, it was like someone had let them out of a cage! My DH remarked that this was the most active he had seen Tyler since he was a two year old, they were having a blast.

    [​IMG]

    We traded cameras with a Japanese family to get this pic-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    THIS was AWESOME-
    click to play-
    [​IMG]

    click to play-
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tyler and his war paint-

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The whole time we were being swooped over by a couple of helicopters- we kidded the boys and told them that was the next adventure for them- riding around in the basket hanging off the copters.

    Do you know, they actually believed us? :scratchin

    [​IMG]

    What was going on with the copters was they were trying to extinguish a small fire near the canyon- the baskets were being filled with water that was diverted from a waterfall- which they have the ability to stop and redirect to wherever this was they were scooping up the water from. I thought that was pretty interesting that they could actually STOP a waterfall. :firefight

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just slightly red and dusty, we climbed back into our chevy- there was sooo much more to see!

     
  17. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,042
    Yay! I actually made page 1 :woohoo: Now back to read!

    ETA: Shoot! It WAS still page one when I started to post:confused:
     
  18. MAGICFOR2

    MAGICFOR2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    10,042
    A-MAZING so far! We have to visit Kuai now! The scenery is beautiful! I love your excitement over the boys just having fun being boys! :goodvibes I loved the comment, "Sudden Death." :rotfl2:
     
  19. englishrose47

    englishrose47 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    28,171
    Well not page 1 but not bad !!! Rllrn I grew up on oxtail soup, it was canned and a big favorite in England , along with ox tongue lunch meat and Black pudding !!!
     
  20. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    3,119
    Subscribing glad you had a great time
     
  21. jenseib

    jenseib Mommy to Claire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    27,272
    So was Tim crazy? Looks like he was going to slide right down in that stream. :rotfl:

    More stunning pictures. You know it's good when a teen leaves his ipod in the car!
     

Share This Page