Lama pa'ipa'i on the Lanai – an Aulani TR -Aloha and Mahalo Aulani! Link to PTR 11/5

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by eandesmom, May 31, 2013.

  1. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    It was so much fun! And I love my mug

    Last weekend in August (29-30).

    Probably not on the kids but we will see. They will have WDW in Dec/Jan and the DLR in April for the band trip. Much as I'd love to take them I don't think my wallet will let me.
     
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  3. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    Cynthia, it was such a pleasure meeting a dear DIS friend. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule so we could meet for lunch. Although we were together almost 90 minutes, it felt like we just started. Darn work getting in the way of our visiting longer.

    You are exactly as I thought you would be...beautiful, charming and sweet. I do hope our paths cross often in the future.
     
  4. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    But I don't have any dates booked. :confused: It's not official until you have a reservation and a plane flight!

    Well nothing soon. I hope we get the house before the weather gets too cold here to enjoy the pool at least once. Realistically we won't be moving into the house until after the new year, with all the work needed, but I would love to spend an afternoon at the Tiki bar and pool just chillin. I don't see that happening, though.

    Isn't is so much fun to meet up with DIS folks? It always goes by so quickly though. It seems like you barely get started and next thing you know you are saying goodbye again.
     
  5. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Aw, that is so sweet! I feel exactly the same :hug:

    Some day we will have a turtle krawl together!

    I agree, and it never really feels real until the flight is booked

    Or get a firepit/outdoor fireplace out there! (I can't recall, is there one?)

    So true, that's why you have to go on actual trips with some of them :thumbsup2 the 90 minutes just flew by
     
  6. franandaj

    franandaj I'm so happy, I could BOUNCE!

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    And at this point we haven't even agreed upon dates so as far as I know we don't have a trip! :sad2:

    I don't think there is one. We had one here, but I'm not sure if we got rid of it or what. I just want the pool to be warm, I suppose if nothing else, I can hang out in the hot tub.

    Even taking an actual trip and having multiple ADRs and a cookout, we still didn't have enough time together. That's just the last one...I hope there are many more.
     
  7. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Yeah, you do kind of need dates as a starting point huh!

    Mnnn, hot tub! That can be lovely in the winter.

    Never enough time, no matter how much you try, isn't that always the case?
     
  8. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    We woke up knowing it would our last full day in Hawaii. Always a bit of a sad feeling, no matter how good a trip is or even how much you might miss your kids or even work that is hanging over your head. We had a pretty busy day planned.
    First up, I was going on a solo adventure, my very first DVC members event! At Aulani, they have a Monday members Mahalo Mingle and I planned to attend! It is hosted in the convention center and I arrived to find POG and coffee available and tables set with fresh lei’s.

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    Cool chandelier in the banquet room

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    I've never been to any of the "welcome home" events and so it was fun to see what it was all about. It was fun to meet people and listen to the presentation. While I didn't win the raffle, I did get a hat which Eric wears often. I can’t say I really learned anything new and while it was nice…and a little bit interactive, it still is a bit of a sales pitch and probably not something I’d go to again. I am glad I went though.

    After the mingle I headed to the front desk to pick up laundry tokens. As we were in a studio I didn't have the immediate access I've had in the past. First though I scoped out the facilities so I'd have a better idea of what I might need and how many tokens. And just in case any one was curious about the laundry facilities, here they are!

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    Nothing you forgot that you can’t buy

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    The proportion of washers to dryers was oddly off

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    Then again, you could just use the "free" supplies left by another guest!

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    I also decided to stop by Oleo and get a breakfast sandwich for myself. I can only eat the same thing in the morning so many days in a row and I was sick of the options in the room.

    For some reason I decided to take a picture of the beer tap lineup. Why, I have no idea.

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    As I ate my breakfast and checked out the view again...(Jeff had eaten while I was at the mingle, and was still enjoying the lanai) we discussed our plan of attack.

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    First I attacked this

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    Lots of boats out this morning!

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    We decided to toss the laundry in and hit the beach for an hour while things washed, and dried and then head out. We were scheduled for a memorial day bbq at my cousins house and were supposed to be there at 2. Which could be tight as we hoped to hit Diamond Head first since it was sort of on the way there.

    But first we needed some some beach!

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    Laundry dealt with we rushed off and made it to Diamond Head by about 12:45. The lot closest to the start of the trail isn't big but it does turn over quickly. And, even better, the attendant will let you wait until a spot opens up, versus turning people away. We waited no more than 5 minutes and were quickly parked and ready to go.

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    And up we went, again! It's a nice little walk, uphill but not too horribly steep, with a number of switchbacks. Some stairs too which my right quad wasn't terribly overjoyed with after yesterday’s stairmaster adventure. The view from the top though? Worth every stair! It’s pretty cool, you actually go IN the crater into a tunnel and then, at the top is an actual bunker that you go through, and as long as you don’t whack your head, pretty neat to see!

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    Continued in next post
     
  9. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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  10. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    Continued from previous

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    Given the time though, we basically hoofed it up, and back as fast as we could.

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    Though we got our fair share of pictures in, there was no time to linger. Back at the base we quickly changed and took off for my cousins. I had really hoped to stop and get a bottle of wine to bring as a gift but we literally didn't pass a single store on the way and I didn't want to be any later than we already were. Which was about 15 minutes by the time we got there. It was SO wonderful to see my cousins and Aunt and Uncle. My Aunt and Uncle(my dad’s baby brother) moved to Honolulu about 20 years ago and other than their oldest, all my cousins moved with them. Their oldest, who is closest to me in age (1 year younger) and whose house it was at followed about 7 years later and they are almost all still there. I had seen her a few times over the past few years; her oldest daughter is a year younger than Kendall and also a soccer player so they've had a couple of tournaments together which has been fun. She is my favorite cousin and I really wish she lived closer!!! Several have married and they have more kids and everyone showed up. Most of them live within 3 blocks of each other lol. Of my 5 cousins, 4 were there(the one who wasn't lives in DC) and of my cousins children 7 out of 8 were there. So it was a nice sized group...about the same size as my family! You know how you have some family that you never see but when you do, it's like you just saw them yesterday? That's how this group is. So much fun, so natural and easy even though I’d never met most of the spouses and some of the grandkids.

    We hung out, enjoyed their patio while the kids played in the pool and caught up. One of my cousins had a ton of questions about DVC so that was kind of fun to chat about. They thought we were nuts for doing Koko Head. As you can see...it's in their backyard.

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    And apparently they hear people getting airlifted off of it all the time! Only one of my cousins had ever done it…and she'd crab walked too. YAY!

    Of course pictures had to be taken, I’ll just share all the "girls", my 3 cousins and my Aunt.

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    We ate and ate and ate and ate! It was quite the spread, everyone had brought something and it was YUMMY! We were there until about 8 and then decided we should probably start heading back. Not before my cousins husband INSISTED on running over to their hose (2 blocks away) and giving us some fresh mango to take home! Which of course we couldn't actually take on the plane but we certainly planned to eat it for breakfast the next day. As we headed back Cara and I were texting, she was feeling a bit better and we made plans to meet in the lobby. I didn't see her when we came in (I forget where they were coming back from but basically we were both getting back about the same time) but right about when I got to the room, I got a text that they were in the lobby. Jeff had already changed into lounge clothes and didn't want to go back out so I left him there and headed down.

    And proof that it happened! In the horrible lobby lighting

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    Cara, her DH and their boys were so much fun to meet! The poor kids were wiped out and crashed on the couch while we chatted. It was a short meet, it was late and all were tired but it was nice to at least be able to say hello and chat a little. Cara was pretty excited, they had just added on to VGF (I think it went on member pre-sale while we were there) so we had fun chatting about that. Jeff felt bad when he heard that her DH and the boys were there...apparently it was ok to be anti social if it was just Cara but then he was bummed when he heard it was the whole family. LOL. I headed up and met Jeff on the lanai for our last glass of wine overlooking beautiful Aulani. As I went to sit down, and found it a bit difficult, I wondered what the morning would bring…I was very stiff and sore. I hoped doing that Diamond Head hadn't overdone it too much but at that moment, my body seemed to indicate that maybe it had.
     
  11. KatMark

    KatMark DIS Veteran

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    What a great update, Cynthia. Love the beach pictures while waiting for the laundry, your hike up Diamond Head. I remember seeing the view from there in Mark's (Captain_Oblivious) pictures and it is just stunning.

    What a fun family reunion...you gal all look great!

    I am glad you were able to meet up with Cara. And too funny that Jeff was upset he didn't go down when he found out the husband and kids were there. Shame on you, Jeff. :rotfl2:
     
  12. Pinkocto

    Pinkocto DIS Veteran

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    Great update! That breakfast sandwich looked tasty. That's how I've found the DVC meets on the ships are like but the lure of the raffle wins every time!

    Bonus that you got in some beach time while waiting on the laundry.

    You guys were quite motivated to do a big hike before heading to the cookout, whew! Beautiful pictures :)

    Glad you were able to have fun with the family.

    Jeff is too funny, first with Goofy and then the Dis meet, poor guy can't make up his mind.
     
  13. dizneeat

    dizneeat DIS Veteran

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    GREAT photos! But I guess I say that every time ..... ;)

    What a tasty breakfast sandwich. That looks really good. :thumbsup2

    We have been to the DVC meet at the Boardwalk and we will NEVER return. Kiddie games and nothing new. Seems like yours was more like the ones on the ships.

    Your family get together sounds like a lot of fun and ending the day with a DISmeet is just the icing on the cake. :goodvibes
     
  14. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    I feel like Diamond Head was a deja vue moment, so does that mean I read about it on CO's TR? What a super cool experience. I get vertigo just looking at your pictures. I can't imagine how cool it must be to see that for real.

    How fun that you got to meet up with your cousins, aunt, and uncle. What a great way to end your fabulous trip.
     
  15. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    You are quite the active vacationer my friend. I'm so glad you post all these pics because I'm almost positive if I get to Hawaii and Aulani, my bottom won't leave a beach lounger.

    Breakfast looks yum! Laundry looks meh. ;)

    I agree, the last day is always bittersweet. It's been so much fun to read along, I hate for your report to come to an end. :goodvibes
     
  16. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    It is SO pretty and really not a bad little hike at all, I would encourage anyone to do it. It was a great day!

    I :love: My Hawaii family. It was SO great to see them and just hang out and not have it be during an event like a wedding or a soccer game. We could really chat, about life. Just incredible and makes me want to go back that much more. I have a cousin and Aunt and Uncle in Seattle that I am close to, but not close like that. Part of it is age and part of it is just that undefined something. Their personalities so parallel my immediate families that it's uncanny.

    Seriously. I think he thought it wasn't happening and since he'd already changed, he just didn't want to change back. Which I get.

    The sandwich hit the spot for sure. I am glad I went to the Mingle and to be honest, it was partially to get a hat as I figured there would be one and knew Eric would be all over it. So it was worth it for that for sure!

    The beach time was good but hot...we didn't want to swim since we were going to the cookout so that was a little frustrating. We knew it was a short hike, (1.6 mile RT) and it was very close to where we were going.

    I was very much looking forward to it but you never know. Jeff had only met my one cousin and her DH (and their kids) so it could have been awkward and it was so the opposite, really exceeded my expectations on every level. It does honestly make Oahu itself a bigger draw in general than it otherwise might be for us.



    The photos were a bit fast and furious, I would have liked more time at the top but we had to race down!


    It was! I was over the greek yogurt/granola/berries. Much as I love them (had it twice this week on my work trip lol)

    Still not sure I'd go again but am glad I did it that time. If the kids wanted to (for the swag) I would.

    It was SUCH a fabulous afternoon and evening. I know I don't have any pictures of it but it really was a huge trip highlight. I am truly blessed to have family I enjoy so much.

    Yep! And Mark did a better job on the pictures for sure, we were totally rushed.

    You really wouldn't have vertigo on this one. Koko...yeah. Diamond Head looks steeper in the pictures than we thought it was. Put it this way...I don't think the E's would have whined. :rotfl2:

    Oh it was!!!!!!!!!! I hit the jackpot in the family category

    We are a couple of extremes

    Extreme slugs

    Extreme gluttons

    Extreme loungers

    and occasionally, we really like to move. :thumbsup2

    Last FULL day but we have a pretty darn full real "last" day before heading to the airport. So not done yet!!!!!!!!

    Yeah, laundry is meh but coming home and not having to deal with it is priceless!
     
  17. BowlingAriel

    BowlingAriel Wishin Upon That Lottery Star

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    Do all the rooms have stackable washer / dryer ? Do any have full size like OKW ?

    Has anyone shipped laundry stuff , toiletries, heavier incidentals ahead of ur trip to save on luggage weight & higher costs in stores ?
     
  18. eandesmom

    eandesmom I'm with Beast

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    I've not stayed in a larger villa to confirm but I'd bet they are stackable with the possible exception of the grand villas. I believe OKW is the only one with full size. Shipping to Hawaii is very expensive, honestly the baggage fee for one extra checked bag would be significantly less. Significantly. I ship work items there all the time, it's nuts, Or just buy the items there at costco, target or Safeway. As to higher costs in stores, depends on where you live. Wasn't any worse than Seattle. At least as long as you stick to those stores. Buy everything at Aulani or the ABC store and yes, you will pay more.
     
  19. Captain_Oblivious

    Captain_Oblivious DIS Dad #257

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    Very sad day indeed. :sad1:

    At least you gave us a peek inside the conference center. :thumbsup2

    Looked like a tasty sandwich!

    To fondly remember all of the Kona options?:confused3

    Not too shabby at all.

    That is such a cool hike. I like the pictures of Jeff in the tunnel, it looks like he's going through at warp speed!:rotfl2:

    This must have been a walk in the park after Koko Head.

    I think you did pretty well with the pictures. Glad you squeezed it in! Like you said, it's worth it just for the view!

    ::yes::

    And others, where you get together and suddenly remember why you went so long without trying to see them? :rotfl:

    One of the best sentences in the English language: "It's not just you." :thumbsup2:cool1:


    :thumbsup2 for DIS meets!
     
  20. afwdwfan

    afwdwfan DIS Dad #460

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    Looks like an action packed day! I'm glad that you were able to spend some time with your cousins. As much as you did and saw while you were there, the description of that afternoon and just catching up sounds very relaxing and fun.
     
  21. jwwi

    jwwi DIS Veteran

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    That looks like a great hike up Diamond Head. Great views from the top!
    Have really enjoyed reading your TR. Love your Chicago mug too!
     

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