Just the 19 of Us – Oahu North Shore & Aulani – Jan. 2016 ~ Updated 6/4: Complete & DL TR Link!

Dugette

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Hi, friends! :wave2:

As some of you may know, I am just finishing up a Trip Report on our Nov. 2014 trip to Aulani, so why not jump right into this one? ::yes:: You can find the other report here, if you are interested:

Happy in Hawaii - Aulani & Oahu with a Toddler

For those that don’t yet know us, here we are:



I am “Dugette” and I’ve been married to “Dug” for nearly 11 years now:



Our daughter Izzy will be turning 4 in a couple months, but was just a few months past her third birthday at the time of this trip (just old enough to utilize Aunty’s Beach House – the Aulani kids club! :cool1:):



Clearly, she loves Minnie! :lovestruc ::MinnieMo

If you can’t tell from my signature, we are big Disney lovers and have made a number of trips to WDW (and a recent trip to Disneyland). We also love to travel and see new places, in general. So, between both of those things, Hawaii and Aulani were on our bucket list. However, if you’d have asked me 3 years ago, I NEVER would have guessed we’d have gone TWICE in that time :faint: (it was more of a “someday” kind of thing). But, long story short, our first visit came about due to exceptionally lucky timing of checking airfare during a major Delta price glitch and getting $70 flights (yes, you read that right – AND….they were 1st Class :eek:).

The second trip came about because people kept asking me how we knew about the glitch and if we’d gotten fare alerts. Well, no, I had just lucked out, but all the asking made me think…maybe I should sign up for some fare alerts? :confused3 So, I did. Fast forward a bit and I get an alert for $350-ish fares (coach/economy) to Honolulu (from Minneapolis) on United. Checked into it and tons of dates available. :hyper: It turned out to be a legitimate fare (part of a fare war on the airline hubs). We made some calls and, before we knew it, a lot of people we knew were planning trips to Hawaii. So, this trip ended up being not only our little family, but Dug’s parents, his sister and her husband, and a ton of her husband’s extended family - all together, there were 19 of us. Also, our daycare provider booked a trip, but she didn’t go until after we returned. So, this was a very different trip than our previous one – and a lot of fun! :thumbsup2

We spent 9 nights total on Oahu, arriving January 8th and returning home on the 18th. The first 5 nights, our entire group rented condos in the Turtle Bay resort area on the North Shore. For the last 4 nights, nearly the entire group moved down to stay at Aulani on rented DVC points. Everyone enjoyed both parts of the stay, but I am still hearing people talk about how much they loved Aulani (my father-in-law in particular – he was opposed to Aulani as we planned (didn’t want too much Disney, I guess :confused:), but he just told me AGAIN the other day that he’d love to go back there :love:). I’ll cover the full trip here, so you’ll have to stick with me a bit before we get to the Disney magic, but Oahu in general is pretty darn magical too! pixiedust:

I can’t wait to share all of our adventures with you! :goodvibes

Chapter links:

Day 1 - Friday, January 8th
Will I Get to Hawaii?
We're Not in Hawaii Yet

Day 2 - Saturday, January 9th
Waimea Valley
A Morning Stroll
Ted's Bakery & Ocean Sunset

Day 3 - Sunday, January 10th
Slow-Paced Sunday

Day 4 - Monday, January 11th
Polynesian Cultural Center - Part 1
Polynesian Cultural Center - Part 2
Polynesian Cultural Center - Part 3
Polynesian Cultural Center - Part 4

Day 5 - Tuesday, January 12th
Byodo-In Temple
Okay, Settle Down, Settle Down!


Day 6 - Wednesday, January 13th
The Delicious Journey
Aulani Arrival
The Sun Sets on our First Day at Aulani

Day 7 - Thursday, January 14th
Everybody Into the Pool!
A Whale of a Time - Part 1
A Whale of a Time - Part 2
Dinner and a Show


Day 8 - Friday, January 15th

Shake Your Tail Feathers!
Character Fun + Space Goo

The Waikolohe Stream
In the Lagoon
Browsing the Shelves


Day 9 - Saturday, January 16th
A Beautiful Breakfast

Following the Trail
Water & Music
Sunset on the Beach
The Last Sunset


Day 10 - Sunday, January 17th (-18th)
One Last Pool Morning
Duffy Day!
Up All Night!








 
Last edited:

TheMaxRebo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2008
Joining in - and good/interesting to hear the reviews and that clearly it isn't just that it is on Hawaii that makes Aulani great
 

alohamom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Following along. What a nice picture of you and Dug together on the beach, you both look so naturally happy-I guess being at Aulani helped bring those smiles out!
 
  • I_Luv_Stitch

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2008
    Following along, I've followed all your TR's for the last couple of years, can't wait to read this one too! Izzy is such a cutie!
     

    Nora03

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2007
    Wanted to join in and tell you that I'm following and enjoying your trip reports. Your daughter is adorable. You are a very good writer and a patient toddler Mom. Love Hawaii and Disney too. Our two favourite vacation spots.
     

    Princess Leia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2011
    Joining in! I've been enjoying reading your trip report. Hopefully Hawaii is a bit more relaxing than WDW. We're just back from a 2 week trip and I always forget how exhausting it is! Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures.
     

    Miss Whimsy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 6, 2014
    Yay!

    I am reading your other TR too ("I'm not a princess! etc") and this may sound odd but one of the things I enjoy about your TRs is that you guys do such DIFFERENT Disney things than I do! I'm not really a cruise person at all but I am loving that part of your TR. And I will probably never be able to get to Aulani (it is sooooo farrrrrr) but I'm so excited to read about your adventures!
     

    khertz

    Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!
    Joined
    Aug 10, 2008
    Joining in at the beginning of this one, though I may have to check out your previous one as well. We have been pining over a trip to Hawaii recently and toying with the idea of doing a split stay between our Wyndham timeshare on the days we do most of our island exploring and a few days at Aulani just to enjoy the resort. We were thinking of doing a trip just DH and I, but I recently listened to one of the DIS podcasts and thought the kids might have a lot of fun at the kids clubs and DH and I could still do some stuff on our own. It probably won't be for awhile until DD is old enough for the kids clubs and until I think I can handle an 8 hour flight with both of them!! lol
     

    Disney Khaleesi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2014
    Joining in!

    I usually lurk, but I love your TRs. It's so weird reading your 2014 one and then coming over to this one and seeing how big Izzy has gotten!
     

    2xcited2sleep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2008
    Can't wait to follow along with your adventures! Aulani is definitely on my bucket list so will be gathering tips from your last report & this one.
     

    Dugette

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2009
    Joining in - and good/interesting to hear the reviews and that clearly it isn't just that it is on Hawaii that makes Aulani great
    Yeah, being on Hawaii sure doesn't hurt, but Aulani is a great resort within itself too. I remember commenting at one point that I wish Aulani was in Orlando because then we'd probably buy into DVC just to stay there for reasonable airfare. :rotfl: However, not being on a beautiful island and feeling the pull of the theme parks would make it lose its luster a bit. But, yeah, I was really impressed at the turn-around in attitude of my FIL in particular - he went from adamantly fighting against Aulani to giving in when everyone else was going there, to constantly talking about how he wants to go back and wishes we'd just stayed there the whole time instead of the North Shore portion. :faint:

    Following along. What a nice picture of you and Dug together on the beach, you both look so naturally happy-I guess being at Aulani helped bring those smiles out!
    Aw, thank you! It's hard not to be happy on Aulani's beach at sunset with your family! :goodvibes

    Can't wait to hear more! We loved Oahu, and can't wait to hear more about Aulani!
    Agreed - the whole island is beautiful and I think people who ONLY go to Aulani and don't venture out are missing a ton. But the resort itself is really special and a great place to relax.

    Following along, I've followed all your TR's for the last couple of years, can't wait to read this one too! Izzy is such a cutie!
    Thank you! :goodvibes Glad to have you along for the ride again!

    Wanted to join in and tell you that I'm following and enjoying your trip reports. Your daughter is adorable. You are a very good writer and a patient toddler Mom. Love Hawaii and Disney too. Our two favourite vacation spots.
    Thank you! :goodvibes I try to be patient, at least, but not always easy. :laughing: Great choice in vacation spots! :thumbsup2

    Joining in! Can't wait to read about your return trip!
    Thanks, can't wait to share the journey!

    Joining in! I've been enjoying reading your trip report. Hopefully Hawaii is a bit more relaxing than WDW. We're just back from a 2 week trip and I always forget how exhausting it is! Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures.
    Yes, I would say it very much is, so long as you don't go too crazy (like we did when Dug was there on our first Hawaii trip). Our last WDW trip (May 2015, land and sea) was exhausting and I'm hoping our next one (December) will be a bit more relaxed. But that's much easier to achieve at Aulani that WDW.

    Yay!

    I am reading your other TR too ("I'm not a princess! etc") and this may sound odd but one of the things I enjoy about your TRs is that you guys do such DIFFERENT Disney things than I do! I'm not really a cruise person at all but I am loving that part of your TR. And I will probably never be able to get to Aulani (it is sooooo farrrrrr) but I'm so excited to read about your adventures!
    Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying the report. That's one thing I love about TRs - being able to live out some trips/experiences that you may not get to do firsthand. I really enjoy some of the ones that are "different" for me. And, hey, you never know about Aulani - we sure didn't plan to go there, but you never know when a crazy deal on airfare will pop up and change your plans. :thumbsup2

    I'm joining in :)
    Glad to have you here!

    Sorry it took me so long to join in! I'm here!



    This is precious!



    Woohoo, that's awesome!!
    Thanks, I love that Minnie picture. Dug actually took her to that meet himself and I was so surprised when I checked the pictures and saw such precious shots!

    Joining in at the beginning of this one, though I may have to check out your previous one as well. We have been pining over a trip to Hawaii recently and toying with the idea of doing a split stay between our Wyndham timeshare on the days we do most of our island exploring and a few days at Aulani just to enjoy the resort. We were thinking of doing a trip just DH and I, but I recently listened to one of the DIS podcasts and thought the kids might have a lot of fun at the kids clubs and DH and I could still do some stuff on our own. It probably won't be for awhile until DD is old enough for the kids clubs and until I think I can handle an 8 hour flight with both of them!! lol
    You should go!!!! (No peer pressure here :laughing:). Based on this trip, I like the split stay plan - we did most of our outings during the non-Aulani part and were able to pretty much just hang out at Aulani once we moved over there (except for our whale watching excursion, which was 1000% worth missing an afternoon at Aulani for!) I'm sure your kids would love Aunty's - Izzy really enjoyed her time there and it was SOOOOO nice to have it there as needed - even just one night we used it for a short time to meet family for drinks w/o Izzy having to sit there and be bored - win for everyone! :thumbsup2 The flights really aren't too bad either - at least, for us, there are two connecting flights - so not as long of a stretch in the air.

    Joining in!

    I usually lurk, but I love your TRs. It's so weird reading your 2014 one and then coming over to this one and seeing how big Izzy has gotten!
    Thanks for coming out of lurkdom to say hi! :goodvibes It was so weird for me to finish up that 2014 one and see how TINY she was! :faint: It's amazing how fast kids grow and change! (Heck, this trip was now about 7 months ago, so she's even bigger!)

    Can't wait to follow along with your adventures! Aulani is definitely on my bucket list so will be gathering tips from your last report & this one.
    Great place to have on the bucket list! It was on ours (way down there) until we caught the crazy airfare and now it's on our list of "places we want to be regulars at". :rotfl: In fact, Izzy's always talking about, "Next time we go to Hawaii..." ::yes:: Let me know if you have any planning questions!
     

    Dugette

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2009
    Will I Get to Hawaii?

    I have to start off by apologizing for the lack of pictures to start this. :o Don’t worry, there will be way too many once we are in flight :laughing:, but none prior to boarding – and we had some adventures in that time. :rolleyes1

    Our morning started off early. Our departure from MSP was scheduled for 7:25am and we live about 35 minutes away, so our goal was to get on the road around 4am. :faint: We were up very early and got the last things tossed into the car. A bit behind plan, but we felt pretty good about hitting the road at 4:15am. :thumbsup2

    Our plan was to drop Dug, Izzy, and our luggage (or at least most of it) off at the airport, then I would drive over to Dug’s sister’s house, near the airport. For purposes of referring to her in this TR and maintaining privacy, I’ll call her “Kay” and her husband “Jay”, as that’s the first letter of their names, but sounds like a full name to me. :thumbsup2 So, Kay and Jay were already in Hawaii, as they had left a couple days earlier, but they had offered us parking in their driveway. I would also be meeting Jay’s brother in that driveway, as he was going to drop his wife and daughter off at the airport, then park there, and we’d share a cab back. (For those astute readers that are also following the May 2015 Land & Sea report, you may remember that Kay and Jay had sold their house unexpectedly and had to find a new one – well, they had a new one built pretty nearby and that is where I would be parking this trip. It’s a great new house and they really wanted to stay in that same area, in part because they wanted to be able to help friends and family with airport rides and parking. Pretty nice! :goodvibes)

    It was snowing fairly heavily out this morning (January in Minnesota, after all :cold:), but it didn’t slow us down too much and we pulled into the airport at 4:55am.

    Just as we did so, Dug gasped and started sobbing, “No!!! No, no, no!!” :scared: Turns out that he just then realized he’d left his backpack at home. That contained all his electronics, our waterproof camera, and various other somewhat important things. Not things that can easily be purchased once in Hawaii. Ugh. :headache: Dug was upset and hopeless and feeling like his trip was ruined. :sad: We were doing reasonably okay on time. So, I made the snap decision to get him and Izzy and our stuff dropped off (since we were pulling up to the airport) and then I’d bolt home and get his backpack. :hyper: He agreed to call Jay’s brother and let him know that he’d have to take a cab on his own (which he was totally cool with, thankfully). And Dug was assigned the task of arranging for a cab to be ready to pick me up when I made it back to Kay and Jay’s house.

    And then I was OFF! :car: I was focused on getting home and back as safely as possible, given the snow falling, but I also had to be sensitive to the time. As I drove back to our house, I definitely had the thought that there would only be 18 of us in Hawaii and I’d be sitting at home by myself. :scared: But I couldn’t focus on that, I just needed to keep moving. I was very thankful I’d opted to put snow tires on my car this winter, as that extra traction allowed me to move along at a pretty normal pace during less than ideal driving conditions. :thumbsup2 When I made it home, I went straight to the kitchen and, sure enough, there was Dug’s backpack right on the counter where he’d said he left it. I grabbed it, locked up the house, and took off for Kay and Jay’s place. :drive:

    I felt a bit better on this part of the drive, as I’d made good time back to our house and things looked pretty do-able now. I pulled into their driveway at 6:05am and the cab was waiting, just as I’d hoped. I grabbed what I needed, hopped in there, and was soon at the airport. I got through security just fine and headed to the nearby restroom. As I walked in, I suddenly realized that security still had my Fitbit! :eek: I have a Fitbit One, which is the old-fashioned type that clips on a pocket, etc. They made me take it off and put it in the little tray when I went through the metal detector and I totally forgot to ask for it back (I don’t usually need to put anything in the tray, as I don’t usually go through the full body scanners because I usually have Izzy with me).

    After I came out of the restroom, I zipped right back to security and, thankfully, they were able to track it down in about 5 minutes. :worship: Then I headed to the gate to meet up with Dug and Izzy. Jay’s brother and family (pregnant wife and 5 year old daughter) were there too. Turned out that we’d be in row 11 and they had row 12!

    We got the gate check tag for the stroller and Dug obtained some breakfast for us from French Meadow Bakery. I think maybe breakfast burritos? All I know is that it was a huge serving and we didn’t have much time until boarding, so I was just scarfing it down. I felt bad that I had to toss some, though, as I got full and my stomach was still a little fluttery from all the excitement - just hard to enjoy a nice meal under those conditions.

    We were flying United, so it was a bit different than our usual Delta experience. One different thing was that we were in Boarding Group 3. Izzy said this was because she was 3. Seems reasonable to me. ::yes::

    So, the other thing that I thought might be different than Delta was bringing the car seat onboard for Izzy to sit in. In all of our Delta flights, they never once asked to look at it and confirm that the FAA approval sticker was on there. But, in May 2015, we flew Sun Country and they insisted on finding and examining the sticker. So, I was ready for that to happen again while boarding the United flight this morning. But they didn’t ask and let us right on with it. :confused3 Okay, cool, guess it was just a Sun Country thing. :thumbsup2

    So, we found our seats and got situated. I installed Izzy’s carseat by the window, buckled her in, and took the aisle seat next to her. Dug was across the aisle from me, as it was a 2 x 2 configuration for this flight (to San Francisco). We were all set for take-off. The plane was full and it was almost time to go! :cool1:

    And then the flight attendant came over. She said she needed to see the FAA approval sticker on the car seat. What?! :scared1: AFTER I’d completely installed it and had a happy 3-year-old buckled into it just prior to take off?! :earseek: I asked her if she really wanted me to take my kid out and completely uninstall the car seat on a fully boarded plane (the sticker is on the very bottom and I assured her it was there). She said yes. :headache: So, that’s what we did. And it was super annoying and stressful, but she approved it and I had to reinstall and get Izzy back in and settled, as quickly as possible in that small little space, trying not to cause any trouble for anyone around us. Clearly, I’m STILL upset about this. :furious:

    But, yay, time to go on vacation:



    I got Izzy set up with Frozen on the iPad, milk in her Thermos, and Minnie by her side:



    Thanks to a perk of my Flexperks credit card, I was able to activate free WiFi for the flight on my phone, so that was cool (I’m sure Dug had it on his too).

    Because of the weather conditions, our 7:25am flight was still on the ground at 7:50am. They were working on de-icing:



    We took off shortly after that, around 8am. I think this picture is to remind me that there was nobody seated directly in front of Izzy, which meant I (for once!) didn’t have to worry about them reclining and making it too tight for her feet and for me to get to her things below the seat:



    Yay! :woohoo:

    After some Frozen, Izzy told me she wanted to nap. I put away the iPad and got her blanket and pillow out. However, she got mad because she wanted to nap in a regular seat, NOT in her carseat. :headache: I tried to explain that we had no place to put her car seat and it had to stay buckled into her seat. I reminded her that the carseat is much more comfortable for sleeping. But she was crying/tantrum-ing for longer than I liked. :sad2: I think she was tired from our super early morning and just not handling it very well at that moment.

    Eventually, when it was clear she wouldn't be napping, we settled on coloring for an activity. But she insisted that I be the one actually doing the coloring and she would tell me which colors to use and what to do. She is a tiny director and loves to be in charge. ::yes::

    Since she had consumed quite a bit of milk while watching Frozen, she needed to use the potty. I took her to the teeny tiny airplane bathroom. Despite the tiny size (with both of us crammed in there), it was a successful visit and we were soon headed back to our seats. Once there, I asked Dug to watch her while she enjoyed my seat, so that I could run to the restroom myself. A small line had formed in the meantime and I had a nice chat with the friendly lady in front of me.

    Once I returned to my seat, I let Izzy sit on my lap for a bit and we did more coloring:



    In case you’re wondering, she’s just supplementing the coloring she demanded I do earlier. :rotfl2: You can see all the interesting color choices she made for me:



    Blue hair? Sure, why not?! :confused3

    Then it became time to take Izzy selfies, I guess:





    And Mommy joined in:





    By the way, these awesome crayons she was using were a Fish Extender gift we received on our May 2015 Disney Cruise:



    The whole packet just rolled right up and was very handy for travel. :thumbsup2

    After that, she ate some of her leftover breakfast muffin and got crumbs all over. She did some “sleeping” on me that involved sliding off and climbing back on. Eventually I talked her into getting back into her seat and watching more Frozen. When she tired of that, we played some games on the iPad (dots, paper toss, etc.). In case you are wondering, our iPad is really old (the original iPad model!), so all it really can hold is Frozen and a few old games, haha. Works for us! :thumbsup2

    After that, she decided to start watching Frozen again, as she’d only made it through the first 23 minutes the previous time. When the drink service came around, Izzy was thirsty and asked for something. She’d finished all her milk and they didn’t have any, so she had a bit of orange juice (we are not normally juice drinkers and she doesn't really like juice, but it was acceptable enough to her in that moment).

    Eventually, that flight landed. Izzy and I got off with the car seat and Dug waited to retrieve our gate-checked stroller. Izzy found the trash can we waited next to far too interesting :crazy2::



    After Dug came out, we piled things onto the stroller and headed for the restrooms. I ended up dragging a couple roller bags with me and taking Izzy in, while he kept the stroller with him, I think. When I came out, I couldn’t tell if he was still in there or had come out already and started moving along (he had headed into the restroom so quickly that we didn’t discuss first). I remember being really frustrated for a few minutes because we had gotten in late on a short connection and I wasn’t sure if I was wasting time. :hourglass Eventually, I found Dug, though I no longer remember where. :confused:

    We moved along towards our gate, stopping to grab some lunch to bring onboard with us. Then we took the moving walkway the rest of the way to our nearby gate. We were getting close to boarding time, so got the stroller bagged and tagged, then looked for boarding group 3. We got in the long line that appeared to be coming from the 3 marker. As I found out when it moved up, though, the lines snaked around a bit and we were actually in the line for boarding group 2. Oops. :blush: They let us board anyway. They also didn’t really check the car seat, even though we were basically waving it in their faces to make sure they knew it was FAA approved. :lmao:

    Once onboard, I got the carseat installed and we got settled in. Izzy was by the window and I was next to her in the aisle. Dug was supposed to be across the aisle from us, in the middle section, but the seats were oddly staggered, so he actually was a bit ahead of us, despite being in the same row number. :confused3

    Izzy didn’t waste any time starting in on iPad games (paper toss or, as she appropriately calls it, “the trash game”):





    I ate my sort of Greek lunch. I don’t really remember exactly what this was. I know there were olives and balls of mozzarella and bread. I think it was some sort of chickpea salad and a lettuce salad:



    It was fine. Just right since I wasn’t very hungry and just wanted something more snack-y. And, speaking of snack-y, Izzy munched on cheese balls we’d brought and milk we’d just bought.

    Here you can see how Dug was seated ahead of us, yet in the “same” row:



    Also, I think there was some issue with that overhead bin (we didn’t have anything up there - I think ours was above me). I feel like someone tried to cram something in that didn’t fit and it was a big pain and involved multiple flight attendants. Clearly, my memory of the details after 7 months is failing. :blush:

    I apparently took pictures while Izzy ate cheese balls (and we were still waiting to take off):





    After I cleaned up messy cheese ball girl, it was back to iPad games (Dots, this time):



    Then it was back to Frozen yet again :faint::



    I noted that I had broken two fingernails already that day. It is pretty much a rule that I break more than one nail on air travel days, when I never have a nail clipper handy. It’s obnoxious. It’s not like they are particularly long or break often either. Oh, well. :sad1:

    Anyway, after all that activity, it was finally time to take off. And guess who had already nodded off:









    I guess I must have had this view during take-off:



    I noted early on that the couple in front of us seemed to be honeymooners :lovestruc:



    I could just tell. And, sure enough, a flight attendant later asked them and they confirmed it. Nothing wrong with a Hawaiian honeymoon! :cloud9:

    I was a bit worried that the iPad was going to slide right off Izzy’s lap:



    I ended up sliding it away from her carefully and setting it on the ground. I left it running, though, since I didn’t want the sound in her headphones to stop and startle her awake. I was happy to have freedom to do whatever I wanted on the flight :hyper::



    Not to say I remember what I did – probably read on my phone or rested. And I’m sure it was delightful. What I do remember, however, was this form:



    Despite all the over-packing I tend to do for air travel, I hadn’t packed a pen. And they did not pass any out with the required forms. So everyone was borrowing and passing around pens. I saw the girl across the aisle from me (behind Dug) had a nice pen, but people kept asking her to borrow it before I could get her attention. Eventually, I got it and filled out the stinkin’ form and turned it in. :headache:

    Izzy was still asleep:



    And Minnie was resting too. :rotfl:

    The honeymooners were still canoodling:



    So, I decided to treat myself to a very luxurious snack:



    I had picked up the brownie with lunch and I always ask for a full can of pop on flights (gotta get my money’s worth, haha). I hadn’t gotten very far when a little chocolate lover woke up to share with me:



    I don’t have a lot more notes, but the ones I have indicate that Dug saw a cigarette in the restroom trash (he told a flight attendant and she was not a bit concerned :smokin:) and that we had a bumpy landing, though I don’t really remember why – wind, maybe?

    We passed the remaining time before that landing with the iPad, of course:



    It’s funny, we literally only use that thing while traveling. I guess it’s a special treat to watch endless Frozen on a personal device when you never do it at home. :rotfl2:

    Up next: Landing in Paradise!
     

    Dugette

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 26, 2009
    We’re Not in Hawaii Yet

    The honeymooners continued to snuggle:



    We continued to pass the time with selfies:





    We were approaching Oahu:







    Izzy and Minnie spent some time bonding:



    Soon enough, we had landed, disembarked, and headed for a restroom. Then we actually had to walk outside to get our checked bag and stroller:



    It was strange – they just brought everything to the curb in the truck and dumped them off. :confused3 We just barely made it in time to grab our things before they got collected and taken away. We took a few minutes to get our stroller unfolded and bags/carseat tossed on it, then headed for the Alamo shuttle to get our rental vehicle.

    When the shuttle arrived, it was fairly full and we had to stand with our luggage (which also didn’t have room on the luggage rack, so just was in the aisle with us). After a moment, though, a nice gentleman insisted that Izzy and I take his seat. We did, but noticed that our big bag kept rolling around in the aisle because we were no longer standing next to it (and Dug was on the other side of the car seat in between them). Izzy had a good time riding, though – she was shouting “wheeee” the whole way. :rotfl: Who needs fancy roller coasters when you can have a shuttle bus?

    Once at Alamo, we tried to use the automated check-in machine, but it wouldn’t read our card for some reason. :headache: We ended up going to the desk to complete our check in. I had rented through Costco, just as we did on our previous Hawaii trip. As I had done before, I kept checking back on the rates as the trip drew closer, since they seem to drop shortly beforehand. At one point, I caught a minivan listed for just slightly more than the full size car we had planned on. I snagged it, just in case. Well, after talking it over with Dug, we decided to go with that because it could be helpful with all of his family there (even though they had their own rental). This turned out to be a very good decision. We ended up with a Town and Country. It was a little scuffed and scratched up, but was a good vehicle for our frequent party of 7. :thumbsup2

    I hopped in the drivers seat and we made our way up towards the North Shore, with plans to make a quick stop at Target on the way. The drive was beautiful:





    The photographer:



    The driver:



    And Izzy was back there somewhere too. :rotfl:

    And the funny thing was that she kept saying, “We’re not in Hawaii yet.” After much back and forth, we finally figured out that, in her mind, Hawaii=Aulani. Poor kid was so confused and disappointed when we explained what was going on. :sad2:

    More lovely scenery:





    Love how green everything is! :love:

    We also went through a tunnel:



    Oh, and there’s the ocean:



    Another tunnel:



    We made our Target stop to grab a few things we needed (don’t recall what anymore). We had hoped to hit up the great BBQ place we’d visited last time for dinner, but it was already closed for the night. :sad1: It was getting dark by the time we arrived on the North Shore.

    We had rented a condo through AirBnB for our first 5 nights. It was in the Turtle Bay resort area in a gated neighborhood. Dug’s parents and Kay and Jay both had rented condos in the same neighborhood through VRBO. We were nearby, but all a bit spread out as well. At any rate, it was a little tricky to get into ours. The instructions told us that one person would need to get out by the gate and walk to the condo to use the provided code on the door lock to get inside and get the key for the gate. It ended up being tricky for two reasons:

    1.) The road you have to stop and wait on has no shoulder. So, we were just sitting in one of two lanes of potential traffic. :scared: It wasn’t terribly busy, but made me nervous. Especially because:

    2.) Dug was trying to locate our specific condo unit at night. It’s hard not to feel creepy going around and checking numbers at the doors, but there was no other way to identify it. So, it took him a while.

    In the meantime, I ended up driving laps around the Turtle Bay Resort because I didn’t feel safe parked in a lane for that long. Eventually, he made it back out and we were able to open the gate and park in our assigned spot:



    Our condo was ground level and to the right of the mailboxes:



    Then under these stairs:



    There were two doors there, next to each other. Ours was on the right. Once inside, we really enjoyed the nice condo:





    Down below that window is the air conditioner, by the way.

    Lots of extra bedding available:





    Big ol’ TV:



    Three person dining table was perfect:



    Dug got comfy in the living room:



    Nice kitchen (all the instructions for the unit on the counter):



    Entryway:



    Washer and dryer was very nice and useful:



    And nice bathroom as well:



    We discovered that the previous occupants had left a few unopened things for us in the kitchen. One of which was frozen burritos. So, that’s what we had for dinner:



    And, yes, that is some POG (pineapple orange guava) juice I couldn’t resist buying. Though we are not normally big juice people, this is an exception. :thumbsup2 (It's like the juice at Kona and Boma, in case you are wondering).

    We ate our dinner and made some calls to Dug’s family (they had arrived a couple of days earlier and settled into their condos). Dug made plans to meet up with them at Waimea Valley (a botanical garden) in the morning (with Izzy). I had gone there last time and, while I enjoyed it, I opted for some alone time in the morning while they went. :cloud9:

    To wrap up the night in true 3-year-old fashion, Izzy found some plastic measuring cups in the kitchen and decided they were maracas. She then proceeded to make up a song about her favorite subject…and it was called, “Shake Your Poopies.” :o (She still sings it to this day! :rotfl: Yes, she's gross. :crazy2:)

    On that delightful and silly note, we hit the hay. That King bed was very nice after a long travel day. Oh, and we set up Izzy’s tent (Kidco Peapod, which she loves) on the floor of the bedroom and that worked great for her (as I didn’t want her on the sofa bed in the living room with that giant un-tethered TV there). Anyway, I think we all slept well.

    Up next: Waimea Valley and exploring Turtle Bay.
     

    cindianne320

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2010
    What an eventful travel day you had! I can't believe they made you find the sticker after she was already strapped in! Glad you found the condo ok- did not sound very fun in the dark!

    Can't wait to hear more- and I'm so glad you found some time for alone time!
     

    alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    Oh WOW-I would have been freaking out if we forgot a backpack! What a stressful way to start the vacation.
    I guess it was a good thing that Izzy didnt sleep on the first flight so she had a good solid sleep on the second leg and how nice for you to get a little time to yourself while she napped.
     

    schmass

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2007
    Yikes, that is a stressful start to the trip! I'm glad you made it back to the airport in time and that the flight was uneventful!

    Rory does the same thing with coloring. He'll say something like, "let's draw a car!" and that really means that I will draw a car and he'll watch me. Too funny.

    The place you rented looks really nice. It's nice to have that extra space, and the in-room laundry is always useful.
     

    Connect

    Disney News and Updates

    Daily Updates and News

    Subscribe to the DVCstore.com
    mailing list!

    BUY DVC


    SELL DVC


    DVC POINT CHARTS


    DIS PODCASTS

    Top