Lauren & George's Wishes Wedding- 12.01/16- WP/Attic *Updated 8/30- Honeymoon TR Day 4!

Discussion in 'Planning our Happily Ever After' started by Lauren1027, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. amalone1013

    amalone1013 DIS Veteran

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    I'm so behind! All of your photos are amazing! Just gorgeous. A perfect day!

    I love that you guys got to go to the Christmas party with friends too! What a fun way to end the day. All of your PP pictures are awesome.

    I want to get some photos around the Boardwalk too. We are staying at the Dolphin, so I think we're going to try and do a first look and some photos around the Boardwalk before going to the ceremony.



    DF's dad is also diabetic. We keep teasing him and telling him we'll have a fruit plate for him :rotfl:
     
  2. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you!!! It really was such a perfect day and I wouldn't change a thing. You must be so deep into wedding planning now and anxiously awaiting your big day! I can't recommend Boardwalk pictures enough! It is seriously such the perfect backdrop for any portraits. They are my favorite pictures from our whole day (aside from our Mickey balloon pictures).
     
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  4. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    "At-Home" Wedding Celebration- December 3rd

    Well, the wedding day updates are officially done, but I do still want to tell you all about our "At-Home" Celebration that we had with George's side of the family 2 days after our wedding. As you know, we are local to Orlando, so I don't know that "At-Home" Celebration is really the appropriate name, but I don't know what else to call it! Anyways, I'll spare you the exciting details of what we did the day after our wedding, because it entirely consisted of checking out of the Boardwalk hotel, driving home, spending the whole day cleaning and organizing our house for the dogsitter, and then packing for the honeymoon. Oh, and realizing that we totally forgot that we didn't even bring or sign our marriage license yesterday, so we had to have our officiant (who lives a whole quarter of a mile away from us) come over and sign that for us before we left for the honeymoon. Oops.

    Our "At-Home" Celebration was the following day, December 3rd, and I woke up with my throat completely on fire. Great. I took some Advil and started to get ready, as my mom, dad, uncle, and grandma would be meeting us at our house so we could all drive out to the party together. The wedding celebration was hosted by George's uncle and aunt, who own a properly out in Honey-in-the-Hills, which is about 45 minutes outside Orlando (30 minutes from Disney). It was a casual party out on their farm and the weather was perfect for jeans and a flannel (my usual uniform).

    When we got to his uncle's house, we already started to see some of the cute details that his aunt had put together.

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    We walked back to where their cabin and fire pit were so that we could go say hi to everyone. The plan for the party was to just relax, eat, and celebrate our brand-new marriage with all of George's side of the family who we couldn't invite to the wedding because we wanted to keep it small (George's family is HUGE). My parents, sister and boyfriend, grandma and uncle who were still in town were also invited to join us, so that our families could meet. George's uncle and aunt who hosted the party are Cuban, so we had a traditional pig roast, as well as had some more Cuban food catered. We invited about 50 people to the celebration and I think about 35 showed up.

    Anyways, George's aunt and cousin ended up setting the party up and everything was SO cute! They did such a fantastic job and I was thrilled with their set-up. George's cousin's mom is also taking up photography, so she took some beautiful pictures of everything.

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    I loved all the rustic and wintery vibes! It felt like we weren't even in Florida.

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    Inside the little cabin, we set up our Vinylmation guestbook since we wanted everyone to sign it. We also made little giftbags for everyone that had all the same stuff that we gave out as favors at the wedding.

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    For the most part, everyone just hung around, talked, and got to know each other. It was a very nice, relaxing, and fun party and the food was excellent. I don't really have too much dialogue, as I just went around to different groups and jumped into random conversations at different times. I mostly hung out with my side of the family, since I didn't want them to be uncomfortable meeting everyone for the first time, and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my grandma since she was going back to Montreal the following day.

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    My dad and our gracious hosts (George's aunt and uncle)

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    Me with my mom, grandma, and George's dad's wife

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    Everybody congregating

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    My uncle with George and his aunt and uncle

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    My insane sister-in-laws

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    See what I mean? And my sister totally copying my outfit.

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    George's dad and uncle getting ready to cut the pig (sorry for those who are faint of heart and/or vegetarians)

    One of the best parts of the day was seeing how insanely happy my dad and his brother were. We all grew up in Montreal, which is a pretty large and metropolitan city. As kids, my grandparents would take my parents on camping trips every summer and they have such fond memories of those camping trips. Being out on George's uncle's property really brought those memories back to my dad and uncle and they were just so happy. I don't think I've ever seen my dad have such a great time in a really long time. I was so happy to see them having so much fun. And now that our families have joined together, he's invited to all our other family functions and he can't wait to go back.

    After maybe an hour or two of being there, the pig was ready (as was the catered food) so everyone grabbed their plates and started to eat. When I sat down to eat is when I started to feel really run down and sick. I was trying HARD to fight it though. We were leaving for our honeymoon the next day and I refused to get sick!

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    George has an obsession with Jello and someone makes it at every holiday for him

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    The food was so delicious and everyone raved about the roast pig (which I didn't have because it freaks me out). The Cuban chicken, rice, and beans were excellent though. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves so much, and I would have too, except for I was really not feeling well at this point. Since everyone was pretty occupied eating and engaged in conversation, I excused myself to the cabin, where there is a couch, and went to lie down for a bit in hopes that I would feel better. My throat was hurting really bad at this point, so I didnt want to talk anymore, and the body aches were setting in because I was starting to run a fever. I took some medicine, throat drops, and laid down for about half an hour.

    When I woke up from my little rest, I felt slightly better, but not much. I had to get up anyways because it was my party and I didnt want to feel like I was hiding from everyone. At this point, George's aunt and uncle wanted to do toasts and cut the cake that George's grandma had brought for us, so that's what we did.

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    George's dad and uncle Curtis giving their speeches

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    And I will refrain from posting the always attractive pictures of us feeding each other the cake because no one needs to see those. Haha. The cake was from Publix, and like all Publix cakes, it was amazing. Not as amazing as our Disney cake, of course, but a pretty close second...especially for a grocery store cake. Their buttercream frosting is the best I've had.

    After cake, the party did start to wind down. As people were leaving, I was starting to get anxious to leave as well because not only did we need to finalize our packing, but I was also wanting to try and stop by the CVS Clinic to see if they could give me some sort of antibiotics to kick whatever kind of illness I was getting.

    We packed up all our stuff, thanked George's aunt and uncle profusely for the amazing party they put together, said goodbye to our respective families and were on our way. When we got back into Orlando, we stopped by a few different Walgreens and CVS', but since it was a Saturday, all of their clinics had closed early and I was sh*t out of luck in the medicine department. I did pick up some Airborne and Nyquil for the plane rides, and my mom ended up dropping off some amoxicillin she had bought when she was in Mexico, just in case. I finished packing, drugged myself up, and went to bed at like 8PM...which we needed to do anyways because we had to wake up at 3AM for our 6AM flight.

    The rocky start to our Honeymoon Trip Report, up next!
     
  5. frenchieSteven

    frenchieSteven Mouseketeer

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    Oh Montreal, that's were I'm living currently
     
  6. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    That's where I was born and raised. I love Montreal. I live in Florida now, but all my family is still up there so I visit at least once a year.
     
  7. frenchieSteven

    frenchieSteven Mouseketeer

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    I hope to move to Florida one day. I've been here for a year now, it's nice but I don't really like living in a big city
     
  8. Laurmc8

    Laurmc8 Earning My Ears

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    I've been reading through your whole report and was ready to be all sad it was coming to a close but then yay at-home recap too! Your family did a beautiful job, the tables and decor look so pinterest-worthy.

    Oh and I never did get to comment on how awesome your big day looked. Everything looked so bright and cheery. I loved that your hair went with your decor colors.
    And I am seriously obsessed with your photos at Abracadabar.
     
  9. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My little pop of teal in my hair is seriously the smallest but one of my favorite details from the day. It was indeed a bright and cheery day :) And I so wish we had even more Abracadabar pictures! They are some of my favorites and I wish the bar would have been empty so we could have gotten even more awesome ones.
     
  10. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Honeymoon TR Day 1: Travel Day and DCA

    Time to start the honeymoon trip report! We've officially been married for 6 months now, so I figured if I start now, I could get this wrapped up by our 1-year anniversary. HA. So to recap our honeymoon itinerary, we started off with 2 days at Disneyland, then 5 days in Hawaii! I do want to warn you that this first day will probably have a total of 5 pictures because this day did not start well AT ALL, and by the time we got to California, I was tired, grumpy, and in no mood to take or be in any pictures. Lets get started!

    Wakeup call was, if I remember correctly, 3AM, since we had a 6AM flight to Anaheim. If you remember from my last post, the day before I started coming down with some flu-like symptoms and thankfully when I woke up, I didn't feel too awful. Not great, but not terrible either. After rolling out of bed and getting changed, we quickly packed up our last-minute essentials, hugged and kissed the dogs goodbye, packed up the car, and drove to the offsight parking lot to drop off my car. We've done this a few times at a place called the Parking Spot and I've always had great experiences (its SO much cheaper than parking at the airport), but this time the Parking Spot's prices were a little high so we decided to try a different off-sight parking lot. As soon as I pulled up, my heart totally sank. Instead of a nice, covered parking lot like this Parking Spot, this was literally a gravel rock and dirt parking lot, and the office to sign your paperwork was a freakin trailer. I was so sketched out, but since I had already paid ahead of time and we didn't have time to take out car to another place, we were stuck here (spoiler alert, nothing happened to my car, thankfully). This already put me in a bit of a bad mood because I was really nervous about keeping my car here, but I just let it go for now and headed into the shuttle van to go to the airport.

    About 5 minutes later we were at the airport, so we checked our bags (hooray for free bags with Southwest!), went through security super quickly, and then found our terminal. I think we ended up getting there over an hour early, but I was too tired to eat breakfast so I just took a nap until we were called to board. Like I said, our flight was a little after 6AM, we then had a layover in Dallas for about an hour, and then our final flight to Anaheim. I dont remember anything from our Orlando to Dallas flight because I literally slept the entire time. The only thing I remember was our descent and because of the cold/flu I had, my ears completely clogged up and the sinus pressure made me feel like my head was going to explode through my eyeballs. It was one of the most painful things ever and I was near tears by the time we landed. Once we did land in Dallas, I was fine, but my ears were still fully blocked. I was starving by this time, so we stopped at Subway for some breakfast, then took it to the gate to eat there until it was time to board.

    Our final flight from Dallas to Anaheim was also an uneventful one. I think I napped on and off on this flight, because I was getting excited to get to Disneyland. I also came to the horrible realization during that flight that I never packed my hair straightener and that I would have to find some way to get one while we were in California. I know that sounds super basic of me, but my hair is seriously a wreck if I dont straighten it. I texted my friend Alicia who lives near Disneyland, and she told me that there is a Target not far from Disneyland and she could pick me up once we checked into the hotel and take me there quick. Yay!

    When we landed, I finally started getting really excited to be in Anaheim and to spend the next two days in Disneyland. Truth be told, we were both actually more excited about the Disneyland leg of our trip because we had enjoyed it so much when we went in 2015. We headed over to the baggage claim and waited for what seemed ages to get our bags. I waited off to the side with our carry-on bags, while George was at the carousel waiting for our checked bags to come out. When he finally came over to me with them, he looked SUPER pissed. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that our bags were completely soaking wet. Apparently it had been raining in Dallas when we had our layover there, and they must have not covered the bags when they removed them from the plane for transfer. We opened up our bags to make sure everything was good, but unfortunately it wasn't. Literally EVERYTHING in George's bag was wet and had already started to smell a little musky. I was a little more lucky because I used packing cubes for all my stuff, so only the cube on the top of my bag was wet. George headed straight to baggage claim office for Southwest and told them (pretty angrily) what was going on and asked if they would be able to compensate us for getting our laundry done, as well as the time we would be missing in the parks. They looked at him like he was ridiculous and started giving him attitude, which pushed him over the edge and he started getting really angry and argumentative. A minute later, 2 police officers arrived, and while they didn't say anything, they did stand at the door to make sure nothing got out of hand. At this point, I'm starting to internally freak out that my husband is going to get arrested and we'll never make it to Disneyland, but I cant say anything. I'm too tired and not feeling well, my hearing is still blocked and muffled, and when George gets like this, I really cant say anything because it will just make the situation worse, so I literally just sat there watching. The arguing between George and the Southwest ladies goes on for like 40 minutes and nothing is getting resolved. While he's arguing, I'm filling out the claim form. After finally losing patience and Southwest not budging on compensating us (they said they could MAYBE give refund us if we send them our laundry bill after the fact), we finally leave but the day already feels completely ruined to us.

    We walk out of the baggage claim and to the bus pickup to wait for our Super Shuttle. Thankfully its already there and we depart about 10 minutes later. Its only about a 15-minute ride from the airport to the Disneyland resorts, but George is fuming the whole way. I text my friend Alicia and tell her to not even worry about taking me to Target and that I'd just meet up with her in the parks later. When we got to the Grand Californian we went straight to the front desk to check in. The Cast Member helping us was really awesome and already saw that we were not in the greatest of moods, even though we didn't say or do anything to make him think otherwise. He asked us how our day was going and George said not very good, and told him what had happened with our bags. He told us he was very sorry, got us all checked in, told us that our room was ready right away, and then helped us get our park tickets, which we had ordered online ahead of time. By the time we were done checking in, he then told us that he had put a $25 credit to our room so that we could go do all of our laundry whenever we had the chance. We were so thankful that he did this for us, especially since it wasn't even Disney's fault that our bags had gotten wet and that even Southwest (who was responsible) didn't do anything for us.

    We went up to our room and immediately started laying out all of our soggy clothes so they wouldn't get mildewed. We had decided that we were going to dry those out, go to the parks for the rest of the afternoon/evening, and then would do the laundry when we got back to the hotel that night. We quickly got freshened up and then headed to DCA. We had dinner reservations booked for Carthay Circle that evening, but we were starving now (it was around 2PM) so we decided to see if we could possibly change to a lunch reservation instead. When we got there, they couldn't find a reservation for us at all. Great, this day was just continuing to suck. I pulled out my phone to look at my email confirmation and my dumb butt had made the reservation for the night before instead of that evening. I stared to get really upset with myself, but the nice CM at check-in felt bad for us (and maybe saw our Just Married buttons) and told us that they could probably get us a table in about 20 minutes. Phew. I was feeling so drained by then, so I took a seat at the lounge, while George went next door to go look in the gift shop as we waited.

    When George came back, he told me that he had actually went into Guest Services and told them about our day so far and basically begged them for a Fast Pass to Radiator Springs Racers (since we had gotten to the park later than expected and they were sold out for the day) and they ended up giving us 4 Fast Passes (2 each) for anything. By that time, our table was ready and we were seated on the second floor of Carthay Circle. That restaurant is so stunningly beautiful and I'm sad that I didn't take any pictures in there. We decided to do the World of Color lunch package so that we could get preferred viewing for WOC that evening. For my meal, I got the steak medallions with mushroom risotto and George got the Carthay Circle burger (which is AMAZING...I got it last year). For dessert, we both got the seasonal monkey bread, which was also very good. All-in-all, a really solid meal and we were just happy to sit down, relax, and have a nice meal before hitting the parks for the rest of the day. Oh, and I actually took pictures of my meal!

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    After paying the bill and doing a little shopping, we headed over to Cars Land to go on our first ride of the trip...Radiator Springs Racers! This ride is so cool and I like it so much more than our East Coast counterpart. First selfie of the honeymoon!

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    After we got off Radiator Springs Racers, it was already dusk and Cars Land was all lit up and ready for the holidays. It was so beautiful!

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    Our next stop was heading to Paradise Pier to ride California Screamin! We love this rollercoaster. So much fun! It was starting to get really cold though and riding that + screaming made my throat so dry and start to hurt again. After we got off that, we met up with my friend Alicia to go on Tower of Terror. It was the last month that this was running at DCA and they had already started to do the after-hours in pitch black. I went in line with everyone but am not a fan of drops, so I skipped out on ToT Late Check-Out and roamed the gift shop while they rode.

    After ToT, Alicia wanted to go to Disneyland and since we were craving a mint julep and had park hoppers, we walked over there with her. When we got into Disneyland, it was SUPER packed, like can't even move can of sardines packed, because it was Candlelight weekend and Candlelight was going to start soon. We were directed backstage to relieve the flow of traffic on Main Street and shuffled into Tomorrowland. This was actually perfect because we were dying to ride Hyperspace Mountain, since we only missed it by a few months during our visit last year. Alicia already had a Fast Pass, but we didn't...however, she sweet talked the CM to letting us on. We were having good luck with FPs this trip! Anyways, Hyperspace Mountain was INCREDIBLE and I wish they'd keep the Star Wars theming all the time. Then again, I still haven't gotten to ride the original Space Mountain at Disneyland yet because we were there during the Ghost Galaxy overlay during our last trip.

    After Space Mountain, we went to the Mint Julep Bar to get our favorite drinks ever, then got in line for our favorite ride ever--Haunted Mansion Holiday. I was so happy that we got to do this because we hadn't even anticipated going into Disneyland today. After Haunted Mansion, we popped into a few shops on Main Street, then made our way back to DCA for our WOC fast passes. This time, we had the WOC Holiday version, which was really great, but we liked the 60th anniversary version slightly better. We still haven't gotten to see the original version, since our last visit was during the 60th Celebration and this one was at Christmas. There was an ode to the Osbourne Lights though and it was AMAZING. My jaw seriously dropped. I have a video of it on my Instgram (@disneyboundbecker) if anyone wants to see it. I have no idea how to upload videos here.

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    Waiting for World of Color to start

    When WOC was done, we decided to call it a night at DCA, but before heading back to the Grand Californian, we walked over to the CVS on Harbor Blvd so I could buy a hair straightener. This was only supposed to be a quarter of a mile away, but it felt like walking an eternity. It was so cold outside and I only had a denim jacket, plus we had been up for almost 20 hours at this point. Exhaustion levels were intense. So what I thought would be a 10 minute ended up being closer to 25, plus another probably 20-25 minute walk back to the Grand. At least I got to see the entrance to the hotel all lit up and pretty (even if my photo is horrible and blurry.

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    Finally when we got back up to our room and I was ready to crash, I was then rudely reminded that we still had laundry to do. Ughhhhhh. So we gathered up all our clothes, rolled them down to the laundry room, put them in two different washing machines, went to the Hearthstone Lounge for an Irish Coffee, then I fell asleep in a huge rocking chair next to the fireplace in the lobby while waiting for the laundry to be switched to the dryer. Once everything was put in the dryer, George was nice and told me to go back to the room and go to sleep, which I GLADLY did. I passed out immediately and don't remember George coming in, just waking up the next day for Disneyland!

    And so ends our epic Honeymoon Report Day 1. It was a pretty miserable day, but had its ups as well...afterall, we were at Disneyland! Will Day 2 get better? Find out next time!
     
  11. tink18

    tink18 Mouseketeer

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    Just caught up on your trip report and love it, I'm just starting to plan our wedding and love the look of the Attic, think I've fallen in love with it from your pictures
     
  12. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I can't recommend the Attic enough! Its one of my favorite places in all of Disney and I'm so sad that its not open to the public. I want to keep going back there! Good luck with wedding planning!
     
  13. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

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    Hi! I'd read a few of your posts from your wedding stuff here and there, but this is the first time I've finally had the chance to get all caught up. As someone who's about to be a Disney bride (Escape wedding in August) it was really exciting for me to see all your prep and your ceremony! I love your photos. It's making me already regret not splurging on outside photography! But Cricket's work is beautiful, so maybe another time in future we're going to be in the Orlando area we'll have to look them up! Sorry to hear about the struggles of your first honeymoon day, but it seems like there were a few high moments to help make up for it. Soo nice of Disney to give you free laundry since it wasn't at all their fault! That's really what makes Disney customer service a step above. Can't wait to read more. :)
     
  14. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Congratulations on your upcoming Disney wedding! It will be such an amazing day...I guarantee it :) Thank you for all the kind words...its been so much fun sharing all the details leading up to our day and beyond! We love our wedding photos so much and not a day goes by that I don't look at them. Haha. Such a worthy investment and I highly recommend Cricket if you get back down for an anniversary or honeymoon session! Day 1 of the honeymoon but it did get better :)
     
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  15. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

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    Honeymoon TR Day 2: Disneyland!

    After a MUCH needed good night's rest, I woke up the next morning feeling so much better and more relaxed. The only issue I had when I woke up is that my ears were still very blocked from the flight the day before. We woke up around 7 for a 9am park opening and got to the gates right as they were opening. It was really chilly that morning and we headed straight to Starbucks for a breakfast sandwhich and some coffee. I don't think I mentioned this before, but on top of my cold/blocked ears, I was also having some wisdom tooth pain (because I'm stubborn and am too scared to have them pulled out) so it was really hard trying to eat my breakfast sandwich, but the coffee was amazing and just what I needed. With happy bellies, we made our way to Tomorrowland for another ride on HyperSpace Mountain. We loved it just as much the second time!

    With this being our second trip out to Disneyland, we knew that the only way to get everything done that we wanted to in one day was to rope drop, and we really did luck out this day. Even with the park opening later at 9AM, we still got a good 5-6 rides out of the way in the first few hours there. After HyperSpace, we headed towards Adventureland for another favorite--Indiana Jones. This is such a fun, cool, and unique ride and I'm really sad that we don't have it in Florida. Then again, it makes me appreciate it so much more when we do get to go out to California. After Indy, we went to Haunted Mansion for a fastpass, went to ride Pirates of the Caribbean (again, so much better than the one in Florida), then back to Haunted Mansion to use our Fastpasses. I've said it once and I'll say it again, I will never tire of riding Haunted Mansion Holiday. We love it so much and wish we could go to Disneyland every Halloween/Christmas season just to ride it.

    By the time we got off Haunted Mansion, we were starting to get a little peckish. With no lunch plans made for the day, we decided to head over to the Mint Julep bar for beignets and our favorite mint julep. This time, we each got our own. George got the plain beignets and I got the seasonal ones, which had candy cane powder on them. The peppermint flavor was just subtle enough and were really, really, good.

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    After finishing our mid-morning snack, we headed towards Fantasyland because I REALLY wanted to ride its a Small World Holiday. I had seen and heard so many amazing things about this version of small world and it was one of the things I had been looking forward to most this trip. I know everyone says to ride it at night to get the full effect of all the lights, but I wanted to see it during the day too, so we agreed to do it once in the day and once after dark.

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    Pretty holiday castle on the way to Fantasyland

    Just seeing the Small World mall at Disneyland is incredible in itself. It is so stunningly beautiful and picturesque that it doesn't even matter if the actual contents of the ride suck (it doesn't, I'm just saying). I had to stop and take some pictures before getting in line for the ride. It was also at the top of the hour and these little figures came out of the clock, which was really neat. I didn't notice on our last trip that they did this.

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    The line for small world was pretty steep--35 minutes, which to me is a lot, but I knew it would be worth it. I was so happy standing in the outdoor queue for this ride. The weather was seriously perfect out and I was really enjoying the day, despite not feeling 100% (though much better than I had the previous day). After 30-ish minutes in line we finally made it onto the ride and I just loved it so much! It was so perfect and Christmassy and I absolutely loved the incorporation of the Disney characters into the ride.

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    Had to take a picture of the Hawaiian part, given where we were going next

    After small world, we went to George's favorite ride--Mr. Toad's Wild Ride! It had a little bit of a wait, but we decided to wait anyways. To kill some time, I went to check my Facebook since I had been neglecting it the last few days and saw that we had been tagged by our wedding photographers in a post. Could this be a sneak preview of our wedding photos??? I excitedly clicked on the link and sure enough it was! I literally squealed in excitement and told George to get on Facebook so we could look at them together. Not only was this a sneak peek, but it was 41 gloriously amazing photos! We were seriously BLOWN AWAY by the pictures Cricket had sent us and it made us so happy and giddy that I don't even remember riding Mr. Toad's because I was so caught up in the high of seeing our amazing photos.

    When we got off the ride, we saw that Mr. Toad's cart was out! We had wanted to get photos on the cart for our engagement pictures the previous year, but for some reason it wasn't out during our trip that time, so we took some then and sent them to Michelle, who did our engagement pictures. George even had his Mr. Toad tsum tsum packed in his backpack. Lol.

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    With no real game plan after that, we walked out of Fantasyland and to the castle to get some pictures there. I mean, did you really even go to Disneyland if you didn't take pictures at the gorgeous castle? We also didn't realize it until we were in the parks that day, but it was Walt Disney's birthday! So we had to get some pictures with the man himself.

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    George was starting to get hungry and wanted to eat lunch. It was already starting to get sort of late and we had dinner reservations so I didn't want to eat a big meal. George suggested we go to Café Orleans to see if they had any lunch availability so we walked over there. The woman at the door told us unfortunately there were no more reservations for the day, but when George went on the Disneyland app, he found one for 2:40, which was a little over an hour away, so he made it. With some time to spare, we went over to Big Thunder Mountain and rode that. We really love Disneyland's version of this ride as well (a common trend, it appears). While its mostly exactly the same as WDW's version, which is one of our favorite rides to begin with, there's this mine explosion scene at the end of Disneyland's version that is just really cool and gives it the edge over WDW's.

    We still had some time to spare after riding Thunder Mountain, so we just walked around some of the shops of Main Street until it was time for a lunch reservation. I don't think I actually bought anything this time around, especially since we went so overboard during our last trip during the 60th celebration. I was on the hunt for a nice Disneyland sweatshirt that I saw a bunch of people wearing around the park, but didn't end up getting it because it was only in men's sizes and even the small was huge on me. Oh well, more money to spend on souvenirs at Aulani (and spoiler alert, boy did we).

    At 2:30, we checked in to Café Orleans for our lunch reservation. Coincidentally, we were sat at the same table as when we ate there on our first trip. This time, I did not make the mistake of ordering the nasty monte cristo sandwich (I know I'm in the minority here). I actually didn't have much of an appetite at all, but I was craving the insanely addicting pomme frites, so we ordered some of those to split. George got a blackened chicken salad and I just got a cup of French onion soup, since I wasn't starving and didn't want to spoil my appetite for dinner. Mint juleps were also had, of course. Everything was incredible and those pomme frites continue to be one of my favorite things at Disneyland. So addicting.

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    After lunch, we walked back over to Tomorrowland to check out the Star Wars Launch Bay. I thought it would be exactly the same as ours but it actually had all different exhibits. They also still had a Darth Vader meet and greet, as opposed to Kylo Ren, which is so much better. We got in line for a picture with Vader, but the line was moving really slow so we just got out and continued to explore the Launch Bay for a little longer. We also got our picture taken at the famous Star Wars wall, before it was a huge Instagram thing, I think.

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    After the Launch Bay, we went to get FPs for Indiana Jones again, but the FP return time wasn't for several more hours, so we decided to walk over to DCA for a little bit. We had heard that the Three Caballeros were doing a meet and greet and since we've never seen them before, we wanted to get a picture with them. When we got there, we saw that the characters rotated every 30 minutes or so, and we had just missed them, so it would be about 45 minutes until they were back. We decided to just wait, since we didn't want to rush around and come back. We sat through the Goofy meet and greet, then there was Mickey and Minnie dressed in their Mexican holiday attire. The photopass person suggested that if the line for Mickey and Minnie started to get long, that we should just get in line then because we would probably miss them and get the Three Caballeros, so that's what we did. However, the line ended up moving fast and we ended up still meeting Mickey and Minnie. They saw our "Just Married" buttons and got excited for us.

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    The Cast Members also saw that and told us we could get to the end of the line and they promised us that we would get to meet the Three Caballeros. They were really nice and were asking us so many questions about our Disney wedding, what it was like at Disney World, and then about the 501st (after seeing George's shirt). The line moved SO slow for the Three Caballeros but as promised, we did get to meet them, and we were the last ones of the evening too.

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    After that time suck, it was dark out and starting to get really cold. George wanted to ride California Screamin, but I sat this one out because I was already really cold and didn't want to get colder. I held all his stuff while he went on the ride and ended up calling my mom and dad while I waited. After he got off the ride, we had to rush back to Disneyland for our Indy fastpass. We made it with no time to spare. After Indy, we walked back over to Fantasyland for our nighttime ride on Small World, but not before stopping for the dreamlights on the castle!

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    As we got into Fantasyland and then turned the corner towards Small World, my jaw dropped. If you thought the Small World mall was gorgeous during the day, it is actually breathtaking in the evening when its all lit up. We didn't end up going to the ride again because the wait had jumped up to an hour, but we did spend a good 30 minutes just staring at this area and being mesmerized by it.

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    After being utterly mesmerized by the Small World, I really wanted to ride the Alice in Wonderland dark ride. We had a little bit of time to kill before our dinner reservation, so we got in line. We waited for 30 minutes and just as we were about to be next to be boarded, the ride broke down and the passengers had to be evaced. We waited about another 10 minutes to see if it would be back up again, but when it wasn't, we decided to leave since we wanted to check in early for our dinner reservation at Blue Bayou.

    We made the walk back over to New Orleans Square and were anxious for our dinner at Blue Bayou. We ate here on our previous trip to Disneyland and it was our favorite meal of the trip. We once again asked to be seated by the water, if possible, but they said it would be at least an additional 45-minute wait for a seat by the water. Since this was our only day at Disneyland this time, we politely declined. We ended up getting seats all the way in the back near the kitchen, which kind of sucked because the atmosphere was nowhere near as amazing, but the food was still excellent and I'll definitely be back again. We each got the same thing--the surf and turf meal, and we split a pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Yum!

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    After our amazing meal, we rode Haunted Mansion one more time. We couldn't end the trip without one last ride on our favorite. We then peeked in some stores on Main Street and then went to secure a spot to watch the fireworks. We went to the Hub and it was so insanely packed, but I didn't want to be too far from the castle. We waited for about 30 minutes and then an announcement came on saying that the fireworks would be delayed by 10-15 minutes. We waited and thankfully the fireworks started. Unfortunately, it was so crowded and I was so cold that I couldn't see anything and wasn't really enjoying it, so I asked George if we could just leave. He was fine with that so we started to walk back towards Main Street and out of the park. He stopped and watched the last few minutes as we made our way out of the park and I'm glad we didn't stay. They weren't really anything spectacular and I'm glad we beat the crowds out of the park.

    Before walking back to the Grand Californian we popped in a few shops in Downtown Disney. George really wanted to go into D-Street and ended up getting some Star Wars Stance socks that he had been looking for. I wanted to go in Wonderground Gallery and lusted over the Mary Blair-style Her Universe skirt that had just come out, but I refrained, especially knowing I could get it at home with my AP discount. We then made the short walk back to the Grand. George ended up getting another nightcap from the Hearthstone Lounge, while I waited in the lobby enjoying my cozy surroundings.

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    We didn't have much packing to do since we had only been in our room for 2 nights, but we did that and laid out our clothes for the following morning since our shuttle would be picking us up early for the next leg of our honeymoon! Stay tuned as we travel to HAWAII!
     
    amalone1013 likes this.
  16. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,022
    What a nice day at Disney! I really loved IASM all lit up at night <3 I think I'd wait that long for the 3 caballeros, too! What a cool meet!

    Can't wait to hear about Hawaii...
     
  17. amalone1013

    amalone1013 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Messages:
    902
    The nasty monte cristo - you hurt me! :rotfl: It's definitely a weird thing that you love or hate. I couldn't get Zack to touch it with a 10 foot pole! To me, it's kind of like a breakfast food. I was not always of this opinion though, my mom used to get it at Bennigan's (idk if that chain is around still) and I was completely grossed out. After I decided I wanted to order one, I tried it at Cheddar's (another chain) before our DL trip because I didn't want to pay Disney prices and not like it. :rotfl: The pomme frites are delicous though. And I haven't had the beingets or a mint julep, I'll have to fix that in April. Blue Bayou is so neat. Oh, it's 1pm and full sun and 95 degrees out? Not here! Nighttime on the bayou! Completely transported.

    That stinks about your luggage. Disney customer service is amazing. Still, you weren't planning to stay up doing laundry! What a good hubby! ;)

    I need to see the parks for the Holidays. It's beautiful! I love that they do the ride overlays, and the Carsland decorations (or at least, I love the idea :laughing:).

    I can't wait to hear about Hawaii/Aulani! It's on my list... which is a very long list...
     
  18. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    I still love looking back at those IASM pictures. Truly so beautiful and makes me want to go back for every Christmas season. 3 Caballeros were awesome and I don't know why they haven't brought them to WDW yet...I mean come on, we do have the Mexico pavilion. Hawaii is up next!
     
    MeghanEmily likes this.
  19. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Hahaha yeah, I really did not like anything about that sandwhich...which is weird because I love ham and melted cheese, but that fried, doughnuty bread was just YUCK. And it was so greasy my stomach just could not handle it at all. And OMG Bennigan's!!! I used to LOVE that place growing up but I think they all went out of business...at least they have here.

    Disney's customer service was so amazing. They really didn't have to help us and we didn't even ask...they just did. It sucked having to stay up late, but it could have been worse. That hotel was so, so nice and it was awesome hanging out in the super cozy lobby...even if I was half asleep.

    My travel list is very long too! Hawaii/Aulani wasn't even close to the top of it, but it was our honeymoon and it felt like the most honeymoon-ish place. We'll get to see Europe and Japan another time :)
     
  20. Lauren1027

    Lauren1027 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2013
    Messages:
    296
    Honeymoon TR Day 3: Travel Day to HAWAII!

    When the alarm went off at 6AM, I was up and ready to go! This is just a small perk of being from the east coast and vacationing on the west...waking up is not nearly as difficult. I quickly got ready and then finished packing the rest of my clothes and toiletries and was out the door. We checked out of the Grand Californian and waited in the gorgeous lobby for our Super Shuttle to pick us at 7:30 to take us to LAX for our flight to Hawaii. Our van arrived right on time and we bid a fond farewell to the Grand Californian. We loved this hotel and its proximity to the parks! While I loved the theming of the Disneyland Hotel better, this hotel was definitely grander (pun intended) and we had such great service here. We will definitely be back (if we get another discount).

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    One last picture of our pretty lobby

    Once we were settled into the van and on our way to LAX (the ride there was about 40-45 minutes), I started to check my email/Facebook/Instagram and I saw we had an email from DFTW. I opened it to see what it was and saw that we were being credited $1,200 back to our account! This was the return of our $1,000 security deposit plus a little extra because our guests didn't think as much alcohol as Disney predicted (YAY!). We were super excited about the amount we would be getting back and decided that this would be our honeymoon spending money. Cha-Ching! Spoiler alert: this money went quickly because Hawaii is EXPENSIVE, but it was definitely enough to get everything we wanted plus some nice meals :)

    When we got to LAX we waited in probably the longest security line I've ever been in. I wasn't surprised by this because it is LAX, afterall, and it went by quicker than it looked, but I really had to pee. Haha. Once we made it through security and close to our gate, we got some much-needed Starbucks. I got a latte and a breakfast sandwich to tie me over until lunch was served on our flight. With only a little bit of time to spare after spending way too long in the Starbucks line, our boarding was called for our flight. For our flights to and from Hawaii, we booked Hawaiian Air because it was the most affordable airline and it had great ratings. I was a little concerned when booking it because I've done the budget airline thing before and all my experiences have been AWFUL, but Hawaii is not a cheap place to fly to so I had to cut some corners somewhere. While we did save some money by booking with Hawaiian Air, we did splurge for the extra legroom seats because they were only $100 more per person. This ended up being the best decision ever and worth every penny. When we boarded the plane and saw our seats, we were thrilled. There was SO much space, it was only our 2 seats in our row so we didn't have to sit with strangers, and we were seated just feet away from First Class and the bathrooms, so we were golden. For those curious, from LA to Honolulu was a 6 hours flight.

    Once we took off and got comfortable, I read for a couple of hours. I think about 2 hours into the flight, we were served lunch. We got a little plate of pasta with marinara sauce, some coleslaw, drinks, and a cookie. Surprisingly, everything was good! I mean it was nothing to write home about and probably the quality of a microwaveable Lean Cuisine, but I was expecting it to be straight up inedible and that wasn't the case, so I was happy. Plus it filled me up and I wasn't starving the whole flight. Once lunch was done, I decided to watch a movie. Hawaiian actually had a pretty decent selection of movies so that was awesome. I decided to watch "Annie Hall" because I had never seen it before and I love Woody Allen. It was delightful and I enjoyed it so much. Once the movie service was stopped as we started to approach landing, I tried to sleep just a little bit but was way too excited. The 6 hour flight actually went by so fast because of all the entertainment I had available. It was one of the first flights I had ever taken that I actually enjoyed and found relaxing.

    After our quick 6-hour flight, we finally started to descend and we landed in Hawaii at around 2PM. Since we had upgraded seats, we were among some of the first to get off the plane and we headed straight to the baggage claim, which was a really long walk, to get our bags and be on our way. We were so ready to get this vacation started...again! The first stop on our way to the baggage claim was once again Starbucks! Haha. While we weren't exactly tired, we knew with the huge time change that we probably would be soon, plus we were a little peckish, so some fraps were in the cards for us. No more hot lattes for me because now it was hot and humid. We ended up waiting a little bit with our bags, but thankfully they were not damaged this time around. Once those were retrieved, we made our way out to the bus to take us to Alamo so we could get our rental car. It was about a 10-minute drive from the airport to Alamo, and when we got there, I pulled up our rental reservation and come to find out that I picked out compact rather then economy. They were going to give us a Smart Car, which would not even have held all our suitcases, let alone groceries that we were planning to get. Those tricky buggers! Every other time I've gotten compact, I've at least gotten a Versa or something like that...not a tiny *** Smart Car. So we had to upgrade, and of course they wouldn't have any standard size left so we had to go to midsize, which to someone who drives a Honda Fit is really massive. Whatever, George would be driving most of the time anyways and we had some extra money to upgrade, but it was still a bit of an ordeal that took longer than I had wanted it to.

    Once we got in our rental (I can't remember the type of car we got, but it was a boat), I was once again happy and excited, but we had to make one more stop before heading to Aulani...Target for groceries! Since we rented a DVC villa, we would have a kitchenette and decided that we would eat most of our breakfasts and lunches at the hotel so we could splurge at dinner and on souvenirs/experiences. We spent about an hour in Target stocking up on all manner of groceries and when we went to checkout, asked us where ours bags were. We're used to using reusable bags at home, but never thought to bring them with us. Well come to find out, Hawaii stopped providing and using plastic bags several years ago already. No problem, I was fine purchasing a few $1 canvas Target bags, but that would have been too easy. They were sold out of those, of course! They did, however, have reusable souvenir bags for $4 each, which of course we needed like 4 of because we had bought a whole week's worth of groceries. Ugh, not cool. So beware future Hawaii travelers...if you plan to grocery shop, pack your reusable grocery bags!

    With our car packed with groceries and our luggage, we finally headed towards Aulani! Not 5 minutes into the car ride it started pouring rain. Gahhh. And it stayed pouring as we drove into Ko Olina and up to Aulani. I was disappointed to see it raining, but the sight of the resort still excited me and it was SO beautiful. I was thrilled to finally be there and to see our amazing hotel! We dropped off the car with the valet, who helped us unload our bags so we could head to the front desk and check-in. We were handed some fresh water infused with orange, lemon, and lime, and given the customary leis. I was already getting excited. We went to the front desk to check-in and since it was already after 4PM, our room was ready right away. We got our room keys and headed straight up so we could drop off all our stuff. I can't remember what floor we were on now and I'm silly and never took a picture, but we were pretty high up there. I was so excited when we finally got to our room and opened the door.

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    Aulani's gorgeous open air lobby

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    Before even looking at the hotel room, I ran over to the balcony door, threw open the curtains, and opened everything up to see our view. We splurged on an oceanview room and the view did not disappoint. We also lucked out because not only did the rain stop once we got to our room, but the sun was also slowly starting to set. Gorgeous, isn't it?

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    The view facing the ocean

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    View facing the mountains

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    And the whole shebang

    After being in awe of our view for a little while (I've never paid for an upgraded view at a hotel ever, this was new to me), I helped put the groceries away and then checked out our room! So here's a little mini-tour of our room...the lighting is kind of dark because the sun had just set.

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    I really wanted this lamp, but it was over $200 in the gift shop. Nope.

    I didn't take any pictures of the bathroom or kitchenette, but they were both nice. The bathroom was actually really spacious, as there was a separate, closed space for the toilet, a separate closed space for the shower (which was a rainshower) and then a pretty big sink/vanity area. It also came with all sorts of everyone's favorite H20 toiletries that were unique to Hawaii. The Hawaiian sea salt lotion was my absolute favorite and I brought a few of those home with me.

    After spending a little bit of time getting the room organized with all our stuff, we finally decided to head downstairs to get some dinner (we were starving at this point) and explore the hotel amenities a bit. On the way to dinner, we ran into a PhotoPass photographer taking pictures in the lobby. He stopped us and asked us if we wanted to have our picture taken and we said yes. Sadly, we did not keep up with Photopass on this trip at all. Normally I'm all about it, but since we split our time between the resort and the rest of the island, we weren't actually around the hotel too much during the day so we didnt see Photopass out too often, aside from at character meets. We also didn't purchase the Photopass disk, but I did keep my card and when I entered it into my My Disney Experience app, it gave me the few pictures I had from them for free! Score!

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    Since we had already had a really long day, we decided to just eat at the hotel that evening and nothing fancy. We walked down to the Ulu Café, which is Aulani's one quick-service restaurant. We wanted to take advantage of being in Hawaii so we got a Kahlua pork flatbread, Kahlua pork sliders and a refillable mug to split. Anybody want to guess the price of this? If you guessed $50, you are correct! I know I shouldn't be shocked...especially since the refillable mug alone was $20, but that was hefty for me. I know $15 per quick service meal isn't that much more than what you'd pay in the parks, but in the parks you'd at least get a side of fries or something...this came with nothing on the sides, just the flatbread and the tacos. Also, the food was mediocre at best. I didn't love the tacos, and the flatbread tasted exactly like what I could get at Captain Cooke's in the Poly. It was nice to get some food in our bellies after a long day, but this was our first and last time eating at the Ulu Café.

    We ended up eating dinner outside because the Ulu Café is really small. We got a table near the adult pool and ate our mediocre food under the beautiful Hawaiian sky. It was already dark out at this time (since we were there during the winter), but it was so beautiful and warm out. When we were done eating, we walked through all the different pool areas to get acquainted with them and made notes of good places to sit for our pool days. When we were done looking around the pool areas we started walking through the different bars and restaurants. We were surprised to see that at only 7:30, the resort was almost dead. The restaurants were still busy, but all of the bars were closed already. This was very surprising to us, even if it is a family resort. Not sure if this was just a fluke for the day or time of year we were there, but it was all closed. After exploring the resort some more, it was time to check out the gift shops and they did not disappoint! Aulani has some great merchandise and I ended up doing some major damage throughout the trip. Haha. For tonight, I just window shopped and made mental notes of what I wanted, but most of them included stuff that had Duffy and Shellie May on them. I'm such a sucker for exclusive merchandise.

    After looking in both of the gift shops (there's one that sells all the Aulani merchandise and then one that's a higher end store), we headed back up to the room as we were both started to get really tired. By this time is was probably only 8-8:30, but we were mostly just ready to pass out. We decided we would rather go to bed early and wake up early than forcing ourselves to stay up, so we got ready for bed and hit the hay around 9PM. And so ends Day 3 of our honeymoon trip report. Stay tuned for Day 4--our first full day in Hawaii! Also, I promise there will be more pictures in our next installment!
     
    alohamom likes this.
  21. MeghanEmily

    MeghanEmily DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,022
    This is the best thing! When I flew out west in Canada for a competition, I was getting up at 6 every day! On the flip side, late nights were hard though. We even get a little of this going to WDW since we're East Coast Canada, so we gain an hour crossing the US border.

    Yay! What great news! I'm sure it was easily spent though.

    Woah! A smart car?? That seems extreme!

    This is good info!!

    How amazingly beautiful! Definitely worth the upgrade :lovestruc

    That sounds amazing :cloud9:

    Can't wait to see some more of your Aulani pictures!
     

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