The title says it. My wife and kids would see the ads for Aulani and ask and beg and wish we could go. And I'd always say, "When I'm a millionaire". BUT....I had a friend who's a DVC owner who needed to get rid of 250 points by the summer and he wasn't using them. So he made me an offer I couldn't refuse. And my first thought were, "Let's go to WDW!!!!" That is, after all, my favorite place. But then I got to thinking how hot it gets in May in Florida...and the thought hit me that Hawaii is always the same temp year round. Let's see if we could get some nights there. The rest is history. We locked up 5 nights in an ocean view room for the first full week in May. So I wanted to show some pics and drop some wisdom about the resort. First bit of wisdom. If you live in the Central Valley of Cali and you want to catch a plane in San Jose on Monday morning, just go there the night before and get a hotel. The commute is always horrible, but this time it was a nightmare. Instead of easing into the vacation, we got to the airport 45 minutes before the flight departed. AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! So I dropped off the kids and wife with a SkyCab and they got everything aboard. I had to race to find a parking place and then run about a mile back to the Hawaiian Air desk. I made the 30 minute cut off by 2 minutes, according to the desk attendant. Then I ran through security and ran to the plane. And after all of that, we finally pull out of the gate, only to pull back in because "one of the passengers wasn't feeling well". So that took another hour to get out of the gate. We finally landed in Honolulu an hour+ behind. Then waited half an hour (with about 20 other people) for the Budget rental bus to pick us up. And then I got lost about three times trying to find a place to eat before we went to the hotel. Things really started out poooooooorly. But it's amazing how it all changes when you finally get to the hotel. Can I just say: Aulani is awesome. You ride in, the valet grab your bags for you, you walk in (if you're pre-registered) and an lady said, Here's your key cards and room! That easy. So we went into the Ewa tower and down the beautifully Hawaiian halls. We walked into the room, and it was so amazing! A one-bedroom suite with a balcony that overlooked the Pacific. When we got there, it was really cold! We all sweaters on and the wind was blowing like crazy. It felt like we landed on Pismo, not Oahu. For dinner, we decided to try out MonkeyPod. It had good ratings for Gluten Free food for the wife, so we tried it out. I can honestly say, it was OK. Not bad, and not great. But definitely cheaper than the Aulani main restaurants. When we returned to the room, we realized that the Aulani luau was right below us. Well, waaaay below us. We were on the 15th floor. But we could see it from above and enjoy the music each evening. That was a real treat! To enjoy the show without forking out $125/person for hotel food. The next day, we headed over to Pearl Harbor. It was a cooler day for Hawaii so it really worked out. I've hit Pearl when it was hot, so this was a welcome change. Here's a few shots. The first, is what you always go to see, the Arizona Memorial. This shot is from the USS Missouri. I finally got to tour the USS Missouri, which I always wanted to do. And the Mighty Mo didn't disappoint. It was really the highlight of Pearl Harbor. I highly recommend it and definitely wait for a free tour. Lots of cool info. More Pearl Harbor and the rest of the trip on the next post.