Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hawaii- Day 1- Friday!

Our vacation started with me leaving work at 3:00 pm.  Matt had gotten off work at 2:00 so we was already home and the kids typically get home around 3:10.  I got home right when the kids did and we all quickly changed clothes.  I had already packed all the luggage in the car so we were ready to go!
We left our house at 3:20 and were on our way to SeaTac airport.  Unfortunately our normal 30-45 minute commute there turned into well over an hour because traffic was so bad.  I’m just glad we left early! 

Security wasn’t too bad and by the time we got through it and then had dinner it was 5:45 and we boarded at 6:30. The kids changed into jammies and played a bit and then we boarded! 

The kids and I all sat together (it was a 3 and 3 across setup) and Matt sat on the aisle across from us.  Things didn’t go great for our seating arrangement here on out…  A lady with a toddler plopped down next to him taking up the window and middle seat (we assumed that she had bought them both).  Her baby had a weird eye infection that was dripping everywhere and was screaming.  A few minutes later a little boy came up and talked to her and we realized he was her son and was sitting alone.  Matt offered to switch with him (he was in the very back row).  Shortly after Matt left seats another lady came down and said she had the window seat and it turned into drama all around (the new lady got moved eventually).  I tried not to pay attention but they were a major pain all flight.  Her baby cried a lot (ok that’s understandable), threw things at our general direction, the mom was generally unaware of what was going on- including at one point falling asleep and her baby CRAWLING down the aisle by herself.  Ugh.
Otherwise the flight wasn’t too bad, P slept from 9:30 to 12:45 and then we landed at 1:15 (10:15 local time).  Aidan didn’t sleep at all.  We had brought pillows, blankets, etc. so kids could sleep easy which did help everyone’s comfort a lot.

We were off the plane around 10:30, waited for Matt to get out of there and then went to get our luggage which was already waiting for us on the carousel which was nice.  We got in the car rental shuttle about 5 later and had car in hand about 15minutes after that. We drove to the Hyatt and got checked in right away.  We all tried to sleep but were pretty wired.  I crashed around 12:30 am (everyone else was asleep by 12:00 or so) and we had gotten in our room at 11:40.

Hawaii - Day 2- Saturday!

I woke up today at 4:30 and was wide awake but exhausted. Jet leg sucks!!  I laid there and dozed off and on for another hour or so but by 5:30 we were all up.  We all took showers and were ready to go at 6:40 and went down to the breakfast buffet. It was included in our room rate which was nice- especially because there were so many options there. Aidan peeked out on the balcony for a bit and was not impressed with the city lol.

After that (7:30) we walked down to Waikiki beach was pretty deserted.  We looked around down there and then got Starbucks before heading back to the hotel a cpl blocks away. 

We loaded up our car and then were on the road by 8:30.  We gave P Bonine and her seabands and she did really well on the drive to the East coast of the islands.  We got to Valley of the Temples around 9:15 and headed in.  We spent the hour feeding the Koi fish, exploring the gardens, paying our respects in the temple,  and finding Matt and I’s wedding bamboo carving:)


We were on the road by 10:15 and headed to Kapolei on the west side .  We got to the shopping center right at 11:00 and we were starving!  Our choices there were: chilis, mcdonalds, subway and a cpl Chinese food places.  We went with chilis since it was a sit down place and cool inside.  Food wasn’t too bad- I hated going somewhere so commercial but we needed quick food!

We then went to Safeway (in same parking lot of shopping center).  Food was expensive!!  Mostly just dairy stuff we noted.  We split up and each took half the shopping list and got all our groceries for the next 5 days at Aulani.  We only planned to eat our once for each meal (once for breakfast lunch and dinner).  This would save us a ton!  I did budget in grown up drinks and shaved ice, etc for the resort though.  Our grocery bill came to $145.  I over bought on non-perishables though knowing those could stay in our car when we went to the North Shore. 

Got to Aulani right around 1:00 pm and were welcomed with Leis/nut necklaces for the grown ups and tiny Menehune necklaces for the kids (P loved!).  We had done online check in so NO waiting in line anywhere.  The lady greeted us as soon as we got out of car, got our leis, gave us room keys, did a little tour of lobby ad got our maps, etc.  Then we were done!  We also were given our daily Ewa.  It’s like the cruise navigators in where it lists the daily (Mostly free) activities for families, adults only, kids only and teens only.   There is a lot to do!  Many free craft activities, night time story telling, star gazing, movie nights, a mini luau, etc.  There is plenty in the kids clubs to do as well!
We went up to our villa and got all unpacked- we rented points from a vacation club member so it was cheap (well, for Hawaii anyway!) and about the same as rack rate for a regular hotel room there.  Piper and Aidan gave us a photo tour of the villa:)

We had a great view of the pools and a slice of ocean too!  Here is the view from the right, left and middle:)

After getting settled (we were let up in our room right away), it was about 2:30.  We were tired!!  The kids wanted to go tot the kids club so we let them do that (I had filled out paperwork ahead of time so it was fast) and we were off!  The kids club is free and works just like the cruise (you were a bracelet and need a special password to get them out).  There are structured activities in there as well as free time.

Matt and I went to the gift shop so I could get my D&B wristlet that I wanted:
And then off to get a drink!  We were very happy to see that they still had the ginger lemonade (vodka based) drink on their menu!.  On a side note, I think our waitress used to be a Disney princess (high voice, silly expressions). Lol.

We walked around the pool area to see all there was to offer here,  Lazy rivers, 2 water slides (one was a tube slide), a private snorkeling lagoon filled with fish, a giant kids play water structure, the beach area (with a protected lagoon great for swimming or beginning paddle boarding), and all the outdoor bars and restaurants.  There is also the kids club house (with a giant backyard they can play in too) and the spa (with a 24 hour fitness area).

We picked up the kids about an hour later and we crashed in the room for awhile.  I started making dinner and we got our in room celebration package delivered that I had ordered -a cute cake for the kids for the week and we got an anniversary package (half bottle of bubble y and some YUMMY treats).


The kids had dinner (lunchables) and then Piper took a bath.  She loves the jetted tubs!
I then popped our dinner into the oven and took P on a tour of the grounds sine she hadn’t looked around.  She posed for some cute pics and then she got her first shaved ice:)  She also then spent some of her money from her birthday and got an Aulani coloring activity packet, a turtle stuffed animal (Squirt from Finding Nemo) and a stitch game. 

We went back to the room and laid around a bit.  Matt and I had dinner (spicy mac and cheese with caramelized shallots and goat cheese on top), kids played in the room and watched tv and we all were very tired!  At 7 pm the kids fell asleep.  I was out at 7:30 and Matt was out by 8:20.  Early night for all of us!!


Hawaii- Day 3 - Sunday!

I woke up completely alert and not tired at all at 5:00.  I laid in bed for about 15 minutes, realized I was not going to go back to bed and got myself up.  As soon as I decided that, the kids were also up.  I got them a light breakfast while I got ready to go to the gym and off I went.  I have never worked out at all while in vacation.  I was quite proud of myself. 

After that I went and got lattes from the coffee bar that had just opened and went up to the room where everyone was awake.  We all took our time getting ready and taking showers then headed out for a morning walk.  Aidan still hadn’t taken a tour of the grounds yet so we all walked around. 

We also wanted to take a walk to where we heard monk seals and turtle sometimes basked.  While we didn’t see any this morning, it was s till a great little hike!  While we were out though it started to sprinkle and Aidan cut his foot on some rock so we headed back to the room. 

 On the way though we found the community hall.- it was pretty cool!  It was a big room where I guess they hold arts and crafts things at times.  When they aren’t though, it’s a place to play wii, play family board games, watch movies together and read books.  You can also rent dvd’s from them overnight if you want for your room.  We hung out for a little bit but then came back to our room because P needed to get ready for her salon apt.

We had booked her the biggest kid treatment- the keiki wahine experience which was a manicure, pedicure, hair, makeup and a new dress.  She LOVED it! It  was pricey (similar to the bibidi bobibidi boutique in the Disney parks) but she had so much fun.  It was much more inclusive then the parks experience too- you get more for your money and they didn’t rush (it took nearly an hour and a half). When she was done and we were out in the waiting room, everyone gushed to her how pretty she was (and how she looked like Taylor Swift lol) which made my shy anxiety ridden little girl very uncomfortable.  She got over it quick once she left though

We headed back to the room for lunch and Matt went to get Aidan from the kids clubs (he put him in there while he went to the gym) and we all sat down for lunch (nothing fancy- just pasta and red sauce).  We laid around for a tiny bit then headed out to the pool for the first time!

First thing on the kids’ list was the lazy river. We forgot sunscreen though so Matt went to run back up to the room and while we were waiting we ran into Goofy.  In the pool!  It was the cutest thing- he had water shoes on lol.  
Matt caught up with us and we headed to the last river.  Aidan wanted his own tube and he jumped in quick so he was a little ahead of us.  P and I shared a tube and Matt had his own.  We made our way around it twice. 

The first time around P took control of the tube and once I realized she was steering I got scared….for good reason!  She completely got me drenched! 


The second time around she swam it with Aidan and had fun tooJ

Then the kids wanted to go down the fast water slide (in the inner tubes).  I honestly had no desire too so I laid in the sun while Matt went with the kids.  They came back and they wanted to go in the normal pool.  Right around now it started to sprinkle.  Within a few minutes it was pouring, then it turned into the hardest most awful rain I think I have ever been caught in. And I live in Seattle!  What’s worse is we were all in our bathing suits lol.  I went from being mostly dry to being so drenched I could wring out my hair!  It was so weird- being hot and muggy outa and having such a crazy downpour.

We headed back to the room to dry off and change and the kids decided the wanted to go to the clubs.  We dropped them off and then we headed to the bar. Luckily, even though it was outside, it was covered.  It was almost easy to forget it was raining since it was still hot out!  I decided it was my goal to drink all the drinks in the bar menu that looked good by the end of the trip. 

 I already had the ginger lemonade yesterday (but forgot to take a pic) so then I had a Kona-red Lemon drop -yes the drink is half full lol- it was really good!:

a Wild Pink Hibiscus (good but a little too sweet for me)-

and a Pineapple Ginger mist (good at first but got too sweet at the end)-

 I do not remember nor cared at that point what Matt was drinking:)

We went back to the room around 4 and tried to sober up with water and then at 4:30 Matt went to go get the kids while I made them an early dinner (bagel bites and frozen fries- so healthy lol).  Then it was time for our dinner reservation so Matt and I put the privacy sign on our hotel door, locked the balconies and gave the kids a cell phone and said we would be back in a little over an hour.  They were great!  I did call and check once and they wanted nothing to do with me- they had gotten settled in watching America's Funniest Videos.
Matt and I went to Ama Ama and unofficially celebrated our anniversary.  We shared some wine and bread then an appetizer (the tuna poke- good but really salty).  Then he got the snapper with lobster (good but not amazing)

and I had the fresh catch (it was a white fish similar to Mahi Mahi- amazing!)

Then we had dessert. I got the chocolate cake with molten middle and ice ream (SO good) and Matt got the Apple Guava tart topped with ice cream and cotton candy- he said it was really good:)  We finished up with coffee(oh- and our free mini red velvet anniversary treat) then headed back to the room. 


When we got back I took P out for a walk and got kinda lost trying to find our room again and somehow ended up in the parking garage.. note her angry "you got me lost look".

 I did take her to the gift store though and got her a Hawaiian Chip and Dale, tee shirt , ice cream and the other Dooney & Bourke for myself.  Note- it is DANGEROUS to shop while still semi intoxicated.  Also, you lose face with your children when you get lost for no good reason…


When I found our room and changed into comfy clothes then it was time for some TV.  Amazing Race was on!!!  Yes it is vacation , but we love our reality tv and I was very excited.  Matt and I got cozy while P took a bath in our bathroom and watched from the little window into our room (she loves that show). 
During commercials we looked over the Ewa for the next day to see what we wanted to do.  We also made a list of all the things we keep saying we should do while we are here so we don’t miss anything:)

The kids then went to bed and I ran down to the kids clubs (our tower is really close which is nice) and signed P up for the 3 hour program the next day called Fish are Friends (it’s a training thing for the fish in the snorkeling lagoon where you learn about them, make their fish food, etc).  Right up my animal loving daughter’s alley!

After that it was 8:15, I got tired and headed to bed!