Trip report: Hawaii(BI)/Aulani - The audiologists take on Hawaii

dachsie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
Following along! I wish my work would pay for a trip to Hawaii! :)

BTW, your doxie are adorable. I have 2 long hair doxies myself.

Jill in CO
Thank you. I now have a 3rd one. He’s a mess. And I just found out tonite that they will no longer pay for the airfare for Hawaii but ours is good. Whew!
Gorg Pictures!
Thank you. The pics really don’t do it justice.
 
  • dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 6 - Pearl Harbor, shrimp and Aulani

    Can’t remember what time we woke up but it was well before the alarm. I was headed to Mass at 7am at St. Jude’s in Kapolei. Was given a shell lei as a visitor which I thought was neat. After church I went back to Hampton, grabbed breakfast and we checked out but left our luggage to be retrieved later. On to Pearl Harbor.

    We arrived about 9:15 and checked in and the offered to change us from 11 to 9:45. That was perfect. We picked up our headsets. Found the restrooms and got in line for the movie before the boat. After movie they led us to the boat to take us to the Memorial.
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    inside the memorial you could look out and see gun turret #3 which is the one that sticks out of the water and the oil that leaks out about 2 quarts a day.
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    they also list all the names of those list that day on the back wall and as survivors die they are also listed on the side pieces.
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    It was a very moving a solemn experience. I am really glad I went. We headed back to the museum area via a boat like in this pic. There were also other vessels like that aircraft carrier in the port.
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    we then finished the narrated tour in the museums and along the shore. The bell from the Arizona And one of its anchors are there outside the museum areas.
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    we were ready to leave around noon. It was steadily raining the whole day so we wanted to move along. We then headed to Haleiwa.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 6 con’t

    When we got to Haleiwa we were hungry so first stop was Giovanni’s Shrimp truck.
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    Difficult to find parking but we got lucky and parked right in front. There was quite a line but it seemed to move fast. We got one order of the Garlic shrimp to go. It was raining and all the seats were wet or full. While we were waiting in line I got the text from Aulani that we were in room 1173. Score!! I knew we got the room I requested.

    We then headed to Waialua to the Old Sugar Mill complex. We ate our shrimp in the car when we got there. There is Hawaiian bath and Body there so I got some soaps and bath salts and then we went to the chocolate store that had all kinds of souvenirs. We found small pouches to carry our phones and cards in Hawaiian fabric for $5.95. We each got one. We also bought coffee for the room and some other souvenirs. I bought some Waialua chocolate which I really liked. Kim had bought way more at Honoka’a so she didn’t get anymore. After our purchases we headed out.

    First stop was Leonard’s Food truck for malasadas. Oh my! We devoured them. We knew we would be back. We stopped at Safeway for a few groceries to bring to the room and went to the Hampton to get our luggage and headed to Aulani.

    We received our leis and the lady brought us to the desk to finish check in. Loved the lobby.
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    We headed to the room and bell services was bringing our luggage. We went straight to the balcony for the view.
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    that view got better when the sun shined. Lol. I ran down to move the car to the parking garage. I stopped at Kalepa’s looked around a min to see what they had then ran up to get ready for dinner at AMA AMA. We had a 5:30 ADR for sunset. Unfortunately it rained all day so didn’t quite work out that way. We got a peak of color tho.
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    Kinda bummed about the rain but enjoyed the meal. I got the corn soup and the fish of the day with Mac nut brown butter sauce and asparagus. It was really good.
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    we headed up to the room and then I went down at 8:30 for the Art and Culture tour. It was really interesting. There were just 5 of us but it was interesting learning about the lobby Art work. It was only 30 mins so headed up to the room and headed to bed. Another full day tomorrow- Kualoa Ranch and Northshore.
     
  • jedijill

    Chiefs fan living in Bronco country
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2005
    I'm headed to Aulani for the first time on Monday and I'm super excited. Your report is getting me in the mood!

    Jill in CO
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 7 - Kualoa Ranch, Northshore and the Big Game

    Today we had an 8:45 reservation for Kualoa Ranch. We looked at Google Maps and traffic was already building at 5:30 so we tried to hurry and get out to get going. We ate breakfast in the room to save time. We left close to 6 and was at a standstill at Exit 1 so Google maps rerouted us through Kapolei. I was actually kinda surprised at the traffic that early. I still don’t think its as bad as Houston traffic but was surprised it was so heavy so early. We got on the H3 and ow, what a pretty drive!
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    After we got thru the tunnel the view was incredible and would have been even more so if the sun was shinI got.
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    We continued towards the ranch to even more spectacular scenery
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    then we arrived at the Ranch
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  • dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 7 con’t

    We were scheduled for the Jungle Jeep tour. We checked in, looked a round the shop a bit and headed to the jeeps. The horses were right behind the gift shop so we stopped to check them out.
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    The scenery is really breathtaking, even in the rain.
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    We made several stops on the tour to get some shots of the ocean also. Just imagine it with our the rain.
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    we also got pics of the Fish pond
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    you also get to see a few movie sites like Jurassic World and Kong Skull Island
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    and we got more ocean views as we went higher on the mountain
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    if you aren’t into movie much and love scenery, I would totally recommend this tour. Our only downside was the rain but you can’t do anything about that so you forge through it. After the tour we shopped in the gift shop and got souvenirs and headed for the Northshore.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 7 con’t again

    we got in car and decided to detour back a mile to Tropical Nut Macadamia Farm. I wanted to see a Macadamia nut tree and buy some nuts.
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    We then decided we were hungry. We headed to Kahaku to the Seven Brothers at the Mill. Kim got a burger and I got a salad with pineapple coconut cranberries and a citrus vinaigrette and topped it with their coconut shrimp. This was by far the best coconut shrimp I had eaten. It was actually macadamia nut and coconut breaded shrimp. I could have eaten more of those but wanted to eat light as I felt we had been eating a lot of heavy stuff.

    We then headed out and stopped at Kahaku Farms roadside stand an bought some cut papaya, mango and a fresh whole pineapple. I had brought my pineapple cutter. Next stop was Ted’s Bakery where we got pie to go. I got the Mac nut cheesecake and wasn’t disappointed when I ate it later that evening.

    We then stopped to watch the surfers for a bit.
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    we then went to Lanikea to look for turtles but we couldnt find a place to park and the beach looked empty so we gave up and decided to head to Northshore Macadamia nut farm. Bought some more nuts and a red plumeria to take home. Hopefully it will grow for me.

    We headed back towards Ko Olina after a stop at Leonard’s Food truck for malasadas. We got back to the resort a little after 2. I ran to Ulu to get a popcorn bucket and refillable mug. I also stopped at Kalepa’s store and bought an Aulani mug, Xmas ornament and pin and headed to the room. Kim made an appointment to get her hair highlighted at 4 and the College Football championship game was on at 3. Yes, I took a break from vacation to watch my LSU Tigers win. Geaux Tigers!

    My plan was to run down to Olelo Room for food to go at the half and run back up to see the rest of the game. I ordered wings and sushi and while I was waiting talked to a nice lady who was visiting Aulani by herself. Got my food and looked at my watch and it was around 5:30 and there was peaks of sunset starting. So I decided to find a pool chair near the edge of beach and eat and watch the sunset. It did not disappoint.
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    After that I ran back up to the room to watch the rest of the game and eat my Mac nut cheesecake. I only missed the first half of the 3rd quarter and I taped it at home so felt it was well worth the detour. It was a very happy day for me.

    Tomorrow we had a catamaran tour and the Luau on the agenda so went to bed early.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 8 - Wild Side Specialties tour, wind and the luau

    today we had booked the Deluxe Wildlife charter through Wild Side Specialties. Highly Recommend them. HIGHLY! They have two charters one boat with 6 and another with 10 people per tour. The boats can hold more but they give you extra attention so you aren’t on a boat with 30 other people. There are two crew members and one is a marine biologist. And there is the boat captain. All were awesome. They talk to you about the animals and their behaviors and get in the water with you. Even if you are a bit skittish about swimming in the ocean like I was they worked with me and helped me. One girl they had one crew member stay with with those lifeguard saver things the whole time she was in the water. Anyway, we were there to see Whales, swim with dolphins and snorkel. There were 10 on the catamaran and one was a toddler. That family stayed on board the whole time but seemed to still enjoy it. The day was really overcast which was kind of disappointing but we were able to sail and headed out of the harbor. We were on the Island Spirit .
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    as we were headed out of the harbor we saw a sea turtle which was neat. Our first mission was the find whales. The captain was in contact with other boats and said there was a mama and calf out so we headed that way. When they get near them they have to shut down the engine and stay a fair distance from them. But we were rewarded. The calf was playing a bit and mom kept steering him away from the boats so he wouldn’t get too close. It was so awesome, 1C0F5EA0-D49C-4D83-B68B-044E265ACA15.jpeg6581B545-CC2C-40D2-B191-A47B924627CE.jpegA543687C-5294-4E8E-A644-54BB06AB15A3.jpeg08417161-C01B-46DF-977E-CA4C89484D86.jpeg
    Then we headed closer to shore where the dolphins were. Started to get our gear on and the captain said to hurry and I knew I wouldn’t be fast enough and didn’t want to hold anyone back so I elected to stay on board. I am Pooh sized so I wasn’t really sure I could do it without splashing too much and scaring them away. I saw hundreds of spinner dolphins anyway. They were all sizes. We could see them swim under the boat and all around. It was also kind of cold with the wind that was blowing. That one girl who was being helped by the crew member got out after less than 5 mins. But we still saw dolphins galore.
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    the ones who went in said it was pretty amazing and a small part of me wishes I had but if I had gotten in then, I may not have gotten in to snorkel so I was pretty happy anyway.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 8 con’t

    the scenery was beautiful. I wanted to throw a few of shots in of that.
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    So we headed towards the snorkel spot and encountered the whales again. I actually spotted them so we sat there for a little while and watched them. They seemed to settle down so we headed to the reef for snorkeling. One of the crew ladies were talking to us about the snorkeling we were about to doso we were looking at her and she saw something out of the corner of her eye and had an expression on her face that made us turn around. The whale had breached behind us. Argh! so bummed we missed that. She saw the end of the splash. Oh well. Time to snorkel.

    We get to the reef and we see a huge sea turtle swim by the boat. We were all so surprised to see him so close non of us thought to take a picture. Lol. We get our gear on and get in. Yowsers it was cold! But you got used to it pretty quick. First thing we saw were plenty of fish and two smaller sea turtles. I had a waterproof pouch for my phone to take pics. I got a few but the water pressure kept the plastic on the phone too tight so I was having trouble taking them so only got a few. I finally gave up and decided just to enjoy it.
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    That top pic has a puffer fish in it - he’s peaking out from under the rock in the top left -and the two bottom pics have sea turtles

    there were a lot of colorful fish. We saw yellow tang and the puffer fish and some blue fish, striped fish. I can’t remember all the names of the fish we saw but it was pretty amazing. I was getting pretty tired of fighting the flippers we wore on our feet so was glad when she said we needed to board. I kept fighting the feet things and could grip the stairs to get on so we took them off and I got back in boat. I was pretty tired but very happy with the tour. They provided Kalua pork sandwiches, mac salad and fruit for us so I ate as we headed back to the harbor. Kim never got in the water because she was too cold for her but we both agreed it was money well spent. Again, I highly recommend these folks!

    We headed back to Aulani and decided to head to the lazy river. This was our first time down to the pool are so got our wristbands and towels and headed to the lazy river.
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    The wind was crazy and it was still cloudy so it was kind of cold. Kim went around once and got out and I went around a second time but I was getting pretty cold so I got out and went to the adult hot tub to warm up.8D4BE8B6-B82B-404A-9E8B-8B19FE08F4A0.jpeg
    It’s a great view. It has two tiers so you are seeing the second tier. Then it was time to go upstairs to get ready for the luau.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 8 - con’t

    we had purchased VIP for the luau back in the summer so we had awesome seats right at the stage. We checked in and received our shell and kukui nut leis, took pictures, were given our drinks and shown to our table.
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    Then we were free to walk around. They had wrist leis already made up that we got and then we went to make our own.
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    Also had ukulele lessons and kapa printing on cards. I did the kapa painting but we just watched the ukulele lessons. They were also pounding taro root for poi and were giving samples. We didn’t do that either. We hit the bar for the drinks. Lol. There were three drinks - a mai tai, tropical punch and another one I can’t remember the name of. We had all three. Lol. Then had the server bring us another Tropical punch. Although I didn’t care for the mai tai so only had a little of that one. Then they had us go get our dinner. I actually though the dinner was good. The prime rib was really good as was the roasted pork. There were purple and regular sweet potatoes, squash medley, various salads and poke. I liked all of it. I tried the poi - no thank you. Lol. The bread pudding was good too.

    Finally it was showtime. Moana came out and Mickey and Minnie too. They gathered all the kids to the stage. I though that was kinda fun to involve the kids like that. They also involved them a little later in the show as well.
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    The show was great. Loved the hula dancing and there was a lady in a red dress that was simply beautiful in dance. The fire dancers were awesome as well.
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    I really enjoyed the show. I have never been to a luau so can’t tell you anything in comparison to another one, but thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The only downside was the wind which was crazy. It was a full day and we were tired and went up to the room to head to bed.
     
    Last edited:

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 9 - Dole, pools and Kapa painting

    Am excited to say that I slept til 6am this morning. It must have been the luau drinks. Lol. It was another cloudy morning. Went to Ulu cafe to get a breakfast flatbread which we split and ate some of our fruit with. It was pretty tasty. I went to get in line at the Pau Hana room to sign up for Animation class. I was first in line and the cast member who was coming in to open up told me about the Hawaiian craft series class that night which was Kapa painting on a tote bag. We had been worried about carrying our purchases home so I called Kim and she came down and we signed up for it.

    Then we headed out to Dole plantation.
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    Got there right before it opened and they had another Maui Divers there so I decided to do the pick-a-Pearl. I got a 8mm cream colored pearl. I was planning to give that one to my niece, unless I got twins. Kim didn’t do it then as they opened the store early. We briefly looked around and went to buy tickets for the train.
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    We passed the pineapple fields, cacao, sugar cane, etc.
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    loved the little garden at the back.
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    After the train we went to get a dole whip with pineapple. Yum! Then we decided to shop in the store a bit. I got a pretty watercolor print buy one of the artists in there and Kim decided to do pick-a-Pearl right next to her. I’ll be darned if she didn’t get twin pearls again. White ones this time, probably 8mm. I could not believe her luck. I headed over to another part of the store to buy something I had seen and some lady handed us keys to win a prize. Mine was a bust but she had given Kim one that worked for you guessed it - Another Pick-a-Pearl at Maui Divers. This time she got a black pearl but it was tinted red. Very pretty and she bought a plumeria pendant for it. I also got a free one so this time I got another white one that I set in a leaf pendant. I was done with that place. I remember seeing at least 5 stands at Dole. There could have been more.

    We headed back to the resort so I could go to Animation class. I really enjoyed that. We drew Mickey and then painted a cel of either Mickey,Minnie or Stitch. I chose Minnie. Had never done the cel painting so was glad I did it. After class we headed to the Waialana pool bar for lunch and a drink in a pineapple. Lol. We couldn’t go to Hawaii without having a drink in a pineapple. We both got lava flows and headed to the beach to drink them.
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    we decided the water was too cold so sat in chairs to finish the drinks. Then we headed to the lazy river again. After a few rounds we went upstairs to change for the Hawaiian craft class

    the lady who taught the class was really interesting. She did a lot of the art pieces around Aulani. She first sent us on a scavenger hunt to pick flowers and leaves. So we headed out and picked all different colors. She gave each of us a bookmark made from the bark of a wauke tree that she made and had us use the flowers and leaves we collected to put color on it. It was really neat using the color of the petals to see what color they would come out on the bookmark. She makes her own paper from the bark and her own dyes. She showed us how to get the bark off the limb and then pounded it to show how she makes it. It was interesting. Them she pulled out a bag of stamps and we picked 4 to use. She showed us how to get started and off we went.
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    I like mine but after the class I started noticing all the patterns all over Aulani and kept saying, oh I should have done this or should have done that. Lol. Overall it was a fantastic activity that I would recommend to anyone, even if you feel you aren’t crafty. Kim had never done anything crafty before and enjoyed it as well.

    After class we headed to the room to get ready for bed. Tomorrow was southeast O’ahu.
     
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    jkips

    Earning My Ears
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Sep 15, 2019
    Thanks for sharing. I've never done the Kualoa tour before. That's now added to the itinerary for my next trip!
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 10 - beaches, blowhole and pools

    So today we ventured over to Southeast O’ahu. We weren’t sure what the weather was doing over there but we were not letting it stop us. First we wanted to get some pics of the resort while fewer people were around and walk over to the edge of the lagoon. We were trying to let traffic die down a little.
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    We finally head out after 8am. Our first stop was Nu’uanu Pali lookout.
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    we were encouraged that the shoreline looked like it had sun. We next went to eat breakfast at Boots and Kimonos. We only had a little fruit when we got up to tide us over.
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    They are famous for thier pancakes with vanilla macadamia nut sauce which we got.
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    Tha pancakes were standard but that sauce!! I could have eaten a bowl of it. The other thing I got was POG juice. Now I love POG juice at Disney and we got some for the room. But this was 100% juice, not with sugars and additives and it was phenomenal. I would go back just for the juice. We were pretty satisfied. There was a Target across the street that we stopped in to pick up some cold medicine and then we headed to the beach.
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Day 10 con’t

    So we were looking at Lanikai beach and Kailua beach. There is lot of parking at Kailua beach but to get to Lanikai, you have to park in a neighborhood. We decided to go to Lanikai first as we felt it may get busier and more difficult to park. Let me just say oh wow!
    7C48B1CE-5043-46A1-930E-907F7DEA4F2A.jpegBE070ECE-C8D7-4320-95EC-B316AD74A6F0.jpegE425CCDC-45B2-4AA4-A622-1F851231EB4C.jpeg
    The sand here was soft and fine similar to the Florida panhandle, just not as white. We took pics and decided to get in.
    A332E09D-2D1A-4B1A-BD6E-CE8A88A1110E.jpeg99366F93-1156-4E6A-B6F2-943267871891.jpeg
    It was chilly because the wind was blowing pretty well so we didn’t stay in long. took some more pics from the beach. Folks it lived up to the “prettiest beach in Hawaii.
    7438A5C1-50D5-4C68-8A0E-CFF289A94989.jpeg2AA9DBB7-E7BF-48A3-B367-A9D120E26D50.jpeg
    so we debated going down to Kailua beach but it was pretty much the same view so elected to go to Waimanalo bay
     


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