The Twins' Graduation Trip to Aulani ~ What a Great Trip!


#1

Well we’ve been back a couple of weeks and I still keep thinking about Hawaii. I never understood what was so great about Hawaii and why everyone always talks about it as their dream vacation~NOW I get it!

I’m going to do my best to do a Trip Report. I’m sure it won’t compare to CDavis’…his was an awesome trip report, but I’ll cover all of the highlights and try to post some pictures.


#2

Oh I had no idea that you tripped to Hawaii. How long were you there?


#3

The Twins’ High School Graduation Trip to Aulani ~ Hawaii!

Cast: Me, DH, DS, DD and DS’s BFF and DD’s BFF (4 graduates)
Our Friends D, G and their girls La & Lou (oldest daughter graduated with my kids)
DFiL & DMiL

This is our 1st trip to Hawaii. It was AMAZING!

Friday, June 15th.

Up early and out the door, goal was 5:30 to pick up DD’s BF, but it was about 5:40…not too bad for us! We made it to the remote airport parking, grabbed their shuttle and was through security and in our terminal by 7:30. Our flight to Phoenix left at 8:20, ahead of schedule. We arrived in Phoenix early but had to wait our turn for the gate…still on schedule though. Had to hike over to Terminal B (from A) only for them to announce that our plane was being taken out of service and we would have to go back to Terminal A. No worries…it was a good hike, but a much needed walk. We had 5 1/2 hours of sitting ahead of us. Both flights were uneventful and we listened to ipods, watched movies and DS & I played games. Surprisingly, the time passed rather quickly.

As we flew over Honolulu, we immediately spotted Aulani…it’s unique design really stands out. DS’s BFF flew in from Utah to meet us (he moved mid-Junior year) and he said he spotted the resort and thought it was so cool…and was totally amazed when when we drove up to our resort and it was the one he saw from the air! DD’s BFF is a world traveler (her Dad is from New Zealand) and she was immediately impressed with the resort, staff, service and posted on FB that she was at the most awesome resort EVER. Glad we could impress the BFF’s…but face it, we were ALL impressed! Everywhere we turned was a new surprise and everything was so beautiful. We checked into our rooms and unpacked quickly. I surprised the kids with a cake in their room with “Congratulations & their names” they loved it. We ended up getting 2 studios (we were waitlisted on a 2 bedroom, but it never came through but it all worked out fine). We let the kids take the pool view which had an awesome view of the pool and beach, since it was THEIR graduation trip, we wanted them to have the best! We had a garden view across the hall from them. We also had a beautiful view and it overlooked a quiet pool and garden area. There was a wedding reception going on when got there. We were all very pleased. My MiL & FiL booked a beach view, but it was more like a pool view that included a view of the beach…they were very happy. Our friends had a one bedroom, I think a standard view, it overlooked the parking lot, but also included a beautiful view of the mountains and landscape in the distance. They didn’t like the parking lot view so much, but loved the room. Once unpacked, we headed out to explore! Found the campfire story teller and DH & I walked down to the beach and waded in the cove, water was a bit chilly. I couldn’t believe we were really there! I kept tearing up because everything was so beautiful and perfect!

On the way back through the lobby, DH stopped by the front desk to ask a question and they gave him 5 buttons for the graduates to wear that said “I’m Celebrating” in Hawaiian. Our crew was excited. Off to bed around 1am…


#4

Dopey, we were there just a week…but I wish we could have stayed a month! June 15th-22nd.


#5

I can’t wait to hear more!


#6

Great start to your TR, can’t wait to read more.


#7

The Twins ~ The Graduates!


#8

Their cake!


#9

The kids and their view.


#10

Yay! Bring on the pics!!!


#11

Our room, so perfect!


#12

Zoey, it took me a minute, but I figured it out! :slight_smile:


#13

Ohmygosh…!
Adorable kids…the room is not bad either. Lol!


#14

Our view every morning as we met our group on the balcony outside of the lobby.


#15

Thanks Zoey! You can see the happiness in all 4 faces!! We were all beaming and so excited to be there. It was the LONGEST drive getting from the airport to the resort (with a couple of stops along the way), I just couldn’t wait to be there! (really it was only about a 20-30 minute drive to/from the airport)


#16

:heart:Mickey blowing me kisses! :heart:


#17

Saturday, June 16th

The Polynesian Cultural Center doesn’t open until about noon, so we took our time getting up and ready today. We bought breakfast and snack stuff at Wal-Mart the day before, so the kids took turns eating and getting ready. We drove along the western coastline and then crossed through the mountains on the way to the NE side to the Cultural Center. What a beautiful drive, the scenery always changing! We stumbled upon the Shrimp Shack that I had heard/read about, so that’s where we had lunch. It was really good and glad we found it. Food and fresh fruit drinks were delicious! After the kids were done eating, they crossed the road to a small beach and explored while we finished up. It was almost cool enough for a jacket…which was back at the room…but we all did fine, especially once we got to the cultural center.

The cultural center had lots of great shows and information, we thought this would be a great way to start off the trip and educate the kids of how their new surroundings came to be. Lots of “hands on” activities, even for the teens. At some points, it was hard to decide whether to go and see the next show or stay and play a new Hawaiian game.

The center is run by the Mormons and DS’s BFF is Mormon, so it was a must to go and see the nearby Mormon Temple and Brigham Young University. He was quite impressed, as we were. Had we arrived early, he would have been able to go into the Temple, but it was closed for the day when we got there. There’s a visitors center there, and we went in and watched a short film, looked around and visited with an older couple that was there on their Senior Mission Trip. Can you imagine being assigned Hawaii as your mission trip…how awesome is that. They’re there for 18 months and will move on. DS’s BFF will leave this Fall for his 2 year trip, but he’s going to Baltimore Maryland…Hawaii looked pretty good, but I guess Baltimore will have his perks too.

After our stop at the Temple, we went back to the center. We were wanting to do the canoe ride, but also wanted to make sure DS BFF got to see the Temple…and timing was on our side and we got to do it all! We even got a private canoe for our party of 12! The rowers and guides were alot of fun and I’m so glad we got to finish up our day there that way.

At the cultural center, since we weren’t staying for their Luau, we asked where a good place to eat would be…L&L down the road was recommended, but I wouldn’t do it again. It was in a strip center…part of our group walked over to Pizza Hut and others to Subway. We had stirfry and Spam and Ramon noodle soup (had to try it!). The food was fine, but the building and atmosphere left alot to be desired!

After our hour plus drive back to the resort, the adults headed straight to the hot tub for some relaxation. I can’t really remember what the kids did. LOL! I’m kinda liking having kids this age, they’re old enough to do their own thing and you don’t have to worry about them so much!


#18

Great TR! Beautiful view! I’m looking forward to more!


#19

I am loving your TR- and your kids are so gorgeous- many congrats to them on their graduation. The cake looked divine too- I am looking forward to hearing, and seeing, more. Hawaii is our dream destination one day.


#20

Been to Hawaii twice but before the kids… (twins here as well) came along. I suspect we will make the trek soon enough but they are still under 10 so we have time…