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Old 09-11-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
beemertec
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Default Andrews Family Aulani Trip Labor Day 2018

We took a trip to Aulani this year from August 30-Sept 6 staying in a 2BR Ocean View.


We always like to get a group shot when we get in the car to leave the house.

We flew non-stop from Atlanta to Honolulu and were fortunate enough to have the points to fly in Delta One. It is first class with completely reclining seats. The kids loved it. Now I am afraid they will be too spoiled by it!


We got to visit the Delta Sky Club because of these tickets. It was really nice, and the food was decent. They even had free booze! This is just a bit of the breakfast we had in there.


DS13 doesn't look too excited yet.


DD9 was definitely excited. She really liked the gifts they gave on the plane.


She's all set to take off!


She's not sleepy, but she did want to test out the reclining seats.


He had to get in on the action as well.


This is just one of the two meals that we were served while on the flight.
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Old 09-11-2018, 03:53 PM   #2
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Default Arrival


Almost there!

We were a little let down when we arrived at Aulani. The valet was fantastic. DVC gets free self-parking, but the valet said they will hold the car for 30 minutes while we get checked in. I thanked him for the offer, but since we arrived about 3:30 PM I knew they were busy. I unloaded the car and parked it instead.

We all grabbed our bags and headed for the front door. We have been to Hawaii over a dozen times since my wife grew up there, and we were all looking forward to our lei greeting. As we approached the door there was a water station to the left in case anyone is thirsty. There were two CMs holding leis, blocking the water station, and chatting with each other as they ignored the guests coming in.

When I got to the front desk, I very nicely told the cast member that no one was putting leis on guests out front. I told her we enjoy that part of staying at a nice resort while in Hawaii. I didn't say anything about the CMs not doing their jobs. She responded with, "You didn't get a lei?" Feeling like she didn't actually listen to what I just told her, I looked down at my chest, paused for a few seconds, looked back at her and said, "No, ma'am. I was really looking forward to getting it too." She reached under the desk and started to hand me a lei. I almost laughed, but instead, I told her that the other guests on my reservation would like them as well. She checked us in and then started to hand the four leis over the counter. I turned and said that my family was this way. They were standing just out of the way of the line with our luggage so as not to clog things up. When she followed me over, my wife bowed slightly to accept her lei. At this point, the cast member got it and placed a lei on each of us and welcomed us properly.

Our room was ready so we headed up to put our stuff up and look around a bit.


The view from our room


Happy to be here


View from the kitchen


Master Bedroom


A not-so-hidden Mickey. The flower is a hairpin.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:05 PM   #3
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Default Dinner at Roy's

We have always loved Roy's. The one in Atlanta was our favorite restaurant here, but it was in a bad location and went out of business.

We took the free shuttle over to Roy's for dinner the first evening. Everything was fantastic.


We sat outside since there was a nice breeze and the sun was getting low. It was perfect weather for it. The view was a nice bonus.


DD9 decided to make a bird of paradise out of her napkin while we waited for our food. DW taught the kids how to do it so they do this anytime we eat somewhere with linen napkins.


DS wasn't very hungry after all the appetizers we ate so he had the kids Teriyaki chicken plate.


DD had the braised short ribs. She didn't eat them all because she also ate too many appetizers so I finished them for her. They were surprisingly good. The kid meals are large enough for an adult if you also have an appetizer.


I had the Opah (spelling?) It was so good. It was not what I normally get, but I had never tried that fish.


DW got what is our absolute favorite dish at Roy's, the Butterfish. It literally melts in your mouth like butter.

The kids' meals also came with dessert, but DD was too full for hers. DW was too full for dessert as well. That was bad because I like the chocolate lava dessert as well as the pineapple upside down cake. I couldn't remember which was my favorite so I ordered both!


DS dessert


The chocolate was as good as remembered.


I will remember in the future. The pineapple upside down cake is my favorite.

This was to be our one nice meal out, but I brought DW back here on a date night a few days later. Would you believe that I only gained 3 lbs this week?
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:11 PM   #4
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Default Back at the resort

After dinner, we headed back to the resort to look around. One thing that we noticed was that the CMs here do not really pay any attention to you unless you address them. It has been my experience at WDW that CMs will acknowledge you when you walk by. Also, being a tourist-driven economy, the employees at the resorts usually acknowledge you as well. The CMs usually turned their heads away or looked down when walking by guests. The two exceptions were the housekeepers and groundskeepers. They all nodded and said hello when you passed them.


Evenings are beautiful here.


The picture doesn't do it justice.

I was also surprised at how early everything closes. The lazy river and water slides close at 8 PM. I am used to BLT where the pool is open late. It may be due to the layout though. In order to keep it more natural, there are not a lot of bright lights. That would make it harder on the lifeguards.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:30 PM   #5
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Default Day 2 Pearl Harbor

We woke up day 2 and DS and I went to the fitness center. He is a XC runner, but since we didn't know the area he decided to cross-train while at Aulani. He spent 30 minutes on the stationary bike.

Once we were cleaned up, we left to eat breakfast at KOA Pancake House in Kapolei. It is a fantastic small, local place, with low prices and giant portions. All 4 of us ate breakfast, including tip for less than the price of one adult breakfast at the character breakfast at Aulani. If I can find pictures of it, I will add them.

After breakfast, we were going to Costco, but it was only 8 AM so we had to find something else to do. Since we didn't know until the last minute that my in-laws were going to be able to fly over, we didn't make any hard plans. We decided to go to Pearl Harbor.

When walking up to security at Pearl Harbor, the guard told my wife to check her bag because it was too big. I figured if they were that serious, maybe I should leave my knife with her purse even though it was the only self-defense tool I had on me. I asked the guard if there was any rule against a knife. His reply after looking me up and down was, “I don’t see a knife, shipmate. “ I then asked, “Allowed vs able?” To which he grinned and nodded. I ended the conversation with, “You’re my people.”

Those who understand will get this. For those that don’t, I am happy to point you in the right direction.


Try to go here without crying. I dare you.




Anchor from the USS Arizona


A Navy Chief's retirement ceremony.

It’s was a good day. I got to pay respects to the Sailors and Marines that have gone before me, watch a Chief’s retirement ceremony, and witness a change of command for the USS Chicago.


I also got to stand on the spot where World War 2 officially ended. The USS Arizona and the USS Missouri are sitting next to each other, one representing the start of WW2 for the US, and the other representing the end of WW2 for the world.

I got to watch next group of Chiefs graduate on the fantail of the Missouri. They will officially be Chiefs in two weeks. It drove my kids crazy, but I shook hands with everyone and said, “Congratulations, Chief!” Those young men and women were beaming from ear to ear.

It caused a bit of a logjam though. Other folks noticed what I was doing so suddenly there was a line of people shaking hands and fist bumping these sailors. It was awesome. As a bonus, I got to meet the Master Chief of Pacfleet. I didn’t know it until one of the tour guides told me. It wouldn’t have been a big deal had I not made the comment the Master Chief looked like so young compared to how old they looked when I was in my late teens and early twenties.

It’s not every day that you get to tell someone of that stature that they look like a kid. He just laughed anyway.


This shows the class and grace of the Captain of the Missouri. His crew naturally wanted to toss the body overboard after he attempted to sink the ship. The Skipper explained that a dead enemy is no longer an enemy, that the young pilot was a warrior fighting for his country, something that the captain expected of any one of his crew, and that he deserved a warriors burial. Much respect.


If you have never been here, figure out how to do it. The film and the talk from the retired Marine on the boat had my eyes teary the whole time.

On another note, enlisted working uniforms look a hell of a lot better than the dungarees we wore when I was in.
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Old 09-11-2018, 04:38 PM   #6
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Default Not all fun and games to start Day 3

Hopefully, you can see this video.

https://www.facebook.com/stevenrandr...4045986274362/

Nick: But dad, we’re on vacation.

Me: This is the difference between winners and wannabes. You get easier workouts because you are on vacation. You don’t get to be lazy.

Yes, I am that dad. I’ll take my chances on having my grown children tell me that I pushed them too hard. I think they will thank me instead. Time will tell.

This is how he started the day off for the remainder of his vacation. He didn't really whine that much because he is so competitive. He just has to be refocused. He wants to lead his team to a State Championship XC season for the third year in a row. This is what it takes!
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by beemertec View Post
I could not see that video. Got “The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may be broken or expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.”

But thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. We will be in Aulani tomorrow. We will definitely check out Roy’s when we’re out there.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:29 PM   #8
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beemertec View Post
We took a trip to Aulani this year from August 30-Sept 6 staying in a 2BR Ocean View.


We always like to get a group shot when we get in the car to leave the house.

We flew non-stop from Atlanta to Honolulu and were fortunate enough to have the points to fly in Delta One. It is first class with completely reclining seats. The kids loved it. Now I am afraid they will be too spoiled by it!
You are right! Your kids are forever spoiled now due to those first class seats and the 2BR ocean view rooms. We hope our kids remember this when we're older and they are in charge of our care!
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kuky View Post
But thank you for sharing the lovely pictures. We will be in Aulani tomorrow. We will definitely check out Roy’s when we’re out there.
Roy's is a favorite and the restaurant, Noe, in the Four Seasons next door is very good, also!
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:44 PM   #10
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Roy's is a favorite and the restaurant, Noe, in the Four Seasons next door is very good, also!
Thank you! Another restaurant to check out. 🙂
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