Aulani 2017 - Part 1

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I debated doing a vacation recap (1) this far after our trip because I was worried I wouldn't remember most of the details and (2) at all because most people find them boring, but when I mentioned it the other day in one of my posts, people seemed excited about it, so I thought I would share.

This post will probably be heavily photos, but I want to start with a little back story first. So maybe 9 months or so ago, my step mom asked my brother and I if we would be interested in taking a trip to Hawaii for her birthday in November. I won't share her exact age (for her privacy purposes), but let's just say it was a big milestone. I talked to Seth and after some convincing, we decided we were in.

A little something to note: my ONLY hesitation was that Mason is in real school now (as in elementary school vs just preschool) and I was worried about him missing so much school (and how the school would react). Turns out, it's JUST kindergarten (as so many people told me), don't miss out on a family trip for that. So, I took their advice, said yes, and we got an independent study from the school and everything was fine.

So, Kauai was planned for late October. At first, that was just the plan, a week in Kauai. But then as things got closer (literally like August/September), I thought "when will we have an all expense paid trip to Hawaii come our way again and when will we have the opportunity to take Mason out of school like this again?". Answer? Never. So I did what anyone would do and looked in to adding on a couple days in Aulani! It wasn't as expensive as I imagined since it was the off season (though, don't get me wrong, it was NOT cheap) and changing our plane tickets was actually a LOT easier and cheaper than I imagined (by some miracle, the price to change our departure date and destination city was only $150 for the three of us!). With all that falling in to place, we booked Aulani and booked an inter island flight to get us from Oahu to Kauai.

With that long intro... here are some pictures from our first two days at Aulani!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 1 was the day we arrived, Sunday, October 22, 2017. We departed Los Angeles at 8:20am and arrived in Honolulu, Oahu at 11:30am. We had scheduled a taxi to pick us up since we didn't rent a car in Oahu and it took about 30-40 minutes for us to get from the airport to the hotel (the airport is on the south east side of the island and the resort was on the south west side). We checked in, got settled in our room, and then made our way down to the pool area to find some lunch (and some drinks 😉). Something to note about our room: given how late we were booking, for the Sunday-Wednesday stay that we wanted, they didn't have the cheapest room available, we had to go one up to what I think they called the "garden view". I figured this would be great as we'd get a view of the pool area with all the greenery. Upon checking in, we were informed that we could get an upgrade for free, only catch was that it was a handicap accessible room and there was a handicap shower. Sounded fine to me, so we agreed. We got our keys, went up to our room, and it hit me - handicapped shower means NO TUB. I don't know why it didn't click earlier (I just thought it would be a larger tub or something), but that wasn't going to work for us. So we called down to the front desk, explained that we had a son with autism and that he would ONLY take baths, no showers, and we needed to change rooms. They were very nice about it, so Mason and I waited as Seth changed our room. We went from having a gorgeous pool view to... a view of the parking lot and mountains. Womp womp. I messaged our travel agent, saying I paid a LOT to have a view of the garden, so she called and apparently the view of the mountains is considered "garden view". Annoying. But whatever. We weren't planning to be in the room much anyway. So we went down to have some lunch, did a little exploring, and went swimming. We also of course hit up the shave ice booth (SO GOOD - add the Mickey ears (for fun!) and get it with ice cream on the bottom and condensed milk on top - you will be in heaven, trust me).

Day 2, Monday morning, started off fine, but we heard there was a huge storm rolling in. It was currently slamming Maui and was expected to hit us later that day. So, we walked around the resort a bit more and then walked down a path that took us along the beach and past other resorts until it started raining. It wasn't hot, but it wasn't cold either, and we definitely didn't come to Aulani to sit around in our room all day, so we got on our swim suits and headed to the pool. We were some of the only people in the lazy river that day and it was glorious. We swam until we got too cold and then we went back to our room, got dressed, and made our way to the community center to rent an iPad to do the Menehune Trail tour. Since it was raining, the only option was the indoor tour, but it worked fine for us and Mason had a blast. The rain let up a bit later and we were able to walk across the street to the shopping center for dinner. All in all, we were having a blast so far at Aulani!

I didn't originally plan on making this a two part recap but it was getting a bit picture heavy and I took a lot of pictures on Day 3 (when it was sunny again!) and I don't want this to get too long. Stay tuned for our last couple days at Aulani and whether or not I think it's worth the price.


  1. It looks amazing! I must be one of the people who don't think travel posts are boring! I love them.

  2. Oh my word! Such beautiful pictures. We need to make our way to Hawaii asap! I love that they were so kind to work with you on the room thing.

  3. I am reading this while it's grey and spitting snow outside so THANK YOU for sharing. Now I want to book a trip and head somewhere room.

  4. I'm trying to convince my family that we need to do a few days at Aulani! It looks like the perfect place to hide away for a few days while enjoying the island. And, shave ice ON property? Sign me up!

  5. I LOVED following along on IG during your island vacation!! And oh my shaved ice with ice cream and condensed milk?! Hand me a straw!


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