by Jennifer B.
AllEars Guest Blogger
Day Two - Thursday
The Plan: Pool/Beach Time and Exploring
The next morning we all got up around 4:30am. That was still sleeping in to us! Angela brewed us some coffee and we enjoyed it on the balcony while watching the sunrise.
We knew it was going to be a pool day, so we got dressed in our swimsuits and cover-ups and then went down to breakfast. On the way there I ran into one of my old managers, Lisa, who I worked with on my second Disney college program at Hollywood Studios. We chatted for a few minutes. She was there on task force, which means she is there to train cast members and then goes back to Orlando after a few months. I would love to be able to live in Hawaii for a few months free of charge and just get to train.
This morning's breakfast was in Makahiki Restaurant, which is a buffet. When we were seated, our server brought over coconut bread, which was a little dry, but it still tasted good.
They had the traditional fare of eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. But the cool part was, there was also Asian food there. You could get Miso Soup, Dim Sum, steamed rice, congee, fried rice, and a few other items. It was great to be able to try so many different things. I loved eating fried rice for breakfast. That was wonderful!
Our server brought us some French Pressed Kona coffee, and then also a pot of a Makahiki blend. I didn't care for the Kona coffee, but the Makahiki blend was wonderful and I am not even a coffee drinker. Some of the other food offered was fresh fruits (I ate a ton of papaya), fresh whipped cream, Mickey waffles, bagels, toast, sausage, salmon, pastries, and muffins.
The restrooms outside the restaurant reminded me of the ones outside Sanaa at Kidani Village, in that I love the décor and the sinks. The ones here are bamboo troughs. They were so pretty.
After breakfast we went straight to the pool. We got our towels and set them up so that we were facing the ocean. We got into the lazy river and the ocean and just relaxed for a few hours.
We went back to the lazy river and then we all decided to ride the two water slides. I hate water slides, but I decided to be brave and try them out. The one that you used an innertube on, Beth and I rode together on a tube for two people. I screamed the whole way down and then of course Beth and I flipped when we landed. Then we all did the dark one. Never again. It was so scary for me! I screamed bloody murder the whole time and then after I landed Beth told me, "Angela said, 'What is that noise?' and I said I think it's Jen screaming." That slide magnified and echoed sounds.
We took some underwater pictures after that and had a great time. We all loved the camera. It was great. We did poses of peace signs, mashaka, and Angela even did a yoga pose in the water. It was just fun acting like kids again.
We were on our own for lunch that day, so we decided to go to Roy's for lunch. They closed at 2 p.m., so we rushed upstairs to shower and get ready. The valet told us to go down the road and make a U-turn to get there. We ended up missing the turn and going into the condos that are in Ko Olina. We eventually found it and went in. We were seated just before 2 p.m., so we just made the cutoff.
Ellen, Angela, and I all ordered teriyaki cheeseburgers and fries, and Beth got a fish wrap. The food was delicious. After we finished eating, we snapped a few pictures outside and then drove over to Target. We bought a few souvenirs and snacks and then headed back towards the hotel. There is a small shopping area across the street from the resort, so we stopped by the Island Store there to get a few more souvenirs.
After we got back to the resort went back to the gift shop to look around, then went back up to the room and I started to Skype on my iPad with my husband and daughters while Beth went out on the balcony to read. She came back in a little while later and said they were putting fake surfboards down on the grass and Goofy, Chip, and Dale were out there. We all went out and they were playing music. It was all set up on the grassy area outside the ballrooms. We asked if we could come down and the character greeter was saying to come and join them, and Goofy was motioning for us to go down.
So we all rushed down to see them. Beth opted to go to the gift shop while Ellen, Angela, and I went out there. I was still online with Jose and the girls, so they got to see it all happening on the iPad, which was so cool for them. We played musical surfboards with the characters, danced, and did the surfboard wave with them. It was so much fun to be a kid again, and we were the only ones out there besides a PhotoPass photographer and the character greeter. How cool was this? It was like we got our own personal meet and greet!
We posed for a few pictures afterwards and then left to go back to the room. We decided to walk around a bit and go exploring, so we walked down to the beach and walked to the JW Marriott. The hotel there was beautiful, and the spa looked nice. Beth continued to look at the backside of the resort while Ellen, Angela, and I all went to the front of the hotel to take pictures of the sign and the fountain.
After we got inside we took a few more pictures in the lobby and then stopped by the gift shop to see our PhotoPass pictures that we had taken so far. That took us quite a while and then we headed back up to the room. Beth came back about 30 minutes later and told us she had stayed by the JW to watch the sunset.
We then went down to One Paddle, Two Paddle, which is the quick service restaurant. The service there was incredibly slow. I think we waited almost 20 minutes for our food, which for a quick service is a pretty darn long time. Ellen, Angela, and I all got the lettuce chicken wraps and Beth got a pulled pork sandwich. The pork came with kimchee, so I asked if I could have some also for my wraps. They were happy to accommodate me.
We grabbed a table out by the pool and it was so relaxing with the ocean breeze and the nice warm weather. We ate dinner and then went back up to the room. We all got ready for bed and then sat around and got online. I think we got to bed a little before 10 p.m.
Day Three - Friday
The Plan: Aunty's Character Breakfast and Pearl Harbor
We woke up early that morning and all got ready for Aunty's Breakfast, which we had a 7 a.m. reservation for. It had been surprisingly easy to get up early here since we are all on earlier time zones.
We went down to Makahiki and checked in with the hostesses and waited. Aunty arrived shortly and was mingling with all the guests in the lobby. There was a family of the day, and she spoke with them and offered them the gift of bread and told them a few stories. Mickey arrived a short while later and we all took our picture with him outside just before the tables started.
We were shown to our table and the breakfast offerings were the same as what we had had the day before. So we were very familiar with the drill and went back in to get the delicious food. It was nice to be there again because we were able to try more things that we didn't have room for the day before. The servers just asked us to remain seated until the drink orders had been placed so that the drinks would be waiting for us after we got back from the buffet.
During the course of breakfast, Minnie came around as well as Goofy. Goofy was motioning that he was surfing, so he was "telling" us that he remembered surfing with us the night before. That was nice that we were remembered Aunty then throughout breakfast sang us songs on the ukulele, and we got up and did different parades with her with fish on our hands, and coconuts as musical instruments. It was a lot of fun, and the kids there seemed to really love it. There was a lot of audience participation.
As soon as breakfast was over we left for Pearl Harbor. The GPS took us to a random area that we were pretty sure was not near Pearl Harbor, so we stopped at a Long's Drug Store to ask for directions. Unfortunately neither of the workers there knew how to get there, so we tried again using the store's address as a starting point. We eventually found our way there and checked in to get tickets around 9:45 a.m. The next open time slot was at 11 a.m., so that gave us just over an hour to look at all the exhibits. There were several Navy soldiers there that day, all dressed in their sailor uniforms.
We started with the gift shop and bought some souvenirs there. Then we looked at all the displays. It was very sad and humbling to see all of that and think about how it must have been that day. We walked over to the opposite side and there was a second gift shop and a food court area. Just before 11 a.m., it started to rain and we got in line to watch the movie.
The movie was just over 20 minutes and it showed real footage of the bombing and what happened that day. We then left and got on the boat. The ride was just a few minutes long and we got off and walked into the Memorial. There were a lot of people there, and many people were putting their leis on the placard displays and also releasing some of the orchids into the water. You could still see the oil coming up on the surface of the water and there were a ton of fish swimming around.
After about 20 minutes, we got on the next boat back and then stopped by the gift shop one last time so that Angela could get a pair of earrings. We headed back to the hotel after that and changed. A friend of Ellen's that was there agreed to come and take our pictures. We took several on the beach and by the pool and then in the lobby.
We then changed back into our swimsuits and went to 'Ama 'Ama for lunch. I had a chicken salad sandwich with pesto, Ellen had a chicken Caesar salad, Beth had a crab and lobster roll, and Angela had some pulled pork tacos. All the food was delicious and came with sweet potato fries.
We once again got right into the pool. After a while, Angela and I decided to head down to the beach. I recorded some of the lagoon and we watched the runners for a little bit. There were a few young men in Speedos and swim caps who were running the length of the entire lagoon, then they would get into the water and swim across and then do that again. I would say the lagoon was a good mile and a half long. I couldn't believe it, but that is definitely a great workout! I took a picture of them as they ran past us, and I think it boosted their egos a little bit.
We went back up to the pool area, then Beth went to the Lava Shack to see about getting an ice cream sandwich. There was only one left, so we ended up splitting it four ways. They sold more in the main gift shop, so we decided to get more later on.
We went back up to the room to shower and change and then we went down to dinner at Makahiki. The dinner buffet was delicious! The seating was once again outside. Some of the offerings were fresh seafood, sushi, several varieties of tempura, lumpia, spareribs, and then 6 different kinds of desserts. I had to try a little of each. There were macaroons, chocolate lava cake, bread pudding, and pineapple cobbler. All of the food was amazing!
After we were stuffed to the brim, we went back up to the room and relaxed before bed. It had been such an amazing day of food and getting to see Pearl Harbor.
The previous post in this blog was A Sneak Preview of Aulani, Part 1.
The next post in this blog is A Sneak Preview of Aulani, Part 3.