A Hui Hou

If you know me, have read this blog or follow my Facebook business page, you KNOW that I am a huge Disney fan!  I won’t bore you with the particulars, but let’s just say I take every opportunity available to do anything remotely Disney related!  And when I found out I was going to be able to visit my sister in Hawai’i, I immediately found out how we could make a visit to Disney’s Aulani a reality!

For three amazing days and two fabulous nights, we felt like queens on vacation – gorgeous beaches, fabulous pools, no shortage of activities and sunsets beyond compare.  We enjoyed meeting characters, the lazy river, snorkeling and a sense of calm and rejuvenation – which by itself was miraculous while traveling with two toddlers!!!

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I will seriously go over the recommended blog parameters.  I kept taking so many – because it is SO beautiful!!!!  I would love to share with you my favorite pictures from Aulani – descriptions in the captions.

I love how Disney gently weaves the history, culture and Hawai’ian experience throughout this incredible resort – from the shave ice stations, to Dole whip…..yes, mom – DOLE WHIP, to the exposure of Hawai’ian words and folklore into the very space surrounding guests.  As with all my experiences with Disney so far, I feel enveloped in the theme of Aulani and have to say A Hui Hou…..until we meet again!

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Koi Pond with the lobby in the background

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Main pool at Aulani

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View from the 11th floor towards the garden/pool area

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Lagoon 1 – Aulani’s beach area – Fabulous snorkeling and if you are staying at Aulani, there are free beach toys, boogie boards and beach chairs! Paddle boards and snorkel gear for rent.

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View from one of our balconies – and Char’s first shave ice! AND the 5 beautiful leis we received at check in!

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You know you’re a tourist in Hawai’i if you have leis in your fridge! They were just too beautiful not to keep!

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Enjoying the lazy river!

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Sunset from the infinity pool.

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Sunset looking over the beach

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#thisleigetsaround

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Char playing her Ukulele at sunset…so perfectly cliche!!!

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Stunning sunset off Sunset Point

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Sunset Perfection!!!

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My plate loaded up for our character breakfast.

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OK – this is stinkin’ adorable….half a banana swimming in a bucket of blueberries eating a goldfish!!!

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All us girls with Mickey – Look at the smiles…THIS is what making memories is all about!!!

 

 

 

First Rays of Sun

This morning (Sunday), Charlotte and I took advantage of the fact that our bodies are still on East Coast time and decided to watch the sunrise somewhere cool!  I did some digging and found that the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail has some rave reviews, not only for the hike, but also for the views.

We got up at 4:15am Honolulu time and headed out shortly afterwards.  We set our GPS (because I am really lost around here still) and off we went with flashlights, water and snacks.  Along the way, we stopped at a “scenic area” and caught a gorgeous glimpse of the moon getting ready to set.  It was so bright – no filters – just bright moon light!

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We arrived at the trail head entrance but the gate was still locked, so we, along with tons of other people venturing out to see the sunrise, headed around the gate on foot and began our trek.  It was about 5:30am and it was still very dark – but we kept our flashlights off most of the way to enjoy the feel of the place.

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About halfway, we started to see the first rays of sun.  It was a great trail, traveled so much that it was paved some time ago to make the trek more accessible, but still, we were huffing and puffing our way up the hill and enjoyed the occasional stop to take a picture (catch our breath).

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We made it to the top (we were the first ones there) around 6:10am, did a video and waited until sunrise – 6:26am.  The sky lighting gradually was really pretty and peaceful and it was sweet to share this with Charlotte.

We watched not only the sunrise, but also waves of rain move across the ocean towards the land.  The showers missed us but on the other side of the point, we were treated to not only stunning vistas, but also the tail end of a rainbow.  How pretty!!!

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Our journey back down was like a gift – our way up was mostly dark and we really could only see the area immediately surrounding the path, but the journey down revealed all that we had missed.  It was rather poetic – when our mind is focused on a singular task, we are often blinded to what is around us.  Sometimes it is only after the goal is accomplished do we take the time to look around and marvel at what we missed!

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This was a great way to spend an early morning and I encourage everyone who visits to do this in some way – either take the hike or find an easterly facing beach and catch the first rays of sun.  Every day is a new opportunity to be a better version of you; to love people more; to cherish others more; to look for the beauty you passed by while focused on your goal.  Don’t miss out!

Sunrises and Sunsets…iconic views of travel.

I have a thing for sunrises and sunsets.  They signify the beginning and the end.  They are an invitation to start anew and force us to put things behind us.  I have found great joy in witnessing these celestial spectacles and even though some of them happened years and years ago, they recall memories that I may have otherwise forgotten.

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November 2018. A sunrise in my backyard with freshly fallen snow.

Argenton sunrise

March 2013. Argenton-sur-Creuse. This was sunrise out the window of our charming 16 century townhouse at the end of the bridge.

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Summer 2018. Naples, Maine. Sunset on Long Lake.

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Summer 2016. Naples, Maine. Tubing at sunset on Long Lake.

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November 2015. Sunset over Monterey Bay, California.

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Fall 2012. Sunset on the amazing island of Eleuthera, Bahamas.

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Unknown date. Sunrise on my street.

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December 2013. Sunrise over Mount Baker, Washington State.

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Sunset. Eleuthera, Bahamas.

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Sunset. Eleuthera, Bahamas.

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Summer 2017. Sunset over Balch Lake, Maine.

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February 2019 aboard the Symphony of the Seas. Sunset while docked off the coast of St. Marteen.

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February 2019. Man-made sunset on the Savanna in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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February 2019. Sunset over the lake from our room in Bay Lake Towers, Disney World.

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June 2018. Sorrento, Italy. Sunset over Vesuvius.

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June 2018. Shortly after sunrise over Vatican City.

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September 2014. Sunset in Eleuthera, Bahamas.

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April 2016. Sunset in Sorrento, Italy reflected in Aperol Spritz.