Good morning blog world. It's a cold one this morning! Woke up to a cozy 53 degree bedroom. If that doesn't get you dreaming of your upcoming Hawaii vacation, I don't know what does. As I write this, there's a kid younger than me, that acts like he belongs on a surf board in the North Shore rather than fixing my boiler, working on our heat. I have zero expectations & frozen fingers. It's a great day at Wain Manor. Good thing my hubby knows a thing or two about HVAC. Unfortunately for me, Matt's working today. I have the day off from the rambunctious Austinator, so I figured lets do some Hawaii bloggin' to warm myself up a bit. Well, warm my brain up at least.
We are 73 days away. We're getting there. Slow and steady. Friends of ours just got back from a three week Hawaii vacation. They did a back-to-back on the Pride of America and spent some time between Oahu and Kauai. She's a super planner like myself & brought me home planning supplies. Literally, I have a bag full of every magazine, brochure, pamphlet, book, etc. that is offered to tourists in the entire state of Hawaii. I started going thru them last night- not really looking to get excursion ideas, but more for the coupons. Basically, I have ALL of our trip planned. Every restaurant, activity, snack, water bottle purchase location, bathroom stop...you name it, it's planned. I'm
a little obsessed. So I'm basically just skimming thru looking for any of my tour companies or restaurants to see if they're offering a better deal or coupon. Fun stuff and it's bringing back a lot of memories from my past trip to Hawaii with my parents in 2008. Seeing that Honolulu Cookie Co. brochure flooded the memory bank. Their store was literally directly under our hotel and boy did my mom and I take full advantage. A lot of cookies were purchased that trip, not many made it home though.
Since I have every bit of our trip planned, I figure I will continue where I left off and tell you our plans for our time at Disney's Aulani Resort.
Last I left you I talked about our arrival day, so I'll start with our first day in Hawaii and go on from there.
Day 1 - A circle island tour in our rental car.
What a better day to plan an early morning adventure than our first day? Since our bodies will be waking us up probably around 4am anyway due to the jet lag, I think it'll be good. At first I had planned our first day as a relax at the resort kinda day, but then I remembered the jet lag and figured we should take full advantage.
We'll be starting our day with a hike up Diamond Head. Everywhere I've read on the internet suggests getting there as early as possible to beat the crowds and the heat. They open at 6am, so I figure if we'll be waking up early anyway, why not make our first day an adventurous day to go out and see the island, starting with hiking an old volcano.
Diamond Head Hike
Next we'll be hungry and in the area, so a stop at Leonard's Bakery for some malasadas will be in order. Malasadas are Portuguese donuts that are coated in either sugar or cinnamon sugar and you can get them plain or filled with either custard, chocolate or coconut. Leonard's also does a filling of the month, this month is Guava. This bakery is famous and has been around since 1952. I have a feeling we'll be visiting often.
Breakfast at the famous Leonard's Bakery
After our glutenous stop... we'll deserve it after that hike! We'll head to the Nu'uanu Pali lookout. This has a gorgeous, but windy, panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oʻahu. After that we'll be headed for Byodo-in Temple. This is a non-denominational Buddhist temple, which was used in the tv show Lost. Matt was a big fan of Lost, so we'll be stopping in. It's the touristy thing to do. After that we'll continue up to the North Shore stopping at the picturesque beaches along the way.
Nu'uanu Pali Lookout
Byodo-in Temple... for my "Lost" fan.
At this point we'll be pretty hungry, so a stop at one of the famous North Shore shrimp trucks will be in order. Matt is not a big seafood guy at all. I'm hoping he'll be adventurous and not miss out on this super fresh shrimp. Most of the trucks offer garlic, scampi or spicy shrimp, in addition to others. I know Giovani's offers a hot dog, so maybe we'll stop there and order the hot dog too. I think Matt will enjoy the shrimp though, as he has enjoyed coconut shrimp & shrimp scampi in the past. We'll see.
Lunch at a shrimp truck (still can't decide which)
After lunch I'd like to stop at Waimea Valley, which is a beautiful botanical garden complete with waterfall-that you can swim in. I don't know how late it will be at this point or how tired we'll be, but we're pretty young...well, I am. Hopefully, we can fit it in. If not we'll probably have time another day. As Disney Vacation Club members we get a discount for entry which is really cool and unexpected.
After Waimea Valley our last stop will most likely be the Dole Plantation. I love pineapple and of course Dole Whips so this is a no brainer. Hopefully after our full day we wont be too late as it closes at 5:30pm. Again, we could go another day, but that really messes with my OCD Planner mind, plus we'll be driving right by it to get to our last stop, our bed! I'm sure we'll be pretty tired. Dinner that night will be somewhere at the resort. Maybe an after-dinner dip in Aulani's two story hot tub and then I'm sure we'll knock out pretty soon after that.
Aulani Hot Tub
Our bed where we'll be crashing...
These are just tentative plans, obviously, as things always change. I am also leaving some details out, or not going in great detail about the plans, as that's what the trip report is for! I can't wait to look back and compare my plans to what actually happens.
Next post...big plans!
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