After I hung up with my mom and the waterworks subsided, momentarily, Matt and I tried to figure out our plan of action for our final morning at Aulani. We decided to finish loading up the suit cases and have bell services hold them. Then we were headed down to the pool to swim a little and get lunch before our couple's massage and then after the massage, head to Waikiki to check into our new hotel.
We headed down to the pool at about 9:15am. We decided I'd look for some breakfast since Matt had just pigged out on a medium bag of the must-try, Maui Onion Potato Chips. Tip of the day, there's no breakfast options by the pool. So I decided I'd just wait until lunch time. Tip of the day part deux, there's minimal lunch options by the pool!!! More on that later. So we decide that we're going to go try the Menehune Adventure Trail (interactive scavenger hunt). So we're off trying to find the DVC Community Center where you pick up your devices (iPads) to start the hunt. After circling around and around pushing a wheelchair up and down the unnecessary hills, we find it. I get inside, wait on the line and then am told it doesn't start until 10am. Ugh.
So we decide to try at another one of my must dos before leaving, the double decker, infinity hot tub. That was finally a success and boy was it pretty! After spending about 10 minutes in there we decide that we're not going to have time to do both the Rainbow Reef Snorkeling and the scavenger hunt with the massage coming up at 12pm, so after a long back and forth, we decide on Rainbow Reef Snorkel. Great plan. Go to the hot tub and immediately follow it up with the coldest water on property. It's so cold in there! Very much like Typhoon Lagoon's snorkeling reef except it's not a "pass thru", so you can swim in all different directions for as long as you want. We ended up timing it right with a feeding time, which I highly recommend. We only had one of our waterproof cameras, so Matt took the helm at underwater paparazzo.
|Here you can see the double-decker factor. We were int he bottom one.|
Our spa experience was really good. I've heard a lot of great things about Aulani's spa and they are right on. It did make me realized how spoiled I was on our honeymoon, though. The spa at our Sandals Resort in Antigua was even better! That's not a knock at Disney by any means. It's an unbelievable spa. We got the Couple's Lomi Lomi Massage that included hot stones and these stick things. Really cool...er hot. It was a nice way to finish our "stay" at the doctor's, I mean, Aulani.
After our massage, Matt wanted to try some workouts that we were suggested in the fitness center since it was such a good one and we didn't know what kind of fitness center awaited us in Waikiki. So I went up to the lobby to finally take a look around and get some pictures before we headed out. I also called my mom again, and she made me cry again. I knew I just needed to get out of Aulani and head to Waikiki. Once I got to Waikiki, I'd be excited and I'd be much better. Matt could not understand that at all since I was sad I didn't get much time at Aulani and I just wanted to hurry up and leave, but it was done. There was no going back and all the stuff I missed out on, I couldn't really enjoy in an hour or so. We didn't know how long it would take us to get to our hotel in Waikiki with traffic. Plus we had to check in, unload the car, unpack, get ready and then get ourselves to our dinner reservation at 6pm. So we said our last good-by to Aulani, but not before I ran in the gift shop to pick up something to remember our visit.
|Over-looking the pool from the lobby.|
|Just outside the lobby.|
We were on the road to Waikiki at 2:30pm after the amazing valets helped load up our suitcases and now wheelchair into the car. Thank God for them, because I don't know what I would have done! It took us under an hour to get to our hotel in Waikiki, the Outrigger Regency on BeachWalk. We did hit our first rough patch of traffic, though. It was at about 3:15pm heading into Waikiki. The last 4.5 miles before our Waikiki exit was a stop-and-go parking lot. It only added 7 minutes to our arrival time, but I can see why it can be so bad. I was very nervous getting to our next hotel, since this is more of a condominium hotel and the entrance is right on the street, no pull thru or anything. Parking is very limited so they don't guarantee a space. I knew the parking lot entrance was just past the hotel, so I told Matt we'd go right to it, get inside and then see if anyone could help us with our bags. All I could think was, "What if there's no parking...how am I going to get Matt and all our stuff into the hotel...".
My worries, like most of them, were in vain. We got there and we found a parking spot, headed in and the front desk called for a bellman to come help. It was going to take the bellman a little while to get to us, so the guy at the front desk came out to help us. All the staff here are really nice and helpful. I'm sure if you talk to negative Matt, he'll tell you it's my swim suit, but I think that's just his way at complementing his wife- it's cheaper than flowers.
Once we were to our room, top floor, "partial ocean view" I started to feel myself again. I was excited. I just love Waikiki. I know it's not for everyone, but I really like the whole feel- especially at night. Matt & I got ready for dinner and then headed out. Matt wanted to try on his crutches, but he had misunderstood how far it was, so our first stroll along Waikiki was not too enjoyable. We just took our time, but it was definitely really tough on Matt. Not to mention, people are just plain rude and self-centered. I can't tell you how many people cut him off or didn't move to the side to make room for him. It's maddening sometime. I'm just bracing myself for with the wheelchair.
We finally made it to our restaurant, the famous Duke's. We got there a little early so we told them we'd wait for a good seat "on the rail" so we would have a nice view of Waikiki Beach at sunset. We only waited a little bit and were seated "on the rail" just we were all the way down by the hotel's pool with a giant bush blocking our view. Oh, well. We tried. We had a great waiter. We put in our order and then came the next challenge, navigate the salad bar with Matt. I decided it would be best for me to walk Matt up, get his food, walk him back and then I'd get my food. Worked out well and the salad bar only got busy on my turn up there. I swear, children should not be allowed to help themselves at a salad bar. Seriously.
Right at the perfect time, our entrees came. They were so good! I got the prime rib and Matt got the filet with sautéed onions. Both were extremely good, as was the salad bar. I love Duke's. I remember it from 4 years ago and it was just as good as I remembered. While enjoying our meal we were dumbfounded with the man at the next table. He was obviously on a date, and he did not shut up, EVER. Literally, from the time Matt & I sat down, until we left the man never stopped talking. I have never seen anything like it and I'm married to the one and only, ChattyMatty. Matt had nothing on this guy. He never let the woman talk. I mean never. It was so funny. Matt & I were just dying. Who needs a gorgeous sunset view with dinner when you have this kind of entertainment? After our entrees, I didn't even need to look at the menu to decide on dessert. Hula Pie. Macadamia nut ice cream, oreo pie crust, chocolate fudge topping and whipped cream. Uhhh-mazing. Matt and I couldn't finish it, it's so big.
After dinner we waddled our way back to our resort. I was having bad contact issues, since getting salt water in my contacts back at Rainbow Reef. So we made it back to our resort and headed to bed, this time feeling much better than I was last night. Although, before going to bed, we decided to sit on the balcony for a bit. When we came back in from the balcony and headed for bed, we noticed our "do not disturb" sign, that we had hanging on the outside of the door, was now jammed in our door jam right where the door handle is. It looked as though someone was using it to try & pry the door open like you do with a credit card. I'm not sure that's what had happened, though. The other thing I thought may have happened is that this is a "condominium" hotel. No daily housekeeping, so maybe a worker saw it hanging and knew there really was no point in it being there and our door is open to the outside. Maybe they were just trying to "give it back to us" so that the wind wouldn't take it during the night? I don't know. It was a creepy way to go to bed, to say the least.