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Old 01-26-2014, 04:33 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by Lumieregirl View Post
The beach chairs are open to everyone. The little wooden 2-seaters with the awning over them have to be rented (and I'm sure they have a better name for them than that).
When I was there in June I was a bit anxious about being able to get a beach chair but never had a problem, neither at the pool or the beach.
Thanks for clarifying that. I know the ones you mean from your description.
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:34 PM   #302
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The grounds of Aulani are so gorgeous! The Stitch statue is really cute... I've never seen a picture of that before. It is odd that Lilo is absent from Aulani.
That was one of the things I wanted to hunt out, having seen photos of the statue before we visited.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:24 PM   #303
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Loved the photos of the park on the Big Island. Especially, the statues. Glad you were able to get an earlier flight back to Aulani!

Looks like you had a great time and meal at your character breakfast! Some nice views of the grand villa and especially the deck! Any idea what the square footage is of one of these?

More stunning views of Aulani. Looks so relaxing and so much to see and do here, you don't even have to leave the confines of the resort...but who could do that in Hawaii?
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:32 PM   #304
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The grounds of Aulani are absolutely beautiful!
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:52 AM   #305
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Loved the photos of the park on the Big Island. Especially, the statues. Glad you were able to get an earlier flight back to Aulani!

Looks like you had a great time and meal at your character breakfast! Some nice views of the grand villa and especially the deck! Any idea what the square footage is of one of these?
According to the rather wonderful PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide (can't think who wrote that... ) the square footage is 2,174.

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More stunning views of Aulani. Looks so relaxing and so much to see and do here, you don't even have to leave the confines of the resort...but who could do that in Hawaii?
That was the problem I had, in a way, with the resort. As you say, there's so much at Aulani you never need to leave, but if you don't, then you're missing out on so much - not just on O'ahu, but on the other islands as well.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:54 AM   #306
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Thursday 7 November – part four: lazing in Waikolohe Stream…

We headed out about midday, and found some seats by the whirlpool spa by the lazy river. This is the place to come, if there’s space that is, as there are only four chairs, meaning that once you’re installed, the chances are you’re only going to get another couple next to you. There was another couple there when we arrived, who left a little while after we got back, because we headed out to the lazy river. The first time I tried to swim it, but struggled. Obviously I’ve not had enough exercise this vacation, as usually I can do 30 lengths in a 20 metre pool no problem, although in fairness, that’s a combination of breast stroke and back stroke (my stronger stroke) and I couldn’t exactly do back stroke here.

The second time around, I grabbed a double ring at Mark’s urging, as he was lying (and sleeping at times! ) on one, and having an absolute ball. He literally did absolutely nothing except lay there, and we worked out if you take that approach, it takes about 20 minutes to do a full circuit. Most people go a lot quicker, as they’re either sitting/lying in their ring and paddling with their feet, or even walking in it, and then it will take you a lot less time. It was very relaxing, except when it came to the cave, where you have water jets shooting at you. Just a warning, if you go through in a ring, you really don’t get any speed up, and guess what happens? You go it – your ring kind of gets stuck, and usually underneath the jets… fun at first, but trust me, after you’ve been stuck there a minute or two, as happened to me, then not quite so fun!

The third time round, I decided to swim it again, and I did the whole lot in one go, so a much better result! When I got out, I figured if Goofy was still there doing photos, I’d get some done with him as a reward. Well, he was, so off I went. When I told him I’d swum the whole way around, I got a huge hug for my troubles, and he did some swimming poses for me as well – he was a lot of fun!

While Mark finished up, I went to get a shaved ice for myself. I got the option that came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of it, which was very nice. I went for the pineapple, mango and haipua (coconut) toppings, and they were wonderful. I also refilled our mugs (that has more than paid for itself already! ) and headed back to our seats.

Mark had a dip in the hot tub when he got back, while I polished off my shaved ice, then we sat there for some time reading and enjoying the atmosphere. It was pretty quiet there, and luckily when the other couple moved off, we grabbed their seats which were better, as neither was under a plant – Mark’s original chair was!

Occasionally, someone would come and use the hot tub, but they wouldn’t stay long. The only other thing that spoilt the ambience from time to time would be the occasional plane coming in to land (I can only assume that this is one of their back-up approaches to the runway or it’s only used for certain routes, as there weren’t that many of them), and the military jets. We had a couple of helicopters fly over, and two jets, which certainly shattered the peace!

After a while, I wandered off to the shop to get some postcards and I also found a T-shirt I liked, so I got that too.

When I got back, I asked Mark if he wanted to go in the water again, so we took another spin around the lazy river. He stayed on for round two, but I went back and soaked in the hot tub for the rest of the time. I had it to myself, which was wonderful. Just a note about the water here – it’s all salt water, although as we could tell from the stench from our swimming stuff when we got back to the room, it’s certainly chlorinated and it’s a bit weird if you’re not used to it. I got to like it, but it was just odd at first – oh and this includes the hot tub, which is why I mention it, as I don’t think I’ve ever come across a salt water hot tub before.

Once we were done, we headed back to the room. We’d been gone three hours in total and had messages from the helicopter tour company for tomorrow, so I called them to reconfirm our 4:30pm booking. She asked what our other plans for the day were, and I said I couldn’t remember off the top of my head. She then asked why we’d booked such a late flight, and I told her because I’d read somewhere (I can’t remember now where…) that the best views are near sunrise or sunset, so that was my logic. Whether it’s right remains to be seen…

After a bit of down time, I suggested we see what tonight’s sunset was like. We weren’t holding out much hope, as it was a bit cloudy. We headed down to the lobby, and got the “Menehune elevator” as I called it – it’s got a Menehune statue in it, and it’s the last one on the right in the Waianae Tower. I got so excited every time we got that!



I quickly found the mailbox for all the postcards I’d already written (it’s almost opposite the front desk for future reference ) and then we headed through the lobby…



We went Kalepa’s Store to ask about our Photopass pictures. I’d tried looking online for them, and although the website would accept both cards we had, no photos were showing up. Let’s just say Photopass does not work here the same way it does in Disney World!

For starters, the photos take around five to six days to show up online because from here, they have to send them all back to the servers in Florida. As I said to the Cast Member, if the website told us that, that would’ve saved our enquiry. There’s also another issue. If you have photos taken, as we did, on the lazy river, with no Photopass, you can have them added to your card at a later date (that’s what we did tonight). However, they will not show up online at all. The whole thing was all very weird and they’ve definitely got some kinks to iron out. We’ve only got something like 12 photos at the moment, so somehow the Photopass CD, which is $99 here, isn’t a great deal for us right now.

We headed outside to catch the sunset, first from the lobby…



… then we wandered through the grounds…



… and made our way down to the beach. Our initial fears were confirmed. This wasn’t a good night for a sunset, far too much cloud around.



Talking of cloud, there was a heck of a black and murky one above Aulani itself. The forecast today had threatened scattered showers, and we weren’t aware of any so far, but perhaps there would be some later…



We finished down on the beach, taking some shots of the neighbouring wedding pavilion…



… and the neighbouring JW Marriott Ihilua Ko Olina Resort, not at all like Aulani.



Then we wandered back through Aulani…



On the way, I decided to go to an area that I knew existed, as we’d seen it from a distance on our first tour around here on Monday night, but we hadn’t closely explored it. Well, what a find it was – it’s an adults only area :thewave As Mark said, guess where we’ll be coming now? Except there was one issue – no hot tub, which really surprised both of us. I would’ve thought that was a necessity in an adult only area, but apparently not…



Next: one of the best desserts ever!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:35 AM   #307
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The grounds there are just so beautiful. And the building is certainly more appealing to look at than the Marriott. Great, relaxing day.
Your shaved ice sounds wonderful!
Weird about the photo pass delays - in this day & age you wouldn't think it should take so long!
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:48 AM   #308
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What a relaxing day! And in such a beautiful atmosphere!
Weird that there is no hot tub in the adult area?
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:17 AM   #309
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So weird about the photopass stuff! It's nice that there's an adults only area, but you're right, weird that there's no hot tub!


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Old 01-27-2014, 08:35 AM   #310
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A very nice time making use of the beautiful pools. I'm glad to know you can do the lazy river without swimming or helping the floats along, as I can't kick or paddle, but love a lazy river. Sounds lovely. Very ominous clouds, but nice that the rain held off!
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:39 AM   #311
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Your pictures are good for the soul! It's been a rotten month here in South- Eastern Ontario and snow is falling yet again so the beautiful images of the sunset and trees are making me happy! If this is a so-so sunset then I can't wait to see a good one (maybe from your tour tomorrow?)
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:58 AM   #312
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This defines relaxing at the pool. Well done.
Bummer the sunset didn't work out for you guys that night. Oh well. The clouds still looked really cool though!
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:59 AM   #313
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Great pictures from the grounds! I'm glad you enjoyed your afternoon in the lazy river! How nice to find an adults only section!
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:44 AM   #314
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Sounds like you had a fun, lazy afternoon. The sunset might not have been spectacular, but the evening photos show a nice, peaceful atmosphere.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #315
chezp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubfancolleen View Post
The grounds there are just so beautiful. And the building is certainly more appealing to look at than the Marriott. Great, relaxing day.
Your shaved ice sounds wonderful!
Weird about the photo pass delays - in this day & age you wouldn't think it should take so long!
Unfortunately nothing surprises me when it comes to Disney and technology, as we all know it's not always their strength...
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