Second Annual Spring Break at Aulani

We had such a blast at Aulani earlier this month. Dave always says that it takes one time to figure everything out and the next trip is that much better and that was definitely true even at a resort like this. It was so nice to know where everything is, know to have a bag packed with all the swim suits assuming we wouldn't be able to check into our room right away, know the tricks of the kids club, etc., etc. I think the ages made a difference too. The boys are great swimmers now, especially considering there really aren't deep pools at the resort so they're pretty safe anywhere. Coco was at a much better age too (last year at 11 months she still wasn't walking, taking/fighting 2 naps a day) so everything felt better this year.

Off to the airport!

C wouldn't sleep... until Dave switched seats and 2 mins later, she's out!

It felt like we had a really good balance of everything. Dave booked the boys into several Auntie's Beach House (kids club) activities which they love -- they're really well done there so you don't feel guilty sending them off for a few hours. It gave Dave or I a short break while the other hung with Coco and she's so much easier than the two of them were at the same age. We mostly went to the beach in the morning and set up chairs close to the water. She would go back and forth to fill up her bucket in the water, probably 50 times in a row. She's so independent and though it's not quite the same rest you'd get on a kids-free vacation, I did feel like I got a break even when I was watching her.  In the afternoons, Dave would take C back to the room for her nap, and his, while I stayed out with the boys for another hour until quiet time, or had a bit to myself before picking them up from Auntie's and taking them back for their break. Then I'd head back out to the beach to relax for another hour alone before going to pick up whoever felt like going back out to the pool. George is most like me and doesn't need much of a break and usually wanted to come back out. William was harder to motivate especially since Dave would usually turn on a show after quiet time. Coco liked to play in the room in the afternoon too. We didn't have many toys so putting her and the boys' stuffed animals to bed in various places with different pillows and blankets was a fun game she did with Dave.

We had a great condo that got daily maid service, but also had laundry and a kitchen so it really was the best of both worlds. We were able to pick up the basics at a grocery store near the hotel so we ate a big breakfast in the room most days. We grilled (yes, the resort even has grills!) the second night so we had leftover meat for the kids to eat on the rest of the week. Then we changed it up and had several dinners at the resort, a couple just down from the hotel in the little shopping center and Dave and I even had a date night next door at the Four Seasons.

Mostly it just felt like a lot of good family time, and I love being at the pool and the beach, so it really was a great trip. The weather looked iffy -- most days saying it was going to rain with a 40-90% chance at any given hour. You like to hope that it's typical tropical weather and will only rain for a minute, but it's always concerning when that's the forecast. It rained the day we arrived (though stopped by the time we arrived) and it sounds like that was the worst of it. I think on 2 other occasions it started raining hard enough that we had to run for cover, but did clear up quickly. It's actually nice when it's a little overcast as it's not too hot, but we got a mix of cloudy but warm and then sunny and hot days.

G learned 'Rock Paper Scissors' and beat everyone, including Moana!

Dave and I continue to discuss whether we'll go back to the Aulani. It's pricy and on the one hand we could probably stay at a pretty nice resort for the same cost, but with kids the ages of ours now, we still think Aulani is the best. They really do think of everything and all those little things do make the trip so much more enjoyable. When Dave and I ate at the Four Seasons, we walked around beforehand and there was one pretty small pool and it's in the middle of all the hotel rooms. We totally could not see our kids (or guests!) enjoying that. We did see a big extended family with older kids at dinner and it was nice to think that that may be in our future, but for now, we really do love the Aulani. One of our favorite parts is the photo pass. You pay a flat rate for all the photos taken on the trip and there are enthusiastic photographers all over, pretty much at any time. We took advantage and have SO many photos (over 500!) and got multiple family photos, even some of just Dave and I. They're even in the lazy river at certain times so getting photos in the water was so much fun. Can't wait until next year when Coco can hopefully go down the water slide!

'The Claw'... why did we follow the photographers hand-placement suggestion??

Coco's Rock - the photographer was near here and she always went to her rock for photos :)

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