• Elizabeth Casper

Honeymoon part 2: Hawaii!

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

We’re off to Hawaii!! Neither Robby or I had ever been and we were so excited. I had a feeling that I would love so much and never want to come back, and I was right! It was paradise!

We left around 9am from LAX and it was a JOURNEY to get there! Even though we’ve spent so much time in LA, I highly underestimated the traffic on the way to the airport. It was the most stressful trip to the airport I’ve ever had, but we made it! It was all worth it. We boarded our flight and tucked in for the 5 hour flight.

Aulani does not provide transportation, so we decided to rent a car. *PRO TIP* We have a Costco membership and rented through them, which always saves quite a bit of money! It was a great price for the whole week! It was also so nice to be able to have a bit of freedom for exploring around the island with our own mode of transportation. We found a large shopping center with a Target and Costco right outside of the resort, and we were able to stock up and save a bit of money on drinks and snacks.

Entering Aulani was magic. Every single person that we encountered when we walked in went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. We were greeted with leis and the most delicious tropical fruit infused water of all time! I snagged some almost every time we were near the lobby because it was incredible. The lobby itself is overwhelmingly beautiful. Like the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but a bit more quaint. The gentlemen that took us over to the front desk to check in let us know that all of the art in the lobby was by local artists. It was breathtaking.

There is just something about the resort. It’s almost as if it glows. Like its emerged in it’s own magic. The energy there was unlike anything I had ever felt. I felt so incredibly at home and so peaceful, even in moments of stress.

Our room was just as breathtaking to be honest. We were so excited to be there I basically skipped the whole way down the hall! Every room on property has a balcony and I truly don’t think there could be a bad view. In fact, I honestly believe every view would be incredible. Check out my Aulani highlight on my instagram for a room tour. .

We happened to be staying at the resort while one of their pools was under construction. It honestly was not much of an issue! It just meant that it was a little less convenient to get form one side of the resort to the other and there were a few less food options.

BUT on the subject of food… it was great! If you end up at the resort during the fall season, you will be lucky enough to snag one of the Pumpkin Spice Dole Whips. Possibly THE most delectable desert I have ever had. On our first day a lovely cast member gifted us one and it changed my life! I am so happy that we tried one on our first day because I was awakened to the deliciousness and had about 4 more during our stay!

*Coffee tip!* During the early morning, the bar near the adult pool opens up at 6am as a coffee bar. They have a great menu of specialty drinks and the legendary Kona coffee! Perfect for all of the jet lagged guests that will be up at the crack of dawn. I would head down and grab my morning elixir after my workout and then settle in to watch the sunrise from our balcony.

The Ulu bar was our go to for quick service. We really loved the Poke bowls! You can chose from the combinations listed, or create your own!

BUT the best bit of advice we received before heading to Aulani was to check out the restaurants across the street. The Monkeypod has a fantastic happy hour and Just Tacos was honestly… just fab! The food at Aulani was great, but definitely a bit pricey. I’m happy that we ventured elsewhere and stocked up with snacks and drinks for our room at the local target.

I think my favorite meal was our character breakfast at Makahiki. It was such a fun experience and there was a TON of delicious food! You get the chance to meet multiple characters. Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Pluto all came and hung out with us at our table. They’re great about spotting the honeymoon buttons and made a big deal over us and my ring. It was super cute! You also have the privilege of being serenaded by "Aunty" later on in the meal. She has a great set full of songs, activities for kids, and even a number for the more “mature” guests. She taught Robby and I a lovely Hawaiian phrase (that I am now sadly forgetting) about love and sang a beautiful song for all of the honeymooners. I LOVED it! Overall it was such a lovely entertaining experience plus TONS of delicious food. The red velvet Minnie waffles and coconut syrup were my absolute favorite.

The bar right outside of the Makahiki, called the Olelo room was also a lovely atmosphere! They have a special sunset happy hour menu that we experienced one night. It included some beers, wines, and their “popcorn fries” It was quite an interesting dish! French fries with actual popcorn and wasabi oil. Very sweet, but interesting! Worth a try, especially for the atmosphere at the Olelo room! It’s gorgeous outdoors after sunset and they bring in live musicians to serenade as you enjoy your drinks.

I think our favorite thing about Aulani was the beautiful private beach. It is so stunning and right on property. We took advantage of our jet lag and every morning we would be at the pool or beach right when they opened at 8am and it was beyond perfect. Such a relaxing atmosphere and everything was so beautiful. Breakfast on the beach or by the pool was my absolute favorite.

When we finally did leave the resort, it was to go to the Dole Plantation! This was only about a 25-30 minute drive from the resort and so worth the trip! I wrote a whole blog post detailing our experience at the plantation here! We also made a trip to Pearl Harbor on our way to the airport on our final day. It's only about a 15 minute drive to the Honolulu airport from the memorial. It was a breathtaking landmark and I am so happy that we were able to pay our respects and see a part of our country's history.

Our other ventures took us on a guided hike to a waterfall. We booked this through Aulani and it was a great experience. Our guides were fantastic. Our first guide spent the entire 30 minute drive to our hike location filling us with facts and history about Hawaii. So many things I didn't know and it was fascinating. Our guide on the actual hike was the same. He gave us so many interesting and educational facts about the plants around us and the botanical history of the islands. The waterfall was gorgeous, and the view was also! It was a very easy hike, but something that we most likely wouldn't have found ourselves. I am glad that we had the experience with a tour group.

For the most part though, we spent our time at the resort. After spending over a year planning our wedding and with all of the craziness that ensued the week and day of, we were exhausted! Aulani was the most perfect place for us to honeymoon. The resort itself offers so much entertainment and beauty, you really don't need to leave. Even just napping with the balcony screen open was amazing! But we did get into the activities. They have a daily schedule at any of the front desks or restaurants. It details all of the offerings for that day. From classes to crafts to nighttime entertainment. Most of the offerings are free, but there are some of the activities that require payment. Like the make your own Mickey ears actvity I did. It was $20 and you were able to create your own pair of one of a kind tropical Mickey ears. I have an obsession with Mickey ears, so this was a no brainer for me. They have so many colors and floral options available to choose from. I love crafting, so I really enjoyed it. Robby and I also really enjoyed the movie nights on the lawn. We brought our pumpkin spice dole whips and settled in on the bamboo mat provided for Monsters Inc.

Hawaii is wonderful and Aulani is pure magic. I had felt called to Hawaii for so long. It was absolutely fate that brought us to this incredible destination on our honeymoon. One that we will definitely come back to time and time again. I want to bring our whole families back to experience the magic, because even though I have tried, it is inexplainable. Our honeymoon was everything I could have dreamed and just SO much more. Thank you for reminiscing with me!

If you have any questions about Aulani, leave them in the comments below!

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