There is nothing more relaxing to me than a beach vacation. The smell of the salty air, the ocean breeze, sun kissed skin. It’s so dreamy and the perfect place to get away from it all, to leave it all behind and just breathe.
It’s been years since I have been to Hawaii. The last time I was there was on my honeymoon in Maui, just me and my husband. It was wonderful, the perfect place to celebrate our marriage. I have dreamed of going back but having kids in the mix it seemed more complicated and expensive to get away. When my parents invited us to go along with our girls and my sisters, it was a definite YES!
We packed our bags, carseats and stroller and headed to the airport for our early flight. I had carryon backpacks packed with snacks and coloring for the big girls, bottles and purees for Bern, thieves wipes and oils for me. With the girls in tow, we boarded the plane, buckled up and headed over.
The plane ride was smooth and fairly easy. The girls were easily entertained with their coloring and snacks and once they had exhausted those options, we pulled out the iPad with their favorite movie. Bern ate and slept most of the flight which was perfect. Before we knew it, the plane was landing and we were off in our cars driving to Disney’s Aulani resort.
The drive to the resort was beautiful and I couldn’t believe we were actually in Hawaii. All of us. I never thought it would possible to take Bernadette at such a young age somewhere a plane ride away. After multiple conversations with both her cardiologist and pediatrician, I felt like it was ok to take her. We took a lot of precautions but were hopeful that since cold and flu season is not in full swing yet, she would be ok. I wiped everything down with thieves wipes on the plane and in the hotel and used my immunity blend on her feet as well as gave her an immunity boosting vitamin supplement for a couple of days prior to the flight. She still did manage to come down with something and has been fighting it since our second day there, but it doesn’t seem to be turning into anything more than just a cold as of now. There is still such underlying fear of her getting sick after having RSV last year. Especially with her team telling us she is still at high risk this coming cold and flu season.
We were greeted at the resort with beautiful leis and necklaces for the girls and headed for our rooms. All I wanted to do was pass out on the bed from exhaustion after our day of travel and sleepless night before the flight, but I was also eager to check out the resort and all the amazing things it had to offer.
Our room was equipped with a full kitchen. Costco was close by and our next day was all about getting settled into our room, buying food and exploring the resort. One of the great things about the Disney resorts I have been to is there accommodations for people with food allergies. Lucy and I cannot have dairy or gluten which can make it challenging to eat out. The Aulani, offers meal accommodations to those who do have food restrictions. It’s so wonderful to go somewhere knowing you will be taken care of (and not be given the soy sauce containing wheat as clearly stated on the bottle from the server who promises it’s gluten free. True story).
The girls were so excited to share Mickey shaped shave ice. The flavor choices were endless and a nice treat in the hot sun after playing in the pools.
Speaking of pools! There are so many pools in the resort! We had so many options! One of my favorites was the lazy river. Grab a tube and float! There was a fun play structure with water slides Adelle could have played on all day long. She would come down the slide, run through the water and climb the structure to go down the slide again and again and again. Lucy’s favorite had a shallow entrance that mimicked the ocean shoreline and eventually got deeper towards the middle. I enjoyed sitting with Bernie in the shallow part while Lucy and Adelle played around in their floaties. Another favorite of all the girls was the water fountain area. Bernadette enjoyed playing in the shallow part of the fountain while watching the girls play in the spraying water.
One of my favorite pools was the infinity pool. There was the most beautiful view of the beach from the edge of the pool. It also had a spa attached which was a nice place to warm up in the evenings or the earlier mornings. The other spa and pool were for guests 18 and over so on the couple of occasions I was childless thank you to my selfless husband, I hung out there to have a little break from all of the noise.
As a family, we all ventured out to Waikiki beach one afternoon. I told David ahead of time I would be perfectly content staying at the resort most of the time. I did really want to see the infamous Waikiki Beach and I would have loved to have gone to the North Shore, but our afternoon out was enough for me and my vote was to stay at the resort the rest of the time to enjoy all that it had to offer.
And really, the resort has so much there, there is hardly a need to leave if you don’t want to! Food, entertainment, beach access. You can rent snorkel gear or a stand up paddle board. They have a boat that does tours. I even joined in a free workout class on the beach one morning. The big girlsenjoyed some time at Aunty’s Beach House, a great place to drop the kids off for a couple of hours to do crafts and play. It’s all right at your fingertips.
For me, this vacation was a welcomed break from all the things. It has been full speed ahead for quite some time now. Therapies have completely changed our routine, and while I am grateful for the help Bernadette is getting, I can’t help but think of how much it has changed our day to day. Things look so different. And so much of the time lately I just want to play hooky. Being able to leave all the things was so needed.