December 25, 2013-Jan 1, 2014
For our Christmas break trip, we went to our favorite place, Hawaii. We’ve been to Hawaii several times in the summer time, but I’ve always wanted to go in the winter so I could see whales and see the big waves. We flew out on Christmas after lunch. We used AA miles, so the flights were all free. The first night, we stayed in Honolulu at a Hyatt Place using a free night award. We arrived late and pretty much only used the place for sleeping. The next morning, we met Susan’s cousin, Mary Anne, for breakfast. Mary Anne and her family live on Oahu and we try to meet them every time we are in Hawaii.
After breakfast, we made our way to the North side of the island. ON the way, we stopped at the Dole Plantation and had a Dole Whip (just like Disney World). We found some parking and walked on the beach to see the big wave surfers at Pipeline. The waves were huge, I’d estimate 15-20 ft. and some surfers were trying to catch them. The beach was lined with spectators and professional photographers.
Our next stop was one night at Disney’s Aulani Resort. This place is really expensive, but we decided to splurge since it was the only hotel we payed for.
Aulani is a very nice resort. The staff was really over the top, especially when welcoming us when we arrived. It was really just a nice, Hawaiian, resort, with a few Disney characters sprinkled in. Trey got to go down the water slide right after NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas. We paid $500 for 1 night and had access to the property for 2 days. We felt like 2 days was plenty. The price was so high because it was peak season. We won’t be going back unless we get a much lower price.
Late that night, we flew to Kauai, got our rental car, and drove to the North Shore where we would be staying for the next 5 nights at the Westin Princeville. I booked this resort far in advance using Starwood points. The kids basically slept through the whole trip until the next morning. We awoke to Kauais signature roosters and a beautiful view of the ocean and Kilauea Lighthouse.
We spent the next 5 days at our favorite place on earth, the North Shore of Kauai. We spent part of everyday in Hanalei bay and the town. We love Shave Ice Paradise, Bubbas, Tropical Tacos and visiting the other shops and restaurants. We visited the Farmers Market and he famous Green Church in Hanalei.
The Westin was really nice. We only had a studio type room, but it was fine for us. The pools were great and we had a quick dip every night. We were in Kauai, though, so we didn’t spend much time at the resort. We did have access to their sister property, the St. Regis Princeville. We spent one morning at the St. Regis beach and pool, where the service is top notch.
Flying home from Hawaii is always tough. We had a layover in LA for a couple of hours. On the flight back to DFW, Orlando Pace, the Hall of Fame NFL Offensive Lineman was on our plane. When we landed in Dallas, we had just enough time to stop at McDonalds to get breakfast before we dropped Susan off at work for inservice. Sometimes, you have to “pay the piper”.