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My Hawaii diary + win your very own Hawaii trip

Fat Mum Slim /

I traveled as a guest of Crocs Australia.

♥ ♥ ♥

I got an email late one night {and by late I mean 20 minutes before my bedtime at the grand old time of 7:40pm} and if I could sum it up, it basically said this, “We want to send you to Hawaii, but we want you to wear Crocs.”

I laughed. Chuckled. Smirked. Hubby looked over at me with ‘you-so-crazy’ eyes and asked, “Why are you laughing?”

I explained the email to him, and we both laughed. We weren’t sure we could.  I once wrote this post about Crocs. Could we?

I hadn’t read the whole email though. I scrolled down and I saw the new range of Crocs and I was pleasantly surprised. They were Crocs, but not really Crocs Crocs {are you picking up what I’m putting down?}. They were actually nice.

Crocs wanted us to see if we could find our fun in Hawaii. And so we did Hawaii, while wearing Crocs. And we actually still wear them. Almost daily. Whodathunkit?

 

airport

With much anxiety over flying with two children, we boarded our flight {we flew Hawaiian airlines – and just so you know the luggage allowance is out of this world – 64kg per person – go shopping!} and headed to Hawaii. I’ll share a post next week on the things I did to survive flying with kids, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined. They slept. They ate. We played games, and eventually landed in sunny Hawaii.

dayone

The flight was perfect timing for getting to Hawaii. We left at about 8:30pm at night {Australian time} and then landed in Hawaii around 8am {Hawaiian time}, and then grabbed a taxi to head to Aulani Resort.

Aulani is a Disney resort and is just magical. As we were heading over in our taxi, I told the driver where we wanted to go to, and he said that we were staying at the best resort on the island. That’s the kinda thing you wanna hear, right?

dayone2

dayone1

The resort is only 3 years old, but it looks as though it’s been there forever. It’s homage to the Hawaiian history, in the way it’s built, with the stories it tells throughout the buildings. If you ever visit it’s worth asking the staff the stories behind the paintings in the foyer, because it’s just beautiful.

foyer

Aulani is located on the beach, and also has an awesome waterpark. You could easily just hangout at the resort for a week and not need to go anywhere.

On our first day, we were super tired and jetlagged but decided that we should get out and go shopping. Ala Moana Shopping Centre came highly recommended from my shopping-fanatical cousin, so we headed there.

First stop was Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for lunch. SO GOOD. We tried a few different things, but the popcorn shrimp was the best.

dayone3

And then I was in desperate need of a new purse, and I’d been saving for the moment I could get a Kate Spade one again, so it was Kate Spade we visited {and I bought myself a pink purse}. It was not long after that that we hit a wall, and could stand upright no longer… so we caught a taxi back home and decided to jump in the pool and refresh.

sunset

Our hotel room had a kitchen and dining area, so we ordered a family meal {you can order meals to feed the whole family in your room} and then called it a night early. We were officially knacker-jacked.

day2

Day two started early, and with breakfast at Makahiki, the main restaurant at Aulani. The Disney characters appear at breakfast time on dedicated days, and make their way around tables meeting everybody. We’re Disney fans, so Lacey was so excited about doing this {me too!} and as we chomped on toast and eggs, Minnie, and Goofy came by and gave us hugs and stopped for photos. Before entering the restaurant we had a family photo with Mickey.

The Disney aspect of Aulani is more subtle than I imagined, and they’ve made it that way intentionally. Of course if you seek it, you will find it. There are hidden Mickeys in the carpet, on the wallpaper, and little characters hidden around the park, but the characters themselves are on holidays too. They want you to relax and unwind.

mickey

day21She’s so tired she doesn’t know if she should be thrilled or scared, and do you like the stray sausage on the table? It’s how we roll.

We then went and picked up our hire care {the hire care place is AT the resort, so handy} and got ready to head to the North Shore. But first… I love the clothing store Forever 21 and I heard they had a great one located at Waikiki so we braved peak hour traffic and headed into town so we could shop. Hubby did the drop and dash, and I quickly did a 5 minute shop for Lacey and I. I also stood outside The Cheesecake Factory and vowed to come back one day {our resort was tucked away on another part of the island, 40 minutes away from Waikiki}.

day23I’ve heard it’s so good. Also, can we please take a moment to appreciate that loved up couple standing out the front? I didn’t notice them until later.

And then it was North Shore baby!

day24Miss Lulu slept the whole way up. That car seat was the most awesome car seat I’ve seen. It reclines! Great harness. I wanted to steal it.

I’m not sure if all Navigation Devices do this, but ours had a tour guide installed in it, so as we drove along it would tell us what we were passing, the history behind and even opening and closing times. Awesome.

The one thing you need to do while visiting the North Shore is to try out the shrimp trucks {they’re dotted throughout the coastline, as well as other food trucks}. We stopped at Macky’s first, and had garlic shrimp and rice, and coconut shrimp and rice. Delicious. $13.50 of some of the most delicious morsels my tastebuds have ever tried.

day25

shrimp1

ice2We then drove into Haleiwa {the cutest little town with the most colourful buildings that deserved more time than we gave it} and stopped at Matsumoto for some shave ice. I highly recommend trying it with condensed milk. The lines go fast, so don’t be put off.

iceLacey had rainbow, and totally approved. Magically that dress stayed white. Hurrah!

giovannisNext stop, more shrimp at Giovanni’s. There’s always room for shrimp. Oh, and funnel cake.

giovani-collage

Hubby is a big surfing fan, so it wouldn’t be a true North Shore visit without dipping his toes in the water. We were without surfboards, and the water was without surf {weird to see it so flat!}, but it was ideal because it was perfect for swimming in. We stopped to swim at Waimea Bay {which has a little carpark, some bathrooms, if you’re planning a beach trip on the North Shore}.

northshore

We bypassed the Dole Plantation, as Lulu had fallen back to sleep and Lacey was desperate to explore the waterpark at Aulani. We hear that the Dole Plantation is amazing {has Dole Whip – pineapple softserve, a maze and more}.

We jumped into our swimming costumes, and hit the lazy river for a ride around the water park. Hubby went and explored the private reef {the only one on the island}.

pool

luluandlacey

Aulani has too many pools to count, plus a lagoon. Our favourite was the infinity pool. We’d pull up a sun-lounge, drop off our bags, and jump in the pool. Nearby is a baby pool which has sprinklers which Lulu loved to play in too.

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For dinner we headed back to Makahiki for their buffet dinner {the characters had gone to bed}. And then Lacey and Hubby went for a late night swim, while Lulu and I rested.

day3These are the new range by Crocs, the Chawaii Flips which are super comfortable.

On the third day, we rested. We felt like we’d jammed so much into our stay so far, and Lacey was begging for a full day at the water park, so we let her.

Hubby left super early in the morning to go to Pearl Harbor, something that he’d always dreamed of doing. He really enjoyed the tour and said he’d highly recommend it to anyone.

While he was doing that, the girls and I headed out to find an ABC Store. Before leaving for Hawaii I asked people what I needed to do in Hawaii and visiting an ABC Store came up over and over again. I didn’t know if they were joking, but I actually wanted to see them. The day before, when we had a hire car, I begged Hubby to find one for me so I put it in the GPS on the way home from the North Shore and we drove through peak hour traffic to find it. Only thing was that we ended up at an ABC factory {nothing to do with the ABC Store!} so we headed home without the ABC experience. While Hubby and Lacey were swimming I Googled and discovered that there was an ABC store 150 METRES from our resort. So off we went to find it…

day3-1Those sweet chubby legs!

school-busWe also found a school bus. That excited me a little more than it probably should have!

 The ABC Stores have everything you could ever need: souvenirs, hot food, cold food, toiletries, super large lighters, the best sunscreen I’ve ever tried {we bought 6 cans!}, toys, inflatables, and perhaps best of all DOLE WHIP {a pineapple-y ice cream}.

DOLE-WHIP

And then it was time to swim.

Well after Luella had her nap, which was an excruciating wait for poor Lacey.

IMG_8137

And then it was time to swim…

pool time

Then Hubby returned from Pearl Harbor and it was my time to hit the spa {we like to keep things fair in our family}. The spa at Aulani, Laniwai, is AMAZING. It’s a whole experience, from the moment you walk in, to the moment you walk out. One of the best experiences on my life. MY LIFE! I kid you not. You’re sent home with a custom-made body scrub, and a new sense of relaxation.

spa spa2You choose which scents you want in your scrub, I chose mango. So good.

 If a trip to Hawaii isn’t on the cards anytime soon, I beg you to call around and see who does Lomi Lomi massages in your area. Try one. I’ve found one 10 minutes from home and I can’t wait to try it again.

After my spa treatment, we reunited and headed to the beach for some Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Hubby is obsessed {I think three SUP boards at home is officially addicted!} and Lacey tried her first time on the water. I think she’s now converted too.

SUP

We had reservations for dinner at Ama Ama {the contemporary restaurant on the water at Aulani}. I had intended to try out a local babysitter, but nerves got the better of me so we took the kids with us. I asked the waiter for all more traditional Hawaiian meals {tuna poke for entree}, while Hubby went for whatever his taste-buds desired. The kids had pasta, and a Mickey Mouse treat afterwards for Lacey.

ama ama

We then finished up the night on the lawn at Aulani with a Starlit Hui, which is a celebration of Hawaiian traditions, with a little bit of modern entertainment thrown in. It was so beautiful. Lacey learnt to hula and made some new friends.

concert

day4

Our fourth day in Hawaii was also our last full day on the island. I was feeling particularly sad by the afternoon and mentioned to Hubby that I’d never felt sadder at the prospect of leaving somewhere. He kindly reminded me, “Umm, our honeymoon in Fiji. Remember when you cried the night before we left?”

He was right, but I definitely felt sadder this time. I’d actually found my fun, I think we all had… and I hadn’t realised that I’d even lost it. Hawaii definitely has my heart and I vowed to myself {and Hubby} that I’d be back because it wouldn’t be right to not return at some stage.

But back to the diary, before I get too melancholy. We had a ‘swim with the dolphin encounter’ planned for our last day with Ko Olina Ocean Adventures. I wasn’t sure how Luella would go on the boat so we sent Hubby off to explore without us, and Lacey was thrilled to be able to play at the water park again for another morning.

GOPR0116

I don’t have any photos, but Hubby caught some great footage of the dolphins the water. They’re RIGHT THERE with him as he swam {not in an obtrusive way, but kinda just respecting each other}. The dolphins are spinner dolphins, so a little bit smaller than the ones we have here on the coast. Hubby said it was a pretty amazing experience.

While Hubby was doing that, we had another character breakfast, because you can never ever have enough of those. This time Lacey hopped up and participated in activities with the characters and with Aunty who sings as you eat.

aunty

And then it was onto swim time…

waterpark-final

When Hubby returned just before lunch we decided that the girls had swum so much they were turning into prunes, so we jetted off for a quick trip to the shops. We also had lunch at Chili’s. While most people told us to go to Ala Moana for shopping {which we did like} we loved Waikele more. It’s got bargains and isn’t overwhelming in size. We knew what we wanted, GAP t-shirts, some shoes for Lulu and her cousin, a perfume for me and I found the Kate Spade purse that I bought early in the week for almost 75% off at Waikele. Dang!

shopIt looks like more than it is, promise. Lots of $6 GAP t-shirts for Hubby and gifts for family and friends.

Because we’re creatures of habit, and simply because it was so good we had dinner at Makahiki again, and then ventured to a Halloween party on the lawn.

halloween

And we most certainly found our fun. If you’re looking for a family friendly getaway, I can highly recommend Hawaii and Aulani {the Disney resort}.

Lacey is sitting beside me as I type, and I’ve just asked her if she thinks other kids should do Hawaii to0, “I loved Hawaii and I think other kids will. I loved seeing Donald duck best, and swimming, and doing pencil jumps.” She pretty much loved it all.

You can see the whole range of Crocs shoes online here, or find a store near you. The black and rainbow ones were my favourites – I’ll be taking them on our next trip this week too.

So now I’ve practically bragged about my trip, let me tell you the really, really good news! One person {and their family – or if you want to travel as a couple you can do that too} is going to be sent to Hawaii to find their own fun. It could be you!

All you have to do is:

1. Buy a pair of Chawaii Flips {which you can do in store or online}

2. Take a photo of you finding your fun wearing them {ideas: snap a photo jumping at the beach with balloons, dancing at a party wearing them with a cocktail dress, the kids having a blast wearing theirs… the options are endless}.

3. Upload your photo to the Chawaii website, and get your friends and family to vote for your pic.

hawaii

I hope a Fat Mum Slim reader wins. If you enter, leave me a link below in the comments so I can vote for you.

 

@Fatmumslim