To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Aloha: Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants

This day was absolutely fun-tastic!!! For the second day in a row, we never even considered leaving Aulani. This place is so beautiful and full of things to do that we had a full day of new things, and some of our favorites from the prior days! Sadly, it was our final full day spent at Aulani, so we were going out in style!


As per usual I was up early, this time waking with the sunrise since I left our curtains open on purpose. At 8am Katura was the very first child inside Aunty’s Beach House to experience another Open House. It was hard to distract her from the outside structures, but eventually she was finding her groove inside. At 8:30 was the Disney Junior Aloha dance party. All three of us danced with everyone in Aunty’s living room, but gave up early and finally went outside to climb and hula hoop. After watching multiple kids, Katura finally decided she could do the slide. Once that was done we packed up and went to get breakfast. Her parents were too hungry (and so was she) to stay for the full hour and a half.

Breakfast was yummy again, so far my favorite meal at Aulani. Eating was pretty quick, because we were ready to swim!

Finally got to try a malasada!

We actually ended up hanging out in our room for a while since the Turtle was sleepy. Plans changed, however, after calling the character hotline. A new mission was on the horizon... meeting some of our favorite characters, including one very special girl that Katura absolutely loves.

The character greetings were by the pool, so we went down prepared to swim after our photo ops. We developed a plan. Shawn would go get in line while I maneuvered the stroller and caught up to him. When we would finish the first character he’d immediately find the next location so we could be prepared and avoid a long line. This plan turned out to be brilliant!

At Manawa Island we stood anxiously in the shade. Katura has no idea what (or who) was about to happen. I can tell you when it happened I had the sappy mom tears. I couldn’t help it. All the little girls got excited when they saw her, but none of them topped our girl’s reaction! She was squealing and so giddy, and once it was her turn I let go of her and she was off.... straight into the arms of MOANA!! Moana hugged Katura for so long, it was incredible to watch. We had been watching Moana in the room right before this meeting, so we told Moana how we were discussing silly Hei Hei. She liked that and talked about him to us. So completely awesome!


 While we waited for the next character we completed a Hawai‘i must-do and got a strawberry/pineapple shave ice. Not shaved. Shave. It was quite tasty, cooled us off and helped kill time. Also we took a look inside Rainbow Reef at all of the fish, pretty cool! We were second in line next to the entrance to the lazy river, and there he came.... Goofy! I was surprised and how shy Katura was with him. In Disneyland she was fearless, but today she wanted her Mommy to come with her. So I did. He was fun to play around with, as always!




Last was a meeting by the koi pond. We skipped the long Mickey and Minnie line since we will see them tomorrow. This time it was none other than a Hawaiian local... Stitch! Katura kept showing Stitch all the koi fish and he suggested maybe they go fishing together!! She likes him a lot and was all giggles!



Fishing for koi!
Characters were done and Katura had one thing on her mind.... swimming! She got her lifejacket on and we immediately got in the lazy river. We ducked out early so we could get to the big pool in time for the Shake a Shaka pool party. And what a good idea it was!



We staked out our area and had a blast playing around while waiting. Katura was obsessed with Umpy Dumpy. She’s getting so good and pushing herself into the water all by herself! But what we didn’t expect was that she would soon be swimming around in her lifejacket and twirling in circles all without us even touching her. She is officially a big kid swimmer now!

The loudspeakers made everyone excited when they started playing Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride from Lilo and Stitch. We all sang and danced in the pool, happily waiting for the officially party to start.

Our same host from the morning dance party was the host for this one. He had all of us in the water dancing and shaking our shakas! What we didn’t expect was to see Mickey Mouse come out to the pool deck! The sound of Katura when she saw him was priceless! She pointed at him, her face lit up, and she squealed MIMIIIIIII as loud as she could! He even came over to her during his time on stage!


Minnie Mouse came out next, which got another excited reaction! Katura was always too shy to go join the activities that would have let her be close to the characters, instead just staying with us in the water. That was fine, she still had fun.


Last to join the party was Goofy. He came up to her multiple times, saying Hi and trying to have her come join the kids up on the pool deck area. She always chose us. Smart move. It was insanity. Heck once the party started people were pushing us from every direction. Big culture differences were happening in that pool.

Yeah, That happened.
The big finale was great. All the characters were dancing, but by now most of the kids were off to the side, leaving Katura a prime viewing spot for the dancing and her favorite characters! It was seriously such a fun time, and fun to watch her clapping and splashing along with all of the games.


Once it ended we went up to our room to change for lunch. She was asleep before we were even dressed. We could have stayed in the room for her nap, but we didn’t. Instead we went to the Poolside Bar for chicken strips and fries (for Shawn) and loaded nachos (for me). I also had a Yummy Ami to drink. It tasted like Hawai‘i if you could actually drink up the islands.

Shawn noticed some PhotoPass photographers heading to the beach, which gave me our next idea. We went back up for yet another wardrobe change. Katura was already in a pretty dress, so I put mine on and Shawn switched shirts.... so we could get professional sunset photos in the beach. *Note: I bought this dress while pregnant. I should have looked in a mirror first. It is clearly too big and I totally look pregnant in most of our sunset photos!

Skye was our photographer and he was so great. He worked really hard to capture shots of Katura and did 3 different sessions with us as the sky changed. It was a lovely sunset and a perfect setting! Did I mention this is all free?? You CAN book private sessions for crazy $$$, or you can just go down and have it done for free. You do pay for the photos you want - which basically you can spent $100 and get every single photo taken during your entire stay, which is what I did. Trust me, this is a great deal!

This following string of mass photos are all from Skye.













 
Skye - our new bestie!
The evening ended with Katura and I back in the pool for a nighttime swim together. She didn’t want her lifejacket, which meant I got pool time snuggles while we swam. Can’t complain!

Finally it was time to quiet down. While Katura and her daddy played on a bed together and had snacks, I started pre-packing for our return home. So sad. We still have a full day left, but it’s a full day. Plus this jackass that lives in the White House flew in today, and disrupted traffic everywhere. He’s supposed to be staying overnight, which means possibly our drive to Waikiki could be difficult tomorrow. Ugh. Seriously.

It’s now only 9:15pm. We have been going nonstop today. I’m ready to sleep! And as I go to bed, I say good by to 38. When I wake up I start my final year of being a 30 something!


~ ALOHA ~

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