I posted our family photos from Hawaii here and promised I’d be back to dish on the whole trip soon! By “soon,” I meant a couple months 😉
Our Hawaii trip was incredible. Each day the kids declared it “the best day ever.” And shockingly enough, Ty and I had prepared ourselves for battle with the flights and time changes, but the whole thing was a breeze. We will definitely make it a yearly thing.
Travel tips (our kids ages are 8, 5, 3, and 2):
-For any flight longer than 4 hours, bring the little ones’ carseats (Carseat Nazis will tell you to bring them every single flight no matter what, but I won’t). This was a godsend. They are used to being in their carseats in the car, they know they can’t get up and move around, they’re perfectly accustomed to falling asleep in them… good stuff. Completely worth lugging them through the airport, and then we got to use our own carseats once we were there.
-ImmuPro by Young Living to promote restful sleep whenever needed.
-Snacks on snacks on snacks.
-Remember to download iPad apps in advance that don’t require being connected to wifi (our plane didn’t have it).
The time change in Hawaii works in parents’ favor. Well, I should say it worked in our favor. Our kids have always been super go with the flow. They don’t melt down or throw tantrums when tired, they just sack out wherever we are. We lugged narcoleptic kids all over Oahu the first few days. At several dinners, we each had two kids’ heads in our laps while they slept and Ty and I got to pretty much have a date night 🙂 Every single night they were begging us to go to bed and they conked out as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Blissful.
Before we left town, we had an ultrasound done and had the technician place our baby’s gender in an envelope so that we could open it on the beach in Hawaii. Our first night in paradise, we found out we are having a BOY!
The Aulani Disney Resort was pretty legit. It was our first Hawaii experience and our first Disney experience so we didn’t have much to compare to, but it was incredibly convenient and family-friendly. We have been to a lot of beaches and this one was by far the most accommodating to kids, and since everyone was there specifically to be with their kids, everyone around us was laid back and in “kid mode.” We never worried we were bothering anyone by letting our kids have fun!
There is snorkeling (Story’s favorite!), water slides, paddleboard rental, splash pads, and several pools right on site. One of our very favorite things that made Disney worth the extra money in our opinion was Auntie’s Beach House — a free on-site kids camp for kiddos ages 3+ where you can drop them off and they have a blast, and parents can go enjoy themselves kid-free for awhile. The kids loved it and begged to go, so it was awesome that we were able to indulge guilt free.
The restaurants on-site were expensive but great. We ate at one called Off the Hook for lunch by the pool several times. They also had some amazing pina coladas there which we got to drink out of pineapples (mine was virgin… womp womp).
We also loved the dinner buffet at the resort at night. All you can eat crab legs? Sign mama up.
The only good restaurant we found off-site was across the street at Monkey Pod. It came highly recommended and it did not disappoint. We ended up eating there 3 times because it was that good. Awesome atmosphere and delicious food.
We realized when we got there that our kids didn’t know who half the characters were (oops) but they still found it totally magical.
(Cute dresses from The Vintage Crown)
Another spot on the island we loved was Paradise Cove. It was within walking distance of Aulani, and it was where we had our family photos done. During the day, we swam there with wild sea turtles that swam right up to us. It was so neat. The kids also loved exploring the tide pools and seeing crabs and sea urchins. It’s a definite must if you’re on Oahu.
It rained one full day while we were there (we stayed for 9 days), so we took that opportunity to get some school done. We get more questions about homeschooling than anything else, and I keep meaning to dedicate an entire blog post to it. Our reasons for homeschooling are many, but one reason we especially love it is the freedom. We travel a lot, and we incorporate school into our life. For us it just doesn’t make sense to be tied down to traditional school when the kids can learn so much more out living life. We’re thankful Young Living provides us with endless opportunities to show our kids the world, and the freedom and financial blessing to enjoy it stress free. The blessings of it are truly not lost on us!
Something neat: While in Hawaii, we ran into TWO incredible Happy Oiler families (members of our downline) and we got to hang out with them and their kids. It’s so neat to see Young Living bless so many families in the same way it’s blessing us, and we never tire of getting to meet the incredible people it brings into our lives!
We will definitely be making Hawaii (and probably Aulani) part of our yearly lineup!