Happy Tuesday, friends!
I’m going to try to squeeze a lot into this little space right now before I dash back to my desk to work on my client vacations. Today, due to our Spring Break travels AND a broken podcast studio (we’re trying hard to fix it!!!), Erika and I are sharing another Best of Besties on our podcast! We are re-sharing S2 EP2 BREAKING DOWN TRAVEL. This is where we dish on traveling together as families, with just the couples, with our kids, with our extended families and more. This episode has been one of your favorites this season and since I’m going to give you a little peek into Aulani today, I thought the timing couldn’t be better. You can listen to today’s episode HERE or on your favorite podcast platform (Spotify, Apple, etc.)
So, there’s that.
There’s also this…I’m going to share just a few pics of our travel day from Dallas to Aulani including pics of the two bedroom villa where our family spent Spring Break. I thought there was enough here to warrant its own post, so that’s what you’ll see below.
Of course, a disclaimer (I always feel compelled to do this!), here at Mix and Match Travel Agency, we LOVE TO TRAVEL! Yes! We think as travel professionals it’s imperative to get out with our own families and travel too. How else can we provide our clients with the BEST service and help if we aren’t actually doing it too? Also, we want to put our money where our mouth is. We all pay for our own trips. So many people are under the impression that we travel free and for us, that’s not how we do things. This Spring Break, four of us who work here and our families all set out to destinations specific to our clients to bring back the best information we could to create even better trips…and we all paid the exact same amount our clients pay. Now, did we get the commission from the sales? Yes, but our pricing, final payments, deposits, rates, promos, any specials or discounts are exactly the same as our clients. I just like to point that out there because I want you to know upfront, we’re only going places we think our families and yours would like to go. We think that’s one of big differences between our agency and others (especially right now during the everchanging COVID protocols). As a reminder, we would love to help you with your next vacation too. If you’re interested in traveling to Hawaii, a cruise, an international destination or Walt Disney World, we would love to help. Unfortunately, we do not offer our services to places like New York City, Yellowstone, Nantucket, etc.
Now, on to the fun stuff like…we woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and…right at the last minute our flight was cancelled. AGH!!!!! Where was my travel agent to help me and my crazy family?! Oh that’s right…it was me. Sigh.
At the very very last minute, our flight was cancelled while we were standing at the gate about ready to board. I’m going to go ahead and call it a miracle that my family is loud/large and not too fond of sitting in the middle of a bunch of people, so when they came on to announce that our flight just happened to cancelled, we had scooted down about three gates (where there was more room since no flight was at that gate) and it just so happened to be right next to the American Airlines desk where they just told an entire gate of people to run to. Oh thank heavens were just accidentally were sitting there because we jumped up, got in line (we were the second family) and they found six seats for us on a flight leaving in 30 minutes (we just needed to now run to that gate).
Remember Home Alone and Home Alone 2?
That’s how I felt.
When it was all said and done, we made it on that flight (woohoo!) not sitting together, but at least we were on there.
Eight-ish hours later, we landed in Honolulu…
…this is the only pic I have…but we were ready to go.
Except some of our luggage got placed on another flight.
No big deal, it’s travel day, and we’re in Honolulu! We were thrilled to be there.
We had our car service lined up to take us from the airport right to Aulani.
Now, if you’ll remember from March 2020…
…we visited Aulani with the Slaughters for their character breakfast and…
…luau while we stayed just next door at the Marriott before our 7-night Hawaiian cruise. (You can read all about that BIG vacation where we spent 10 days touring four different islands HERE!). My family loved the Ko Olina area there so much that we knew then that as soon as we could, we wanted to get back and visit Aulani, so…fast forward two years almost to the day and here we are.
We arrived at our hotel right around 2:00ish, checked in and headed up to our villa for the next 8 days. As soon as we got off the elevator, we were blown away by…
…the views!!! Holy cow, Aulani! You are even more gorgeous than we remembered!
After a long day of flying, I did what any normal mom/blogger/travel agency owner does…I asked my family to please wait in the hall for three minutes while I snapped a few pics of our 2 bedroom villa before they trashed it with their stuff/dirty laundry/wet towels/sandy swimsuits/mess 😉 .
Here are a few quick pics…
This place had more than enough room for my fam. It had two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, an extra closet, two balconies and full eat in kitchen with family room…
There was a little market right inside Aulani where you could purchase food to stock your kitchen and another larger market right across the street.
We had two nice balconies with amazing views…
These pics are in no way edited, it was simply that gorgeous
After we unloaded our stuff, we hurried down to…
…grab a bite to eat. Was it lunch? A snack? I’m not sure, but Andrew and I shared these ahi tuna nachos and they were INCREDIBLE! This little restaurant in Aulani is located right next to the pool and beach. Gorgeous view and delicious food. No reservations required!
We were so happy to be there!!
We had dinner reservations there at Aulani later that evening at 7:30, so we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the resort and settling in.
One of the reasons we knew Aulani would be a great fit for our family were all of the gluten-free options and precautions they take at their restaurants. We were tired, hungry and oh so happy.
So many more things to post in the days ahead! I know SO MANY of you have questions that hopefully, I’ll answer in one of these posts. So stay tuned!
Around 10:00 PM all of our luggage showed up 🙂 . Thank you so much, American Airlines! I know I’ll probably say this in every single post to come, but this was TRULY one of our very favorite vacations. It was just the perfect storm of fabulous that the Shull family really loved. I just think in my old age, this will be one of the trips I look back on and remember the most.
Finally, for my travel outfit (which almost became my ‘wear every day in Hawaii because I didn’t have any other luggage’ outfit), see below…