Hawaii Day 5- Tell me about the pizza though, at a luau.
Today was another relaxing resort day for us. I woke up at a refreshing 4am, unable to go back to sleep, so I continued my routine of sitting on the balcony working on my blog as I watched the resort wake up. It is so nice and quiet. Just me and my iPad… and the mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes. The mosquito bites are worth it though for the view.
Once Matt got up and moving, he headed to the gym while I headed for the pool. At Aulani, you have to wear wristbands to be able to utilize the pool and other amenities. Each day it is a different color wristband so you must first stop at one of two locations to get your wristband and towels for the day. It’s best to do this the day before, after lunch time, when you they have the next day’s wristband, otherwise you wait in a pretty long line first thing in the morning. Since we were out and about all day the day before we were unable to pick them up early so I was greeted with a pretty decent line to start my day. I had arrived at about 7:40am, and they don’t open until 8am, so I was pretty close to the front. Once it was my turn, I got my wristband and towels, and then also signed us up for snorkeling in Rainbow Reef, Aulani’s own snorkeling lagoon. You have the option to sign up for a weeklong pass or just a day pass. I opted for the day pass since this was our last big day actually at Aulani.
I picked seats in our favorite spot by the pool and then enjoyed a few hours laying by he pool. We ended up going on one of the water slides with a double tube that feeds directly into the lazy river, and then just floated along. This time Matt navigated me out of troubled waters while I put my feet up and relaxed. There was a moment he nearly let me get splashed by one of the water features but after receiving the look of death, he thought better of it. He claimed it was unintentional, but I don’t know how you miss a big waterfall that your wife is floating directly for, but he is male, so I routinely have to help him find items hiding in plain sight for him, so I guess it is possible.
At 11am we had a character breakfast scheduled at Makahiki, Aulan’s main restaurant presently since their other, higher end restaurant, Ama Ama, is under construction. Now, as you all should know by now, I love me some Disney, however, I am not one of those people who is all excited to meet the characters. I love the Disney magic, but I draw the line at pretend play with grown adults. I just feel so unbelievably awkward around them so I try to avoid character meets at all costs whenever on Disney property. It’s been great so far, since having children, because I seemed to have produced two children just like me when it comes to characters- they never want to go meet them. Win!
Now, as much as I feel awkward hanging around grown adults disguised as human-sized rodents, I love food more, so I sucked it up and headed for the character breakfast to get me some macadamia nut pancakes!
When you arrive at the character breakfast, you‘re basically forced to go meet the big guy, the top cheese, Mickey Mouse, and take some pictures. So off we went to meet Mickey and play charades for the 10 minutes he held us captive since there was no one else around. I was literally about to jump into the lazy river, fully clothed, to snatch someone’s child to play with Mickey so we could move on. I thought better of it and sucked it up, trying my best to smile while playing charades with a grown adult probably jonesing for some air conditioning and a smoke break. I was wearing a t-shirt with “Here Comes the Sun“ on it so Mickey pointed at my shirt and then motioned the sun. “Congrats, Mickey! You can read!” That’s what I felt like saying but instead I just said, “Yeah, here comes the sun… it’s my favorite Beatles song.” I then quickly shoved Matt in front of me and told him to say “hi” to Mickey. Bless Matt’s heart, he’s such a big kid so he played along with Mickey. So there was Mickey and Matt fake boxing because Matt had a”Mike Tyson’s Punch Out” t-shirt on. Bless God for husbands who can have fun while the wives hold their own in the uptight ring.
Finally, our time with Mickey was over. I happily headed off for my table… or so I thought. No, no, that’d be way to unmagical for Disney so instead they ushered us to another line where we got to meet Goofy. Just give me my POG juice and a pancake already!!! This meet and greet with Goofy was actually really cute, though. They dress him up as a chef and set him up in an impromptu kitchen with all kinds of food props. When you go up to him he has fun playing around with the props trying to make you breakfast. For Matt he took a waffle and put a banana on it and got all excited when Matt figured out he was making him banana waffles. It’s the little things with the Goof. Next he made me pancakes with black pepper so I politely passed so he then proceed to eat the pepper straight. Poor Goofy’s gonna need an antacid by the time this day is through. I would have taken video because it was actually really cute but the cast member immediately confiscated my phone assuming I’d want pictures of us and Goofy, so instead I got this awkward picture that will never again see the light of day. The things I do for pancakes. Honestly.
Could it be? Were my captors finally allowing me to escape the characters so I could eat my breakfast?? Yes! Finally It was time to be shown to our table for breakfast. I booked this breakfast at 11am since both Matt and I aren’t early morning eaters so it was more like our lunch. They gave us a great table adjacent to the koi pond.
We were ready to order immediately, since we don’t mess around when it comes to food. I ordered the macadamia nut pancakes while Matt ordered the loco moco- a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of, usually, white rice, but they served it with fried rice, a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg on top. While waiting for our food to arrive they also brought us a plate of fruit and some pastries. I had my favorite juice, POG (passion, orange, guava), while Matt had an equally delicious cup of orange juice. I don’t need to tell you how amazing their fruit and juices are here, I’m sure you can imagine.
Pretty quickly after ordering, our food arrived, just in time for obligatory pictures with Minnie. Look chick, I know you’re in a relationship with the big cheese, so kinda a big deal, but you are literally stopping me from devouring this plate of amazing so could you move it along. That’s what I wanted to say, but instead I fronted and acted like I just saw my long lost sister from another mister. We took some pics and then sent her on her way.
The pancakes were finally mine for the taking. They were HUGE. I literally could only eat one of them before feeling the need to lay down and take a nap. I powered through with a few more bites but just couldn’t do anymore, so then and only then, did I offer Matt a bite. Lisa doesn’t share food… unless she’s full and can’t enjoy it for leftovers. Matt, in his sweet way, offered me as much of his loco moco as I wanted, before he even took a bite himself. I swear, I don’t deserve the saint. I mean, we’re talking about 10 years of me not sharing food, but there he is, my ol’ faithful, still happily offering me his food knowing he ain’t gettin’ nothin in return. Whatta guy! Before leaving breakfast, we were lucky enough to get one more obligated picture with Pluto. This picture I put a little more chutzpah into it since Pluto is my daughter’s absolute favorite. The sacrifices we make for our kids.
We headed back to our pool chairs for a bit before heading to Rainbow Reef for some snorkeling in an ice bath. For real, the water is colder than the Jersey Shore in early May. Ask me how I know how cold the Atlantic is in early May. *eyeroll* The things we do for love. I digress. Rainbow Reef was absolutely beautiful but I only lasted about 10 minutes and I was good. I left Matt there and headed straight for the hot tub to try to be able to feel my toes again.
The view from the hot tub.
Matt joined me not long thereafter and then we headed back to our chairs in the sun for a while. We had lounge chair neighbors who were quite eclectic for a couple in their 70s. They had brought a speaker and were blasting dance music, much to my chagrin. I guess they picked up on Matt’s “Jersey bop” as he walked to our chairs so they wanted him to feel at home at Seaside or something, but we weren’t having it. Who does that? We’re at this high end resort pool, with music already playing gently in the background and you start pumping the bass at full volume. It was over the top, just like the older man’s swimsuit choice. I’ll leave that one to your imagination...
Once we had our fill of club music, I headed to the spa and Matt, well, I’m not entirely sure where he ended up while I was gone for a few hours at the spa. I left him sound asleep and when I returned he was there laying on the bed watching TV so I’m not even sure he moved the entire 2+ hours I was gone. At the spa, I had the most relaxing time. I had a massage scheduled and with the massage comes the opportunity to take advantage of their relaxing outdoor hydrotherapy garden where they have vitality baths and soaking pools, all kept at different temperatures, including one that was something like fifty-something degrees. I passed on that one. They also have these waterfall rain showers with different pressures and water flows, as well as a reflexology path that you walk on barefoot if you want to know what it feels like to walk on your kid’s legos. I would have taken pictures of it all for you but there were others there enjoying the garden and I would have felt like a real creeper taking pictures of them. You’ll just have to take my word for it, or do a quick google or Youtube search where other creepers had no shame to do so.
I spent an hour in the hydrotherapy garden, as well as some time in the aromatherapy steam room which was like sitting in a room full of Vicks VapoRub being piped in through the air vents while steam periodically shot out of valves at a high rate of speed with no warning. Sounds horrible but it was only relaxing once I figured out how to breath in there. It wasn’t long after that that I was finally being called for my massage.
I am not a spa regular. In fact, I seem to only go to spas when I’m on Disney property- either Aulani or a Disney Cruise, maybe one or two others I’ve frequented. I will say though, Aulani’s spa is one of the best, if not the best, that I have ever been to. I so enjoyed my massage and was sad when it came to an end. After depositing my children’s entire college fund for my massage, I headed back upstairs to get myself ready for our luau tonight!
There are a ton of options for luaus on Oahu and it can be hard to decide on which to attend. In the past, I have attended Paradise Cove a few times, which happens to be basically next door to Aulani, but this time I wanted to try’s Aulani’s own luau, Ka Wa’a, since last time we were here they didn’t offer it. I knew that this being Disney, it would not be the typical luau but I wanted to check it out for myself. We opted for the premium package since I’m vertically challenged at a mere 5’2”, on a good day, so I wanted to ensure I could see all those Hawaiian men dancing around in loin cloths… er… I mean, so I could see the pageantry of it all. *wink*
Luaus are known for communal seating, which is terrifying to me and my social anxiety so I was also excited for Aulani’s luau since they were still doing individual seating for their luau- a leftover precaution from COVID. They also no longer offered a buffet but instead, bento boxes, that you could have refilled at any point. When we arrrived we ere quickly ushered in to a obligatory picture with two of the hula dancers, one male and one female, then on to our table. Imagine my shock as we start walking past long table after long table. Wait, what??? Yeah, apparently Mickey picked up on my distaste for character breakfasts so he decided tonight’s luau would start with communal tables once again as payback. Awesome.
We are led to our table which is already full of other adults. I was at least relieved that I wasn’t sat with children who would talk incessantly through our entire luau, no instead I was sat with adults who talked incessantly through the entire luau. Oh, yeah. They decided to seat Matt and I at a table full of honeymooners. For the love of all man kind, did they read my blog or something?! Why are honeymooners so hell bent on befriending us???!! I swear, Mickey Mouse hates me. So there we sit surrounded by honeymooners, all sharing their wedding details all excitedly. They turn to to me to ask all the wedding questions and I quickly shoot that whole conversation path, that I don’t want to join into, down by quickly telling them that we’re here celebrating our 10 year anniversary aka “we’re the older, boring couple who know what marriage really is and only really talk about our children that are probably older than your car”. I suddenly felt about 80 years old, and I was fine with it. They all continued to chat all about their weddings while I tried to figure out how to fake sudden laryngitis.
It wouldn’t have been near as bad if it wasn’t for the girl seated directly next to me. She was a special kind of special and there were quite a few times I struggled to keep my face in check when she asked me the most odd questions. For example, she was from Chicago so I instantly made a joke that we were going to have to have a pizza battle, to which she got all aggressive and insisted that Chicago pizza was far superior. So I assured her that I expected her to prefer her hometown pizza as that’s typical and then Matt and I professed our love of NY pizza. Now, if you’ve been following Matt on social media for any amount of time you will have most likely seen how seriously he takes pizza and Italian sandwiches, so he, of course, starts geeking out for like five minutes about the science of NY pizza. He’s totally gone in pizza world discussing pizza the way one would discuss their love for their spouse… he’s saying his vows to pizza essentially. Well, after he finally lands the plane on our love and feelings of superiority with NY pizza, this chick looks me dead in the eyes and asks, “So what kind of pizza do you guys prefer, NY-style or Chicago-style?”
It’s not just the question she asked after Matt’s 10 minute pizza dissertation she was just a part of, but it was also her delivery. I quickly knew in that moment, that I no longer needed to worry about being socially anxious. No, I could now just embrace the crazy and have some fun. I spent the rest of the evening answering anything she asked me or talked about with the most unusual answer possible to see how far I could go. It was actually fun, except for the fact that I missed most of the luau since, if I haven’t already made it clear, she had zero social cues.
The luau was nice, what I saw of it at least. It is definitely more like a production, like a show, than an actual luau, and it’s long. We sat there in hard, wooden seats for over three hours. So while it was done very nicely, I would not attend again. I far prefer Paradise Cove, where the first half you’re walking around a beach to different areas participating in different activities like lei making, outrigger canoe rides, and spear throwing, to name a few. My God, what I would have done to be able to throw a spear at this luau tonight. Kidding!
Once the luau finally finished and we said goodbye to our new “friends”, who we are now dodging any time we see them at our resort where they are also staying, we headed for bed since we have another big day planned for tomorrow snorkeling at the famous Hanauma Bay.