Because of a couple recent trips reports and see how we recently got back, I thought I would do a short trip report. This won't be very detailed, but feel free to ask questions. It was myself, my wife, and my son (12) that traveled. Overall we really enjoyed our stay. We interacted with many cast members every day and I can honestly say that they were all great. Even away from Aulani, everyone was very warm and kind. There were several times I said that if the flights weren't so expensive I could see us always using our DVC points there. Trip Organization We used Google's My Maps function to pin specific points of interest; food and activities. This made finding places when out and about very easy, as you can see these specific pinned points within Google Maps. Flight and Car We flew on Delta, having a non-stop flight on the way there and back from our local airport. On the plane we were in coach, where we each had a seat back TV and were served two meals and snacks on each flight. There meals were nothing special, but it was better than nothing. The TV had a large number of movies and TV shows to watch, many of them were recently in the theaters. We rented our car through Alamo via Delta, which was the cheapest price for us. It was a nothing special Chevy Trax small SUV that somehow fit in the standard car class. It barely fit our two suitcases in the back and the touch screen radio was annoying. Other than that, it was perfectly fine. Our Room Our room was 679, which is a Island Garden studio. We did have a slight ocean view and could hear the luau at night, sometimes in the room. Thankfully the luau was over by 8:30pm. We were right above the tree tops, so I would assume that anything lower wouldn't have an ocean view. Weather The first two days we were there, a front was over the entire island chain. The sky was very cloudy and it would randomly rain. At times it would down pour. This made planning things hard, but we were able to make do. The rest of the time, it was sunny and around 80. Some days there was a breeze and other days there wasn't. Eats In no particular order, here are the places that we ate: Ulu Cafe: We ate here a bunch, as we were typically at Aulani at lunch time. Overall the food was ok. The Kailua pork flatbread was good. The grab and go salads were ok, but expensive even by Disney's standards. One night we ordered a whole pizza and it was the typical mass produced pizza. We had a couple desserts from there, butter mochi and liliikoi cheesecake, and they were done well. We never ordered the hot sandwiches, but they did look good. The grab and go sandwiches looked sad. Mama's Snack Shop: Surpisingly we liked this place, as the only thing it really does is mass produced fried foods. A couple times my son ordered the fish sandwich and he said it was very good. My wife enjoyed the chicken tenders. The coconut shrimp looked good, but we never ordered it as my wife is allergic to coconut and I'm allergic to shellfish. Off the Hook: The burgers were very good and we loved the Umami sauce that comes with them. The salad that I had was very underwhelming, marginally better than the grab and go ones at Ulu cafe. Koa Pancake House: Typically we ate breakfast in our room, but the first morning we ate here before getting groceries at Target. The food was great, in large portions, and definitely cheaper then anything at Disney. This is a locals place to eat and was busy the entire time we were there. On the wall they had several "Best of" awards. ABC Store: The day that we arrived, we grabbed dinner from here. What we had was very good and at a decent price. Would definitely eat there again. Leonards Bakery: Love the place. If were driving by the wagon at the Outlet mall we always stop and get some. Overall I think the three of us ate over 3 dozen Malasadas. We did stop at the actual bakery twice. Parking is limited and there isn't much to see. The bonus is that they have other bakery items and do have special filled Malasadas. My power rankings of flavors... 1) Original 2) February special flavor Strawberry. 3) Cinnamon 4) Haupia. We haven't tried doubash yet, as we love the original flavor. Assagio's: We ate at the one in Kapolei. It was very good standard fare Italian. We would definitely go again. Teddy's Bigger Burgers: A burger chain along the lines of Smashburger and Five Guys. Everything that we had was good. If everyone is in the mood for burgers again, I wouldn't hesitate to go there again. Waialua Bakery (accepts cash only): This is a sandwich shop on the North Shore. The sandwiches here were great, as the bread was freshly made and the fillings were quality ingredients. The shake and smoothie that we had were nothing special and would be skipped next time. Overall we would definitely go back again. Activites Pool Time: Every day we spent some amount of time at the pool. We never had a problem finding chairs, although some days we had to look harder then others. Aunty's Beach House: On the weekends they have tween (10-12 years old) activities at night. My son wanted to do the activity on Saturday night. We didn't have a problem getting him in. He said that activity was fun, but there weren't a lot of kids. He never asked to go back, so I don't know how busy it was during the day. SUP in the Lagoon: One day we did SUP in the lagoon, shortly before lunch. We had to wait about 30 minutes before a board was available. It was fun to paddle around the lagoon. The water was clear and there was some fish that we could see. I could see where some people would want more of an adventure and for some people this would be more than enough. Rainbow Reef: My son and I did this one day. We really enjoyed it. The water wasn't to cold, so we were able to snorkel for an extended period of time. I would highly recommend doing it when they feed this fish, as this concentrates all the fish into one area. Turtles: When on the North Shore we did go to Laniakea Beach. There was one turtle sleeping on the shore with three volunteers around it, talking to people and ensuring that they kept their distances. It was very enjoyable. Twice we went to Paradise Cove Beach. Each time there was a turtle swimming and being harassed by a tourist. It was very disappointing and heartbreaking to see. Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu: We spent some time in downtown Honolulu and at Waikiki. Even though it wasn't really not our thing, I would recommend everyone do it at least once. We're fans of Hawaii 5-0, so we stopped at a couple places that have been featured on the show. We also walked around Waikiki beach for awhile. If you go, I would highly recommend googling for free parking spots. We did find a couple, so that made parking a breeze. Dole Plantation: Let's face it, it's a tourist trap. We stop every time we're on the island to get a dole whip and to walk through the shop. We did the train once and thought it boring and not worth the money. Surfing: Due to going in February, there were plenty of crazy waves in places. We were able to simply sit and watch the surfers on Waikiki, Laniakea Beach, and some random beach past Aulani on the leeward side. It was really fun and one of the highlights of our trip. If do you go past Aulani, you'll see the non-tourist side of Hawaii, both the good and the bad. Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout: If you're heading to the Windward side or are looking for something to do before flying out, this stop is completely worth it. The views are phenominal and it's very easy to get to. Parking is limited, so you may need to get creative. Aloha Stadium Swap Meet: Totally worth it, if you're looking for cheap souvenirs. My son and I stopped at one of the booths and bought 7 t-shirts for $20. My wife bought a couple fake flowers to put in her hair.