Our 3rd day there, pretty much everyone was over their various causes of pukiness (I had a small wave of cold sweat and sensation of nausea and thought, “Oh crap, it’s my turn now,” but it went away in about 15 minutes and didn’t return, thank goodness), so things were looking up. With a happy playful kid who was eating and sleeping well again, vacation became blissful.

After several failed attempts to take Allie on a kayak ride at our lake (she was too young to sit by herself in a kayak seat and I was not allowed to place her in my lap; another time or two we didn’t know kayak rentals closed early for the season), we were finally successful in making it happen. It just took thousands of dollars to get us to the right location for her first time.

She enjoyed kayaking so much that the next day at the beach, she wanted to go back in the “little boat.”
Me: We can’t go in the kayak.
Allie: Why can’t we go in the little boat? I wanna go in the little boat.
Me: It costs money.
Allie: Do you want to give them money?
Me: I don’t have any money.
*brief pause*
Allie: Daddy wants to give them money. *spotting Mr. W sunbathing in a lounge chair about 20 yards away* *running toward him yelling* Daddyyyyy! Do you have money? I need money!
And she’s not even a teenager.

Our active kid took advantage of the fact that my hands were full and climbed up here by herself. So of course I had to drop all the stuff so I could get a photo of how proud she was of herself.

Around this same time, Allie speech seemed to have suddenly broke into a whole new level. Although she was using plenty of words and full sentences before, speech became less of a communication tool and more of a skill with which she was weaving pictures conversing with ease. Now I wonder if she wasn’t just sick, but was having a Wonder Weeks moment (crying, fussing, clingyness, regression, poor sleep) before a brain leap. Example: We’d walked across the street from the resort to eat at Monkeypod restaurant, and Allie and I stayed to pay while Mr. W headed off to the ABC Store around the corner to grab some essentials. We were supposed to meet Mr. W there, but I couldn’t find it. Turning around, I started walking back to the restaurant, carrying Allie in my arms.
Allie asked, “Are you going to ask somebody where the store is, mommy?” (We’re mommy/mom and daddy/dad now, suddenly and out of nowhere.)
I said, “Yeah. I can’t find it.” Allie studying my face interrupted my feeling stupid.
She said, pointing at a store on the other side of me, “You found Hello Kitty, though!” I looked and sure enough, an entire Sanrio display in the window. Her consolation did make me feel better.
Here’s us at Monkeypod before I “found Hello Kitty.”

Second example: Allie started using regular drinking cups (instead of straws and sippys) while on this trip, and although she does fine when she sips carefully, sometimes she’ll swing her hand and knock the cup over. One such occasion caused Mr. W and I to literally fight over her spilt milk. When she thought her dad wasn’t paying attention to us, she said to me confidentially in a low voice, putting her little hand on my wrist, “Are you okay? Are you sad? Daddy scares me sometimes, too.” That’s my little ally.

One of the cool things about this place is that even if we don’t have the calendar of events to see where the photo ops are scheduled, we still do run into the characters just roaming the grounds. And they are GREAT about stopping to give unexpected attention to their little fans.

Mr. W paid $20 for access to the resort’s private lagoon for the duration of our stay ($15/day or $20/length of consecutive stay at the resort), which includes equipment rental. So Allie got to see a Dadafish. She was looking in the window of the lagoon and pointing at fish when he appeared.
Allie: Ooh, look! That one’s cute! It has a yellow face! Awww!
Me: Look, there’s Daddy!
Allie: *staring, then yelling into the glass* Daddy! Are you coming out soon?
Me: Is daddy a cute fish?
Allie: *studying Mr. W as he swam by waving at her* …no…Daddy’s a scary fish.

I got the latter part of the above exchange on video. Mr. W caught it on video, too, but from his side of the glass, all you see is Allie’s mouth moving. No idea as to the cleverness going on the dry side.

Another weird thing we discovered about Allie on this trip…she’s developed a pretty intense fear of water. Screaming. Even in the bathtub after refusing to get in. I noted this to ask Rebecca about later. She’d tolerate water up to the bottom of her ankles, but is terrified of going in farther than that. In the below photo, we took half an hour urging, pressuring, bribing, reasoning, until we got her to sit her butt on the first step. As soon as she got in so that we could take this photo, she went right back to sitting on the dry ledge with just her feet on the first step.

There were some great kid sections with water splashing and spraying, but she would have nothing to do with it and when we carried her in our arms and walked through these water playgrounds with her, she’d panic and cry for a towel to wipe her face. Thankfully, there were plenty of things to do while dry, too.

Like lounge around on (or between!) these chairs.

What’s Hawaii without their native Disney resident?

Kind of an expensive hotel to be overrun by rodents, though…

I love how “regular” stores commonplace to me carry special merchandise only available at that particular location. Check out this cute Hawaii-themed Hello Kitty shirt I found on sale at an Oahu Target:

Allie loved this shirt and would chant to herself, “Pedal then paddle. Pedal then paddle.”

Across the street was a great little ice cream shop, where Allie got her own ice cream for the first time. She picked strawberry. She ate it all and couldn’t understand why it was not acceptable just to go back into the shop “and ask them for more.” She talked about ice cream for days after.
Allie: I want ice cream.
Me: You can’t have ice cream now.
Allie: But I LIKE it.
Me: I know, but if you eat ice cream now, you won’t be hungry enough to eat dinner.
Allie: But I WANT it. I NEED it.
Me: *changing the subject* I love you! Do you love me?
Allie: Uh-huh! And I love ice cream, too!
Me: *sigh*

The housekeeping service was amazing at the Aulani, too. Our room was at the end of the hallway, and the housekeeper doing our floor would usually hit our room right at Allie’s naptime. After the 2nd time of this happening, she started going to our room first, so she’d be done and out of there before we got back for her nap. This on top of keeping our room beautiful, our supplies stocked, and even doing our dishes once when we left in a hurry.

Yeah, I think we’d totally come back.

More days of photos to come.