Lazy Days

This morning started off with eating blueberry pop tarts for breakfast on our little balcony/terrace in the sunshine and it was wonderful.

After breakfast, we went for a walk around the lagoon to see the resort from a whole new angle, and wandered back slowly around the pool area before going to the market in Ko Olina again as we’d already run out of sun cream.. The market also has a huge range of hot food available to order, so we picked up a pizza to share, which we took back to the room to eat.

Considering I was up at 2.30am this morning, and then again at 5.30am, I thought that after lunch would be nap time, but I actually felt pretty awake, so I left Matthew to nap and I went to explore the resort with my camera. As soon as I stepped out of the building, there was Shellie May hanging out in the garden, so I stopped for a photo with her – my first time meeting one of the bears!

I spent a good amount of time exploring the resort taking photos, and also walked back around the lagoon and took a peek at the neighbouring lagoon, which was just as beautiful. I missed out on meeting Goofy at the pool on the way back, but there’s always another day for that! Of course I stopped by the shop on the way back to the room, y’know, just in case the stock had changed from yesterday..

When I got back to the room, Matthew was up and we packed a bag to take to the pools. We snagged some sunloungers in the adult only section of the resort, but then headed to the lazy river for a bob around in rubber rings to stay cool, and then got out and went to the adult only hot tub, a two tiered infinity pool looking out over the lagoon – bliss..

Back to the sunloungers to chill out, and after an hour or so of relaxing in the quiet over the 18+ zone, we got some dinner from Mama’s Snack Stop, sharing some coconut shrimp by the pool. We also decided to invest in a refillable resort mug to share because it seemed like a lot to get one each considering we don’t really drink many fizzy drinks, but the stations have iced tea options too so we figured it would one would be worth it.

I headed down to the beach for a little bit just before sunset – most of the families had left by then and there was only a small handful of people left in the water! As it got darker, we headed back to the room as finally my crazy early start was getting to me!

Discovering Paradise

You guys, Aulani is so beautiful. I keep pinching myself.

Jet lag had me up before 5am, despite trying to force myself to keep sleeping. We started the day with the only activity we had booked in advance, which was the character breakfast at the Makahiki restaurant. After checking in for our meal, we were sent to line up for a photo with the main mouse himself, then taken through into the restaurant. We were seated right next to a huge koi pond at the edge of the outdoor seating area and the view was just stunning.

Breakfast was a buffet, with everything from Mickey waffles to fried breakfast items, even pre-stacked little eggs Benedicts, but there were also more traditional Hawaiian dishes available too. Needless to say it was all delicious. While eating we were visited by Minnie and Pluto, and there was also live entertainment from a lady who sang and did some audience participation with the kids and families in the restaurant.

After breakfast we left the resort to head to the shops. The area we’re staying in is called Ko Olina, and it’s basically just resorts, a golf course and a few holiday homes, but there’s a little ‘town center’ of a few shops and restaurants, and we just wanted to go to the market to stock up on some food for our stay. In our room we have a fridge, microwave and toaster, so we bought all our breakfast items for the week, plus a few snacks.

Once back at the resort, we had a couple of annoying back home things to sort out – we exchange on our house this week so we had to get home insurance sorted. I left Matthew to read the fine print and headed to the gift shop for a bit of shopping, then when we were both done we finally headed down to the beach.

Now the beach at Aulani is actually open to the public, but unless you’re staying at one of the nearby resorts it’s not really easy to get to, and you’d never know from how quiet it was. I mean, Bournemouth beach back home is probably busier on a sunny day in April! We got some sunloungers then headed straight for the water as it was pretty hot out, so much so that the sand was burning out feet!

The water was fairly still, being more of a lagoon than an open beach, so the waves crashed on the reefs in the distance but there was hardly any rippling where we were. We spent the next few hours alternating between our loungers and the water, then got a little peckish so headed back inside for some snacks and a cool down.

I’m finding the concept of a relaxing holiday quite difficult to get my head around as I’ve pretty much never done the whole ‘go somewhere warm and just lay out in the sun’ sorta holidays, so I keep feeling like I should be doing more, but at the same time I’m loving it. I had a little nap as my early start was getting to me late afternoon, but when I woke up I wasn’t feeling very well (probably heat, tiredness and dehydration all hitting me at once) so I ended up going to bed at about 9pm, but I have to keep telling myself that that’s ok, I’ve still got a week of this paradise.

Aloha Aulani

This morning we were up super early once again to get to San Francisco airport for our flight to Hawaii which was at 9am. We boarded our United Airlines plane, got ourselves settled for the 6 hour flight, and then the captain announced that there was a problem with one of the engines of the plane, and while it was still legally acceptable to fly with this minor problem, he was refusing the aircraft and we all had to disembark.

Now United have had a lot of bad press lately, but I would just like to say how incredibly impressed I was with how everything went from that moment onwards. Within minutes of us all getting off the plane, trolleys of bottled water and snacks appeared at the gate for passengers to help themselves to while awaiting further information. As there was no immediate update, we asked to be transferred onto a flight scheduled for later in the day, but the lady we spoke to was kind enough to not only book us onto that later flight, but also keep our booking for this flight open so that when an update came out, if our original flight would take off earlier than the new flight, we could still get on it, which was amazing.

Luckily, a new aircraft arrived for us in just over an hour, and despite taking off 3 hours later than planned, we arrived in Honolulu only 2 hours after our original arrival time, so we didn’t miss out much at all. As we came in to land, we actually flew over Aulani, so my first sight of the resort was from the air and it was stunning!

We got an Uber to the resort, where we were greeted with fresh flower leis and cool citrus infused water and checked in by some lovely cast members who made sure we got buttons. For the first six nights of our stay, were in a standard view studio, then our last night is in an ocean view studio, so from this room we don’t have much of a view besides some greenery and a little water feature, but we do still have a little balcony type patio.

After checking out our room, we realised how starving hungry we were, so went off to explore and find somewhere for some dinner, opting for the Off The Hook Bar And Grill and some Disney classic chicken tenders which we ate in the shade with a view of the pool. The resort is so stunning, I can’t believe I’m actually here and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.

After eating we did a quick scope of two of the gift shops, and I’ve already spotted a few things that I want.. Then we headed back to chill in the comfort of our room with the sun still shining in, relax in the softest dressing gowns ever provided by a hotel and get an early night to recover from the long, slightly stressful day of travelling.

I can’t wait to update you with what we get up to tomorrow!

Disney Fan Theories – The Best and The Worst

As with every major fandom, the Disney world is filled with theories and fan fiction, and they range from surprisingly plausible to utterly ridiculous, fuelled mostly by the internet.

Now I haven’t come up with any of these theories myself, they’re all ones I’ve seen online or heard from others, and because they are so spread over the goo ol’ world wide web, I can’t credit the original person because I simply have no idea who that might be, but here are a few of my favourites, and some of the theories that really grind my gears.

The Best

Riley has gender identity conflicts (Inside Out)

During the 2015 Pixar movie, we get to see inside the heads of two characters other than Riley herself, and that’s Riley’s parents. Both parents have the same 5 emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust – that Riley does, but in Riley’s mum’s head, all of her emotions have female personas, and Riley’s dad’s emotions all have male personas. Nothing unusual about that, right? Well no, except Riley’s emotions take on both male and female personas, and the theory behind this is that Riley doesn’t identify as one specific gender, and this is Pixar’s little nod to all those people in the world who feel the same. I personally really hope that this is true.

Emily from Toy Story 2 is Andy’s mum

In TS2, we hear the sad tale of how Jessie is abandoned by her kid, Emily, but some fans believe that Emily grew up into our favourite cowboy-loving kid’s mum. You see, the cowboy hat that Andy wear as he plays with Woody is the same style as that sported by cowgirl star of the second film, and its possible that this hat belonged to his mum, or was at least bought by her in a nostalgic moment. I just love thinking that not only did Jessie find a loving home after Emily, but that she did actually make it back into Emily’s life.

The Worst

Tarzan is Anna and Elsa’s younger brother

Personally I find the whole ‘Anna and Elsa’s parents were going to Rapunzel’s wedding when their ship sunk’ thing a little bit overplayed, but when I read an addition to this theory that suggested that they did, in fact, survive the shipwreck, and washed up on the island as per the opening scene of Tarzan, making him their younger brother, I just thought that this was too much. For starters, the Tarzan ship went down in flames, on relatively still water, rather than the crazy storm shown in the movie dragging the ship under, but also Tarzan was a baby at the time of the crash, and unless the queen gave birth onboard the ship, in which case we would have seen that she was pregnant as she left, they would have had the baby before leaving, which they did not. Sorry, I’m not buying it.

Carl died at the start of Up

So some people believe that Carl actually passes away before the big adventure of the movie takes place, and that from the balloons going up, we’re actually following Carl’s adventure into the afterlife. I’m sorry, but that’s a big ol’ nope from me, this film is already sad enough.

Hit me up with your favourite (or least favourite) fan theories!

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My Aulani Must Dos

Credit: disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com

So I can officially say that I go to Aulani THIS MONTH now, and its actually only like two weeks away which is crazy and I feel somewhat unprepared, but mainly just so stupidly excited that I spend a lot of time squealing. I’ve wanted to go to Aulani for so many years now and I honestly never thought it would happen, or that it would be a once in a lifetime trip, but now Matthew and I are DVC members, I’m so happy that I can actually visit this paradise on earth without selling a major organ.

Planning wise, we’ve kept it fairly low-key. Although it wasn’t originally intended to be, this trip is our pre-moving-house relax and refresh before everything goes completely mad, so I don’t want to have every second planned to a tee, but in the last few weeks we’ve been doing a bit more research on what the resort and surrounding areas have to offer, and I’ve compiled a list of a few things that I want to make sure we do while we’re living it up in Disney paradise.

Mickey shaped snow cones

The most iconic food in Aulani will get in my belly (you know, once I’ve got the perfect Instagram shot)

Go to the spa

So I have never actually been to a spa or had an actual massage, and I feel like I’m seriously missing out on this experience, so where better to do it for the first time than in Aulani’s full service spa? I feel more relaxed just thinking about it..

Sunrise and ocean yoga

I’m that super weird person that loves to check our gyms and fitness options wherever I go on holiday, and I cannot stay away from a Disney resort gym, but Aulani not only offer yoga classes held on the beach at sunrise (which I’ll definitely be doing), they also have a yoga class held on the lagoon floating on surfboards! I mean, I’ll probably fall off, but I’ll be giving it my best shot.

Exclusive merch

Y’all know I’m a sucker for some good Disney merch, and apparently about 90% of the merchandise sold in Aulani is exclusive to the resort, so I can’t wait to buy some unique beauties. PS. I’ll be doing a giveaway or two after my trip, so stay tuned!

All the water activities

Matthew and I have already scouted some amazing looking activities to fill our days with, including nearby Wet’n’Wild waterpark and Maunalua Bay for parasailing, banana boating, jet skiing and more, so while we’ll be chilling big time, there’s also gonna be a lot of fun going on!

Photos galore

I always take so many photos when I’m in a new place, and I can’t wait to explore the resort and document it in photos, not to mention the fact that Matthew is going to have to put up with being my personal photographer so that I can also appear in a bunch of these photos – I mean, Insta needs and all

I’m just so buzzing to get out there and get some sunshine and warmth and Disney magic!

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March Small Business Buys and Ones To Watch

Given that the spending ban I put myself on was technically only for January and February (even though I broke it on more than one occasion), I figured this month I could not only treat myself to some fab new things, but in doing so I’d be supporting some of my favourite small businesses. I also tend to use my own small business earnings as my way of giving back to the small business community, and I’m so happy with everything that I’ve got!

Firstly, I couldn’t not get these adorable headbands from Closet Geek – Bel has really outdone herself with making these the cutest way to show my Disney love in an almost subtle way! I actually bought three, with the other one being a red version of the mint Mickey pattern, but that one’s already been used so many times that it basically lives in my handbag. As well as set designs, there’s also a custom option, and I chose the Lilo print especially for my trip to Aulani next month!

Now personally I think I’ve been pretty good in curbing my ear buying habit, but these wire ears from Ears by Erin just called out to me when I saw them! They’re part of the three way collaboration with Magical Thunder Press (who designed this incredible fabric) and Thrift Co and they’re just so perfect – the fabric has so many tiny details that I didn’t spot in the photos but now I have them I’m amazed to be finding little hidden Mickeys and Disney details, plus I love a big bow.

Because I ordered these ears from Thrift Co while she was running a special offer, Danielle also included a mystery pocket t-shirt, which turned out to be this Alice in Wonderland inspired design, and that’s not the only thing I’ve bought from Thrift Co this month..

I fell in love with this Moana fabric when it was first released, but waited too long to order and it sold out, so when Danielle announced a restock, I was on it so quickly and I’m so glad I did because its so cute! Her pocket tees are so well made and they’re always packaged up with a little surprise too which is always super exciting to uncover.

Now I’ve had to steal this photo from their website because mine hasn’t actually arrived yet, but how adorable is this little embroidered Wall-E?! I have a real thing for that film, and as soon as I saw that Teeq were releasing these shirts I knew I’d be buying one. I went for the baseball tee style, and I can’t wait for it to arrive because I’ve heard such good things about them, so I’m hoping it turns up this week!

Ones to Watch

I love seeing small businesses grow, and these are just a handful of stores that I see amazing things coming from, so go over and check them out right now (I mean it):

  • Quackers and Co – I’m a little bias because this is the brainchild of my amazing friend Sammy, but I’ve seen some of the things she’s got coming and I just know you’re gonna want to own them – I already love my San Fransokyo beanie and have got my eye on a few more!
  • Chasing Childhood – if you’re on the hunt for some ears that are unique and sparkly as anything, Karina is your girl! I guarantee you won’t find anything like her creations elsewhere and you’re gonna love them.
  • Disney Beanie – not only is Charlie such a lovely person but she makes the cutest little handmade pins, and I see things really taking off for her if she keeps doing what she’s doing!

If you’ve got a small business, or have any favourites feel free to drop me the details in a comment and I’ll check it out!

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Matthew’s Pin Collection

For pretty much as long as I’ve known Matthew, he’s talked about the pins he collected on his Disney World trips as a kid. I say talked, because in all the time we’ve been together, neither of us have actually seen said pins.. You see, they were somewhere in a box in his mum’s loft, and despite searching on more than one occasion while visiting, he’s never managed to find them, and it was only when she moved house a few weeks ago that the pins were finally found.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he had quite a few. All of his pins are from 2008 or further back – you know, back when the exchange rate was much better and pins didn’t cost more than about $6-7..

There’s a bit of a running them with the pins. Its either single characters..

Or park pins..

These three are all a little spinners which are super cute and I’ve never seen ones like them before – although not being much of a pin person myself I may just miss them on the racks! He has three packets of the four park pins, one of which actually has an MGM Studios pin instead of Hollywood Studios!

But my favourite out of the whole collection is this amazing Sorcerer Mickey hat pin, and despite not being a pin person, I actually love so many of them!

Who knew I had such a pin-head of a boyfriend?!

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