I promised a post detailing what we did in Hawaii with Mickey and Minnie last week. Here it is! I am so grateful to be part of a company that provides incentive trips to their Consultants. This was my 11th trip with Close To My Heart. We've been all over the world: Hawaii, Alaska, many parts of the Caribbean, France, Spain, Italy, Mexico. This trip was extra special because not only did we get to go to one of my favorite places in the world (Hawaii), but we got to stay and the new Disney resort, Aulani. It did NOT disappoint! Aulani was amazing. How many people get to experience a trip like this, and FREE, no less? CTMH paid for our (mine and my guest, my hubby) airfare, shuttles, lodging, and food. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to insure I'm not dreaming!
Saturday, Feb 7:
This day was spent mostly traveling. We were lucky and had a straight flight from Salt Lake City, UT to Honolulu. It was a great flight, which is saying a ton because my hubby, Dan the Man, absolutely hates to fly. Seriously hates it. He is a big guy (6'4") and is so uncomfortable. He worries about encroaching on someone else's space. Luckily we had the 2 seats on the side of the plane so he had an aisle and encroached on no one's space but mine, which he was totally fine with! lol. He didn't even have to take the anti-anxiety meds he usually has to take when he flies. That's great news! The first photo below is when we first got on the plane. I was happy and excited. He was dreading the flight. Fortunately that frown turned into a smile pretty quickly.
After arriving in Hawaii, we got our luggage and CTMH had a special shuttle waiting to take us to Aulani. We arrived at the resort, got checked in (again, a special check in area, just for CTMH peeps), and then went to a welcome reception. There was tons of great food and it was so much fun to see all of our CTMH friends. We ate, visited, and laughed, then headed back to our beautiful room to get some sleep.
|You can see from this photo how absolutely beautiful Aulani is! Photo by Aulani|
|This is the tower we stayed in|
|Inside our room, photo by Aulani|
Sunday, Feb. 8:
We decided to attend church while in Hawaii. There happen to be lots of us that earned the trip that are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) so we all went together. There were a few people who came with us that are not members are were curious, so we happily brought them along. It was a great meeting and we all were so glad we went.
|Church on Sunday|
Monday, Feb. 9:
We spent all morning at our private beach. It was gorgeous. Dan snorkled while I soaked up the sun. We were there with several friends and enjoyed relaxing.
|soaking up the sun with some of my favorite girls|
|Dan and some of the guys|
|Dan's head was burning. Since I wouldn't let him take his ugly hat to Hawaii, this was the next best option. Ha!|
|The whole group of CTMH Consultants who earned the trip and their guests|
|Michelle, Amy and I. These two are friends that will last a lifetime. We room together every year at Convention. Although we are miles apart (Idaho, Utah and South Carolina), we feel like we haven't missed a beat when we get together.|
|Me, Monica and Michelle. Monica is the COO for CTMH|
Later that evening, we went to the Starlight Hui night show. We sat on a beautiful lawn and enjoyed Hawaiian dancing and music. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Tuesday, Feb. 10:
This was Dan's favorite day of the whole trip. Although I had been to Pearl Harbor before, Dan never had. We went and were touched by the reverence of the place and the sacrifices it signifies. In addition to the Arizona Memorial, we went and toured the USS Missouri. That was a first for both of us. Dan was in heaven. The Missouri is where the treaty to end WWII was signed with Japan. At the time it was in Tokyo Bay. It is now moored right by the Arizona Memorial. We both felt that at both Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri we were on hallowed ground.
|When you arrive at Pearl Harbor, you see a 20 minute film, including actual footage of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop when it ends.|
|Here you can see part of the Arizona and some of her oil leakage|
|Inside the memorial is a wall with all of the names of those who died there that day. I loved that someone had left a lei in front of the wall to honor them.|
|That's a pretty big anchor!|
|The USS Missouri|
|Dan the Man. He loved this day!|
|In this shot you can see the USS Missouri and the memorial|
|No wonder they have a height limit for soldiers. These little tiny bunks in the USS Missouri could never have held Dan|
|Here I am in front of the post office aboard the USS Missouri|
|Some of the guns on the Missouri|
|We so enjoyed spending our tours on Tuesday with the Johnsons from Michigan.|
|This is the spot on the Missouri where the treaty was signed.|
After all of this, we headed back to the hotel and got ready for that evening's luau. We were spoiled by authentic Polynesian food, singing, and dancing. And, we got to sit with my two downline and their husbands who were also at the luau. I've seen a lot of fire knife dancers over the years, but this guy had to be the best we'd ever seen!
|As we walked into Paradise Cove for the luau, this was the scenery.|
|Our welcome to the laua. I'm not sure how I feel about Dan's new friend with the coconuts! :)|
|As we were arriving, the sunset was just beginning. So gorgeous!|
|My girls and I: Brenda and Kimberly. I'm so proud of them!|
|with our friends, the Hendrixes, from AZ|
|Before dinner, Dan splurged on a yummy drink. Everyone needs a drink with an umbrella!|
|more gorgeous hula|
Wednesday, Feb. 11: Wednesday was a day of total relaxation at the beach. All we did was soak up the sun, float the lazy river, sit in the hot tub, then repeat. It was heavenly. Our favorite hot tub was called The Infinity Pool. It was 2 levels and so gorgeous (and warm!).
|floating the Lazy River|
|View from above of the Infinity Pool|
|The Infinity Pool|
|The Lazy River|
|As you float the Lazy River, you get to experience going through caves and waterfalls.|
After a day of total relaxation, we ended with a beautiful farewell dinner from CTMH. We enjoyed delicious food and the company of so many CTMH friends. It was a perfect day to say goodbye.
Thursday, Feb. 12: Our plane didn't leave until 6 pm that evening so we spent the day lounging around. We caught our flight and flew all night. This time Dan did need his medication. Ha! Neither one of us slept. We arrived in Salt Lake City at 7 am and then went straight home and slept and slept and slept!
Good bye, Hawaii! We loved every minute! Now it's time to get to work earning next year's trip to the Caribbean!