We are all sad to be leaving Aulani today. Despite the crowds, we have all really loved our time here and hope to return one day. As Chris wandered around, getting some last minute photos of the resort, Aly and I couldn’t resist one last morning in the pool. One more ride down the tube slide, right into the lazy river, and about 1,000 more jumps off the side of the pool, and we said goodbye to Moana and all of her friends.
Next up, Oahu’s North Shore and a few days stay at Turtle Bay Resort. I have a Pediatrics conference for the next few days there, and it gave us a reason to see another part of the island besides Aulani’s pool! It was lunch time after we made the 1 hour drive up to Turtle Bay.
Our room was not yet ready, so we drove a few minutes over the Hukilau Marketplace at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This is a kind of outdoor food court and some shops with Hawaiian home goods/clothing/random stuff we would probably not look at again when we got home. I had read about a highly rated Thai food truck, the Elephant Shack, that parks at this marketplace full time, and all 3 of us enjoy Thai, so off we went. The marketplace was quite busy and there were many options for food but Thai was calling our names. It was really tasty and we got SO MUCH FOOD. Aly even made friends with a cute little dog named Eddie as we ate lunch.
Despite being overly full from lunch, we couldn’t resist the pull, or smell, of the Penny’s Malasadas truck next to us. If you haven’t had a Malasada, you are missing out! I likened it to a large donut hole to Aly, or kind of like a beignet. They are definitely at their most delicious while hot and fresh. We got plain, Nutella creme filled, and bing cherry filled and OMG the cherry was like a warm cherry pie donut mash-up!! Though as Aly said, “you can’t go wrong with Nutella.” They were all amazing.
We skipped any activities at the Polynesian Cultural Center, because I had read reviews that it is kind of hokey (and expensive). Fun fact-the PCC is owned by the LDS church, so don’t expect any alcohol while at a luau or lunch there.
On a sugar rush and with full bellies, we went back to get our room. We did have an ocean view room, and the conference had arranged for a twin air mattress which Aly was “pumped up” about (haha) because she thinks it’s cool to sleep on an air mattress! I will say despite the cost of staying at Turtle Bay, the room was below my expectations, but nice enough for a few nights and it is nice to have the sounds of the ocean right outside our balcony door. We wanted to explore some of the many trails around Turtle Bay resort and got Aly interested by telling her we would seek out the tide pools that were on the map. We walked for quite a ways down the beach and saw many hermit crabs and some larger crabs in the tide pools. Aly loved searching in the rocks for little creatures, though she was disappointed to not see any starfish!
After walking and sweating for a while, we went back to the hotel as the conference was providing a reception on the lawn for attendees and their families. It was really windy all the way up here on the North Shore so Chris’ salad was blowing all over the lawn (ha!) but the view was amazing and Aly got a prize pen after trivia. We were all hot and tired from the day, so went back up to the room and watched a little Hulu before Chris and Aly fell asleep at 9 🙂 and I caught up on a little reading. Conference for me in the AM.