Christmas Trips

Dates: December 7 to 10, 2018

Location: Our daughter and son-in-law’s home near Tacoma, Washington

On Friday, the 7th, we got up super early and packed our luggage into our neighbor Jim Lee’s car. He was nice enough to get up super early to drop us off for our 7:50 AM flight out of Orlando to Seattle. We breezed through check-in and security (that PreCheck paying for itself again) and boarded our plane on time.

When we arrived in Seattle, our son and daughter were both at work and both grandchildren were in school, so we picked up a rental car for the weekend. We spent the weekend visiting, making cookies, etc.

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We also went with the family to church on Sunday. We got up early Monday morning, loaded up our rental car with some of our luggage and headed to the airport for part 2 of our Christmas trip.

Dates: December 10 to 17, 2018

Location: Disney’s Aulani Resort, Ko Olina, Hawai’i

We had visited this resort back in 2016 for our 30th wedding anniversary as cash paying customers. This time we decided to go using our timeshare points from our Disney Vacation Club membership.

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Our flight arrived an hour early (yay, Alaska Airlines) and we surprised our shuttle company. They were waiting for other passengers, but ended up taking us to the resort instead.

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Our room was advertised as Island Gardens view (i.e., the back side of the building). However, it wasn’t much of a stretch to see the ocean and our balcony faced the sunrises each morning. As an added bonus, we could see the stage for the luau that they had a few nights while we were there and could clearly hear the music and narration.

Sadly, the first day we were there, Malcolm came down with a cold. Fortunately, it didn’t hit him as hard as they usually do, so we managed to do a lot of relaxing outside. Val caught the cold a couple days later and managed to suffer through, as well. Housekeeping left two extra boxes of tissues with us at our request.

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Cold Medicine

We spent most of our time at the resort, taking advantage of the various swimming pools, hot tubs and the lazy river.

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Adult Hottub View

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Lazy River

We did take one organized excursion around the island of Oahu. Our bus left the resort at 7:30 AM and arrived back at 5:45 PM. We saw many different sites along the way. Malcolm took his big camera and posted the pictures from that journey here: [Click]

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Our Ride for the Day

We also had a special dinner at the sit-down restaurant at the resort on Friday evening to celebrate Val’s “special day”. Val was adopted and her special day celebrates when she came home to live with her adoptive parents.

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On Monday, the 17th, we checked out of our room around 11:00 AM but our flight wasn’t set to leave until 11:25 PM that night. Aulani lets you stay around all day if you want and they even have a lounge with attached bathrooms (complete with showers and lockers) so that you can go swimming if you want, then change into travel clothes before you leave. That room closed at 6:00 PM, so we changed around 5:00 PM and caught a cab to go to the airport fairly early.

We arrived at the airport at 6:00, figuring we’d get checked in and head to get something to eat. Unfortunately, we had to wait until almost 7:30 PM outside with our luggage. The USDA checkpoint was closed until then and you have to put your checked bags through their machine before you can drop them off with your airline.

We finally got back to our gate around 8:00 PM to find out our flight had been delayed and was now going to leave at 1:00 AM. We napped, watched videos on our phones, etc. until we could board the plane. We both ended up napping the whole way back to Seattle, arriving around 8:00 AM. We rented another car for the rest of the week so nobody would have to come get us at the airport.

Dates: December 18 to 22, 2018

Location: Our daughter and son-in-law’s home near Tacoma, Washington

The final part of our Christmas trip is back here in the Tacoma area visiting family for Christmas and New Years. We ran around with Elizabeth on Wednesday while the children were still in school. We wandered through a few different antique stores and had lunch at Lucky’s, dining in the bus.

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The Dining Bus

Lucky’s is all take out drive-in type food. You order at their stand and, if you want, can sit in their bus and eat. The food was tasty and it was a unique place to eat.

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We also ran across this cool 1947 Dodge in a parking lot in Sumner, Washington. Since Elizabeth was dressed in period clothing, we decided to do a little photoshoot. The owner of the car was in the nearby barber shop and came out to let us see the car, hear it run and for Elizabeth to get pictures in and around the car.

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The granddaughters’ last day of school until after the first of the year was on Thursday, so we’ve had more time to hang around with them since then.

Today, the local fire department came down the street with Santa Claus in tow. He stopped and gave the girls candy canes. It’s a cool tradition and lots of fun.

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We’ll be seeing lots more of our son-in-law’s family over the Christmas holiday and will be here until January 2. More to come…

 

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