Aulani Day 1: Happy Hour

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AULANI WE ARE BACK!!!!!!

Yes, two years is certainly too long!!!! Our first family trip to the magical Hawaiian resort happened two years ago, right after Christine finished her freshman year finals and I finished my 2L year finals.  So much has happened since then – Christine is now a rising senior and I have passed both the New York and New Jersey Bar Exams.  Once again, this family vacation comes at a time of change, and, as Christine said last night, it is the end of the beginning.

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On the left you can see the side view of the entrance hall into the hotel.  When we first arrived, we were greeted with fresh orchid leis and refreshing fruit-flavored water.  The grandeur of the entrance hall forced a smile onto our faces, and the intoxicating smell of fresh flowers immediately helped us step into the vacation mental state. On the right you can see the view from our balcony down at the slide and the lazy river. I love how you will see people of all ages shooting down that slide, not a care in the world if their bathing suits stay on after splashing into the pool.  And they shouldn’t – they are on vacation!

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After forcing ourselves to stay awake past midnight our time, we ventured down to the outdoor lounge for some good eats.  To our surprise, it was Happy Hour, and so our guilt about ordering one of the expensive cocktails melted away.  I had some sort of mango margarita with Hawaiian spice sugar on the rim.  Delicious, and very sweet. We were first introduced to this Hawaiian spice on apples during our hike the last time we visited Hawaii. Maybe this time we will remember to bring some back home.

As for the food, we ordered the seared ahi tuna poke rice bowl, the spicy ahi tuna roll, the kobe beef sliders, and a pork vegetable spring roll. The spring rolls came later, so they didn’t make it into the picture before we dug in.  The last time we came to Hawaii, poke bowl became my obsession.  Poke is marinated sushi grade fish that tops a bowl of rice, and you can use all sorts of sauces, toppings, etc to make your meal.  This seared tuna poke was good, but it only heightened my craving for the real sushi style poke.  The spicy ahi roll was also tasty; the fish was good and it was definitely spicy, but I think we would have been more pleased with it if there had been less rice in the roll.  The sliders hit the spot – I had been craving a burger earlier in the day, which almost never happens. I’m not sure what the bread was, but Christine described it as Hawaiian bread mixed with an egg bagel.  The fries were what really did me in.  None of us could remember the last time we had fries.  I ended up eating them with my chopsticks, since they were out of reach otherwise.  Now we are all ready for some sweet potato fries that we know they serve at the resort as well.

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