You Had Me At Aloha! Sending Love from Aulani Resort, DeAnna Lee

Aloha from island of O’ahu in Hawaii and Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa! O’ahu means “the gathering place”. So snuggle up and let me take you on a journey around this delightful Hawaiian retreat.

This is my first trip to Hawaii, and Aulani made it extra special. We arrived to locals greeting us in the traditional manner with a lei. They are made of orchards that make you smell as if you are wearing the freshest, most organic perfume ever made. These fresh Hawaiian flowers are abundant and shared generously with Aulani guests.

Aulani Resort

They also put those flowers into every single drink you order at the Aulani Resort.  Try something with guava juice like this Pink Guava-Rita. Even Miranda Lambert and her love for “Randa-Rita’s” would give this a country girl thumbs up!

Guava Rita

The most humbling part of this journey to O’hau is that I got to bring my husband.

DeAnna Lee & JMR

I also got to meet the Aulani Ambassador, Jenelle who greeted me with an additional lei. Jenelle exudes that Hawaiian spirit that makes you want to drop all of your English and speak fluent Hawaiian. Matter of fact they have a Hawaiian room here at the Aulani where everything is marked in Hawaiian AND English so that you can spend time learning the native language.


img 5203 You Had Me At Aloha!  Sending Love from Aulani Resort, DeAnna Lee Lei with Jenelle

The night we arrived we had a little time to explore the Aulani Resort. We walked out past the pool and lagoon area to the rocky coast.  My husband and I sat and watched the Pacific Ocean crash and pull away from the shore and then back out to sea.  The Pacific is so expansive, and I felt small and wondrous.

DeAnna Lee

Aulani Resort put us in a beautiful and VERY large one bedroom with a full kitchen, dining room table, living room, expansive bedroom, spa, and stand up shower that you can sit in…yes, I said sit.


I’m standing in the kitchen looking out towards our living room. This place is bigger than our Queen Anne condo. We had so much room we weren’t sure where to hang out first!


They call this the “Garden View”. If you want the stay on the quiet side of the resort away from all the action in the pool and the lagoon, ask for this view. It’s glorious in the morning and evening.

View from room

The next morning after we arrived it was time to explore the Aulani Resort with a few of their staff members.  I’m also lucky enough to travel with my fun co-worker “Jay Bell”. We love this guy! He didn’t waste a second rolling up his jeans, taking his shoes off and putting those toes in the sand!

DeAnna & Jay Bell

You’re too fun Jay Bell!

Jay Bell

Aulani also gave me this Pineapple drink concoction that I highly recommend! Pineapple juice, rum, a little lime…what’s not to love about that?!


Ok yeah, these Pineapple things are REALLY good!  The view ain’t that bad either!


Drink are good!

From the opposite side of the Aulani lagoon, you can look back and see the resort tucked up against the Hawaiian mountainside. Oh and if you look close, that’s me and Jay Bell. He’s getting into the Aulani spirit with a Micky Mouse hat, and I’ve got the traditional orchid in my hair. If you wear this flower in your hair in Hawaii ladies, remember wear it on the RIGHT if you’re single and on the LEFT if you’re married.

D & J

Mine is on the left… hubby and I just celebrated our one year wedding anniversary!


Then it was off to meet the amazing staff at Aulani and do a few radio broadcasts. Broadcasting from Hawaii?! Wow, I never thought I would say that.

DeAnna Lee

First I met Manako who is versed in all things Hawaiian from culture, art, architecture, and the overall resort experience. I liked him because of the way he spoke Hawaiian and how comfortable he made me feel. Manako is always smiling!



Do you see my husband standing in the background?  Yup, I roped him into the radio broadcast too! HA!  I think he had fun talking about the lazy river! It was the first thing he did when he got here. He was in his swim suit floating the lazy river before 9 am!


Then I met a delightful Hawaiian named Alyssa-lende (lende after her grandmother).  Alyssa-lende helped explain why the Aulani Resort and Spa was named 2016 Reader’s Choice in Hawaiian Magazine.

Ayssa lende

The General Manager Kimberly is a Hawaiian gal I could hang with outside of work! She’s all business but knows how to have a great time! You can see how much she loves her job at Aulani with the way she speaks of the resort. Can you imagine working in paradise EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?!  Sign me up please!

GM Kimberly

And then there’s Ha’aheo.  When you begin to speak Hawaiian, they tell you not to over pronounce the words. Just go slow and sound it out. Hey, I can do that!  This is Ha’ -ah- Hey- O!  He brought me a yummy Guava juiced non-alcoholic drink that was super refreshing in the warm Hawaiian air.


Oh and then look who showed up!  The super star of the resort…it’s Minnie Mouse!  I love Minnie!  She’s so girlie and fun! I instantly felt like a kid again. Even the General Manager Kimberly remarked at how radiant I became when I saw Minnie. She said, “don’t worry, it happens to me every single day”. You can help but light up and get a little giddy when you see “the Mice”!

Minnie Mouse

After our radio broadcasts, my hubby and I put on our swimsuits and continued to explore the resort. Then MICKEY MOUSE showed up! Oh! My! Geeeee!

Mickey Mouse

Hats off to my friend and co-worker Jay Bell for engineering our radio broadcasts. Without his expertise, I would just be a goofy talent holding a mic that doesn’t work.  You’re so much fun Jay!

Jay Bell

And to my husband, you always support this crazy radio ride. Thank you for jumping in to help whenever needed.  Keep working on your Hawaiian… and go get back in that lazy river!


More from DeAnna Lee

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