…and happy birthday to Bae Yong Joon today.
My hanai uncle Terry ran a couple hotels in Waikiki; he’s on the Big Island now (no, Noe, not Australia). A few years back, he sent me a message through my dad: Disney is getting the paperwork to build at Ko Olina. I immediately called Jim Hill, because I was still on my self-imposed five-year hiatus from Disney so I wasn’t going to break it myself. Jim politely blew me off; he’d heard so many rumors about so many places he’d gotten Disney expansion rumor fatigue.
When the news broke, he did write about THAT, so that’s actually pretty cool.
You will never, in a million years, know how badly I wanted to be there for opening day. Joel and I were the biggest Disney fans in the state – at least one of us got there (and took terrific pictures all through construction- thanks, Joel! ) so that’s good. I was surprised that Jim wasn’t invited out for the opening; he wouldn’t have been able to fly through the hurricane to get there, but I would have been more than willing to take that bullet for him. Ah well.
I used to take Alice down to the lagoons at Ko Olina after church on some Sundays; we’d sit under the shades of the palm trees and have some snacks, read, watch the clouds go by, and admire the tiny crabs Alice would catch, before setting them back onto their rocky shelter. All you had to do was flash your Hawaii state ID and the security guard would wave you right in. There are no private beaches in Hawaii.
This is the view from our pareau (those cloths I’m always carrying around; they’re dead useful!) looking Westward. Lovely place.
So now there’s another reason to go back. First is my ‘Ohana. Second, the food. I wonder if Jimbo’s went out of business without me going there to get handmade udon? Third, Aulani. Congratulations to everyone involved. It really looks lovely!