Anniversary Trip to Hawaii and Aulani

The View

A nighttime view of the Aulani resort and the surrounding Ko Olina area in Hawaiʻi

A nighttime view of the Aulani resort and the surrounding Ko Olina area in Hawaiʻi, as seen during our 30th anniversary trip.

For our 30th anniversary, we wanted to do something special. As you may recall, we took a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi for our 25th anniversary. Why not do something similar, but visit a different island? And why not go with friends? The Riedels’ 30th anniversary is just a couple of months before ours. So we all decided to take a trip together.

For our destination, we chose the Disney resort of Aulani on the island of Oʻahu. We are all Disney fans, and we were looking for a nice place to stay, and it looked like Aulani might check all of our boxes. (Spoiler alert: it did!)

I will have lots more to say about our trip in the coming weeks, and maybe even months. As you might imagine, I took lots of photos. And I do plan to have a formal trip report in the future as well, with probably more information than you actually want.

But for starters, enjoy the photo up above. This was taken from our balcony one night, looking out at the wing adjacent to ours and the resort area down below. We chose to save a little money by not getting a view of the pool courtyard, but this view was nice enough for us.

The Page

To help keep up with everything, I set up a new Hawaii 2023 page as a central place for all of the photos and stories from our trip, as well as the trip report. Be sure to check it out!

The People

The view from our balcony was just one of the many, great things about our trip. But the main thing that made it good were the people, meaning the four people in this photo:

The Riedels and Burnses in Hawaiʻi

We talked, laughed, swam, ate, and did all kinds of fun things together. We even endured a little bit of difficulty together on our trip home, and while that is another story for another time, those difficulties were a little better thanks to having some people to share them with.

Life tip: find some good people who are willing to put up with you for over a week while all of you are over 4000 miles from home. It takes some time to build that kind of relationship, but it is definitely worth it!

Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ. - 2 Thessalonians 3:5

About the Photo

According to the time stamp in the EXIF information of main photo, I took this photo at 9:44 PM. Fortunately, I remembered to change my camera’s time to the local time once we arrived. And now that I am typing this, I am remembering to set the time back to our “home” time. Anyway, because it was dark out, I used my tripod for this photo, because there is no way I could have held the camera still long enough.

This was a 10-second exposure, and the camera was set at f/2.8 and ISO-200. I also set my camera to have a 2-second delay from when I pushed the shutter button, just in case I had wiggled the camera slightly.

Also, just a note. Although this photo looks nice, I am not showing you the 10+ other attempts. Some of them were good, some had issues. Just a reminder that no one is perfect, even though we show our best stuff here online. Learning by trial and error is the best way to learn, after all.

And as for the other photo of the four of us, it was just a quick snap with my iPhone. I had the camera set to wide mode to be able to get some of the beautiful North Shore scenery in addition to the four of us in the foreground. This requires using the rear camera of the phone instead of the front camera. That means that you can’t see what you are getting in the photo. But in wide mode, you do not have to be all that precise.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: June 16, 2023
Location: Aulani, Ko Olina, Hawaiʻi


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About Burnsland
Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.