Hawaii 2023 Trip Report Part 1 - Introduction

Hawaii Trip 2023

We went on a Hawaiʻi trip in June 2023 with the Riedels to celebrate 30th anniversaries! Read all about our trip! But before we go, here is some background information…

An Introduction

Thirty years ago, Laura and I got married. Yes, we were just kids at the time, thanks for asking! In that same year, our best friends Brant and Karen Riedel also got married. Some people may not think that a 30th wedding anniversary is as big as a 25th or a 50th, but who says that you can’t celebrate it in a grand way if you want to? So we decided to take a special trip to celebrate our 30th anniversaries. Just us adults, no kids on this trip. Never mind the fact that all of the “kids” are now technically adults. Just us older, married-for-30-years adults on this trip.

The Burnses and Riedels
The older, married-for-30-years adults in an earlier photo

All those years of growing up and watching The Love Boat and Fantasy Island on Saturday nights taught me that special occasions meant either a cruise or a trip to Hawaiʻi. Because we all knew that Fantasy Island was actually Hawaiʻi. Laura and I had been on plenty of cruises over the last several years, but we were wanting to get back to Hawaiʻi.

Laura and I had been to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi for our 25th anniversary, and we loved everything about it. But we thought that maybe we should try something a little different for our 30th anniversary trip. We talked about it with the Riedels, suggesting we all go to the Disney resort of Aulani on the island of Oʻahu. We had been on several Disney Cruises, and we had been to Walt Disney World several times, so a trip to Aulani would be something different, and yet with, we assumed, the same expectations and the same level of service.

At first, we just casually mentioned it here and there, to see if the Riedels would even be interested, which they were. As time went on, we talked about it more seriously. And eventually, we decided to go for it. At the time, the summer looked like the best option based on work schedules. The Riedels had gotten married in May, and we Burnses had gotten married in July, so we decided to split the difference and try for June. We decided on seven nights, because why would you want to go that far and only stay for a few days? Longer might have even been better, but we did have to keep an eye on costs. And we decided on a Wednesday arrival and Wednesday check-out, mainly because that had worked well for Laura and me for our Kauaʻi trip.

To help with our reservations, I contacted my friend Tammy at Storybook Destinations. She referred me to Misty, one of the Storybook Destinations agents, who got us all set up with our reservation. She also put in a request for connecting rooms, and she helped us with a couple of dinner reservations as well as sending us tips leading up to our vacation. She was a big help!

We looked at several flight options and eventually decided on flying from Memphis to Denver, and then from Denver to Honolulu. Our return flights the following week would be the same thing in reverse. And I also reserved a rental car, hoping that what I reserved was big enough for the four of us and our luggage.

As you would expect, our excitement grew as our trip approached. I tried to keep my expectations at a reasonable level so that the expectations would not be impossible to meet.

Soon, it was time to check in online for our flights, our rental car, and our resort stay. That meant that travel time had arrived!

Next, Part 2 - Arriving at Aulani. Also, check the Hawaiʻi 2023 page for more about our trip!

Hawaii Trip 2023


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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 Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.