spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

3 years of blogging under my belt!

It’s that time of year again! ¬†The anniversary of this blog ūüôā

3 years ago, I started this project in hopes of helping other Hawaii families plan their travel away from the Islands. ¬†Based on anecdotal evidence, it has worked! ¬†It’s still quite a small blog, but I know people have benefited from the information therein. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bits & Pieces: new HI routes on United, Virgin America partnerships, Disney media

My posts have slowed down some- work has gotten much busier lately, and so my usual routine of getting started with the main text of a post while at the office, then adding the finishing touches/pictures at home for posting has been disrupted. Boo.¬† Still, as the days go by I add items to my Post List so as not to forget them when I do have the time.¬† Here’s what I added to my Clipboard of Fun¬†over the past¬†few weeks: Read the rest of this entry »

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Hey, I’m learnin’ here: Disneyland Paris

In a unique position here: planning my first trip to a Disney Park!¬† One specific Disney Park, to be exact:¬†Disneyland Paris.¬† My sister went once, but that was in the Dark Ages when it was called Euro Disney¬†Resort.¬† Of course I will take any info she can provide, but I’m essentially starting from scratch.¬† Here’s what I know about Disneyland Paris: Read the rest of this entry »


Bits & Pieces: Laptop ban update, Alaska CC, Southwest to HI, Referral links

    • Here’s a long article from Bloomberg News about the possible laptop ban from Europe into US airports.¬† They….didn’t make a final decision, and are still fighting it out.¬† The prediction is that they will try to implement it, get a lot of ire over it, and¬† retract it.¬† Sounds good to me.

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Bits & pieces: Pandora, Happily Ever After, Music of Pixar-Live, deals

Some Disney News!

Confession: I have never seen Avatar. So when Disney announced a few years ago that they would be recreating the world of Pandora: World of Avatar¬†at Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, I was all, “meh.”¬† Now that the work is mostly completed, and they are airing TV spots, and the opening is slated for Memorial Day Weekend 2017, I’m all, “…still meh.”¬† However, a few things that might make me change my tune: Read the rest of this entry »


Flights and Mice- Part 3

This is our last installment, where my sis boldly (ha!) details her adventures on the flight home from Honolulu.¬† My comments in RED.¬† I’ll be back soon with a regular post, lots of Disney news lately¬†ūüôā

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Flights and Mice- Part 2


This is a combo post.¬† My sister’s words are bolded, and my comments are in RED again.

I think I speak for most of us when I say that it’s hard to be friends with your sibling when you are young, simply because of forced togetherness.¬† My sister and I shared a room our entire lives until she went away to college.¬† We went to the same small grammar and high schools, just one school year apart.¬† We lived in a bad neighborhood and our parents did not let us play outside unattended.¬† In short, we couldn’t ever get away from each other. Read the rest of this entry »


Flights and Mice- Part 1

Hello, there! Something exciting: my sister has graciously agreed to share the details of her experience traveling with my favorite niece.¬† It’ll be her report of the travel TO Hawaii, then I’ll interject an Aulani Report and some reviews of other local activities, and then it’ll end with her travel FROM Hawaii.¬† These are her words- any¬†comments I add will be in RED.

and away we go

And away we go…

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A tour of My Planning/Trip Binder

Hey friends (and several new followers)!¬† This post was requested by Jen ūüôā¬† She wanted to know more about my Trip Binder and how I organize this low-tech item.¬† So here we go!

planning binder11

Here she is at my office.¬† That’s my eBags Kayla Town Square bag that I use for work.

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Planning for Aulani

Hey hey, my niece and her personal assistant, AKA my sister, are coming to town soon!  We have a bunch of fun stuff planned, including trips to the Honolulu Zoo, Sea Life Park, the Oahu Railroad Train Ride, the beach/pool, and of course, Aulani.

candace heart eyes

This will be my niece’s first official Disney Experience.¬† I’m thrilled that I can be a part of it- you may recall that DD’s first Disney Experience was a Disney Cruise and WDW trip with me and my sister.¬†My being a part of this Aulani stay with my niece means another Disney tradition continues!

Since we’ll have 5 people (DH has to work), I once again looked at renting DVC points from David’s DVC Rental.¬† We needed either 2 rooms or a¬†small villa, and cash rates WITH Kama’aina discount were coming in at nearly $1000.¬†¬†¬†Looking at the points rates on the DVC rental site, I saw that going through them would save a huge amount.¬† We wound up securing a standard 1-bedroom villa (sleeps 5) for $660.¬† Since my sister and I are splitting the cost, it’s very reasonable.¬† Our past Aulani stay was in a regular ocean view room.¬† It’ll be nice to have the extra space and kitchenette.¬† Here’s the floorplan:

aulani 1br

The bed is king-sized….me and both kids can probably fit on there ūüôā¬† The pullout bed in the living area is queen-sized.



I tell you, the property is very beautiful, well-appointed, and includes all the Disney details you would expect…but I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is the lazy river.¬† That thing is AWESOME.¬† Another thing I’m looking forward to is the Menehune Adventure Trail.¬† I think DS will really like it, as it involves puzzles and is a scavenger hunt.¬† And depending on how DD does grade-wise this quarter, I may look into booking a¬†treatment for her at the Painted Sky Teen Spa.

I’ve prepped homemade empanadas (my niece is crazy for them), got my jigsaw puzzles up and out of the way, hung a bell on the front door in case of any escape attempts, purchased a variety of yellow beach/pool accessories (her fave color), and unearthed the outlet covers that we used when DS was a toddler.¬† Hurricane Niece is coming to town!

But wait, there’s more!

  • Kama’aina, I found this great discount for Sea Life Park, which expires soon (3/19/17)!¬† You just bring a receipt from Times Supermarket for $20 or more to get 2 adult tix for $25, which is $15 off each ticket.¬† Nice deal.

Perhaps I can persuade my sister to do a guest post on her experience traveling with a toddler, following some of my tips…get back to you guys in a few weeks on that.¬† Also coming soon, by request, a post about my physical trip binder(s) and how I put them together.¬† I have one specifically for Disney, and one for all other trips- see below.¬† Have a great day!


The lowest of all possible techs

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