Aloha everyone. We are on our way to Hawaii. We will be gone for 5 weeks, spending one month on the Big Island and one week on the island of Oahu before returning home. We are two days away from leaving and can not wait to get out of here considering what we are leaving behind!
As the plane flew away from Seattle we got an incredible view of what we think is Mount Baker.
The weather in Hawaii was a bit of a surprise. The area was experiencing a major storm system. The flight between Honolulu to the Big Island of Hawaii was quite turbulent. When we landed we were shocked to see the airport grounds covered in inches of water. The rain was coming down in buckets. The storm system lasted for the first 3 or 4 days after our arrival. There were some power outages and roads blocked because of the flooding. We were apparently lucky compared to some of the other islands. Kauai and Maui were having much worse flooding issues.
Once the storm system passed we were able to get out and do a bit of site seeing. We are still trying to wrap our heads around the concept of being on a volcanic island. It’s quite surreal to be driving around on roads that have piles of volcanic rock for as far as you can see on each side. It is not a type of landscape we have seen on any of our previous travels.
We arrived at the condo that we would be renting for the next month. We are staying in the town of Kaliua-Kona on the west side of the island. The condo complex is called the Sea Village Condos. It was even better than the pictures looked. It had everything you could possibly want to feel at home.
The views from the lanai are amazing. We could just sit there all day and never move. The pool is a nice place to hang out as well. It sits right on the edge of the property along side the ocean.
There is always something to catch our interest out on the water in front of our condo property. Several times during the week we wake up to find cruise ships sitting in view of our lanai. We watch people para sailing and jet skiing almost everyday. We have spotted humpback whales a few times and on many occasions see spinner dolphins jumping out of the water.
We have a few little geckos that come to visit us on the deck and lots of colourful birds. We go down to the rocks on front of the property to watch fisherman and see the snorkelers go by.
We also watch a submarine submerge each day. It’s a tourist excursion you can book. In the early morning and at dusk the Outrigger canoes paddle past. The condo area seems to have enough entertainment of it’s own to keep us busy. We love to sit back and watch the nightly sunsets from our deck.
We had a good laugh while trying to BBQ some fish at our condos. Jack was at the BBQ out in the common area outside the complex. It was clear when he went out and didn’t look like there was any chance of rain. Within seconds a massive downpour started. He and our next door neighbour had to grab everything off the BBQ and come running back inside. They were both soaked right through their clothing.
Families BBQing on Christmas Day, and Charlie, the resident cat at the condo complex.
We booked our car rental online using a website called www.hotwire.com This is a discount booking site that you can use for flights, hotels and car rentals. It works a little different than most sites.
You pick the dates and city you want to book a hotel in. A listing of options will come up. They will not tell you the name of the hotel. It will tell you the star rating and show you a map of the city and a highlighted section of where the hotel is located. You don’t get the name of the hotel and exact location until after you pay. It is supposed to have some good hotels prices, but I don’t think I like the surprise element of booking a hotel.
The car rental works pretty much the same way. After checking out numerous car rental sites and companies we found hotwire did have one of the cheapest rates available. You pick your dates, the city, location such as airport, downtown, etc; and the type of vehicle you want, economy, midsize, etc. Again you do not get to know the car rental company until final payment and conformation.
As far as the car rental goes it seems like a no lose situation in our opinion. It is guaranteed to be with one of the following rental companies, Avis, National, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise or Hertz. Ours ended up being with Avis. We had full insurance coverage through an additional policy on our own vehicle insurance so we declined theirs. We ended up with a car for $17.00 a day, which seemed pretty reasonable to us.
We picked up our car at the Avis site at the airport with out any problems. It was a brand new Chevy Cobalt. We enjoyed it for the month, driving all over the island. We returned it just before checking in for our flight and didn’t pay a penny more than our original fee that we payed online to hotwire. We used the website again on the island of Oahu for a one week rental. This time we got Budget. We didn’t get a brand new car, it was a year or two old, but it was still a good deal.