Aloha, Hawai'i! We're settled in...What a view out the window! Car rental wheeling and dealing...A fun photo from one year ago today...


Tom was checking out the views, up close and personal.
Although yesterday's flight was only 37 minutes long,  traveling from Maui to the Big Island was still an all day affair.

As usual, worried-old-man-mine, we arrived way too early at the Maui airport having no less than two hours of waiting time for the short flight.  We left Maalaea Beach at 10:30 am, dropped off the rental car and sat in chairs reading our books on our phones. 

The colors of the water is nothing like we've ever seen.
My android phone battery died in no time so I took out the broken screen unlocked phone and entertained myself reading unfinished books from long ago; dry, scientific stuff, that once I got started worked out well as I got into it.

Finally, we were situated in our seats for the short flight that literally went up and then back down.  While on board I busied myself writing the following.

"As always, we've said our prayers for another safe passage.  This flight, only 37 minutes long, still had a bit of turbulence that always makes me a little jittery.  However, in no time at all, we'll be on the descent of this island hopping shuttle type flight.

The craggy lava rocks along the shore in front of the house is mesmerizing.
Its odd to think that this time arrived so quickly. Either that's a result of old age or we've been having so much fun that the time has flown.  Perhaps, in our case, its a combination of both.

It was a full two years ago that we booked this first house in Hawai'i and over one year ago that we booked the second house next door.  I remember finalizing the details of the second house on the day we left for the safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya, including my high level excitement over both events along with butterflies in my stomach over flying in the little airplane.

I took this photo this morning at 7 am from the lanai off of our bedroom.
Now, 14 months later, I have little fear, if any, of flying in a little airplane after all we've seen and done in these past two plus years.

Grateful?  More than words can say.  If we had to stop now, our lives have changed forever.  In some ways, we're still the people we were long ago, only more peaceful, less stress filled, less fearful and more than anything, happier."

Once we arrived at the Hilo Airport, we hurried to get our bags to walk them a few blocks to the Enterprise car rental counter.  With one less bag it was easier.  No excess weight fees and the two of us can manage wheeling it all. 

Its way too dangerous to swim off the shore.
I wheeled the new but heavy 23" bag (50 pound weight) and Tom's 30" 50 pound bag.  He wheeled the cart loaded with the duffel bag, the laptop bag, the pill bag and my handbag and,  my 30" bag also weighing 50 pounds.  It was OK.  Its all manageable well into the future.

At the Enterprise counter, Tom sat with the luggage, while I worked on the rental car.  We'd order a full size car but it only seats five.  With TJ, Sarah, Nik and Jayden arriving on Saturday, we'd never have been able to go out together with a full-sized car only holding five.

When we booked the car for the family gathering with two of our adult kids booking their own cars, we decided we'd figure it out.  The trick was that TJ and family would be alone with us from December 6th until December 20th when the others begin to arrive.  We'd end up with two full weeks with only room for five when there is six of us.

The waves were impressive.
In my mind, I'd never intended to take the full sized car, instead waiting until we arrived to see what we could do in person.  We'd booked online for a great rate for 30 days although we needed the vehicle for six weeks.  Most car rentals car agencies won't rent a vehicle beyond 30 days. 

We always have to return the car to extend the rental period for each additional period of 30 days or less, signing an entirely new contract.  We've been able to get the same great online price as we originally booked. (Italy was the exception, resulting in charging us a higher rate for the remaining period).

The rep, Philip Mootmag, Branch Manager at Enterprise in Hilo not only agreed to carry the great price over to the final 15 days but negotiated a special rate for us or a seven passenger mini van at only an additional $9.95 a day.  Based on mini van rental prices, we were thrilled with the $1367 for the month.  I'd budgeted $1800.  We had great customer service and an excellent vehicle that we'll all fit in.

Once on our way and with only a half hour drive to the vacation home, we decided to stop at the Malama grocery store in the village of Pahoa, the renowned location of lava flow, a 12 minute drive to the house. 

It appears that a neighboring house (to the left) is building on the property.
The store was comparable to the Nakumatt grocery store in Diani Beach Kenya; vegetables touch-and-go, meat pricey and missing a few items we often purchase.  Next time we shop we'll head the 30 minutes back to Hilo for a larger supermarket.  For a few items, here and there, Malama will do the trick. 

We purchased plenty of items to get us through for a few days.  Before TJ's family of four arrives on Saturday, we'll have made the trip to Hilo to the Safeway store which if all like the one in Kihei, Maui, we'll be thrilled.

Before the next round of family arrives, we'll head to Costco in Kona, a two hour drive each way and load up for the two weeks we'll all be together.  We'll have to purchase a cooler while we're there to store the perishables for the long drive back. 

We were settled in at the house loaded with groceries and luggage around 5 pm.  We'd have arrived an hour earlier had we not run into major construction traffic on the road to Hilo.

Today and tomorrow, photos of the grounds and the interior of the house.  Although, this house isn't nearly as well equipped as the condo in Maui, we'll figure it all out as we always do.  The views easily make up for the missing large mixing bowls and a decent iced tea pitcher.

We're good.  We're very good.
_________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, December 2, 2013:

This was our first visitor in Marloth Park, arriving 30 minutes after our arrival.  Immediately, we fell in love with these playful and funny creatures, the warthog.  For details from that date, please click here.

2 comments:

Elizabeth Banks said...

Oh Jess I can 'hear' your excitement in your writing for your imminent arrival of Family!
I do hope it goes well and you enjoy time together after such a long time apart!
All very busy here with people manically shopping and 'getting their knickers in a twist' about family preparations- society has created such pressure and expectations for the 'perfect' Christmas.
May your holidays be as much or as little you all wish them to be- for me it is the thanks for my Faith and time with those I love.

Jessica said...

Liz, thanks for sharing this. Yes, we are excited! Its hard to believe its been so long. Next time, will be equally long but, with the Skype is just doesn't seem as if it's been so long. We are avoiding all the holiday "crazies." Gifts for grandkids only and lots of good food. I decided against baking except for a cake for Tom's birthday on the 23rd and for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus, there's no proper kitchen equipment suitable for baking and its pointless to go buy it all.

I agree on the giving thanks and spending time with those we love when we can.

Lots of love to both of you during the holiday season and always,
Jess & Tom

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