“Another boring day in Paradise,” he says…Maui never stops giving…More photos…

“Another boring day in Paradise.” Ha!  No boredom here!

Then again, Hawaii, never stops giving.  Every morning, as soon as we awaken we open the doors at either end of the condo, the sliding door in the living room and the main entry door, for the trade winds to waft through for what feels like the most stupendous breeze on the planet.

Greenery at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

Who needs AC is Hawaii if this breeze is available?  Surely, when we were in that tiny studio in Honolulu, we had the AC constantly running when we were perpendicular to the ocean with no chance of a cross breeze.

Cotyiedon Flower.

The weather in Hawaii, although rainy at times, is the most perfect we’ve experienced thus far.  In Belize, although wonderful while we were located on the ocean, it was hotter and more humid.  In Madeira, on the sea, it was too cool, even in the summer often requiring that we kept the screen-less windows and doors closed. 

Tom was on the move searching for points of interest.

We’ve lived in many varying climates these past two years, many of which were unbearably hot, without AC and most without screens.  Without a doubt, Maui has been our first perfect weather location, easily explaining why so many travelers throughout the world dream of living here.

Humor me!  I can’t ever resist admiring any living being.

Is it doable to live here?  The answer lies mostly in the cost of housing and utilities.  Fuel, food and sales tax are tolerable even though literally everything is taxed at a rate of:

The Hawaii sales tax rate is 4%, and the maximum HI sales tax after local surtaxes is 4.35%.
  • Counties and cities are not allowed to collect local sales taxes
  • Hawaii has 69 special sales tax jurisdictions with local sales taxes in addition to the state sales tax
  • Hawaii has a higher state sales tax than 86.5% of states

Haupala, an Orange Trumpet Vine.

Utility costs are high although from what we’ve been able to determine it isn’t more costly than what we paid in Minnesota two years ago.  Few residents of Hawaii use AC frequently to keep costs at bay.  So far, we’ve only seen window AC units and no central AC.

Zebra Dove Geopelia Striata.
Once we were settled in, we decided eating out in Maui wasn’t important to us.  So far, after a little over a month, we’ve dined out twice at a total cost of $110 without drinks, appetizers or desserts.  It just wasn’t worth it to us to dine out when we could finally cook our own meals after a 77 day hiatus due to the past travels and cruises.
Various ducks, so comfortable around humans at the plantation, that they didn’t mind our intrusion.

This guy was particularly friendly.
Our grocery bill will be approximately $1600 in total for the 6 weeks including all the excess products we purchased at Costco in preparation for Hurricane Ana, much of which we’re mailing ahead of us to the Big Island.
Another cooperative duck.
The actual cost for our food for this period, including some household goods is closer to $200 per week, a similar amount  to that which we’d spent in our old lives in Minnesota.
Another body of water on the grounds of the plantation.
Keeping in mind, that we purchase organic and free range, grass fed meat, eggs and produce when available, we’re thrilled with how much we’ve spent on food here.  We’ll end up at no less than $1600 under budget on food alone.
This restaurant on the right was in the process of being remodeled.
Housing in Hawaii is by far the most costly aspect.  However, as we perused booklets with houses for sale, we’ve been surprised how a buyer can easily purchase a one or two bedroom condo with ocean views in the $235,000 to $250,000 range in many lovely areas.
The roof on this building near the foot bridge was covered in greenery.
Rentals (non-vacation rentals) are expensive from what we’ve perused online.  Buying appears to be the most practical means of affording housing. 
I can’t resist admiring chickens and roosters.

This guy was checking us out, not happy we were walking across his road.

He wandered over to the dirt and greenery for some pecking.
Would we consider living here?  If we were interested in buying and staying put, possibly.  However, buying a home is not on the horizon for us.   Neither is staying in one place.  Sure, down the road, old age and bad health may require a less mobile lifestyle. 
The zip line store on the premises.  No thanks.
At this point, we prefer not to speculate that eventuality, although we’ve discussed emergency back-up plans at length.  As far as we’re both concerned, this life, for now, is the life we choose.
Another view of the main pond with sugar cane gears.
And, as the days in Maui wind down to a mere 12, we look forward to our next adventure; Big Island, our family, the excitement of the lava flow and seeing the whales that according to a news story daughter Tammy sent us today, have arrived in the islands.  We were already watching for them and will continue to do so with considerable enthusiasm.
An old fashioned windmill that was pumping water on the premises.
The mechanics of the water pumping windmill.
Perhaps in 12 days, we’ll be sitting on the lanai at the first house in Big Island overlooking the ocean to see the whales breaching the water.  That, dear readers, is why we live this crazy life!
The koi pond.
Photo from one year ago today, November 19, 2013:
Colorful sky at night at sunset as we wound down our time in Kenya, one year ago today.  For details, please click here.

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