Finally! Itinerary gaps filled…Flying to Africa, challenging…Honolulu/Waikiki, here we come…

Flying from country to country in Africa is no simple task.  Check out this map illustrating the size of the African continent compared to the US and other countries.

Once we’re situated in South Africa, we’ll continue to search for flights as needed, especially the difficult process of finding our way to Morocco three months later. There’s no such thing as a direct flight from South Africa to Marrakesh, Morocco. Most likely we’ll have to stay in a hotel overnight along the way in order to maneuver in that direction. 

Africa is not comparable to the US where you can fly just about anywhere in less than a day with few layovers if any. These maps illustrate the vast distances.

Booking flights is our least favorite form of research. Overall, we’ve found the research for vacation homes most enjoyable and hotels, second, a necessary reality when a vacation home isn’t practical for short stays.

To have finally filled every gap between now and May 15, 2015, we feel a sense of relief.  One may ask, “Is this when it all ends?” Nope. This is as far out as one can get a commitment for a booking for most vacation homes, most cruises, all flights (330 days or less for bookings), and many hotels.

Over the past few days, in the hopes of freeing our time to begin packing to leave two weeks from today, we wanted the peace of mind knowing that we’d filled the remaining gaps: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, October 5 to October 16, 2014, a mere 11 months away and, Boston, Massachusetts, USA from September 14 to September 17, 2014, only 10 months from now.

Today, we’ll share the details of our find in Honolulu and tomorrow, Boston, which in itself presented a few challenges based on our needs at that time.

Here is the link to our 11 night rental in Waikiki.  Need I say, we’re thrilled and relieved to have found exactly what we were seeking, at the best possible price, in an ideal location convenient to everything. (These vacation home websites don’t allow photos to be copied making it necessary to follow the link to see the photos).

Researching Honolulu/Waikiki was brutal. Prices are through the roof, especially when including the 13.5% rental tax, resort fees, and in some cases, fees paid to the company listing the property. What started at US $185 a night (it was higher than listed on their site, due to time of the year), the price we paid for our selection, ended up at almost US $200 a night.

The owner of this ocean-view condo has been fabulous to work with so far and based on the reviews we’ve read, that will continue to be the case throughout the rental period. 

With our rigid criteria of having an ocean view, laundry facilities, free WiFi, a lanai, close to buses for sightseeing and dining, the search was frustrating. Most properties with a view were much more expensive. As we were just about ready to bite the bullet and pay more, we stumbled across this property by leaving HomeAway to search this other well-known listing site, AirBNB that we’d casually perused in the past.

Minus a few glitches we experienced in the booking process late last night, we were able to work it out. The time difference between Hawaii and Kenya is 13 hours. Waiting until after we returned after dinner last night made it possible for us to communicate directly with the owner, as he was waking up (on the same day) to assist us in fine-tuning the details. 

The rental is paid in full and we don’t have to give it another thought until the time nears, and we’ll need access information.  Most likely we’ll make those arrangements during our cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver, BC arrives in Honolulu on October 5, 2014. Ah, relief.

Tonight, we’re trying a new-to-us restaurant for dinner at the upscale Swahili Beach Resort.  They’re having their usual Saturday night buffet of local favorites. If the food isn’t great, as it wasn’t last night at another popular resort, the company will be extraordinary as usual.

 

2 thoughts on “Finally! Itinerary gaps filled…Flying to Africa, challenging…Honolulu/Waikiki, here we come…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi Jess and Tom,
    All of this talk about Hawaii and your future travels made me forget that you are still in Kenya.
    I still think the two of you are my heroes for how you are managing traveling around the world. Especially with your limited diet. Your flights sound so grueling but since this is your life now, I imagine you are getting more used to it. Like you said, there is no free ride in this world. At least when you finish with all the stressful stuff, you have the excitement of new places and new surroundings and new people. When we finish our mundane tasks at home, we get to look forward to doing them again.

    You are right to say that we have traveled a lot but I can tell you for sure that I would never have done half of it without Dan prompting me. Now he is trying to get me to go to the Amazon or even Anartica. He will not win those battles though. I have no desire to see the Amazon or go as far away as Anartica. I feel bad that I am holding him back but at 69 years old, enough is enough. He is 74 and still going strong with the traveling bug. Give me Hawaii or Alaska and I can do that easily. Oh by the way, your cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii is leaving on my 70th birthday. That would be a great way to celebrate!! It does sound fun to have another lady friend to go shopping with while Dan and Tom fish. At least I can dream.
    I am thankful for Dan though and all of the fun experiences he has provided for me. He tells me I am his best "camper" ha-ha, since we don't camp anymore. But he means traveler.

    I checked out your link to the Hotel in Waikiki and it is wonderful. We stayed in a 2 bedroom condo in Waikiki with a view of Diamond Head and it was also fantastic. Our youngest daughter was traveling with us and that is why we needed 2 bedrooms. But we did not have a balcony like you do. That will be so much fun to sit out on and watch the sunset. You got a really good price also for the location and amenities.

    I hope your dinner went well at the Swahili Beach Resort.

    I am enjoying this corresponding back and forth so much. If you ever get tired or don't have time to reply, I will understand. Maybe I should be emailing you instead of writing on your blog. I often wonder what other people think about my ramblings.

    Your pen pal,
    Pat

  2. Jessica Reply

    Pat,
    Please don't ever think for a moment that I will ever get tired of reading and writing back to you. And, I'm certain that many of our readers enjoy our comments back and forth as well. Please continue at your leisure and know that if I don't respond one day, its due to a power outage, Internet issues or that something has happened preventing me from doing so. It will never be due to my tiring of it. If you want to write something of a personal nature, feel free to email me at any time.

    As for the Amazon and Antarctica, they are on our list for 2015-2017, obviously not yet researched in detail. After all the bugs here in Kenya, I'll be fine on the Amazon, but we don't have warm clothing for Antarctica which we'll deal with at the time.

    Wow! Its hard to believe you'll be 70! Maybe we need to celebrate aboard ship! Isn't is weird how old we are? It was only yesterday that I was 30, a point in my brain on which I am still lingering. What's the deal with that?

    You mention your mundane tasks…remember we all have them. It's 90's and humid and I have to chop veggies for taco salad for tonight while sitting outside since its too hot in the kitchen and the ants are frequent visitors. They crawl up my arms when I chop. That's kind of in the mundane category.

    Plus today, Tom pulled out one of the smaller carry on bags so I can go through it and start sorting what to bring and what to ship to SA. Life is filled with mundane.

    On of my sons always said he wanted to retire and live under a palm tree weaving baskets. Imagine when he'd have to go pull some palm fronds to use for weaving. That too would be mundane. So, in other words, "you can run but you can't hide." The question becomes trade-offs. Would one want to do "this" or "that?"
    Mowing and leaf raking? Or, ants? It's all part of the life we chose.

    Tom and I discovered that we could choose to change it. Yes, there was price to pay and did we ever!. Traveling the world without a home to return to is not for everyone. But having a dream is. And, we're never too old to dream or to take the steps to realize it, whatever it may be.

    My dream was to write. But, my life was too mundane to provide the necessary fodder. It's ironic how this dream has been realized, not by chance, but by desire and…hope. I thank Tom every day for stepping outside the box, creature of habit that he is, to do this with me. (Actually, it was his idea). In the process, he too, has discovered a whole new world about himself.

    Excuse my ramblings. Keep writing when its convenient and when YOU feel like it. No pressure here.
    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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