Off we go!…Final expenses for Kauai…Over budget in one category only…

Our final video of the Laysan Albatross.  Great for a huge chuckle. Nature is amazing!

Today, we fly away to Oahu to stay overnight at Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. We used points we’d accumulated to pay for the hotel using the link on our site for

We chose this hotel when our intent was to be close to Cheeseburger in Paradise, our favorite Waikiki restaurant, and to have easy access to walking along the beach boulevard, Kalakaua Avenue.

Tom had wanted to have a photo with the car since we first noticed it in downtown Hanalei. Finally, during our last few days, we got it done.

Tomorrow around noon we’ll grab a taxi to take us the short distance to the pier in Honolulu, where our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas will be ready for boarding. Need I say, for the zillionth time, we’re kind of excited?

The final packing and cleaning of the condo are complete, and we’re all set to go. Check-out time is 10:00 am but our flight isn’t until 1:30 pm so we’ll take our time getting out the door when the cleaning people aren’t due to arrive until 10:30.

After the first half-hour, the clouds rolled in and it began to rain in the mountains.

Yesterday, I began calculating the final expenses to share here today. These calculations include every expense we’ve incurred in Kauai for a total of 128 days with the exception of clothing and supply purchases we’ve made during the lengthy stay.  Here they are:

Rent (128 nights):                           $ 9,000.00 (special rate for long term stay, web exposure)
Car Rental & Fuel:                              3,492.32
Airfare to and from Kauai:                     576.00
Tours & Entertainment:                         450.00
Dining in Restaurants:                           905.92
Groceries & Household Products:          5,679.79
Total Expenses:                            $20,104.03

Average Cost per Day:                  $     157.06
Average Cost per Month:              $  4,777.24

We are pleasantly surprised with the totals although we were over on the budgeted amount for groceries by $579.79 when originally we estimated food costs at $5100. (Tom says that we were only over budget by $4.52 each day. No big deal, right?)

Most of our food purchases include mostly organic vegetables (when available), grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, free-range organic chicken and butter and bake a few items with expensive coconut flour at $8.95 for 12 ounces and almond flour at $15 for 12 ounces. Of course, the extra costs for these added considerably to the totals.

A group of tourists from a couple of tour vans walked along the pier with the guy in the blue shirt singing and playing the ukulele. Most likely they were cruise passengers out on a day tour from Norwegian’s Pride of America.

As an alternative view of our food expenses, we never eat more than two meals per day and purchase no snacks or munching type foods other than quality cheeses, meats, and nuts.  

We use organic real cream in our coffee. We’ve fed the birds no less than $25 of raw nuts. We buy no canned or bottled sodas (other than Sprite Zero for Tom’s occasional cocktail) and we only drink iced tea. Also, we’ve replaced most of the staples we used during our stay that were on hand when we arrived including paper products and cleaning supplies.

The point in Hanalei with the shape of a dragon on the side facing us inspired the song “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

When you consider the above grocery bill, it averages $44.37 per day. Considering the quality of the food we’ve consumed, we find this total to be acceptable, especially when dining out wouldn’t guarantee food quality with an average cost of $68 including tip, for a meal at a casual local restaurant without cocktails, appetizers or desserts. 

If we’d eaten dinner out every night, we’d have spent another $3,024.64 and still had to purchase household goods and miscellaneous items for breakfast and snacks.  

If one lived in Kauai long term and enjoyed making quality meal, occasionally dining out, and visiting various sites, we estimate the monthly cost with a modest rent, food, dining out, and a car rental it could be approximately $4500 a month.

This was the view when we sat in our chairs in the sand.

We didn’t have to include the cost of the hotel in Poipu for my birthday when this room was also booked using a “free night.” However, we did include meals, fuel, and miscellaneous in the appropriate categories.

As I upload this post, within minutes, we’ll be running around checking every nook and crannies for any items we may have missed. We’ll place the door key back in the lockbox and be on our way.

We’ll be back tomorrow morning from the hotel in Oahu with an update on the flight, dinner in Honolulu, and an assessment of the hotel. If time allows and we get connected on the ship’s wifi, we may write a short blurb with a few photos of our first impressions aboard the ship. If not, we’ll be back on Monday morning with the scoop.

As the chick’s fluffy feathers fall away, the new feathers quickly fill in. We’d love to see as this progresses and will be able to do so by watching this live webcam from Cornell Labs.

Dear Readers, thanks for hanging in there with us all of these months. We realize at times, our stories were a stretch and perhaps a bit mundane. Let’s face it, daily life in itself isn’t always exciting and eventful. It was a long haul we may never repeat in one location. Also, it was a long stretch  coming up with stories and photos during the eight months in Hawaii.

Please stay tuned and look forward to new adventures to begin aboard ship for 18 nights, across the International Dateline, the equator and living in Australia beginning on June 11th.

Bye, bye, Birdie!  You’ve made it all the more wonderful!

Birdie sitting on the railing of the lanai trying to get us to bring out the nuts. How could we ever refuse when we heard this song?

Have a safe Memorial weekend!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, May 23, 2014:

The entire village of Campanario is built on the side of a mountain.  The roads are steep and winding like nothing we’d ever seen.  There were tunnels everywhere, older ones made with stone walls.  For more details on that date, please click here.

Comments and responses Off we go!…Final expenses for Kauai…Over budget in one category only…

  1. Di Reply

    Jessica and Tom;
    I guess I do not have "safari luck"! I have followed you adventures since your arrival at the little beach cottage in Belize. I just missed you by 3 days. We checked out of the Hyatt Place Waikiki on Wednesday afternoon.

    I love reading your musings every morning to start my day.
    Di and Bruce
    (This my be a re-post, not sure if my first message posted.)

  2. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    Bon Voyage! I hope you have a wonderful cruise as you head to your next destination. Thank you for all the effort it takes to share your daily lives with us. Happy Trails and safe travels!

  3. Jessica Reply

    Di & Bruce,
    Oh, we are so disappointed that we missed you by three short days! How fun would that have been to be able to meet, go to dinner and share stories? And at the same hotel! What a coincidence!

    Well, maybe some day our paths will cross. In any case, we so appreciate hearing how you've followed us from the beginning! Its been quite a journey certainly enriched by knowing that readers such as you are "traveling" along with us.

    Stay in touch and do write again!

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  4. Jessica Reply

    Staci, how sweet of you to write! We always love hearing from you and all of our readers with whom we feel so connected. We anticipate a good sailing across the seas and hope inclement weather stays out of our way. We're in Honolulu as we write this now after a very enjoyable day and evening. The bed is comfy and after a good night's sleep, we'll be off to the pier around noon.

    Thanks for writing and be well and happy.

    Jess & Tom

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