Noisy night…Company’s coming…House or condo…Which do we prefer?…

I’m excited to see many more flowers blooming as spring nears.

At 4:30 am, the next-door neighbors, renting for only four nights, moved out. They must have had 20 pieces of luggage taking one out to their car at a time with doors slamming and heavy footsteps.

The front steps, about eight, are in the process of being renovated. I imagine the renters were being careful going down them, taking only a few items at a time, although they seemed sturdy to us. 

Not enough time today to identify this flower. Does anyone know what this is? Notice the black tips.

We easily recall the steps that collapsed under our feet (at the time nothing indicated there was an issue with those steps) on our anniversary two years ago, injuring me in such a way that it took many months to fully recuperate.

We both were awake when the renters were moving out and for long afterward. Worried I’d be an exhausted mess if I didn’t go back to sleep after trying for an hour, I took a Tylenol PM which I do on occasion, read a book on my phone, and 15 minutes later I fell back to sleep. Tom dozed off shortly before me.

Hopefully soon, the cloudy days will end and blue skies will return.
Still a little groggy from the Tylenol and grateful that the PM part (Diphenhydramine, an over the counter allergy med) had helped reduce my recent sneezing from the high pollen count, I didn’t get out of bed until 8:00 am.  In no time I was awake and alert ready to tackle the day.

With Julie arriving tonight, today we’ll do our weekly comprehensive cleaning as opposed to the dusting and sweeping we usually do every three or four days. This condo, although lovely and well-appointed is relatively easy to clean. When a property is in good repair, it always seems easier to clean, doesn’t it?

As far as condos go, we definitely prefer to rent a house over a condo, mainly due to the likelihood of it being quiet as opposed to the sound of doors banging, toilets flushing and people coming and going.

Swimmers on the beach below the steep cliffs.

In most locations in Hawaii, if one doesn’t want to spend over $10,000 a month, a condo is the only option especially in upscale areas such as Princeville. The only stand-alone houses we rented in Hawaii was on the Big Island when our family came for Christmas, the two houses coincidentally next door to one another, one considerably more expensive than the other.

In other countries, we’ve been fortunate to find affordable private houses. The only places we’ve lived in a condo have been in Belize which was a condo in a resort; in Dubai, UAE on the 38th floor of a 95 story building and in Vancouver while we awaiting our cruise to Hawaii, all of which had full kitchens.

The waves and the rocks below the cliffs.

We’ve had a number of short and long-term hotel stays, most only one night except for Paris and London, which we spent two weeks each without a kitchen, dining out for all meals.

Generally, stand-alone vacation houses cost more than condos, depending on the location. In Madeira, (see our archives from May 15, 2014, to July 31, 2014) for that stunning house overlooking the sea which was only $1350 a month. 

There are many varieties of beautiful grass that easily grows with the rain and humidity in the Hawaiian Islands.

The fact that we often stay for two to three months (our four months here in Kauai is the rare exception) most property owners see fit to provide us with somewhat of a discount, which makes sense. Plus with our substantial worldwide readership, the owners may benefit from our mention of their properties with links, such as here in Princeville, Kauai.

Unquestionably, we’ll be able to provide a great review for this condo. The fact that remodeling is in progress for the unit below us and the resulting noise, won’t have a bearing on our review. Condo living has these issues, of which most renters are aware before signing the agreement.

Going forward to the next two-plus years to the South Pacific (with only one 75 day gap which we’ll soon fill), every property we’re renting is a either private house or a stand-alone house in a resort, as is the case in Fiji for 89 days.

There’s rarely a day when the mountains aren’t shrouded in “vog,” clouds of humidity.

In Trinity Beach, Australia, our next vacation rental beginning on June 11th, the property we’ve rented is a ground floor lower level of the owner’s main house. The reason we chose this type of property is the high cost of rentals in Australia in general, comparable to the costs here in Princeville. 

The owners with whom we’ve communicated often, seem very kind and friendly. We anticipate that we’ll all spend many good times together. After all, Australians are known for being “overly friendly” not unlike the people of Kauai and South Africa, the most friendly environments we’ve visited in the past 29 months of travel. 

I suppose the fact that other languages are spoken in many of the countries in which we’ve lived has had a huge bearing on our perception of friendliness. Developing friendships with whom one can’t converse with, is tricky.

More amazing view of the sea near our condo.

Now, we’re off the pool and fitness center at the Makai Club where I’ll work out while Tom takes the car to fill it with gas for mine and Julie’s upcoming sightseeing outings, beginning after she’s rested.

Off we go to get a few things done. We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Soon, we’ll have many more new photos to share. As always, all photos we’ve posted today are new, except the one-year-ago as posted below.

Have a happy day!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, March 12, 2014:

A view of the Medina from the rooftop of our vacation rental which was a private home, although attached to neighboring houses. There are no stand-alone holiday houses in the Medina and few in Morocco in general. For more details, please click here.

What??? We joined a golf club! One year ago…A stunning pot hole…

The sign upon entering the Makai Golf Club in Princeville, Kauai.  Its odd to think that we’re members although we don’t play golf.

We don’t play golf, neither of us able to do so with our bad right shoulders and, lack of skill. In a way, not playing golf is a good thing in our way of life. Imagine the additional expenses we’d incur in our travels when playing a round of golf is so expensive especially here in Princeville at over $350 per person with rented clubs and a cart.

But, we do love to do two things; for me, working out at a fitness center and for both of us, spending our token one hour in the sun soaking up vitamin D (vital for seniors) and catching a bit of tan preferably by a pool.

The fitness center although small had all the equipment I’d need for working out.

With no pool or easy access to a beach in the immediate area, we were looking for a double whammy. Where could we find a pool and a fitness center in Princeville, where there definitely wouldn’t be a community center? 

We’re surprised that with all the seniors in this area that there isn’t a health club when in the past, I’d seen many seniors at various fitness centers in our travels and in our old lives back in Minnesota. 

During my time working out not another person joined me.

After an extensive search, I was unable to find a single stand alone fitness center in the entire area. The only options available included pricey sessions by the hour with a fitness trainer. 

Plus, the thing about working out, it requires a close proximity in order to commit to doing it. Its hard enough to do it, let alone having the necessity of driving far in traffic.

With a flat screen TV, hand weights, exercise bands, a locker room and AC, it was perfect for me.

Plus, after stopping by the St. Regis Hotel (pricey at $550+ a night) which we heard had a pool and fitness program, we were sorely discouraged to discover  the cost at $250 per person/per day to workout and use the pool. Both the St. Regis and the Princeville Westin have an affiliation with the Makai Golf Club.

Back to the drawing board (pc) I went to work trying to find an option. Web searches kept bringing me back to the Makai Golf Club. Online, they advertised a $100 per person, per month program for both using their small fitness center and their huge lap pool.

Tom was rounded out his tan lying on his stomach on the chaise lounge by the pool at the golf club.

Calling to verify this information, I was told the website information was wrong. It would cost $125 per person per month to use both the fitness center and pool. We didn’t care for the fact that they wouldn’t honor the online price but when our options were so limited, we decided to accept this reality.

Tom doesn’t work out, nor does he care to start now no matter how much encouragement I might throw his way. However, there was no program offering a pool only membership.

Tom never naps in this position and provides a good bit of conversation to keep me entertained.

Yesterday afternoon, we decided to check out the golf club, a mere 1.8 miles from our condo, a five minute drive down the busy Ka Haku Road, the road that leads to everywhere in Princeville.

Hesitating to spend $250 a month for both of us, we entered the golf club with a bit of trepidation, thinking most likely, only I’d sign up, desperately needing to work out after a hiatus of many months, only walking during the absence which isn’t quite enough for me. 

The pool is only 4 feet deep but a perfect lap pool.

No more than five minutes after we arrived and discussed the program with the staff at the pro shop, a kindly manager offered that we follow him in a golf cart  the to the nearby fitness center and pool. Tom drove the cart with me sitting next to him as we followed Eric to see the facilities. 

The golf course borders the pool and fitness area.

I couldn’t help but giggle all the way to the pool area when “overly grumpy” Tom made negative comments to me about the golf cart traffic while he was driving the cart. This made me laugh over and over.

After we saw the facilities I was certain we’d both join the club.  It’s a fun playful atmosphere with friendly animated staff members. Once we entered the small fitness building, located in the pool area, we were both “sold.”

View from the chaise lounges at the pool.

In addition, our membership includes a social membership enabling us to attend parties and activities should we chose to partake. Back at the pro shop, we paid our first month’s dues, even reserving our spot for the Super Bowl party upcoming a week from Sunday. What a great opportunity to meet people! The only cost for the party is food and beverages purchased in the Makai Grill during the game if we so chose.

After we were introduced to more staff at the pro shop, we were excited to have made this decision. With our swimsuits with us and me already dressed in workout clothing, we grabbed the key and headed back to the pool area when, for the first time in many months I worked out, doing my usual HIIT (high intensity interval training).

We have our two new Costco chairs which we’ll keep in the car. If it so happens that the chairs are all occupied at the pool, we were told, we could bring in our own chairs.

There’s no doubt it will be many weeks before I return to my prior level of fitness. But, when it comes to working out, there’s not time like the present. I can’t wait to see those little muscles return to their former shape and size and find myself at a much higher level of health and fitness. How I’ve missed this after having worked out most of my adult life.

Add a beautiful blue sky and palm trees to the mix and the scenery is astounding.

After my workout, I struggled to get my swimsuit on. It was hot and humid and I had trouble drying off in the steamy ladies locker room that is attached to the fitness room. Trying to pull up the swimsuit was quite the challenge in my sticky state. Going forward, I’ll workout in my swimsuit and workout pants and rinse off in the shower with my swimsuit on.

It always seems to be hazy by the mountains here in Kauai, most likely as a result of the vegetation cover.

Tom waited for me in the shade reading a book on his phone. Once I was finished, we grabbed two comfy lounge chairs to languish for our hour in the warmth of the sun, enjoying the exquisite view, occasionally dipping in the pool to cool off.

We’d have been content with a pool with no views.  But this, is beyond all of our expectations.

Joining the Makai Golf Club a perfect addition to our lengthy stay in Kauai. Most likely we’ll head together to the Makai Golf Club each sunny day, while I’ll go on my own to workout on cloudy days. With HIIT, its not necessary to workout everyday but visiting the pool itself will not be unlike other locations where we’ve had a pool drawing us in for a dip on sunny days. We’re thrilled.

Greenery to take one’s breath away.

Now, we feel the long four month stint in Kauai will be easier than we’d expected. Besides, its not hard to hang around Paradise for an extended period.

Hump day. Enjoy!

                                          Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2014:

Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes was an amazing sight to see on the Panorama Route in South Africa. For more photos of this exciting visit, please click here.