Aloha, Maui!…Maui expense totals…Six weeks in paradise…Now off for additional weeks paradise…Lava flow still holding…New photos…

The bright sun creates a sparkling sea which we’ve cherished everyday that we’ve been in Maui. There’s only been one totally overcast and rainy day in the past six weeks, although its rained for short periods on many days to later become sunny.

It’s hard to believe that our six weeks in Maui has come to a close. We’ve loved every moment of this laid back, stress free, easy lifestyle so typical of retirees in Hawaii.

All these photos shown today were taken on Sunday early afternoon.

Would we return to Maui? Definitely, someday. As we always say, “We have a lot of world left to see.” And, for the next many months we’ll continue to live reveling in the exquisite Hawaiian Islands until we’re off for our next foray outside the US to Australia and the South Pacific.

Hibiscus appear to bloom year-round in the islands.

Some have asked why we decided to spend four upcoming months on the island of Kauai beginning on January 15th after leaving the Big Island and the family gathering for the holidays. The answer for us was simple.

And yet a few new blooms magically appear in the tropical climate.

The cost of paying for airfare, two oceanfront neighboring houses, meals, and more, was seriously above and beyond our usual monthly budget. By staying put in one location for this extended period, we’ll have the opportunity to save money to recover a portion of these over-the-usual-budgetary costs. 

The shoreline from our condo’s beachfront.

With the rent for the four months in Kauai paid in full long ago, our only expenses will be car rental, groceries, and occasionally dining out and an occasional tour. We anticipate these monthly expenses will be under $2000 a month, considerably less than the budgeted $6000 a month. 

In four months, we’ll expect to recover $16,000, a drop in the bucket of the cost of the family gathering.  However, this difference will pay almost half for the upcoming cruises to Australia and the balances due on our rentals for the next upcoming two years! That’s the way to recover!

The blooming season in Hawaii has long since passed for many flowering plants and trees.

When we’re in Kauai beginning on January 15th, we’ll nickel and dime ourselves while still having a great time on the beautiful garden island. No complaining here.

Now, back to the Maui expenses (rounded off to the nearest dollar). 

Car rental /fuel                  $1,368
Condo rental                       5,789
Groceries                            1,581
Dining Out                             111
Tours & Misc.                         140

Total for 45 days                $8989
Cost per day                       $ 200

Within our average monthly budget although we’d budgeted an additional $1700 for food (dining out and preparing our own meals) which we never used.

We’re pleased to have magically ended up with our preferred monthly of $6000 (an amount we’re willing to pay for our travels) as we brace for the added expenses we’ll experience when our family members arrive, mainly for groceries. 

The bananas in the yard grow bigger each day, soon ready for picking.

With airfare paid for all but one of our kids, yet to decide on a date due to work, and the rents paid in full for both houses, our only additional expenses are for the car rental, groceries, and supplies for all and our personal expenses for tours we may choose to attend with our family members.

Tiki torches on the lawn by the shore.

As agreed with our kids they will pay for their own dining out, recreation, and tours. We decided that taking everyone out for dinner would be too costly at an average of $100 per person. Even McDonalds averages at a minimum of $15 per person based on costs in Hawaii. It’s just not worth it.

Mike, the condo manager, decorated this tree for the mailroom.

Thrilled with the end result in Maui, we’re ready to move on. Later today, we’ll be unpacked and have grocery shopped at the closest grocery store, a 15-minute drive to the village of Pahoa, the village where the lava stalled but took a house before doing so. Hopefully, it will stay “stalled” during our six upcoming weeks on the Big Island. As always, we shall see.

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

One year ago today, we were on our way to South Africa.  We wrote about the frustrating delays we experienced in those multiple flights. For details, here.