When you get water damage in Hawaii, there are no two ways about it. You have to remodel everything the water touched right down to the studs in the wall, otherwise black mold will grow so thick you won't be able to deal with it. As this is the second time in five years that we have had to remodel because of water damage, this was not my first rodeo. It still took me about three weeks to realize the truth of what was about to happen to us though. I don't know why I was in such denial. You'd think I would have known. But we hung out for a good two weeks and even went camping on the third week before it dawned on me that there was no way around it. We were going to have to move out every item we owned, so that the floor and drywall could be ripped out to the studs.
Even then I was still in denial, but thank goodness my husband has a great team of guys that work for him. They came in and moved us out, we settled into condo life and waited to get our home back, much refreshed and without mold. My husband wishes he'd known about this type of demolition years ago. If he had, I think my husband would be in another line of work.
It gave us a lot of incite about what it is like to come and rent a condo during your stay in Hawaii. We had no idea it was that expensive!! Yikes!! There are two types of condo living that you can subscribe to. In the first type of condo living, you belong to a timeshare or you are a guest of someone you know who has a timeshare. These types of timeshares, such as WorldMark and the Marriott Vacation Club for instance, are a great way to travel to Hawaii. They are my favorite way to stay when I'm not able to sleep in my own bed. The rooms are kept up to the standards of management. All the suites are the same, so you know what you will be getting when you check into one of these types of timeshares. We have stayed in this type of condo arrangement many times, as we have some great friends who hook us up when we need it. We have even considered looking into this type of arrangement on our own. If you decided to do that, the best way would be to research the different types of timeshares, the companies offering them, where those companies have condo timeshares and then deciding what would be best for your family. After deciding what you would want, you'd have to decide if you could afford the investment and if the investment would pay off in the long run.
The second type of condo living is when you rent a private condo from a private owner. We chose to do this when we moved out from our condo for the remodeling. I researched on line for condo rentals by owner. Just type in "condo rental by owner" to get web listings. I did a thorough search on Craig's List also, looking specifically for condos in our area. In the end, my husband ended up driving around to the different condos, going into the front desk and asking about rentals available. I realize that will not work for any of you. I suggest researching them the way I did, also going online to find listings of the different condos available in the area you want to stay, Maui for instance, and calling their front desk yourself from your home. You will have to be prepared to live with whatever set up the owner has arranged, including his preference for decor, maid services, etc. I was unpleasantly surprised more than a couple of times during our stay by many of the aspects of this type of setup. The more money you pay will also determine, I believe, how many or how few irritations you will have upon your arrival.
These first pictures in this blog entry are some of the pictures taken during our stay on the Big Island. Each island in the Hawaiian chain is very different from the other. You can stay on one island and have a completely different vacation than you can staying on another island. The Big Island is the largest, of course, and features lava rock, volcanos, and cattle ranches as its main themes. The water surrounding the Big Island is very deep and is more suited to sailing and deep sea fishing. I'm not even sure if it has any beaches to hang out at during the day. We hang out at the pool when we are on the Big Island and do a lot of site seeing. See how little I know about the Big Island, and I've visited there every year for over 10 years.
A view of the summit of Mauna Kea.
A view of the summit of Haleakala, on Maui, from the Big Island.
The tree lined entrance to the Parker Ranch Homestead.
The condo we stay in when we visit the Big Island every year.