Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hawaii: Tales from the Hale. . .

Hale ~ ‘home’ in Hawaiian.

A week has passed already and we are settled in to our Hawaiian lifestyle. We went from replacing a driveway and tree trimming at our Pacific Northwest home two weeks ago, to our carefree (no home improvement projects) lifestyle in a high-rise condo where our view of the Pacific Ocean reaches the far horizon.

I’ve written several times about our timeshares – or as we think of them, 'second homes' – in Arizona and Hawaii. I've told you how we’ve extended our stays by purchasing and using  two-bedroom ‘lock-off’ units. Lock-off, as the name implies, means we lock off one side, and use each of the two sides consecutively: two weeks for the price of one!
 
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I’ve written about living in ‘the big house’ side before, so this time I wanted to give you a tour of our first week 'hale' at Ko Olina in ‘the lock-off’ or small side --  an over-sized  hotel room with small balcony and kitchenette.

KO2014 005I’ve jokingly called it a ‘glamping’ (glorified camping) because you need to be a bit imaginative when menu planning and shopping to stock up a tiny kitchen; although it probably is as big as many in Paris apartments. It is definitely small compared to the big side.

The week in the small side is always a good excuse, . . .ahem. . ., reason, to visit the many Happy Hours that are within an easy walk of home. 

But we also eat most of our meals in; dining on that table in our nest-like balcony. The small in-room microwave and  the communal barbeques simplify the task.

In fact, gathering at the bank of bbq’s is one of our favorite features of this lifestyle.  We’ve met  fellow owners as well as those who’ve just come for a visit -- and they come from all over the world.



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The Scout, aka Beach Boy, in the photo above is visiting with a friend from Gig Harbor and fellow Ko Olina owner while the two sip wine and cook our dinners.

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The room is 360-square-feet with the balcony adding another 18-square-feet. In reality, it’s plenty of room for two people who spend most of their waking hours outdoors at the beach, pool, gym or off exploring.

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You do need to improvise at times. . .for instance that is my beach bag, shoes and a box of papayas (from Costco!) sharing a bit of storage space.  I photographed the door because it is the link to the full-side condominium --  had we booked the whole unit for a single week it would have been open. 

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Marriott Vacation Club - KoOlina, O'ahu
Yesterday we moved into the large side -- ‘the Big House’ as we owners call them --which is home for the next three weeks. . .I am in the real den, The Scout’s in the living room, we’ve been to the gym, I’ve done laundry, and tonight we are dining at home – we’ve got a couple big steaks to grill.

Last night, a woman clad in a swimsuit, and riding the elevator as we headed back to the room with our grilled Mahi Mahi and roasted corn on the cob exclaimed, “Oh! You actually cook on vacation??!!” I almost replied, “No we are cooking  at home tonight.”

That’s it for this weekend.  I know I promised some ‘novel destinations’ but those will come soon.  We’ve had to get settled into our island lifestyle first.  Mahalo, or thanks, for visiting today. Hope you’ll be back often!

If You Go:

Ko Olina is a planned  development on O’ahu’s West (Ewa) Coast, about 20 minutes from Honolulu International Airport; the nearest city is Kapolei.

Map picture

4 comments:

  1. A balcony, a beach and grilled Mahi, Mahi with roasted corn on the cob?! If that other room isn't being used yet Phoenix and I are on our way! I don't own a time share but the locks off is ingenius. Now I'm hungry. And wanting to run away from home at least temporarily (with my kid, of course), Jackie! :)

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  2. What a beautiful second home to settle into. :-) How nice to be able to cook for yourself and settle in for a while. :-)

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  3. Sounds like a very civilized way to spend January and part of February. And what an affordable way to live when you don't go out to eat very often. Sitting with a glass of wine enjoying a sunset with your better half sounds just about ideal.

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  4. You got a timeshare in Hawaii? Such an awesome thing to have somewhere beautiful and warm to escape to from winter.

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