Saturday, February 25, 2012

Living in a Hawaii resort - what we have learned

For the past two years we have been renting a condo in the resort community of Kona, Hawaii. During that time we have made progress on our health and been able to publish a book. Thinking about the past two years, we realize we have learned some things about ourselves by living here.
  1. Morning sunlight can make the entire day more wonderful. Kona tends to have great sunlight in the morning and our second story condo has windows that are situated so that we can sit next to them and bathe in the early sunlight. Rain storms or heavy VOG (volcanic emissions) later in the day cannot damper the uplifting effect of a daily dose of sunlight in the morning.
  2. We will actually use an exercise room. We have been using the condo complex’s exercise room regularly for two years now. Using the weight lifting and aerobic exercise machines for only 20 minutes, three times a week has made a big difference in our overall strength and fitness. Surprisingly, we have only been joined by others working out in the small exercise room a couple of times the entire time we have been here. We have to admit we never used exercise rooms in previous apartment complexes in California, so something is different for us in Kona.
  3. We will swim in a pool almost every day if it is warm and clean. We have yet to tire of spending time in the condo complex pool even though it is a long walk from our unit. Doing water aerobics for 45 minutes most every day and socializing with the people at the pool has been a great daily habit for us. We enjoy the pool whether it is crowded or empty and miss going if we cannot make it a particular day.
  4. We need quiet. We have found it essential to have a quiet environment. We find noise and activity very distracting when trying to write or study. Unfortunately, we live above a very active parking lot and during the high season the noise and activity can last from early morning to very late at night.
  5. We have come to avoid walking on streets with lots of traffic. Alii Drive is nearby and a favorite walking and running place for a lot of people, but a few close calls with drivers has chased us away. We have found that protected paths, far away from cars, are far more enjoyable for walks.
  6. The VOG is still a pain. Hawaii Island’s volcano is churning out more volcanic emissions (VOG) than ever. Though we live in an area with less VOG than most of Kona, our fans and every counter and possession are covered daily with a thick, gray, volcanic dust.
  7. Neighbors are really important. In our condo community, we live closely together with open windows and can hear everything and everyone. Being in a resort area, neighbors change more frequently, many of them staying only a month or two. On the upside, we have met some really interesting people from all over the world, but on the downside, we have to wait patiently for them to unwind and get on Hawaiian time and pace.
  8. Stairs are a challenge. Though we like the extra exercise of going up and down stairs to get to our second floor condo, long term we do not want to have to deal with stairs. Everything has to be hauled up and all the trash hauled down which is a stress on our backs and knees.
  9. Parking is important.. We never realized how important a well designed parking lot is in a densely populated community.With small parking spots, getting in and out of a car is like a gymnastic routine. We now see the importance of having space between cars and extra spots for guests.
  10. We enjoy the socialization of condo living. Living in a condo and sharing the facilities has led to a lot of socializing with visitors and residents. The turnover has been dramatic during the two years we have lived here, but in general we have found the people that show up around the pool to be very fun and we have learned a lot from them.

1 comment:

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