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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sustainable Living

 I’m writing from the next place, though maybe not the last place we’re staying near Hilo.   I have used VRBO  many times before and in many other countries, but this is the first time I have been disappointed and very unsure if I’ll stay where I am.  I knew it was “off the grid” but the accommodations are more rustic than I’d imagined AND there seems to be no wi-fi or Internet connection at all, though the listing says there is.  I also could see in the photos the shower was outdoors and mostly enclosed, but it said shower, not bathroom…and the toilet is out there too.  I used it tonight to the serenade of the coqui frogs.  At least I hope that’s what they are…

 We arrived and were given a tour of the inside studio apartment, then the outside plants and fruit trees, most of which weren't bearing anything right now.  The grounds are lovely and on the other side of a fence are her several sheep and the cow.  Chickens and rabbits live here as well…oh, and let’s not forget the barking dog who won’t come near us and the friendly dog who won’t leave us alone, but because he has a cone on his neck, bumps into everything, including us.  The cat named Trouble loves people, but cannot be allowed inside, so he stands outside the door and meows and meows.  Doors must be left open at night to allow some air in since there is not air-con here.  The dilemma…sleep under the mosquito netting and be really hot all night, which means no sleep, or not use it and get crawled on and bitten.  
 We got to see Steven and Elise’s home and property after checking in here.  They have a cute, small home WITH WI-FI and an indoor bathroom…such luxury!  Their view is amazing —- 180 degrees of ocean view.  We’ll see more of the 11 acres tomorrow or later this week.
  We were greeted by their two puppies, one who was so excited about company, he jumped up and scratched Matthew causing his arm to bleed, the proceeded to jump on me and rip my pants.  The only good news is I’d just noticed the olives we’d brought from the hotel had leaked in the bag and apparently had dripped onto my pants when I unloaded them from the car without my noticing until we were heading to Steven’s, so they were already deemed ruined.
 Tomorrow I have to buy bug spray.  Luckily, I brought ear plugs.  Loud frogs…meowing cat…I  wonder if there’s a rooster nearby.  I’ll find out at dawn.  
living room area

 bed and dining room table

out the front door

Day 2 here:  We slept about as well as we have on the trip, waking up periodically.  Surprisingly, I didn't get any bites and we slept without the netting.  It's too hot for that, though it did cool down a bit at night.  It's very loud--crickets, frogs, refrigerator....  It is weird getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and sitting there with the frogs yapping at you.  At least the cat was gone.
 I felt better in the morning after coffee and a shower outdoors.  It's a good shower, though there are messages in several places reminding us to take 2-minute showers and conserve water.  We're at least used to conserving due to the drought, though 2 minutes is pretty brief.  
 I had little to no reception here and Mary was gone, so I emailed her and hoped it went through to ask about Internet, then we eventually took off for a grocery store, which is a good 20-25 min. away.  It was a cute town, and we ended up having lunch there--sharing fish and chips.  Hawaiian meals are known more for size than taste, so we have to remember to share.  I was still stuffed.  Then we heard from Steven ( we couldn't connect earlier due to no connection) and they wanted to eat early dinner in Hilo because they have to get their puppies in before it gets dark.  Poisonous frogs....
 We wanted to take them out because Elise is flying to the Mainland tomorrow after work and returns the day we leave for a female family get-together with several generations.  I'm glad we got to spend two nights with her...the more I get to know her, the more I like her.  Their wedding will be June, 2016!  
 I did hear from Mary before we left for dinner that most people do not need wi-fi because they have smart phones that are still usable even though we only get one bar there.  I told her we need to get online for work, plus Steven and I got cut off twice that day, so my phone isn't working well there.  The battery needs charging about 2-3 times a day because it's so busy trying to find a signal.    She agreed to run her wi-fi for an hour that night after we return...says she's on a limited plan.  Steven and Elise were able to see the cottage and liked it, though agree it's too close to the main house.  She's within feet of us, so there's very little privacy.  We could hear her talking to the dogs the first night.
 Dinner was great--ate at a place they hadn't yet tried called Hilo Bay Club.  Happy happy...started with a coconut mojito!  The other is Elise's sangria.  
We got online after we returned, but I couldn't get any of my pictures from my camera onto my laptop, so couldn't do my blog.  I do think we'll stay the week at the cottage, but if we didn't have Steven's house to go to during the day where we could connect and also have some privacy and cooler temperatures, we would re-evaluate.  
 We spent today in Hilo at the farmer's market.  On Wed, the craftspeople are also there, so we spent quite a lot of time there.  I bought a couple of pairs of earrings and a piece of fused glass for the house.  We found a great artist who designs shirts--bought one for Matthew and one for Steven.  Great designs.  We also bought food for dinner with Steven...fresh vegetables and ribs.  
Now at Steven's and about to walk around to see the rest of the property, including the waterfall.  

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