When we arrived on Kauai it was raining and foggy. I wasn't overly upset about it, I had spent enough summers in Florida to understand the climate of a tropical locale. Lots of rain showers that didn't usually last. But after a full day of being on a plane waiting to be transported to paradise, it wasn't exactly the greeting I was hoping for.
We got our rental SUV and headed off to find our studio apartment in the tree tops. You see, when I was researching places to stay I thought we might want to stay some place very private..away from most of the touristy stuff. Through VRBO.com, I found a listing for a very simple studio apartment for a great price and booked it. I should have known there might be trouble when the online listing described the place like this:
This studio surrounded by nature is for those who want to experience simple, inexpensive island living with a touch of rustic funk.
Rustic funk...remember that. Also, there were two pages of directions. Y'all, the entire island is about the size of my county (ok..that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration)..if you need two pages of directions to get to a place..run away! They described the road to get to the apartment as 'enchanting'. I described it as 'scarier than shit'. As soon as you turned off the highway the road shrunk to fit only one vehicle, even thought it was both ways, and went straight up. We sort of sat there at the mouth of the road. 'Are we in the right place?' 'This is what the directions say' 'I can't even see around the corner..what if there is another car coming?'
We had no choice but to move forward. And thankfully, for the first trip up this 'enchanted' road, we didn't run into anyone else. But we did come head to head with another truck at one point, he was nice to enough to back up and let us pass..because that was the only thing to be done on this road. Anyway, when we finally found the place we discovered that the studio apartment sat under the main house. Not a big deal until we decided to get into bed and could hear the owners walking around upstairs. Not exactly the secluded treetop hideaway I was thinking of.
Oh, and remember the "rustic funk"? Yeah, well, funk is a good description. The place was functional and that's about it. There was no ambiance, which is sad because with a little money and effort that studio apartment could be great. But we are talking bare bones here people. Hand-me-down everything, there was no rhythm or flow to the place. It felt outdated and....funky...as in tropical ick. Do y'all know what I'm talking about? There was no air conditioning in this place, which isn't uncommon, but the only ceiling fan in the place didn't work either. So..the hot, tropical, sticky Hawaiian air is just sitting in that place. It made everything feel and smell moldy.
I knew from the moment I stepped inside that this was NOT the place I wanted to spend my week in Hawaii. We stayed for one night, one horribly hot, sticky, windy (we left the window slats open hoping to bring in some fresh air..well, it was very windy while we were there and the wind combined with all the banana trees rubbing up against the screened porch sounded more like a tornado..rather than the peaceful tree top paradise I was dreaming about). At 5:30 we were both wide awake, thanks to the time change, and laying in that sticky bed we both decided that if this was not what we wanted we needed to find something else, because we may never get the chance to go to Hawaii again. It needed to be...right. So, Jeremy got up out of bed and turned on a lamp. There laying on the floor was a dead cockroach. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. I wasn't staying there for one more night.
I called my Mother-in-law all the way back in Texas and asked her to help me find another place to stay. After a few phone calls back and forth I ended up with the 800# to orbitz.com. Thank goodness for Stephanie at orbitz. I told her what I needed, for the amount of nights, in the location I wanted and my budget. She hooked us up with a room at the Hyatt. We were saved! But now..what to do about this place.
After breakfast at a local cafe, which we went back to every single morning, we made one final trek back up that freakin'-frakin' "magical" road and knocked on their front door. The lady was still in her morning robe when she answered. We told her that the place just wasn't a right fit for us and that we had found someplace else to stay. We offered her the full week's price...because we're cool like that..but she insisted that we only pay for our one night and wished us well.
Crisis averted..thank you God! As we drove the 15 minutes down to the coast to check into our new room we talked about our little adventure. we learned that as much privacy as we THINK we want...we don't really like to rough it. Ipod alarm clocks and complimentary robes are really more up our alley. Lesson way learned.