I have to admit, being a first time VRBO user I was a bit nervous. "Here's $2300, you'll send me the code to the lock box once my check clears, right? RIGHT?" But I have to say that it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be, once I pulled the trigger. The owners were on it every step of the way and did a great job of both communicating and offering up helpful information for our trip. They made it easy which was a real load off my mind.
The house was small, around 800 sf, but had two bedrooms, bathroom, living/dining, full kitchen, washer/dryer, and bonus, an outdoor shower with hot water for washing all of that sand off. The lot was lovely and even had a small front and back yard. It was right on the water and overlooked some lava tide pools (which for our two adventurers was GREAT because they could go down there and not be lured directly into the water!). Fifty yards or so to both the right and the left were lovely sand beaches.
The house was modest, but extremely clean. If I'm being honest I think they are under charging (only $200 per night at the time of our trip!). This is a North Shore, West facing home which means you get a gorgeous sunset every night. For those of you familiar with Oahu's North Shore, it's about a mile west of the Turtle Bay Resort (where they serve up some great shave ice), and about a mile East of some of the best surfing beaches on the island. Of course, August is not big surf season which made it perfect for swimming and boogie boarding. It made a great base camp for all of the things we wanted to do on the island. (Disclaimer - there is some road noise at night, but nothing the A/C couldn't cover up. That said, all of the waterfront houses on this strip, even the multi-million dollar ones have the exact same issue. Just turn on the A/C and you'll be fine!)
Other than the outdoor shower what I really loved about the house was the fact that the kids could go outside and play while I was making dinner or we were just hanging out talking. If we had been in a condo I would have insisted they stay inside rather than go play on the lawns. They spent hours hunting for lizards and hermit crabs. HOURS. John and I could just sit out on the covered lanai and relax and not worry about them. Priceless! We spend most of our time away from the house, but come happy hour they were either relaxing in the blissfully air conditioned house or outside playing. There was something for them to do, either way and they weren't stuck with us sitting on the deck watching the sunset every night. It was kind of like having little mini-dates every night :-) Couldn't have asked for more.
One of my favorite trip moments is always the first morning. Because of the time difference we are always up before the sun and go out walking on the beach. The owners of this home are brilliant in that they have provided flashlights. I'm telling you, walking on the beach in the dark with flashlights, pretty awesome :-) The kids will never forget it, and then... the sun comes up and it is almost surreal... so amazing :-)
Did I mention the turtles? The first night we went out walking and saw three or four turtles only a few feet off the rocks. Sea turtles are such amazing creatures. We went looking for them every day and saw them almost every time.
Getting cheesey at the little surf shop with photo opportunities just down the road....
Going to sleep with the sound of the ocean just steps away was wonderful. Waking up to it each day was even better...
Next up, surfing lessons!