Friday, July 17, 2009

Hawaii? Who's going to Hawaii? Am I going to Hawaii?

For the non Simpsons fans out there, the title is a Simpson's quote. Well not exactly, but I have had Hawaii on the brain. In the last few weeks I have done what I feel is a LOT of research on the subject of Maui. I have looked at flights, over and over again. Tried to compare prices between Westjet, Air Canada and United Airlines. But after seeing the video for 'United Breaks Guitars' made by a Canadian band, after their guitar was broken by United Airlines, I am not sure they would be my first choice for handling Jason's wheelchair. I have heard good things about Westjet so they would be our preferred choice for flying. I found a seat sale today for $369 per person each way (average regular flight price is around $600 each way per person). With taxes and fees and whatnot that saves between $800 and $1000 depending what day you would like to fly otherwise. I would love to find a cheaper seat sale (maybe $299 each way....I think that's the cheapest sale price I have seen for Saskatoon to Hawaii) but I am not going to hold my breath for that.

I emailed a number of VRBO properties in Maui and heard back from a few of them. Some were not wheelchair accessible, some became clear that they weren't wheelchair accessible on hearing certain details about them. We got a response from a place called Lahaina Shores. It is a condo complex in the town of Lahaina. It is a unique place, in that a number of the suites are privately owned, but it also has some hotel type amenities as well (ie front desk staff, housekeepers, etc.). The ocean front studio suite we were told about is actually ADA approved (wheelchair accessible, including roll in shower, etc) and for a fairly reasonable price. It also has a full kitchen so we could do a good portion of our own cooking. There is even access to a shared bbq grill!

I have managed to locate two companies that rent vans similar to Jason's on Maui as well. The only problem is I have emailed both of them and haven't heard anything back. I think I will try calling their toll free number next week to get an idea of what it might cost to rent for 7-9 days. I would pay the extra to rent a mini van if it meant that Jay didn't have to transfer in and out of his chair every time we wanted to stop somewhere. Though it might be fun to rent a convertible or something ;)

One more place I emailed was called Maui Classic Charters. They are a company that does snorkeling excursions from Maui. There is sunken crater called Molokini crater a few miles from Maui and it is a wildlife preserve and the most popular snorkeling destination on Maui. You take a glass bottomed catamaran out to this place then they drop anchor and let you snorkel for a couple of hours. Then they bbq lunch and take you back to land. I asked in the email if they had ever had people in wheelchairs on their boats and they said they have many times. I also asked if they would be able/willing to help Jay into and out of the water to try snorkeling and they said they would. Pretty awesome!!

We still have not booked anything, and are not 100% decided at this point, but I think this would be such an awesome adventure!

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