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published on June 2nd, 2010 in tagged, , ,

For those who have or are thinking about vacationing in and around Hawaii, AAA Travel Views has developed a list of “must experience” drives.  The views and opinions in this article are mostly those of Chuck Gross, travel and marketing manager, AAA Southern New England. 

1. MAUI: The Road to Hana
Possibly one of the most beautiful drives on the planet.  This drive will ultimately bring you into the tiny village of Hana, but be sure to plan a full day around the drive.  From Kahului take 36 east, just past Pauwela, the road will narrow and become State Route 360.  Sites worth seeing along the way include Keanae Arboretum, Waianapanapa State Park, Hana Coast Gallery, Red Sand Beach and the Hasegawa General Store.

2. KAUAI: Grand Canyon of the Pacific – the wettest spot on the planet
Head west from Kauai’s main town of Lihue along State Rte 50 to the Hawaiian village of Waimea.  Continue traveling north on Rte 550 running alongside the Waimea Canyon; known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.  The road leads through Kokee State Park and ultimately the Kalalau Lookout. There are several spots on the way up with breathtaking views, and if your in the mood for some local cuisine, there is a small restaurant and a lodge…in addition, there is the Kokee Natural History Museum.

3. NORTH SHORE OAHU: Route Of The Surfers
Banzai Pipeline and 15-20 foot waves are notorious along this gem of a route.  A surfers haven, Waimea Bay has monstrous waves that can make the ground shake when they break.  Home to the Waimea Valley Audubon Society, stunning botanical gardens, nature trails and picturesque waterfalls, this hidden dream-land can be accessed from Honolulu traveling north on H-2 and then pick-up Route 99 (Kamehameha Highway) heading towards the North Shore. You meet up with  Route 83 which circles nearly all the way around the entire island of Oahu.

4. MAUI: Upcountry and Haleakala National Park
If you have ever wondered what it is like to experience euphoria…watch the sunrise over the edge of the crater of Haleakala…Maui’s dormant volcano that rises over 10,000 above the Pacific. You’ll need to leave quite early to get there in time plus remember to dress warmly as the temperatures will be in the 30’s at this altitude. Your return trip down the mountain could include a visit to the Tedeschi Vineyards and the Kula Botanical Gardens. To get to the top of the volcano, take the Haleakala Highway (Route 37), at Pukalani, Route 377 will branch off to the left and begin the steep climb to the top. After 6 miles, look for signs to the entrance to the National Park and its narrow winding road.
5. HAWAII: Big Island Circle Route (Volcanoes to Waterfalls)
The Big Isle of Hawaii is home to the two largest mountains on the planet; Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, also there is the active volcano of Kilauea.  As most hotels are on the West side along the Kona Coast…it will take a full day to make the grand circle of this diverse island. Highlights include the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Chain Of Craters Road, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Farm, the town of Hilo, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, Akaka Falls, and the Parker Ranch.

This island was the home to the Belgium priest, Father Damian, who spent years ministering to those suffering from Hanson’s Disease at the Kalaupapa.  There is no independent touring allowed at the former colony, however for those over 16 years old, there are organized mule rides that descend along the 1,700 foot precipice among the tallest sea cliffs in the world.  Just past the stables, the road continues to the Kalaupapa Lookout that offers incredible views of the cliffs and colony below.

The North Shore of Kauai is where Hollywood came to film the movie South Pacific. Driving north from Lihue on Route 56, there are many sights worth seeing on your drive such as the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge & Kilauea Lighthouse, the charming village of Hanalei, the Hanalei River and Hanalei Valley Lookout, and Lumahi Beach where the movie was filmed. 

For those who are staying in the Lahaina and Kaanapali area, plan a day trip around the West Maui Mountains for an adventurous day of picnicking and swimming.  Head north on Route 30, just past Fleming Park there is a steep path down to Mokuleia Beach and its Underwater Marine Sanctuary, which offers great snorkeling. Further ahead is Honolua Bay with its black rocky beach.  Continuing around the Northwest tip of Maui, the highway becomes Route 340 with spectacular views and a sense that you have the whole island just to yourself.  Once you’re on the other side of the mountains, stop at the Ioa Valley State Park for glimpses of the famous Iao Needle.  

9. OAHU: Through The Tunnels Cemetery of The Pacific… known as the Punchbowl. Once on the highway, look for signs for the Pali Lookout, a small park offering breathtaking views of eastern Oahu. The highway travels under the Koolau Mountains through an impressive tunnel…keep heading south along Route 72.  For those with extra time Sea Life Park is along the way…the highway passes by Koko Crater and the stunning Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. 

10. HAWAII: Big Island Northwestern Tip
The Northwestern tip of the Big Isle, Hawaii, is rarely visited by tourists and for those staying along the Kona Coast, take Route 19 north…you’ll pass Hapuna Beach which is worth a stop when the waters are calm as it is frequented by endangered green sea turtles.  Continue onto Route 270 to Lapakahi State Park to get a glimpse of the Hawaiian ways of 600 years ago.  Heading all the way to the tip of the island you’ll discover Mookini Heiau—the birthplace of Kamehameha I and the site where legend says the priest Paao first arrived from Polynesia.

Timeshare Growth

published on May 30th, 2010 in Timeshare Resales tagged ,

From a small hotel in the French Alps in the 1960’s, Timeshare has experienced revolutionary growth and is poised to continue the rise.  The growth is attributed mostly to RCI, Interval International and Trading Places International; the three largest timeshare exchange companies within the industry.  Many of the US-based timeshare companies anticipate tremendous growth in overseas markets such as Asia, the Middle East and South Africa; and what this means to you, the vacationing enthusiast are more hotel/resort destinations to explore and experience for the first time.       

Geoff Ballotti, the president and CEO of RCI Timeshare was quoted as saying; “owners are always looking for new experiences, especially overseas, and there are ever-increasing opportunities in places in Asia – China, Indonesia and India, for example – that make it imperative for us to be there. 

Advances in the above mentioned regions have been received quite positively; in fact “RCI experienced a 14 per cent growth in the number of Asian members with 10,000 new members joining its network during the year”. 

On average in 2009, statistics showed that timeshares saw 80 per cent occupancy rates…some of this success is a result of the resale sector selling and renting for those owners who choose not to use their ownership.  The resale sector offers a convenient, interactive place on the web where buyers can view several timeshare units at a resort and typically purchase for a bargain.  However you buy or sell, and wherever your Home Resort is, 2010 and beyond are exciting times for timesharing; be adventurous, love with family and friends, explore together and most of all cherish the good times that come with timeshare. 

Source(s): Business Times and Asia One Business, April 25, 2010

Westgate Pasadena Grand Opening – Green, Urban-Living

published on May 30th, 2010 in Homes/Condos tagged , ,

Source: Pasadena Star News, May 20, 2010

In today’s struggling housing market, it’s rare to see a new apartment complex come on line.  But, do something that is very different and focused on consumer health, you may just be delighted; essentially this is what Westgate Apartments in Pasadena, CA have achieved.   

Developed by the Sares Regis’ multi-family development division, the 480-unit community is transit-oriented, smoke-free and loaded with “green” features.

Westgate is located at 231 S. De Lacey Ave. in Pasadena’s historic district just two blocks from the Del Mar Station of the Metro Gold Line. The complex offers modern and spacious apartments with designer finishes amid a climate of upscale community amenities.

The new-era of modern urban planning and design has afforded Westgate owners a variety of green features, including 174 bicycle parking spaces clustered near elevator lobbies throughout the subterranean garage, two charging stations for electric vehicles, and preferred parking spaces for residents who take part in car-share and rideshare programs.

Westgate’s no-smoking policy has proven to be one of the development’s biggest selling points, and Jack Kyser, founding economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. 

Green features and a non-smoking policy without raising rental rates!

Timeshare Resort Resale

published on March 31st, 2010 in Timeshare Resales tagged , , , ,

If you love vacationing AND saving money, the best option for you is a timeshare resort resale! When purchasing timeshare through the resort, many buyers are coerced into overpaying by thousands of dollars. Many resorts are known for high pressure sales tactics, unscrupulous promises, or gifts that are more appealing than valuable. The cost of the gifts and sales presentations often make up over 30% of the cost the developer purchase price!

When one buys a timeshare resort resale, the accommodations, amenities and advantages are identical to timeshares purchased through the resort, with a few exceptions. Timeshares already equal flexible and luxurious vacations for a fraction of the cost to own a second home or to rent directly through the resort, and now you can save even more by purchasing timeshare resale through our company. We pride ourselves on providing reliable timeshare information in an educational, no-pressure manner. We believe that a little research and time can save thousands of dollars. Our consumers avoid paying for unnecessary services, like commissions, attorneys, and appraisals, and our easily searchable website allows for the variety to do comparative shopping. By connecting motivated timeshare sellers with industry savvy timeshare buyers, our company allows for a fair and simple marketplace for timeshare resales and rentals.

The resale market can save you thousands of dollars, and our extensive inventory and the help of our professional staff means that you get the best property at the best price. If you have ever dreamed of taking your family on a fabulous vacation to a spacious, luxury resort with endless amenities year after year—all for an inexpensive investment—then it looks like timeshare resale is for you! Don’t wait another minute, Ask A Specialist today!!

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