Six months in Hawaii… living life

So we’ve been here six months now. I still love it and I love the fact that I am learning my way around better and better all the time, we have a dentist, a favorite beach, and the weather is still pretty damn awesome in January.

I am still having a hard time finding someone who I really click with. I have a horrible habit of meeting someone, getting along really well and thinking there is more than a casual friendship there. If I am friends with you I want to be FRIENDS with you.  But it’s hard finding that, it doesn’t come around all that often. So I thank my lucky stars and my unlimited minutes cell phone plan that I have my bestie Janelle. 

I have been up to my eyeballs in stuff to do, football, FRG meeting stuff, all the everyday stuff that goes along with living. Just keeping busy so we can knock off more time that daddy has been gone.

I have lots of stuff that I am working on around the house, still exercising which is good, been pretty good with how I have been eating. I really have no complaints, if my husband were home with me I would be pretty damn happy. I really wouldn’t mind staying here for 5 years instead of 3, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

Living in Hawaii {4 Month Update}

We have officially hit four months of living in Hawaii.

And I am in love with this state.

Hawaii can be a difficult place to live. It is so very different than living on the mainland. It can be hard to not have every store and restaurant you are used to having around the corner. (No Olive Garden, Michael’s or Chik-fil-a!) Living here means that you are living far from family, at least a 5 hour plane ride away. It can be expensive, housing is expensive, food is expensive, we are on an island so you will pay more for everything. We are lucky to be able to shop at the commissary and exchange which offer a huge savings over shopping on the local economy.

But with all that it is still magical to live here. I will be driving and then all of a sudden see a gorgeous rainbow, a vibrant green volcanic range, or a stunning sunset over the beach.

We did come here with a bit of an advantage. After living in Spain for four years we learned to live without many of the American conveniences that people complain about not having here. Plus we’ve been living far from family. So when we moved from Rota to Pearl Harbor it was awesome for us! We had Target and Starbucks and T-mobile…

It is like most places for me, it depends on what you make of it. If you spend your time here complaining about how much you hate it, you’ll end up hating it.

We’ve had a great time getting out and exploring the island, learning about the culture and customs and eating!

Don’t get me wrong it’s far from perfect here, the DMV is a nightmare, the traffic is the worst, and the bugs are out of control. There are shady parts of the island, it sucks being 6 hours behind all my friends and family on the east coast (especially when your husband deploys!)

I have found some fun friends by stepping outside my comfort zone and playing football, volunteering with the PTA and getting together a FRG for the Paul Hamilton.

The only thing that would make it better would be if my husband were still here to explore the island with me!

Keeping busy…

Now that my kids are in school and my husband is back to work (oh how I enjoyed having him on leave for a month!) I have to find something to do to keep myself busy. I miss working which is crazy but I enjoy getting out of the house and making my own little paycheck. I don’t plan on going back to work full time since my husband will be working crazy ship hours, but I would like to find something part time while the kids are in school or maybe volunteer.

I have, however been signing up for stuff like crazy. I’ve joined a women’s flag football team and I am having a blast. It’s been a great way to meet some really fun ladies. We are almost all military wives although we have one military daughter and one DoD civilian. We have been practicing our asses off (and my poor quad and ankles are not forgiving me for it!) and we have our first game Sunday. Against the active duty Navy women’s team. Who are the two-time champions. No pressure! 

I also signed up for my first 5K. This is something I’ve been wanting to do and I’m not sure why it’s not on my life list. I’ve started running again and I was finally back to running a mile straight before hurting myself in football. Now I am hobbling all over the place. I am going to be doing The Color Run in November, seriously, how frickin’ fun does that look? Even if you just walk it! I am really happy that one of the girls on my football team started a color run team so I won’t be by myself!

Also I just found out about the Joint Spouse Conference in October, it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. There are a ton of different workshops to choose from. I am leaning toward signing up for Lei Making, Asian Cooking, Beyond the Mai Tai, and Digital Photography. We will see what is still available when registration opens at 8am tomorrow!

Oh, and an update on our stuff! I’ve been calling the moving company at LEAST once a week to get updates on our stuff. I was really frustrated because it has been sitting in Long Beach for weeks going through customs and then there was some kind of consolidation issue (I guess getting enough containers coming over here at the same time? I don’t even know.) I had called last Friday before the long Labor Day weekend to see if maybe just maybe it got on the boat and wouldn’t be sitting there ignored for another three days. Nope, no such luck. Still in CA. 

So I call back today, (really I am probably annoying the crap outta them but c’mon, I want my stuff!) and they transfer me to someone and tell me our stuff arrived on island on Sunday, the 2nd. WHAT?? So that is a very unexpected happy surprise! We probably won’t get it for another week or two because it takes forever for stuff to clear the customs there (I think our Volvo was there for a week) but it’s here. Like 10 minutes away from me! So while I am seriously NOT looking forward to unpacking, I am looking forward to having my clothes, my kitchen and my kids toys back in my possession! Just praying that everything made it safe and sound!

Kaneohe Bay – Pyramid Rock Beach

 

One of the first things you learn when you move to Oahu is how the island is divided. Down the center of the island runs a mountain range (gotta love all that volcanic activity!). The north eastern side of the divide is the windward side, it gets all of the winds and moisture. The southwestern side (where we live) is the leeward side, not as cool and much drier. This becomes very apparent when you go from one side to another. I LOVE the windward side! It is so lush and green and every time I see it I feel like I am in Jurassic Park (because it was filmed here!)

 

 

 

This is the tunnel that cuts through the mountains, it is fairly new and is much easier than having to drive all the way around or over! And when you pop out of the tunnel this is what greets you:

 

The hills all have those distinct ridges due to erosion, all of the rain has carved the rock.

 

 

 

We were looking for someplace to snorkel over on the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay but there wasn’t really anything suitable so we headed to Pyramid Rock Beach. It was a beautiful breezy day but the surf was really rough and we were advised by the lifeguard to stay shallow and keep our kids close.

 

 

Yes, I know it is all beach and ocean pictures all the time but seriously, this has been my life! We have spent a disgusting amount of time at the beach, but isn’t that what you are supposed to do when you live in Hawaii?

 

 

My gorgeous girl. This was the only picture I have where she isn’t posing like she’s trying out for America’s Next Top Model.

 

 

Oh this boy, he melts my heart.

 

 

Pyramid Rock, I wanted to go see if we could hike up the stairs but as you can see it’s REALLY far away and I am incredibly lazy. I bet the view from up there is great! 

 

 

 

Super crowded beach, I don’t know how we deal with the masses of people. Seriously though, I love going to beaches on base.

 

 

 

 

 

We also stalked a crab… cutest thing ever.

 

 

And the weirdo dog that was happy as hell to eat the leftover ice from the ice chest. Also please ignore my dirt back yard. My gardening stuff isn’t here yet, give me a couple of months and it will be beautiful!

 

Our house… at the moment.

So I know before moving into this neighborhood I was dying to find out what the inside of the houses looked like. At the moment we still have our loaner furniture, we have hardly any of our own stuff at all and it’s pretty much empty. But! It’s better than a hotel room!

So here are some pictures:

Front of house

 

Side of house, and tiny yard

 

Back of house, garage (two car!)

Dining room and kitchen

 

 

Den, forgot to take a picture of the living room but it’s the same size as this and is open plan to the dining room and kitchen

 

Entry way, front door, coat closet, bathroom, storage under the stairs

 

Looking toward front door, standing in living room, stairs up to second floor

 

Top of stairs, cabinet thing (linens, I don’t even know?) in the hallway next to kids bathroom

Top of stairs, we’ll be sticking a desk here for the kids, also a nice big storage room.

Mckenna’s room

 

Omar’s room

 

Master, please note that the kids bed’s were made and mine isn’t. Wonderful.

 

Master bath

 

Master closet, it’s actually off the bathroom which is nice. LOTS of space.

 

 

So there it is, can’t wait to actually get our stuff so we can make this house our own. I’ve been meaning to get some paint for the kids rooms and get that done before all of our stuff gets here.  It’s nice to go from under a thousand square feet to over 1,700. Lots more room to stretch out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waikiki Aquarium

Okay hawaii. So far I am digging it here but you have GOT to step it up when it comes to the only aquarium on Oahu!  I knew before coming that it was small, but it’s not small it’s tiny! Do NOT come with visions of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Baltimore Aquarium or Shedd Aquarium in your mind (three of the best I’ve been to!)

One thing you can’t fault is the location, right on the water at the east end of Waikiki. Parking is a little crazy, we parked in our favorite cheapo military lot and meandered through Waikiki. It’s about a mile and a half walk and not too bad if you stop for lunch. Which we didn’t do because none of us could agree so we ended up at the aquarium hot and crabby. Fun times!

On with it!

 

 

What is wrong with this boy? Seriously, he can not take a normal picture anymore.

 

And since the posts have been so snorkel heavy I’ll just try to throw some of my favorite fish into a collage so you don’t have to scroll past them. Sorry, I love me some fish!

 

See that wasn’t so bad. So yeah the aquarium is small but they have some of the most beautiful display tanks I’ve ever seen, huge clams, a carpet anemone that was 2 feet wide, a mangrove tank, a tank outside, really beautiful.

 

 

 

The kiddos held some hermit crabs and pet some urchins, touch tanks are always a big hit.
The clam propagation tank outside. Some seriously stunning clams in there. They also have their coral growing tank outside as well. Really cool and makes me want to volunteer so I can play, too!

Walking right out of the aquarium you are right at the seawall along the water, tried again and again to get a good splash but I kept missing it…

 

 

 

 

So out we walked onto the breakwater where Omar (jr.) ended up getting soaked by a wave. Whoops!

 

 

 

 

 

So aquarium, nice but probably an hour tops for most people. There is a discount if you are a local and the tour includes a talking speaker tour dealy to give you details about all of the exhibits.  Make it part of your day in Waikiki and walk around (it’s also right near the zoo so you can make it a twofer).