I still tell people we just moved to Hawaii. Even though, as of today, it’s been one year. It’s hard to keep track of time when every day feels like the one before it.
We started out in a hotel room in Waikiki. The hotel could use an upgrade, but the views were amazing, even for two people who moved from Huntington Beach and lived just a block from the beach.
Wes started out in an office in Honolulu, which I can now see from my building. It was great while we were living in hotel, but the commute once we moved to the west side of the island was a bit much. Luckily it didn’t last long, as he’s now working only 5 miles from home. I, however, am still making that ridiculous commute.
While house-hunting we came across Renton Road, which actually is named after Wes’ family. Drive down this road a bit and you’ll see the sugar plantation that his great grandfather ran, as well as the house that his grandfather probably grew up in before leaving Hawaii in his early teens.
After searching for a week and looking at what seemed like every house and apartment on Craig’s List, we managed to find a place to live and celebrated by having dinner and delicious beer at Kona Brewing Company. My favorite is still the Pipeline Porter.
Our first non-house hunting related activity was visiting Pearl Harbor. When we found out we were moving we both knew that this was one of the first things we wanted to do in our new home. Wes’ grandfather is from Hawaii and even though he moved away at a relatively young age, he was still quick to sign up after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. My grandfather was in the Navy at the time and was on the USS Oklahoma. He was trapped when the ship sunk and flipped, but managed to get out. It goes without saying that visiting this site was important for both of us.
After another week in the hotel, we finally were able to move into our new place, which is about three times the size of our apartment in Huntington Beach. You would think that we would have plenty of empty space, but we filled it up in no time. We managed to find a place with a guest bedroom, which meant that we had to get another bed – KING SIZE!
We survived a Tsunami attack after the earthquake in Chile, and then we bought a dog and named her Tsunami. And then I almost went crazy because puppies might be the worst thing ever. Luckily, she grew up to be pretty good and we haven’t had to accidentally lose her yet.
My parents came to visit and we did all sorts of fun things: hiking in mostly mud, visited the Dole plantation and cooked a lot of food.
In June we left the island to see one of my best friend’s get married. I thought it would be warm in Tahoe in June, but it wasn’t. I ended up sleeping under 7 blankets in order to keep warm. I officially realize how awful it will be when we (hopefully, finally) move the northwest.
As soon as I land in Hawaii, I receive a call to let me know that my grandmother has died. With my wedding less than two months, and a honeymoon directly after that, traveling isn’t something that can happen. But two weeks later my aunt dies and I know that I have to go home to support my mom. I fly to Boise then drive with my parents and brother to Utah, reliving almost exactly my grandfather’s funeral three years before, except that this time I’m in Utah and not Washington.
In July and August, Wes’ family makes the trek to Hawaii to visit and we realize that all we needed for them to visit was an ocean between us! We enjoy three weeks with them before relaxing for the week before our wedding.
In August we flew to the mainland to get married and it was awesome. The entire day memorable in the best way possible and I’m actually considering getting divorced just to marry him again. Unfortunately, my parents won’t pay for the next one so I suppose we’ll just have to have some kick ass anniversary parties to celebrate.
After our wedding we spend one night at home before heading to Thailand for our honeymoon. We visit a lot of temples and Bangkok and are so thoroughly overwhelmed with everything that we both wonder why we chose Thailand. But then we quickly head to Chaing Mai and fall in love. The city is beautiful and our hotel is amazing. We do as much as we can in the less-than-two-days we’re there. The best part is riding elephants through the jungle and swimming with them. After our quick trip to the north, we head south to Koh Samui and enjoy some diving. At the end of the two weeks we are both exhausted and ready to be back in our own bed and with our puppy.
Two weeks after we returned I participated in my first triathlon – a super sprint. I ended up getting first in my age group, which sounds impressive until you know that I was beat by three women who were about 20 years older than me. But I enjoyed it enough to want to tri (!) again.
In September two of my best friends came to visit. We’ve known each other since 6th grade, but haven’t spent much time alone together since we left home. It was great to be around two ladies who have known me for so long and still love me. It gives me hope for my marriage.
In October I competed in a sprint triathlon at Ko ‘Olina and I came in 5th in my age group. It was double the distance of my first triathlon and I felt in much better shape.
At the beginning of November I ran a half marathon in preparation for the full marathon in December. I finished 15 minutes faster than my last half marathon three years prior.
At the end of November Wes had a meeting in Bellevue, WA, so we got a free trip to the northwest. We enjoyed a late Thanksgiving with Wes’ family in Portland before heading across the border to visit friends (me) and get some work done (Wes).
By December we were both looking forward to some down time, but it was not to be. Instead I ran a marathon and wanted to die. After that we had a couple of friends visit for three days from Seattle. While they were here they got engaged!
And then my parents and my brother and his girlfriend came to visit for a belated Christmas visit. I haven’t had the chance to spend a lot of time with my brother’s girlfriend, nor have I (and they) wanted to spend some time with them. In short, my brother dates some lame ladies. But this one (hi Coop!) is pretty awesome. She fit right in with the family and it was nice to spend some time with someone who means so much to my brother.
All in all, the first year in Hawaii has been a success. Something about living in this climate has made me more active. We’ve met a lot of good friends – the upside to living near military folks who are as new to the island as we are. Neither of us are sure how long we’ll be here and though we’d like to be closer to friends, family and skiing/camping/snow, we’re both enjoying our time here and are looking forward to what the next 365 days have to offer.