Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We're Moving to Hawaii!

hawaii collage

Tomorrow morning Jarrod and I will set off for Oahu, Hawaii, our home for the next three years. It's a little tough to be leaving; I'm still missing Ohio (which, shockingly, grew on me quite a bit, especially my library job and our lovely house and neighborhood, and fall... oh, fall...), and I'm sad to be saying goodbye to my home state of Colorado, where I've been hanging out with my parents for the last six weeks while Jarrod took a class in Florida. Luckily I got a good dose of Rocky Mountain air while I was here (and even got to see some moose!) and hopefully that'll tide me over until our next visit.

Before our last three years in Ohio, we were stationed in Hawaii for three years, and just about everyone I know who's never lived in Hawaii is absolutely flabbergasted that I'm not over the moon to be moving back to "paradise." But while living there has plenty of upsides, it's not always easy, and it's not always paradise.

The main reason that I'm not completely jumping for joy, though, is that if I'm going to be so far from family and friends again, I'd rather move to a new place and have three years of fresh adventures; we pretty much did everything we wanted to do in Hawaii the first time around, from just about every waterfall hike in the state to diving with sharks to watching the Pipe Masters surf competition to eating all the kalua pork we could handle (well, not Jarrod; he eats kalua pork for dessert!). Germany, England and Alaska were all on the assignment list this go-round and if we had to do an overseas assignment I'd definitely have preferred one of those.

But, as the adage goes, "Home is where the Air Force sends us" -- and seeing as we have absolutely zero choice in the matter, I'm working on getting excited about it. And, of course, there are plenty of worse places we could be going. And I've got many fond memories from our previous three years in Hawaii and there are definitely lots of things I'm looking forward to. So that means it's time for one of my favorite things... a list!

Looking forward to:
Going to miss:
-flip-flops all year round
-monk seals, sea turtles, humpback whales
-snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
-sunsets over the water
-coconut and pineapple everything
-not changing time
-Leonard’s malasadas (Portuguese donuts – soooo good; my favorite are filled with haupia – coconut pudding)
-plentiful rainbows
-plumeria, hibiscus and birds of paradise
-Mountain Magic shave ice
-watching the surf competitions
-lava flow drinks
-actual flowing lava
-fighter jets flying overhead
-authentic Thai food
-not having to rake leaves or shovel snow
-reading on the beach with my toes in the sand
-li-hing (sour plum powder) margaritas
-hunting for seashells (not that we need any more!)
-chocolate mac nut ice cream from Scoops of Paradise
-Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, Hank’s Haute Dogs
-getaways to our happy place, Barking Sands military beach cottages on Kauai
-dinner al fresco whenever we want
-tan sand, black sand, green sand, red sand
-huge waterfalls
-Maui Gold pineapples
-experiencing four completely different ecosystems on one tiny island
-chocolate-covered macadamia nuts
-showing off my new seahorse tattoo since I’ll be wearing short-sleeves every day
-hiking the Koko Head trail (I WILL get in shape for it this time!)
-our planned trip to Australia and New Zealand
-spending holidays with family
-big parking lots
-concerts (we’ve seen so many shows the past three years!)
-my awesome library job in Ohio
-wearing my hand-knitted hats, scarves, cowls and sweaters
-Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse, Chick-fil-a, Jimmy John’s, etc. etc.
-snow at Christmas
-driving past open spaces, farmland and woods every day (Oahu can feel pretty claustrophobic at times)
-road trips
-good barbecue
-watching football while eating wings for dinner (thanks to the super-far-behind Hawaii time zone, football is over by dinner)
-wearing my huge cardigan collection
-curling up with a book, a blanket and a cup of coffee by the fireplace (we loved our gas fireplace!)
-April showers bringing May flowers
-yarn shops
-getting our meat from the local butcher
-cheaper everything
­-not having to battle crazy traffic all the time
-warming up with a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks (I still get them in Hawaii but they kinda lose that cozy factory when they make you sweat!)
-reasonable shipping prices for online orders
-Buckeye Blitz ice cream cones from Graeter’s
-boots (too hot to wear them in Hawaii except at night)
-rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs
-using the heated seats in our new car

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