I'm still adjusting a little bit with the time difference. It's definitely not hard to get up early here since it's kind of like sleeping in in Maryland. :) Unfortunately, Nick and I have been sharing a car off and on so I've had to drive him to work a few times if I needed the car that day so I would get up at 5:30am and be exhausted by 9:30pm that night...doesn't help get on schedule.
I think I'm just about there now. Five hours is a lot to adjust by. I think I'm closer to California time at the moment, but that works.
Last Monday we got me a car. A little aqua '99 Toyota Corolla which I have promptly named "Little Clunker," due to its slightly clunking engine. Also "Little Beater." That's actually more of an island term- the crappy little cars that people drive a lot of times when they live here are called beaters. Much of the island is military so people just get temporary cars. Also, you don't put a lot of mileage on cars here since it's not like you can suddenly plan a road trip out of state. The funny thing is my new (to me!) little car had 117,500 miles on it when I got it last week- the one that I sold had 117,555....Weird.
I hate dealing with movers. I feel bad asking them to unpack everything, but it's what they're getting paid for. Also if they don't unpack the stuff while they're there, for one you end up with a ton of packaging materials you don't know what to do with until they come pick it up. But the biggest thing is that if something is broken, you can't claim it because you can't prove you didn't just break it after unwrapping it.
So at the moment, I'm waiting for the second shipment to get here and today will be spent trying to organize everything and put it in its place. It's helpful that the moving company unpacks everything- it saves a ton of time. But then you're left with mounds of THINGS in every room piled up high. Sigh.
Nick is working extra long tonight and I might not see him until tomorrow. He took the car since I have so much to do here anyway.
Kailua is on the rainier side of the island. It was pretty nice while we were there but they said it had been raining a lot prior to my arrival. And toward the end I drove in and out of rain quite a bit.
The house is beautiful. It's a new house but needs a lot of work. We've been trying to cover the windows in our bedroom at least with duct tape and sheets and beach towels. And I guess we didn't realize that grass doesn't come with the house- our backyard is a red clay. I have light colored carpets- clay and light carpets do not mix well when you have a dog. So despite the decently sized back yard, we have to continually take the dog for walks. Kind of a pain when I got so spoiled by my parents yard and just being able to let her outside.
We began investigating how to get grass since I think grass and blinds are priority. We talked for ten minutes to a guy at the base garden shop on all the steps we need to take- sand down first for filtration, top soil mixed with spongey rocks since apparently clay is no good for growing, purchasing multiple cubic feet of grass and tearing them individually apart and planting each one a few inches apart. We're waiting for a sale on all that.
We also priced blinds through the base. Nick isn't around much to be able to install a ton of blinds and we thought instead of getting the cheap ones from Walmart/Target, since we already have really awkward sized windows we would get professional blinds done. We're looking at really nice white wood grain horizontal blinds for the entire upstairs and light off-brown verticals for all the downstairs which would match our sliding glass door. We priced it at $2500. Ouch.
Owning a house is definitely not cheap. So many other little costs like those- and just filling up the house, buying a bed and stuff for a spare bedroom. Ugh. Money.
Some of the other crazy things I've noticed so far- traffic is horrendous. I heard someone say it got voted #1 worst- Los Angeles was number 2. Ouch. All the street names are crazy to pronounce. I try to say every one I see out loud to practice pronunciations. You mostly just try to pronounce every vowel. But in some cases that isn't easy- Kamehameha Highway is a popular road here. I still haven't figure out which part of the name to stress. But at least I have the pronunciation right. I think. And just when you think you have pronunciation down- you get three vowel in a row and just have no idea. And then there's the state fish: the Humuhumukununukuapua'a fish. Yeah, try that one when you think you're good at pronouncing Hawaiian. I just figured out this week how to say my street name.
Banking has been an adventure. There are no Suntrusts here. No Bank of Americas. No M&T Banks. Basically nothing there is back home other than Navy Federal Credit Union. There are lots of local banks. Bank of America actually froze my account for suspicious activitiy the day I needed to get money out for my car. AFTER I had already called them to make sure it wouldn't be a problem. I spent 45 minutes on the phone in a bank parking lot. Nice.
Superbowl kicked off at 1:25pm. The only thing live here is football. So during the season there will be 8am games. That's some real tailgating. The 10pm Jay Leno show comes on at 9pm. I still haven't figured out any other TV show times. And I miss good ol' eastcoast Comcast cable. I'd even take ghetto South Carolina's Comcast over this weird Oceanic Time Warner. There's no TV on demand! I miss my Pilates on demand from Exercise TV.
Hawaii is also the place that those "Prices and participation may vary" disclaimers were made for. My first night here we tried to order the 3 mediums for $5.55 from Dominos- only to get "Yeah, that's the mainland price." (They call the other 48 states the "Mainland.") It's 3 mediums for $7 each here. And Subway's $5 footlong is $6. Just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Everything is more expensive if you don't buy stuff on base (which I can't by myself since I don't have a military ID). I heard one of the ladies say they had to go to a regular grocery store one day after commissary hours and spent $7 on a gallon of milk. I bought gas the other day for $3.30 a gallon. Yup, miss mainland prices. It's not a bad trade off to avoid the cold weather and snow. And hey, while talking gardening to the garden center guy, he told us plants grow year round. I'll be planting my own herbs and some veggies too. Oh, and hey, my Verizon cell service works better here than anywhere I've ever been. I didn't even know I could have that many bars!
Well, it's definitely an adventure here so far. I'm not going to have much of an adventure the next few days as I go crazy trying to organize everything-unless your idea of adventures include finding our that hand soap spilled all over my favorite towels. But hey, I do have Nick's bike so maybe I'll ride to the beach once or twice.
And when he is here, we decided to try to explore and have real adventures as much as possible. Every weekend we can. I like that idea.
PS. I have a house and cable now finally so I'll try not to slack on updating. I currently don't have access to pics on my camera though. (Just thriving on pure camera phone pics at the moment.) Darn USB cord went missing. Hey, maybe it will be on today's shipment!
as I travel the island (& take pictures of it!):