Monday, September 28, 2009

Nice Place to Visit . . .

Home Sweet Home Do you like where you live? Is it your idea of ideal, or would you rather be somewhere else? Sometimes we live in a place by choice, but many times we live in a place because that’s where we grew up, or that’s where the jobs are at, or that’s where our family is, or (as in my case) that’s where the Army sends us.  Where would you live if you could live anywhere? Why? What do you like about where you currently live and what do you really not like about it?

Living in Hawaii is definitely interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we came here and had this amazing opportunityIsland Clip Art . Obviously living here can be an absolute BLAST and unlike anywhere else in the world. The beaches are of course phenomenal and the natural beauty, history and culture provide a very unique and rich (and no, I’m not talking about money) once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, believe it or not, there are some distinct downsides to living here, and these are just a few of them.

Everything is so super, uber, beyond expensive! I’m talking ridiculously, make you crazy, expensive!! For example, a Dollar Sign Yellow Green gallon of milk off post is right around $8.00, coffee creamer is $7.59, and a Frappucino in Waikiki is $8.72! Now you might be thinking, but you live on post, so you can shop at the commissary where things are cheaper. and that’s true. There is absolutely no way we could afford food here if it weren’t for the commissary. Even still, it’s more expensive than any grocery store I’ve ever been too on the mainland. If I can get out of there spending less than 50 bucks, I call it good, and that’s only if I have a few (in between major grocery trips) items on my list.

Also, they have some chain restaurants here like Chili’s but their prices are not the same as the mainland. I went out once with a friend and all I had was the soup and salad combo and a soda. We also split a basket of endless tortillaDollar Signs Multiple Two Rows chips and my portion was $24.00! Are you kidding me? Oh, and let me not forget my favorite example. I love those plastic three drawer storage units, they’re great for my crochet and scrapbook stuff. I bought one at Wal-Mart in AZ for $13.88. Here the exact same thing at Wal-Mart sells for $30.00. I kid you not. When we went home to good old Arizona at Christmas, we felt like rock stars because everything was so cheap and our money was stretching so much further!

Speaking of Christmas, there’s another drawback to living here. It’s a tropical climate so it’s the same temperature Today's Temperature (within 10 degrees) all year long. At first that seems ideal, at first. But after a year or so, it’s starting to get old, really old, at least to me it is. My husband on the other hand, he loves it. He loves warm, and even downright hot weather. Not me!!! I get really irritated when I got hot, and truth be told, I sweat just as much here as I did in Arizona. Sure it’s like 20-30 cooler here, but it’s also at least that many degrees more humid.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I missed it last year (our first year here), but it really didn’t bother me Fall Heart Clip Artbecause I was still totally infatuated with living here. Not this  year! I’m totally bummed that we don’t get a fall here! In Arizona the summer’s are grueling bordering on flat out miserable. I mean when the wind blows it feels like a hair dryer and when you open your car door, it feels like when you open you’re oven, not fun. But then, sometime in September, the temperature starts to drop at night and in the evening and then by October the days start getting nicer and nicer, and Fall Leaf after the intense temperatures of the summer, it’s such a relief! Yup, I love, love, love, fall! Here it’s been a hot and humid summer, but there is no relief in store and that thought seriously makes me sad and even a little mad (I know that’s not rational, but hey, it’s what I’m feeling right now). 

Christmas is a joke, mainly because since it’s been the sameChristmas Tree 128 temp the whole time, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas, despite the stores being decorated and a Christmas tree sitting in my living room. Like I said the first year it didn’t bother me, in fact it was kind of fun because it was different, but now I yearn for some traditional weather and the traditional holiday experiences that come with it!

Another frustrating aspect of living here is that the roads Map 124 appear to have been designed by a drunk man randomly stumbling along with a crayon drawing haphazard and nonsensical lines. Getting around here is impossible! When I first arrived I would go out to explore, that stopped real quick after I kept getting lost and it would take HOURS to find my way back. I should interject, I’m good with reading maps, but maps prove to be pretty useless when more than half the streets do not have street signs to let you know what street you’re on!!! I mean, how in the hell are you supposed to navigate, if the streets  Street Sign Multiple are not labeled? Wait, to be fair sometimes there are street signs . . . . about two centimeters big! Even Superman with his freaking x-ray vision would have a hard time reading them until he was right up on them! I’ve tried downloading directions from MapQwest and Google and have ended up in the middle of nowhere when I was supposed to be at a movie theater.

Lastly, I was very spoiled living in Phoenix, because our extensive freeway system worked in a grid. If you missed your Freeway Clip Art exit, you simply took the next one and turned back around, easy peasy. Not here. If you miss your exit, you better hope you packed some food, water and a change of clothes, because it’s going to take you a few weeks to get back home! Once we missed our exit and the next one wasn’t for 13 miles!!! We ended up on the other side of the island, I swear. The freeways here are absolutely NOT in a grid system, as far as I can tell there isn’t any kind of “system” to speak of. You have no idea if the exit you’re getting off of will have one to get back on the freeway going the opposite direction. It is a total nightmare!! You might be thinking, “Just go to one of those fabulous beaches. That will take your mind off traffic.” Huh, not so much. I live about 10 minutes from the North Shore, home to some of the best surfing in the world, too bad there’s only one two-lane road that goes around that entire side of the island! The traffic gets so bad there (particularly in theTraffic Jam Clip Art Small summer) that it has taken us two hours to drive what should’ve been 30 minutes. That is a total deterrent for me to go to those fabulous beaches.

Speaking of beaches, whenever you see pictures of Hawaii Smiley Stressed and Scared that’s what you see, the phenomenal beaches with amazing sunsets and gorgeous water, and yes those are all accurate. What you do not see in those pictures however, are all the ghettos in between. I’m talking scary, drug laden, crime heavy, ghettos the likes of which make South Central LA look like a paradise! Is it really any wonder though, I mean given how expensive it is to live here, no one, not even the locals, can afford it, thus, all theseMugging Clip Art economically depressed neighborhoods develop.  The one closest to our house, 10 minutes away, that I have to drive through to get to Wal-Mart in the next town over, is so bad, even the locals avoid it at night!

If I had my choice, I would without a doubt, live on the east coast, probably somewhere in the New England area. I completely adore the east coast! It’s got so much character! Each house is unique and not a cookie cutter replica of the next one (like in Arizona). It seems like every five miles  there’s another historical landmark, which is so very cool to  me! However, the best thing (in my humble opinion) about it, is the AMAZING seasons! There are actually four of them over there! Wow, what a concept! I was in Connecticut in the fall once, and I almost didn’t leave. TheHome Cute view from my hotel room looked like a Normal Rockwell painting! It was magnificent. Right then I new, if I ever had the opportunity, I would live there. I’m hoping that one day (perhaps after I’m a lawyer) we’ll be able to. I’ll need to be a lawyer for sure because it’s expensive too, but after living here, not nearly as bad as I once thought!

So, I’ve given you the 411 on what living in Hawaii is reallySmiley Thinking  like, and how if given a choice I’d be in Connecticut tomorrow. What’s your take on where you live? Do you totally love it and never want to leave, or are you itching to go somewhere else? Just some food for thought.


StaceyC4 said...

Okay, so we're in NC now and have been for 14 years and I love it. We both were born and raised on Long Island and are so relieved to not be there anymore. Is this my dream? Kind of. It is nice here. I don't think that I have an ideal place - I wish we were in a different house in this town. THAT would be ideal.

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

I was born and raised in California and miss it alot. I like it where we live now (Cleveland) except for the weather....we are here temporarily (2 more years) so after that we will be making our way to warmer climate!!!!

Vodka Logic said...

I would still like to visit one day..

WhiteSockGirl said...

Are you kidding me? I can't tell you about my small town, you live in Hawai!!!! I need to retain my shallow pride.

Love the info on Hawai, ... would love to visit there.

Anonymous said...

SO glad you paid me a visit today! I LOVE your's fantastic and you have so many great things to share!!!

I am originally from Southern California, but my husband was an Air Force Pilot for quite awhile, so we moved all over the place. We needed to settle down for our kids sake (my oldest started college this year), so hubby decided to go active duty in the Air National Guard about 3 years ago. He works at the Guard Bureau in Washington D.C. and continues to fly F-16's! Best part is, he doesn't have to move :-)

We really love the D.C. area and this part of the country in general, so it all turned out well.
Hawaii is beautiful though, and I am sure you are enjoying it while you can!!!

I will be back to visit again...I followed you :-)

Take Care~

Angela said...

StaceyC4-I've never been to NC but have always wanted to visit. I'm sure, since it's on the east coast, I I'd love it! :)

Jenn@the loves of jenn-California is a place I've been too many times since it's AZ's neighbor and all, but I've never been to Cleveland before. Here's hoping the time will fly and you will find warmer climates before you know it! :)

Vodka Logic-It's a great place to visit! Key word visit!

WhiteSockGirl-I so love hearing from you! You always make me laugh whether through your own blog posts or your comments here. I should've mentioned in my post that I'm from a small town, and therefore am familiar with all things small town-ie. But hey, I understnand all too well shallow pride, mostly because I am from a small town! :) Glad you enjoyed the Hawaii info!

Rachel-I'm so glad you stopped by! I too love the DC area! So much culture and history!! Many thanks to your husband for his service to our country! I'm glad his job now allows him (and you) to stay in one place. The military life can be very wearing at times, but on the plus side you do get to live in places like Hawaii. :) Thanks for the follow! :)

Michelle Hoad said...

OK, thanks for totally ruining my dream of one day living in a tropical paradise like Hawaii. Just kidding. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

That One Mom said...

I have a friend that lives on Oahu, he can't wait to get home. He's been there for 6 years.

Strip Poker said...

Very amusing information

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