Family Friday: Across the Island

As I mentioned in our last blog post, we moved again! We must be crazy to live in three different houses during one assignment! It certainly wasn't the plan but we couldnt foresee the problems that we ran into. We loved our little beachfront North Shore house but the owner is extremely difficult, inconsiderate, and uncooperative, and the property manager honestly didn't do much to help us out. We were lied to often and had to fight to get basic maintenance issues fixed and even then, it took a long time and most of the things were only half fixed. We were not being difficult. I mean, the front door should have a working lock and the roof shouldn't leak, right?  Especially for what we were paying in rent. I'll get into it more in another post but for now I'll just say that it is a huge relief to be out of there.

We were very fortunate to find another great house to move into, owned and managed by a super sweet and helpful lady, and with a short term lease since we'll be leaving at the beginning of the new year.  The new house is in Kailua which is a perfect beach town on the eastern side of the island.  It's the kind of town with a ton of little stores, restaurants, and coffee shops, and people jogging, riding bicycles, and carrying around surfboards.  It also has one of the prettiest beaches on the island with the gorgeous turquoise water.

Our new house is HUGE compared to our beach house.  The beach house was TINY, furnished, and crammed full of the owner's belongings.  This new house is large, open, and empty.  Both houses have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but this house has at least double the living space.

Most of our belongings were in a storage room since the other house was furnished.  This new house is completely empty so we were able to get things out of storage.

Before everything went into storage in January, we sorted it all and made a large pile of things to sell.  We lived very minimally at the beach house and it was really refreshing! When I started unpacking the storage boxes here, I realized that we still have a lot of things that we don't need.  Living a minimal life for a while really changes your perspective on things!  I went through everything one more time and added a lot more to the "for sale" pile.  It is so freeing to have a simple, uncluttered home!  Simplifying your belongings is simplifying your life.  It really is only necessary to keep what you need, use, or love.  It is not easy to get to that mindset, however, it took us five months of living without!

This one room pictured below is bigger than the entire kitchen/dining/living room of the other house. The carpet in the photo is an 8'x10' to give you some reference.

Our new house was built around 1960 and has that flair to its architecture and details.  I really love the wall color that is throughout our new house!  It is not something I would've ever picked myself (I'm more of a classic neutral wall kind of person) but it is so bright and beachy that it makes me happy just looking at it :)

We traded the ocean for a pool in our new backyard.  Pool service is included with the rent so it really is a pleasure to have, especially during this hot summer.  I LOVE our backyard!  It is large and surrounded by a wall, has a large grassy area, palm trees and other vegetation, and it's so private! We can't see any of our neighbors or their houses, we can only see the green trees, the blue sky, and the gorgeous mountains.  It's a pretty good trade off for the ocean view of the last house!

Early morning view, opposite the sunrise - I love those mountains!

CC loves the pool!  We couldn't go into the ocean at our other house due to the coral and waves, but a swimming pool is perfect! To be honest, I do worry about having a pool and a toddler but therefore I am extra vigilant of knowing CC's whereabouts at all times.  Thankfully, CC has always followed directions well and she especially does by the pool.

CC loves to stand, sit, and splash on the shallow steps of the pool.  She loves to sit in her baby float and occasionally she'll let me hold her in the water.

Dulce hates swimming and avoids water at all costs.  We have a pool at our house in Georgia and she fell into it the very first night we brought her home.  She was terrified and that may be a factor in her feelings toward water now.

I gave Dulce some pool survival training as soon as we moved into this house.  She needed to know where the steps are in case she ever goes in or falls into the pool.  The first couple times I dropped her in, she freaked out, swam to the nearest wall, and held on for dear life!  But after she learned where the steps were and that she could get out, she went for them every time no matter where in the pool I put her.  We practiced until she was swimming calmly.  She may never get in again but I feel better knowing she won't drown if she does.

Dulce has spotted skin under her pure white fur that becomes very visible when she's wet!

Dulce is in her glory in this backyard! We haven't had a backyard like this for almost 4 years.  It actually took her five days before she realized all the freedom she now has and how much space she has to explore!  She is outside constantly, running around, hopping through the bushes, and chasing lizards and birds.  She is one happy dog!

This house is perfect except that it is very hot during the day (so was the beach house) but it doesn't cool off at night like beach house did. Thankfully there is an air conditioning unit in two of the bedrooms which makes it more comfortable for sleeping.  During the day, we sweat a lot.  Jumping in the pool in the afternoon helps cool us down.

We didn't give up beach living entirely! We aren't beachfront now but we are a very short walk and the beach here is gorgeous!  I thought that I'd really miss it but it's actually nice not having the constant saltiness that coats, rusts, and ruins everything.

Dulce and I don't get morning beach time as often as we used to but when we do, Dulce still likes digging for crabs.  The beaches here are bare.  There are very few seashells in Hawaii but on the North Shore I enjoyed finding rocks and coral that looked like hearts and letters. There isn't anything to find here so I'm glad I kept a collection from the last house.

There are a lot more people enjoying the beach and water here. There are always people surfing, wind surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, kayaking, running, and walking.

What I love about Kailua and the location of our house is that there is so much within walking distance!  We can walk to church, to restaurants, to stores, to the library, the post office, and to beach parks.  We can even walk to Whole Foods (it takes 13 minutes) which excites me to no end!

We were here for the 4th of July and walked one block to see a parade, then we walked to a great Vietnamese restaurant for dinner, and then walked to the beach by our house to see fireworks over the ocean!  I absolutely LOVE having the convenience of having everything nearby and not having to drive.  There are many bus stops nearby as well which will provide CC and I with some fun adventures soon!

It's a shame that things turned out the way they did with the beach house but we really are lucky in a way because now we will move from here having experienced life in three vastly different areas of the island!  This part of the island is definitely my favorite for living!  No regrets. We are very glad that we moved off base, we are glad that we lived on the North Shore, and now we're glad we are living here.  Live and learn and enjoy the ride!

"Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change."
~Jim Rohn


  1. Walking distance to Whole Foods? DANGER! I'm glad you guys have a great place for your last few months there! :D

  2. Angela - Just commented on a much older post (we just PCSed to Osan) and got a chuckle when I saw this one. Guess where we came from...Hickam. We lived in Kailua for three years and absolutely adored our time there. Sounds like you are in the perfect part of town. I have a few good friends still living there with kids the same age as yours, and I'd be happy to put you in touch with them. I would also highly recommend the book "Lost in Kailua" which you can find on Amazon and in a couple local stores (Kalapawai, Bookends, Kailua General Store). A dear friend and fellow military wife just published this after her three years in Kailua ended as well, and I found it invaluable even during a short visit we just took back to the island. Enjoy your time there!