Monday, February 18, 2013

Paradise Top Ten

... Testing, Testing... (tap, tap) is this thing on?

I feel like I need to get a broom to sweep the cobwebs from this place. Hawaii is most certainly a wonderful place to live. When I am not at church or homeschooling, we are outside, so it has been hard to eke out time to spend blogging. I feel like I've been a bit narcissistic about it in the past.

The top 10 things we LOVE about Hawaii...

10. Pineapple Ice Cream. Really, it's Dole Whip. And anything else they serve food-wise at the Dole Pineapple farms. We have been several times and have skipped the tourist stuff most of them. We show up just to eat!

9. The Jeep. We bought a jeep when we got here. It is bright yellow, like the sun, and we love to just drive in it. The wind blows in our hair and we get to really FEEL the warm sunny weather!

8. The things to do. Since we've been here, we've visited the zoo, some of the local museums, the SWAP Meet, (a great place to get hawaiian souveniers), hit several of the beaches, and malls.

7. Where we live. We live on base, near the commissary, in a wonderful new townhome with lots of space. We live on a street full of kids the same age as the babies in this family. We used to live in a different community, a bit further from the commissary, with quite the drive home from base for Daddy... However, there were lots of good things about that area. We had a view of the water, were less than a block from the pool, and had lots of friends to play with there too. I will never forget the first night that we arrived, we slept with the windows open, and when morning came, the birds were singing. It was such an amazing sound, those tropical birds (pigeons mostly!) issuing me a wake up call.

6. Security. Not just living on base, but living in Hawaii has really made me feel safe. There is almost no crime here. Our jeep doesn't even have doors or windows because no one really bothers much. There are your typical "stay out of here neighborhoods" and such, but even then, they just aren't as bad as most populous areas in the country.

5. Kid Activities. Little Monster has been involved in Kempo Karate here, which has been amazing for improving his focus and discipline. He LOVES going, even more now that he has achieved yellow belt. Both of the kiddos have been attending Leahi Swim School. That place is amazing. The water is warm, the kids both have turned into practical fish. The teachers there really treat you like family. And the kids have learned how to swim amazingly well! Butterball is swimming like a fish, and amazes people with how well she just hops into the water. And I honestly think it is thanks to this swim school!

4.The Beaches. There are beaches everywhere. And one right near our house here on base. The waves are small, and it is rarely busy on a weekday. The water is so clear that you can see further than you should. Little Monster even learned to snorkel recently so that he could see the sea life that hangs out under the water. He is fascinated by the fish, turtles, and everything else at the beach. But mostly, both kids love making sand castles.

3. The scenery. You drive out of the neighborhood and you can see green, fabulous mountains on two sides of you. Turn around and there is the ocean. Deep and wide in all it's majesty. There really is a rainforest here, and you can surely smell it in the air. We have seen a rainbow at least once a week for the past year. I can't get over how beautiful they are, and how often we see them. They aren't the faded, barely visible rainbows I remember as a kid. They are bold, bright, and often have a reflection creating a "double rainbow" effect. When we finally do leave this island, I will be very sad that it will not be as easy to chase that pot of gold as it is here. The kids love the rainbows too, and often fight over who the rainbow belongs to.

2. The Weather. Need I say more? There is a reason why people make fun of those of us who get used to Hawaii weather. Because any temperature below 78 is "brr, cold!" and anything above 82 is scorching HOT! It rains a lot since we are within the tropic of cancer, but most of the time you can find a sunny spot somewhere on this island.... and usually it's by a beach. The rain usually doesn't last long, though!

1. The People. We've made some fantastic friends here. And that is no different than any other place we've lived. But mostly, the people here, really do share the honest "aloha" spirit. I have felt more welcome here as a military family than I have anywhere else in the country. Maybe because it's obvious I'm not a local, so my expectations were different? I have been but a few places that didn't offer a military discount while we've been here. Most of the people on the island share a faith that amazes me. The people here on this island are worth writing home about.