Aloha 2015, Aloha 2016!
Yes, even as we say a fond ‘Aloha’ to 2015, we also greet 2016 with a hopeful ‘Aloha’.
It has been nearly 9 months since our move to Kauai and it has been an eventful time filled with ups, downs, and the general roller coaster of life. Here then, are the updates from converting suburban Southern California life to island living in the tropical paradise of Kauai.
The questions I most often get from friends on the mainland and visitors here on the island are: “Have you gotten island fever yet?” or “Are you afraid you will get island fever?” or some other flavor of the same query. The simple answer to that is “No.” But it’s not a simple answer is it? The longer answer is that I have been traveling to the mainland so often that I have not had a chance to contract the fever (haha). I will say that the main things I miss from the mainland are not things or stores or highways or conveniences. What I miss are family and friends (you know who you are!) Each time I return from a business trip I feel more like Kauai is now my home.
For example, Barb and I went back to San Diego for Christmas. It was Barb’s first trip back since we moved, but about my 6th or 7th. We had great fun seeing our families and friends (at least as many as we could see in a five day span). We ate too much and had a great time staying with Barbs brother and his wife, and seeing my family on Christmas. All of that we really enjoyed. We wandered around the mall in Escondido after Christmas and met with friends at some of our old favorite restaurants. But after 5 days we were ready to come back; our skin kept drying out from the low humidity (compared to Kauai), the temperature dipped down into the 30’s, the pace was frenetic and we had to wear LONG PANTS. I don’t know how I lived there for over 50 years. (cue the laughter).
So the the long and short of it is that I don’t miss a lot of the things I thought I would miss when I moved, but I do love the slower lifestyle here on the island and its small town feel. Hopefully I will still feel that way as the future unfolds.
OK – back to the Kauai updates. I hope I haven’t bored you with this rant about Island Fever.
The carport bathroom is done! We finished the flooring and did some other minor tightening up. The only other thing (there is always one more thing!) is that we want to pain the door to the bathroom but this is not critical. Here are some photos of the finished product.
We are really happy with the way it turned out. It went from just being a utilitarian WC with a toilet and no sink to a fully functional bathroom with a slate floor, sink and running water and a cool wood ceiling. Plus you can hear the birds and chickens when you are out there so it also has that going for it.
Our next project is re-doing the outdoor shower area. It is functional already with hot and cold water but it only has a gravel base so you have to wear rubber shower shoes to comfortably use it. We are going to create a standing area out of pavers set into the gravel and also add some stacked pavers to border the entire area and keep the gravel in. The fence that is there now is starting to degrade so we are going to replace that with something nice and add a gate for a bit more privacy. We will also add places to hang towels and set soaps and other necessities. We hope to have this finished before the end of the month.
We went to Poipu Beach with our neighbors to watch fireworks for New Year’s Eve. That was a lot of fun and we will do it again next year. The fireworks started at around 8:45 so we didn’t have to wait until midnight which was fine with us!
Not much to report – everything is growing! The papaya trees are taller than me now and are covered with flowers. Hopefully fruit in a few months. The pineapples are still growing well and our neighbor gave us a planter filled with oregano. We also planted some poinsettia, lavender and citronella. I will do some more hedge trimming this week to keep our ocean view and allow the yard to get more light.
I’m still traveling a lot for work but it’s good to be employed. I just sent in 2 hefty checks to the IRS and the State of Hawaii for taxes. Hopefully I won’t have to pay anything extra at tax time – it’s going to be a tricky tax return this year with all the changes – moving, jobs etc.
The band is still ongoing. We have the opportunity to play on a weekly basis if we want in Hanapepe at the Art Walk. There is also a Kauai songwriters get together later this month that I want to participate in. Wish me luck!
My exercise regimen has been interrupted as I am having a bout of plantar fasciitis in my left heel. I hope to at least get out to the beach and start swimming a bit more to replace the walking that I can’t currently do. Maybe I will get off my butt and start using the Bowflex too. I need to work off all that Christmas cheer!
We have friends and relatives coming to visit here over the next couple fo months. My sister and her husband are coming from Oregon in February for a visit and we can’t wait to see them. In March we have some friends from the mainland coming out. We are hoping to meet them on Oahu for a few days and then host them here for a few days as well. It will be fun to share Hawaii with them.
2016 is here and we are looking forward to getting even more settled in and enjoying the island life. We are blessed to have wonderful families, good friends and the chance to live an ongoing adventure here in the tropics. I hope that all of you and yours have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous year.