Some facts about Hawaii from a "island feverish" woman
1. There are no road trips. The island is smaller than RI and its about 2 hours all the way around. 3 if you get stuck in traffic. I miss those days of hopping in the car and driving. Going new places, change of scenery and such. I miss overnight trips. Ok I could have gotten a room in Waikiki at any time BUT I could not see spending over $100 a night to stay 20 mins from home.
2. I live in military housing. NOT paradise. It is old, old housing. But we are lucky. I know families who have had the upstairs apartment fall into theirs. Or who have fallen themselves through to the frist floor. Or had rats in their yard because they live near the pineapple fields. I get to live in an extinct volcanic crater but I am in a single story and have surdy floors!
3. Everything is SO expensive. But I am sure you have all heard of that. We do have the commissary thankfully. Otherwise milk is $9 a gallon and cereal $7 a box. (I am not joking!)
4. They do not really meet you at the airlines with Lei's. It is only in the commercials. NO hula dancers either.
5. Beaches are nice BUT there are box-jelly fish warnings twice a month around the full moon. Plus dangerous surf in the winter. I am not a big salt-water swimmer anyway. We watch reports every night of poor tourists who ventured out into the water despite the warnings. Hey if I paid thousands to be here I might risk a jelly fish bite or a few big waves to get my monies worth. By the way the waves will be 25+ feet tomorrow. Great for watching.
6. Most of Oahu isn't even Hawaiians. Many different cultures. Which can be very nice but if you are expecting the images in the brochures it ain't happening. Maybe at the fakey luaus though.
7. Most of the locals do not care for the military so that in itself makes it hard here. I do like to go to Waikiki to be a tourist. Thats where you are treated very well. So if you come here just stay in the Waikiki/Honolulu area and it will be great.
8. It took us 2 years to learn how to pronounce the street names. try this one LIKELIKE Hwy. If you said (lik,lik with a long I sound you are wrong. It is leekay,leekay.) Or NUUANU. That one is (new-oo-on-oo). There are harder ones but you get the point.
9. I am not a fan of SPAM. Hawaiians love it. In fact spam,eggs and rice is a big hit for breakfast here. McDonalds even serves it.
10. FEET. I am not a big fan of seeing everyone's feet. Especially men's feet. There are a rare few people in the world that you would want to have to see their feet. I have seen enough ugly feet for a lifetime! Everyone wears flip-flops. Or as they are called here SLIPPAHS. They bike in them, run in them (which should really be an olympic event.) they come in high-heeled versions. I even had a hearing for SSI when we got here and the judge was wearing an aloha shirt and flip-flops with his black robe!!!
11. Crime, Crime, Crime!! They have a big crystal-meth problem here. Lots of cars stolen all the time. Left burned out on the side of the road. Many, many homeless live on the beaches and in the parks. Unfortunately many are on drugs. There are violent crimes every day in the news.
12. TRAFFIC. Every where you go all times of day. Lots of accidents and very bad drivers.
So island living hasn't quite suited us. I do resolve this year to whine less about where I am living. Ok especially since I am getting my wish of going to Florida. A dream that has taken us 6 years to achieve. But our adventure here in Hawaii hasn't been all bad. I would recommend a vacation here. Just come with lots of cash and stay in the tourist areas.