I don’t think there are words to express how happy Brett and I feel to be back on Kaua’i. We’re treasuring our time with Alan and Cheryl, and it feels like we’re home again. Even though the weather has been windy, rainy and/or overcast since we arrived (and will continue to be the rest of the week), it hasn’t bothered us in the least since we know how to have a good time here in spite of bad weather. Yes, it’s still humid but less unpleasant than I remember (although when I woke up yesterday morning my hair had exploded from the humidity and looked like a giant dandelion puff). Something new has arisen though – I appear to be suffering from some sort of allergy this time and have been dealing with watery, itchy eyes and a runny nose ever since we arrived. I have no idea what’s causing it because when we lived here I never had any problems while Brett was the one who dealt with allergies.
So far we have scheduled nothing for our time here – we’re all mostly having fun catching up and chatting with Alan and Cheryl, and just relaxing. We went to Costco yesterday to pick up a few things to use/eat while we’re here, and also some things to take along to Japan, like a couple of bags of the world’s BEST granola. Later today Brett and I are heading down to Lihue to do some banking (we still have an account here on the island) and may stop at Walmart to pick up some shampoo to take to Japan. Alan and Cheryl bought our car when we left in 2018, but are loaning it back to us to use while we’re here – talk about deja vu! Other plans for the week are to get together with our friend Joy up in Princeville and get down to Poipu for a Puka Dog and some Lappert’s ice cream. I don’t think the weather is going to improve enough for us to get to the beach until next weekend, but we’re OK with that.
It was sad to say goodbye to WenYu and YaYu on Friday, and we were grateful to have lots to do for our own departure on Saturday. We will be seeing the girls again in May at WenYu’s graduation, and when we’re in NYC, and I know that time will arrive sooner than we imagine. We had a really great time together this year, and we’re all planning to be back in Portland one more time next December, and will go through our remaining things with them. We plan to rent the same Airbnb as we stayed in this last time because it was just about perfect for us.
This morning I am:
- Reading: I’m slowly making progress through Killing Commandatore, but haven’t had a lot of time for reading the past few days.
- Listening to: Roosters! Although we’ve seen them around we haven’t really heard them (maybe because of the rain?), but this morning they have been out in force even though it’s still damp and overcast. Who knows? They really are the background sound of Kaua’i.
- Watching: I watched the Downton Abbey movie on the plane before I fell asleep, and really, really enjoyed it (and laughed out loud a couple of times – Maggie Smith as the Dowager is a treasure).
- Cooking: I’m not cooking much of anything this week. We bought a few easy things to fix at Costco (lumpia and Polish sausages; Alan and Cheryl bought a giant pizza and Costco’s stuffed peppers), and we also plan to eat out a couple of times. We made a supreme effort before we left Portland and finished just about everything we had bought – all that was left in the refrigerator when we left was a tiny bit of whipped cream and a little bit of jam.
- Happy I accomplished this past week: Packing to leave Portland was a bit of a challenge because the grandkids’ Christmas presents are taking up a lot of room in our suitcases. We finally gave up and decided to check Brett’s new bag (no extra cost) and carry-on the giant Erector set we got for our grandson instead when we couldn’t make everything fit otherwise, and that did the trick.
- Looking forward to next week: In spite of the weather Brett and I are planning to take at least a couple of walks on the beach path, and we’re looking forward to eating at a few of our favorite places: lilikoi chiffon pie at Hamura’s, pancakes at the Tip Top Cafe, Puka Dogs, and lau lau from Pono Market. I’m especially looking forward to seeing my friend Joy later this week.
- Thinking of good things that happened: WenYu and YaYu had a wonderful time at the bunny petting experience I had booked for them in Portland, and both were happy they got to go (they love rabbits). I had a great visit with a friend last Wednesday and then went for a much-needed manicure and pedicure which was very relaxing. While we were glad to be in first class on our flight over to Hawai’i, it was an older plane and sort of “old-style.” While we were served breakfast on china with real cutlery and a linen tablecloth on our tray table, and we had more legroom, the section still felt cramped, and the seats didn’t really recline all that much and there were no foot or leg rests. The seats were more like economy plus, but were still a good deal for what we paid for them and much nicer than what we would have endured in the main cabin. Kai Kahele, the Hawaiian state senator that’s running for Congress, was on our flight over to Kaua’i from Honolulu and it was exciting to meet and chat with him. We’ve been followers of his since he announced he was running last year.
- Thinking of frugal things we did: I received close to a $300 refund from the dentist; we will use that as part of the $400 cash we’ve budgeted for commissary shopping when we’re in Japan. We were expecting to have to pay nearly $150 to get our luggage over to Kaua’i on Hawaiian (no free checked luggage) but we only paid $70 for four bags. We think it may have been our Hawaiian driver’s licenses that did the trick and got us a kamaaina discount. We spent less than $150 at Costco, which I think is a record.
- Grateful for: Both of us are very thankful for this opportunity to be back on Kaua’i, especially since our daughters just surprised us with their thoughts about us coming back to live here. It really does feel wonderful to be here again – we’ve missed it more than we realized. We’re glad we’re experiencing some of the things we didn’t care for before (humidity and traffic, for example) to see how we feel about those now. Overall, we love the feeling of familiarity with the island – this was a happy place for us.
- Bonus question: Do you think you could actually move back to Kaua’i? Off the top of my head, yes. For a variety of reasons, this would be a great place for us to settle down, especially since it would just be Brett and me, and we would not be beholden to the girls’ schedules and needs. They all said they would love to have a strong reason to return as well. If we return, we would not need as much furniture or as many things as we did before, and very little to ship over. We are also more aware of the things ahead of time that became problematic for us before, like the humidity, and hopefully, we can better deal with those things on a second time around. There are still negatives about living here though, like Hawaii’s isolation, which would make it expensive and difficult for future travel if we wanted to continue doing that and also for the family to come and visit us. It’s also still an expensive place to live (although we felt Portland was almost more expensive now), and we’d of course have to have a car here. But overall, the positives outweigh the negatives and we are giving the idea of returning real consideration.
I’m not sure how much I’ll get posted this week but I will try my best. We’re looking forward to relaxing as much as possible while we’re here and not overdoing things, so we’ll see if I can squeeze in any writing. In the meantime, I hope everyone had a good week, and that your new year is off to a good start!