Now I Remember Why We Moved to Hawaii

I miss this terribly.

In two words: THE WEATHER. While I absolutely loved fall here, I’m not liking winter at all and we’ve still got a ways to go before things change.

As it was in much of the U.S. over the holidays, it was bitterly COLD here as well. Even with the heat on and the apartment shut up tight, it still stayed cold. It was also DRY, and even though things have warmed up a bit it’s still dry. My sinuses have rebelled – I often go to bed with a sinus headache, often wake up with one, and suffer throughout most days during the week. The headaches are more annoying than painful, and allergy medication helps a lot, but I feel like it never goes away entirely. Also, the heat exchangers for our side of the building are right outside our bedroom window and when it’s cold they can run (loudly) 24 hours a day. If not for earplugs I’m not sure if I would get any sleep on some nights.

I am also going through buckets of skin cream as my skin is dry, dry, dry here. In Hawaii, my skin stayed naturally soft and supple, but here it’s parched and itchy – ugh.

I am not a hot weather person, and I certainly didn’t care for the humidity on Kaua’i most of the time, but I’m discovering I’m not a cold winter weather person either, at least not for the long haul. There’s much I like about where we live now, but I honestly miss being able to go to the beach year round, and seeing the ocean every day. I miss being able to walk and/or hike nearly every day of the year. I try to find the beauty in the bare branches here this time of year but deeply miss the beautiful, tropical plants and sunsets we enjoyed in Hawaii.

These pictures were taken on the same day of the year, January 3. I’ll take the palm tree and glowing sunset over the bare branches any time.

Outside of the weather, there are things I don’t miss about Kaua’i at all, like the current high cost of living, and having to drive everywhere for anything, usually in traffic. I don’t miss all the pickup trucks either (per capita there’s about a quarter of the pickups here that there were on Kaua’i). I don’t miss the limited selection of goods we had on Kaua’i either and having to use Amazon and mail order to purchase so many things (and then wait forever to get them delivered).

Brett and I still talk about returning to Hawaii some day, and winter here is already starting to make us think this might not be a bad idea. Weather-wise, Hawaii was pretty much an ideal fit for us. Maybe we might enjoy Honolulu and city life in the future, or somewhere on the Big Island for a change. We’ll just have to wait and see though – we’ve got another couple of winters to get through here and another location we’ve got to get to first.

27 thoughts on “Now I Remember Why We Moved to Hawaii

  1. Get a cool mist humidifier. Hubs had horrible nose bleeds from the dryness of our heating system every Winter in PA. The humidifier rectified that and helped moisturize the air.

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    1. A cool-mist humidifier is at the top of our list (we’re trying to do a no-spend month outside of food, gas, utilities, and rent)! So far no nosebleeds, thank goodness, just the annoying headaches. We caught a break last week with lots of wet weather, and so far this week it’s warming up so haven’t had to run the heat. We’re just no longer used to being sealed inside.

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  2. As you know, all places have pros and cons. I think you and Brett will get used to the cold weather again. I like this time of year only because I tend to stay in and get things done around the house and do a lot of reading. The rest of the year, I’m out and about and go to the beach (I live about 45 minutes away), so I use winter as my ‘decompression’ and hibernation season. This winter has been very mild so far where I am. It hasn’t even snowed yet and we only had that one stretch of cold weather around Christmas. It’s been warm since then (for this time of year).

    I considered moving to Kauai or one of the other islands when I retire in a few years, but it’s just too expensive, too far from family and too isolated. Maybe I’d consider renting for a couple of months during the winter if I could find a furnished rental for a reasonable price, but that’s not easy to find. I haven’t been to Kauai (or anywhere in Hawaii) since December 2019. I always tracked my expenses when I went there and was looking at my spreadsheets from all of my trips and couldn’t believe what I spent. I checked to see what it would cost to go there now only for a week and it’s even worse! But I never lived there, so maybe if I had, and for as long as you did, I’d want to move back. Like you said, maybe you could try Honolulu or the Big Island for a change of pace.

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    1. I’m not sure I want to get used to winter here, LOL. But, we are adjusting and I’m getting a LOT of reading done. Would like to be working on my sweater, but that’s going to have to wait until after my eyes are fixed.

      Kaua’i is just to expensive for us know – I shudder when I think of what we were paying before we left, and we had a VERY affordable rental. Already high prices skyrocketed when the tourists returned because they would pay, and from what I can tell they’ve only gotten worse. We think a condo in Honolulu might be the way to go if we ever decide to return. We could get by without a car, HOAs are actually lower than on Kaua’i, and good medical care available are three good reasons HNL would be at the too of our list.

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      1. You have the best of both worlds on Oahu. If you want to have a city experience, you can do that in Honolulu. If you want to get away from that, you can do that on the North Shore or other beach areas. I haven’t been there in quite a few years and now that I’m thinking of it, I miss it! I still couldn’t live there year-round because I don’t know if I could get used to the isolation, so it would have to be a snowbird type of thing. I can totally see you and Brett living there with all the military bases and health care available. I’m confused about the leasehold situation there when buying property though. Don’t really understand how that works.

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      2. You’ve listed all the reasons why Oahu would be a better location for us if we ever decide we want to go back. The bases and amenities are a big draw as well as top-notch medical care available at Tripler.

        My understanding of leasehold is that you’re OK as long as the lease is in effect (leases can be held for years) but that you never really “own” the property, and you may make small payments every month to the leaseholder. They’re somewhat common in Hawaii, I think because of the way property was deeded in the past.

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  3. I find that this climate is much easier on the body. No jolts of cold or heat. I can’t even comprehend living anywhere else. My heart is forever here on the north shore. You guys are tougher than I am!

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    1. Both Brett and I miss that gentle climate. As you say, no jolts.

      You walked into what I believe is the ONLY perfect living situation in the island. I check rents/prices once a month or so and am appalled by how high things are now . . . and they keep going up!!

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      1. I often look lovingly toward Honolulu. Cheaper rents. You’d have the military base close by for reasonable shopping and I can attest that the health care is excellent. I wouldn’t want a car either. When we’d go over there, we’d take a cab from the airport and just walk around Waikiki. We actually enjoyed ourselves! Yep, I could do Honolulu.

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      2. I’m looking at rentals, I’d want Waikiki area. I’d want a hi-rise that has pool, hot tub, sauna, etc. It could be like assisted living having afternoon meal delivered, or go out. Breakfast at the condo, snacks at night. I told Les we’d get an electric wheelchair each and that would be our transportation! That and cabs. Need in home nursing every once in awhile? Shouldn’t be a problem finding home health care.

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      3. We’re thinking very seriously about making the move. I found a few great ones. I want a high rise and must have a pool. We might take a trip over there in March or April and check things out. I know the neighborhoods I prefer now. I’ve been doing non-stop research! We’re going to start liquidating. I’m leaving all the furniture here. Only moving with our rolling duffel bag. . . .again!!!

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      4. Wow! Girl after my own heart! You have an ideal set-up on Kaua’i, but I’ve come to think it’s a hard place to be old unless you have family there. I think you and Les would thrive in Honolulu!

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      5. The main thing is having food delivered to us. I want groceries delivered and food. Most of the restaurants in the area deliver, too. I want a washer and dryer in the unit, air conditioning. There’s an Ashley Furniture store in the area so we’ll do that. Minimalist! The building I’m kind of settling on has pool, sauna, and in unit laundry. It’s on Cleghorn Street, small and quiet. Of course the unit I’d love is on the top floor. Works for me! Views to die for.

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      6. Save us the apartment next door – those views! Actually, what you want are all the things we’d love to have in an apartment in HNL as well. We’re going to give it some serious thought . . . .

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  4. As was mentioned above, do get a cool mist humidifier! I had a bout with horrible (as in go to the ER) nose bleeds a few months ago and my doctor told me to get the cool mist humidifier, use nasal saline spray throughout the day and a nasal saline gel at night. All this has helped tremendously. I still get a few sinus headaches, but not like before. Also, be careful with the allergy medication, as it may be drying out your nose even more.

    Perhaps you can be a “snow bird” to Hawaii in the winter. Or you can always snow bird it to Florida in the winter – hate the heat and humidity there, but the winters are pretty nice!

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    1. As I wrote below, a humidifier is at the top of our shopping list. I think it will make a world of difference.

      We’ve talked about being snowbirds but the cost still bothers us. We think, however, that our post-Nashville location will provide us with what we’re looking for, weather included. Neither of us could live in Florida again – we spent two years (in Key West, which we loved) and that was enough for us.

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  5. I live in central Alabama, and the weather in Nashville is too harsh for me. You will need to live close to the beach for the experiences you want. The Gulf is not the place to be because of hurricanes.

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    1. My first duty station in the navy was Pensacola. Loved the city, the beaches, but not the weather! A big hurricane hit a couple of years after we left and did so much damage – friends’ houses were wiped out.

      Nashville is definitely one of those “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” sort of places. Gloomy today, and the wind is howling outside tonight. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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  6. I understand why that cold is shocking to you after all your time in Hawaii. When I moved back to the Midwest from California, I don’t think I warmed up all winter. 🙁 But the gray weather actually bothers me more than the cold, probably because I grew up with four seasons and a long winter. If we have snow at least we can snowshoe or ski. We have had snow twice and it warmed and melted both times.

    The weather here in England is just dreary in January, and there was frost on everything yesterday morning! I am heading back today and will initiate a conversation about going somewhere to see the sun soon. 🤣

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    1. Oh my, you are so right about the gray and gloom, which is what eventually got to us in Portland, and why, as much as we love England, we could never live there full time.

      We had some gloomy days last week, but mostly sunshine this week, so I’ve been able to get outside, which does me a world of good.

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      1. My daughter’s rule is they all go outside every day for 20 minutes unless the weather is just absolutely prohibitive. My granddaughter lives in her rain jacket, rain pants and wellies.

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