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.