Our Army Life: Hawaiian Move
When most people think about moving to Hawaii, they think about the lush, tropical landscape, the balmy breezes, and the fruity cocktails adorned with paper umbrellas. We think of the warm ocean, beckoning us with its call to snorkel, and the tall peaks that ache to be hiked. (I know I did.)
What I failed to do in all my excitement about our move across the Pacific was acknowledge how challenging logistically a move like this would be.
Admittedly, I was content to daydream and play make-believe in my head a bit.
“Just think how amazing it will be to go hiking once we get there!” I’d say to myself. Or “[Insert difficult hurdle here] won’t matter — we’ll be in Hawaii!” Pete and I would say to each other.
While I won’t call these musings denial, I will call them a bit naive, and as such I felt a bit overwhelmed by what’s happened to us since we’ve arrived on the island.
Since we left for Oahu, here’s a taste of what life’s been like so far.
- Our flight leaving from San Diego was 3-4 hours delayed. Not a big deal at the time — “We’re going to Hawaii!” Little did we know that the flight from California was going to be as long as it was due to the high wind speeds (about 6 hours); if you’re flying to come visit us, make sure to pack enough snacks. This pregnant woman was a hungry mess by the time we landed.
- Arrived in Honolulu, got picked up by Pete’s co-worker (a very nice, super helpful fellow West Pointer) and taken to our hotel.
- Arrived at hotel, only to find out that our hotel reservation (which was made months ago) had been lost, or overbooked, or whatever you want to call it, and that other arrangements have been made at a different hotel without the same amenities. (Keep in mind that we were planning to be at this hotel for up to 60 days while we got settled into our new home; amenities like laundry facilities, a mini kitchen, proximity to Pete’s job, wireless internet for my job, etc. were key factors in why we chose this hotel.) MAJOR bummer to find this out, but again — “We’re in Hawaii! We’ll find another hotel!”
- We found another hotel in downtown Waikiki with some of the same amenities. After staying there a few days, we realized this place was NOT a good fit for us. I was working down in the lobby at 4am one day (the only place they offered wireless internet), and was startled by a young man exiting the elevator bank hauling a woman who appeared to be a prostitute behind him claiming, “She stole my money! She took hundreds of dollars from me!” When Pete woke up that morning, I told him, “Honey, we’re looking for a new place to stay.” Later that day, things started to look up.
- Pete and I walked down the street to a beautiful, beachfront hotel call The Modern after getting a recommendation from a woman in the Army’s housing office. This hotel is amazing, and we ended up staying there the rest of our time before we moved into our house. We highly recommend it for anyone coming to visit that wants to treat themselves to a luxurious, modern treat in downtown Honolulu/Waikiki. People knew us by name by the time we left, the staff was exceptional, and they exceeded our expectations in every way. Oh, and they have wireless internet throughout the entire hotel, including your personal room.
- Our high from staying in such a great hotel didn’t last long, however. The day we moved into our house was also the day I filled out my first police report. (As many of you know, the Army pays for movers to move you from place to place. Pete’s experience thus far with movers hired by the Army has been pretty positive, and the folks who packed up our house in Oklahoma were professional, respectful, and efficient.) The movers who moved us into our house here in Hawaii were less than stellar, and ultimately ended up stealing about $1,000 in cash I had hidden away. (Yes, having that much money on hand and not in a safe isn’t the brightest idea. Pete, for the record, you are right.) My expensive lesson has been learned, and I hope the police catch the scheister who took my hard-earned, I-sold-it-on-Craigslist cash.
As you can see, Hawaii has handed us our rear ends on a platter so far. I haven’t even mentioned how Pete’s truck got a big dent in the size after I told him, “Plenty of room over here!” while trying to park in a compact parking garage (there clearly wasn’t enough room “over here” for the Red Rooster), or how multiple pieces of our furniture got trashed during delivery… I’m past the point of saying, “Getting robbed doesn’t matter — we’re in Hawaii!” As a generally positive person, these setbacks are almost comical at this point. Hopefully some of the Aloha spirit will head our way soon.
To humor me, care to share any travel or moving mishaps that happened to you, especially those that you can look back on and laugh at now?
Image credits: Jet Set With Mary