Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Hawaii Home

We landed on the beautiful island of Oahu just 2-1/2 weeks ago, and SO much has happened since then! We retrieved our car and motorcycle from the shipping port, house hunted for about 4 days, and finally leased an adorable apartment just North of Pearl Harbor.  Throw in our 31st wedding anniversary last week, (which we celebrated by going up to North Shore and Waimea Valley...such a GREAT day), registering our vehicles, and furnishing our new home - We have been BUSY!

The collage of photos above shows our little courtyard area, and a few photos of the inside of the apartment. We've shopped and shopped since getting our new place...remember that we came over here with just 16 boxes via Standard Post US Mail, and our 4 suitcases? Yes, it was kinda scary, but we budgeted carefully and put aside what we thought we would need to set up housekeeping from scratch.  So far, we've kept to our budget!

Our apartment is about 900 square feet. Our house in Idaho was over 1800 square feet...can we say "down-sizing"? However, since it's just Hubs and I, the space feels larger; I think that's partly due to the open-concept of the living room, dining room and kitchen. Our bedroom also feels spacious and we have a good amount of storage space. The spare room, which will eventually turn into a true Guest Room, is nice-sized and has closet organizers already built-in. There are also mirrored doors on the large closets.  We have 2 full bathrooms, one which also houses the stacked washer/dryer combo. It's not the tiny-sized one, it's full-size! (At just 5-feet tall, I'm almost too short for reaching into the dryer, but I purchased a step-stool, if needed!)

When searching for a home, we looked at a small, top-floor apartment on the 7th floor, which had a pool for the tenants (close to work, highest priced); a small condo on the 20th floor with a FABULOUS view directly overlooking Pearl Harbor including the USS Arizona Memorial (the view was the only thing going for it); a small, ground floor apartment in a Very, Very Large Complex (carpeted and small-feeling); an "Ohana"-style apartment which we loved, but the parking on the streets was bumper-to-bumper and difficult to maneuver through (longest commute for Hubs).
We actually saw 2 apartments in the building we now live in. The other one was on the second floor at the opposite end of the building, with clean, WHITE carpeting. It actually scared me to think of spilling something on that carpet!!
We fell in love with this place because of it's location on the ground level; the lanai-patio and courtyard (vs. a lanai-balcony only), and the vinyl wood-look flooring throughout. The flooring is easy care and because it's the same throughout the entire apartment, it gives a more spacious feel. The grounds outside are well-kept and very lush and green (no maintenance for us!). There are flowers everywhere! Hibiscus and Plumeria grow right outside our door.


Rose-Ringed Parakeet
And finally, there is this guy, and about 200 or so of his cousins. They live/ hang out in the trees outside our backyard area. Every dawn and every dusk, they fly around squawking and chirping. They swoop around from tree to tree, and occasionally come down to rest on a hibiscus shrub. My guess is that they are eating bugs...But they are very, very loud. Now, I have to say, I am NOT bothered by them. They "do their thing" for about 30 minutes, twice a day and I'm fine with it. It's all part of living on a tropical island in paradise!


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