Friday, July 11, 2008

One week later...

Well, it's been a week now and we're stuffed. We've been flat out looking for houses and cars and getting ourselves back into the US system - which means dealing with used car salesmen, real estate agents and American bureaucrats - all great fun...

We have had some successes - after looking at 11 houses, calling about 15 realtors and going to half a dozen car yards, we are now the proud (almost) owners of a (non-matching) pair of Volkswagen Passats - one blue stationwagon and one white sedan (just need a red one & we'll be doing things in true American style!). We've also put an application in for a place to keep them (and us) so with a bit of luck, by early next week we'll be mobile and homed.

As a reward (?!) or maybe just a break, we decided to check out the Naval Exchange (NEX) at Pearl Harbour this evening. That's the world's biggest department store for military personnel (or others who manage to wangle a military ID). It was....big....and had lots very good prices. There's even an enormous supermarket, a golf store and a furniture store built in. I suspect we may make a few return visits. We managed to restrain ourselves this time, and came away with one 74c bottle of white vinegar (to go with the sugar, chinese cabbage and pinenuts at the apartment - special prize for guessing what's for dinner!).

To show that we're not just lazing around enjoying ourselves, we've only managed to make it to the beach for a swim once so far. But what a swim and what a beach!! This is Kailua beach on the East (or Windward) coast of Oahu - nice isn't it? We stopped here and had a swim in the warm water for a while between looking at houses in the neighbourhood. It's a nice quiet town, with good access to facilities and an easy commute for Kieran to get to work, but without the traffic and chaos of Honolulu and Waikiki. So if we can manage it, we'd like to find a place near here (we'll tell you on Monday if our first application for a place in Kailua was successful!).

So it's coming up to the weekend here now, and that means the Saturday paper and more "For Rent" ads - so wish us luck. We're off to breakfast tomorrow morning with some of the other Australian families on the island - it's like being the new kids in school - everyone's being extra nice to us in case they find out we're cool later on.

Oh, before I forget - we now have a mobile phone if anyone wants to call us. We won't post the mobile number here, but if you think you might want to know it, email one of us and we'll ping it back to you. US phone companies don't distinguish between mobiles and landlines, so it won't cost any extra to ring us.

Anyway, we hear it's snowing in Oz, so we hope everyone's getting stuck into it. Remember, it's only snowing because we sacrificed our winter for you all. (Or is that y'all?) Send us some photos of the white stuff.

Have fun.


PS, here's a photo of Kieran looking windswept.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July...

So here's the view from the apartment we're in! First shot is looking east to Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.

Next, looking straight out past the Discovery Bay towers is the Ala Moana marina.

Thirds shot is looking out west over Ala Moana park out towards Pearl Harbour and the Waianae Mountains.

So we spent today checking out our immediate neighbourhood and seeing what happens on the 4th of July. Answer is, not much. Seems everyone heads for the beach parks and camps in the sun. For an Australian raised on slip, slop, slap, seeing so many burnt people is more than a little disconcerting. Here's Rochelle looking unimpressed by Waikiki Beach.

And here we are wading in the lagoon by the Hilton Hawaiian Village - it was quite warm, so it was nice to cool off...

And here's the fireworks out over the harbour - 50 000 people in the park, lots of them brought down tents and bbqs and the whole works, quite a little city out there. Rochelle has now found an NCIS marathon on TV and has settled in for the evening. Tomorrow's going to be house hunting and getting the hell out of Waikiki.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

We're back!! Or we're gone again! One or the other...

About 24 hours ago we arrived in Hawaii for a two year stint here, so we're resurrecting this blog from its peaceful slumber so we can keep everyone up to date on all our goings on and have it as a handy place to host photos.

Here's us overlooking Kailua Beach (left) and Kaneohe Bay on Oahu's Windward Coast today.

We're currently staying in a nice apartment in Waikiki - great views from the 43rd floor - for the next few weeks until we find a house. Tomorrow's the 4th of July, so we'll get out and about and see how US independence is celebrated here in Hawaii.

More photos to come tomorrow - July 4 celebrations, views from the apartment and Waikiki Beach!!