It feels like home now

After 3 weeks and scads of effort, we are at home…starting to get into a routine. The fence painting is progressing and it looks almost new. Boxes are all unpacked and (mostly) put away. The weather has been heavenly, the hottest has been about 85 and the coolest 65. Mango season is just starting and the roadside stand down the way is loaded. Every morning we have to have our mango fix…yummy. They are without a doubt the sweetest mangos I have ever tasted, the variety is Handel and the sweet little Thai lady that runs the stand picks out the best for us. She’s from northern Thailand, married an Hawaiian (how they met we haven’t a clue). But we’ve enjoyed talking to her, she always helps us find the best mangoes she has, and she always gets a good tip. Life is good!

We are right on the cusp of dry and wet and the vegetation really shows it. Our yard is lush with vegetation and just down the road looks like this:

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Every day has been spent, for a couple of hours, painting the fence surrounding our yard…it really needed staining, note the picture with half done staining.

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Don’t feel too sorry for us, we make sure to spend part of the day at the beach, on the lanai or perhaps cocktail hour at the Hyatt. No sense in working too hard. This week’s gin and tonics have been special, featuring fresh limes from our lime tree. Now if we could just pick gin bottles off of a tree!

It has been over three weeks since either of us has worn pants. Before you think we’ve gone totally native, we haven’t worn LONG pants. The dress code here is tee shirt and shorts, we brought way more clothes than we need. Plus footwear is flip flops or sandals.

On Mother’s Day the National Tropical Botanical Garden has a free open house every year, so rather than going to Michaels Frozen Custard for a free Mothers Day sundae, we drove over there, it is in Lawai. The tour started at 9:30, we arrived at about 8:30 and by 9, the line was about 100. We made the first trip down into the Lawai valley to Allerton Garden and wandered around the grounds taking in the sights. The garden was started by Queen Emma in about 1870,she brought hundreds of bougainvillea so the canyon sides are covered with flowers. Dr Allerton bought the property in the1950s and brought many tropical plants in, built waterfalls, fountains, and added statues. The grounds are fabulous. It was made a research facility in the 1960’s due in part to Hawaiian Senator Inuoye’s efforts. And some of the areas and vegetation have been in the movies. The beach area and bay are gorgeous – unfortunately they don’t let the visitors go to those areas. But we get a great view of the bay on the bus ride down into the valley.

A few pictures from the garden are below

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The last picture is a tree from Australia that Allerton planted and was prominently featured in Jurassic Park.

We also found a doctor, Dr. Williamson, who practices in ‘Ele’ele (Pronounced L.A. L.A) like Los Angeles . The doc is an avid cyclist, in fact next weekend he is riding a race up the Grand Canyon of the Pacific….all up hill. There is a celebration in Koeke park afterwards, called the poker festival….we plan to go to check it out.

Also, every Friday there is an art fair in Hanepepe that we attended last week. It is much like a county fair with vendors selling food, artists and music, a nice way to spend a Friday evening.

The next big project is a solar hot water system, that is to be installed the week after next. Then, after analyzing our electricity usage, we plan to get photovoltaic panels for the roof. When electricity is 3 times the cost as Wisconsin and we have abundant sunshine, it should pay back within 4 years or so (including the 35% state and 30% federal tax credits).

We (or I)decided to take a hike from the Hyatt along the coast, that turned out to be more of a forced march…..but the scenery was awesome. There supposedly are WWII bunkers built into the cliffs, but we didn’t see them.

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We bought a basketball at Costco, just to vary our exercise routine at Koloa’s basketball court. Charlie decided that the ball was defective, it just wouldn’t go into the basket (something about the ball being square, and wouldn’t go in a round hole).

One thing that was unexpected, is that we aren’t checking the weather forecast as much as we did in Wisconsin, since every day the weather is the same…….partly cloudy, sunny, and 30% chance of rain. With one exception, Saturday the 17th there were high surf warnings and the south shore looked like this.

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The previous owners of our house invited us to a bonfire on the beach last night, Saturday….it was great fun. We watched the sun go down and sat drinking wine until about 10.

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