Surfing in Waikiki is safe for all ages including keiki and so much fun!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I will always treasure the special things about Hawaii that I’ve not found anywhere else:

a)  The friendly aloha spirit of the locals  (I miss our friends.)

b)  The beaches, mountains, outdoors fun–SURFING!

c)  Simple and slow pace of life

d)  Magical wonderland for kids

Ohana Forever

We didn’t know anyone in Hawaii when our family moved there.  We wanted to try a new adventure, and our children were only 5 and 1.5 years old, so we thought that it could be a fun time for them.  But from the beginning, what we noticed was the friendliness and kindness of most of the locals.  Our neighbors would wave hi and give us gifts of food.  People smile at you when they walk past you at the mall.  Cashiers at the grocery store look you in the eye and make small talk.  Most people seem very content.  The aloha spirit is very real.  People are generous with information and help.  When I got heatstroke at the beach, a stranger gave me her parasol and fanned me while I called my husband for help.  When we attended church there, they welcomed us with open hearts.  We felt part of the church family and had Bible studies and meals together.  We became friends with some of the families very quickly.  We found that they were uncomplicated, genuine and some of the nicest people we had ever met.  We definitely miss the people.  It’s definitely not the same level of friendliness here in California.  Even my children noticed in California around Christmas time at the mall–“Mom, how come no one is smiling here and they look unhappy?”

Beach Bum Boogie!

Hands down, the most beautiful and accessible beaches are in Hawaii.  The beaches are small by California standards, with a shorter sandy area, but the water is clean and aquamarine and the sand is fine.  The best thing is that parking is very close to most of the beaches and you don’t have to haul your stuff for miles to set up.  Many of the beaches have surfable waves, so it is a surfer’s paradise.  Boogie boarding, body-boarding, wake boarding, kite surfing–it’s all possible.  My husband and I used to surf in Waikiki every Saturday morning.

Hiking is also very popular in Hawaii with many easy to difficult trails leading to hidden waterfalls and amazing vistas.  We didn’t stay indoors much, but we tried to take our family outside as much as possible.

No Honking Kine

People do not honk their horns in Hawaii.  Even if I am slow to go on a green light, people behind me are patient and don’t honk within one millisecond like they do in the mainland.  Honking the horn is considered very rude.  Drivers are pretty relaxed, except during rush hour.  🙂

In general, life is simpler and slower, with people even walking slower than in New York/Boston, where I’ve lived before.  Since it was so expensive, I couldn’t afford as much, and I learned to simplify my life and take it easier.  It also helps that men can just wear aloha shirts to office jobs and you can wear shorts and t-shirts year round.

Keiki Heaven

It’s been about 1.5 years since we left Hawaii, but my children still say that they want to go back.  They miss Hawaii a lot–no wonder because it is a magical place for kids.  Keiki is the Hawaiian word for children, and keiki are treasured.  People always smiled and my children and said how cute they were.  Every weekend, there was a festival, fair, carnival, especially geared for families and children.  We had no shortage of magical places to take them–see turtles and rainbow colored fish at Shark’s cove; swim with dolphins at the Kahala, play at Magic Island, eat ramen at Shirokiya, etc.  They have so many wonderful memories.

We really thank God for our five years in Hawaii and the precious memories we made there.

More on living in Hawaii:

So You Want to Move to Hawaii: Watch out for the Cockroaches! (Pros and Cons)

What Is It Like to Live in Hawaii?