Kailua to Honolulu — Ten Things I’ve Learned in the Move

I spent ten years living on the most glorious beach on the planet. (Seriously, it really is. Just look at the photos.)  Then I moved. All the way over the Pali to Honolulu.

For those who live anywhere that is not Oahu, this will almost certainly make no sense, so feel free to click away now.  For the rest of us — those lucky to live Hawaii, as we are prone to say — here’s what I’ve learned after such an epic move.

  1. Kailua is NOT the center of the universe. It’s not even the center of Oahu. I know, right? Hard to believe, but I’m now convinced. It’s true.
  2. Getting from Honolulu to Kailua is about ten miles and takes some 25 minutes on most days. Getting from Kailua to Honolulu is approximately 436 miles and requires a packed lunch, planning, and emergency supplies.
  3. There are more incredibly interesting, engaging, and downright fascinating people on this island than I ever knew. And all of them DO NOT live in Kailua. (I know again, right?! Hard to believe, but true.)
  4. The Whole Foods in Kailua is the best Whole Foods on the island — maybe on the planet — and is well worth the drive back/forth over the Pali to get our “whole paycheck” necessities.  Yes, I am confirming the long-held Kailua belief that townies drive over the hill to come to Whole Foods and bring our traffic with us. We’ll probably come for Target, too.
  5. The poor visitors who come to Oahu and think AlaMoana Beach and Waikiki are the most beautiful beaches ever are deeply deprived. They deserve a refund. I know the ones already finding Kailua and Lanikai are adding traffic and congestion; I get it. But coming to Oahu and not seeing Kailua and Lanikai beaches is like skipping the Vatican in Rome.
  6. Bob’s Pizza remains the best pizza ever, particularly the spinach and garlic. Like Whole Foods, it’s worth the drive.
  7. Living “up” — as in a highrise building — comes with all variety of advantages, including something akin to the Lido Deck of a cruise ship. Who knew?
  8. Air conditioning is NOT evil, as I came to believe in Kailua. It’s a nectar from the gods. It’s also the reason my  towel actually dries between showers and mold does not inhabit various corners. It took me ten years to figure out that Kailua living is something like glamping — camping in expensive tents amidst exquisite scenery.
  9. Living “up” and with air-conditioning means I can embrace my inner hermit — scrolling Facebook for temperature reports and spending hours in my pajamas reading books I can’t put down.
  10. Honolulu is a fabulous and vibrant city I mistook for a place with a mall and good theatres. But Kailua is and always will be home, the zeitgeist of all things special about Hawaii.