Hawaii: Ewa Beach

“Born and raised” is a phrase used frequently by the locals (people “born and raised” in Hawaii)…and I am definitely born and raised here.  Now I don’t say I love my island home because I am a local.  Once upon a time, I actually worked very hard to leave Hawaii.  I went to college in Los Angeles, CA and I could have lived anywhere else as long as I could visit Hawaii.  I would have been fine living anywhere else as long as I knew I could hop on a plane and go home.

Leaving home taught me how to love my home.  I don’t love home because the weather is perfect and hardly changes, not because I’m surrounded by ocean and sunshine and not because my friends and family are here.  True, my family is here and it’s what I missed when I left for college (even though I wanted to break free from them just so I could find out who I was).  Not true about my friends, most of them live on the mainland now, a few, a close few still manage to live here on Oahu.

I say manage because it’s hard to make a living in Hawaii.  The cost of living is high here:gas, housing, groceries all twice as much as prices on mainland USA.  It’s rare to see people in my age group owning their own home.  My fiance and I own our own home/town home in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

Our home is detached from the other town homes and we have a back yard, which is very rare with condo/town homes.  It’s big enough for the two of us, but when we have kids (god willing), we would like to upgrade to something bigger, obviously!  A place like this, which I repeat is RARE because it was brand spanking new, 2 car garage, three bedrooms and central A/C was $376,000 (the cheapest of their models).  That is cheap.

The area across from us, another community called Latitudes is in the $500,000 with more square feet and are actual single family homes with lots of parking space and a larger back yard and rooms.  We couldn’t afford that at the time and we wanted the $8,000 tax credit that was being offered so we lucked out with that.

Latitudes Ewa Gentry

Latitudes is nice, but I loved touring the model homes at Ka Makana.  My friend Judith and I had a fun time checking out house after house there-but it was also out of our budget.  One day maybe, if we still want to live in Ewa Beach.

Ka Makana
Ewa Beach was the last place I wanted to move to because it had a history of bad traffic.  I remember driving on Ft. Weaver Road, after dropping my friend Brian off at home and being stuck trying to get on the freeway at rush hour.  That was a decade ago and now traffic flows nicely because of the new roads they’ve built.  Now, I can’t say the same for early morning rush hour traffic on the freeway-it’s still slow going in the mornings and afternoons.
Rainbow in Kalihi
I grew up in Kalihi, right outside of down town Honolulu.  It’s urban, it’s Hawaii “ghetto”, our house was in between two public housing projects which meant I lived through lots of gang-fighting, nightly police, ambulance and fire truck sirens, graffiti bus routes, drug busts, property crime, calling 911 monthly and the sound of the #2 and B Express bus stopping in front of our house.

Birthday party in the garage, see the bus stop outside of our garage and the clinic and KPY in the background.

Kalihi Transit Bus station, lots of time waiting for public transporation.
Down town Honolulu

Honolulu

View from of my old house from the clinic across the street as I wait for my morning bus ride.
Kalihi was vibrant to say the least.  Loud.  Busy.  Chaotic.  Stressful.  But I grew up in Kalihi and lived there until June 2010!  So I was used to chaos for a long time then came Ewa.  I know Ewa has it’s ghetto areas but the area I live in is clean, quiet and so suburban!

New North-South Road in Kapolei, home of Rail and UH West campus!

I have lived in Ewa Beach for 8 months and I’m still discovering things-but I do wish there was “more” here in way of restaurants, a night life and so forth, I think that’s what Kapolei is for…but it’s growing, slowly.

Right now I’m enjoying the nice sidewalks and walking my dogs.  I love the sunsets and vast sky, it reminds me of the midwest.  I like being near Ko’olina, but I miss the variety of “town” living.

Welcome to the west side…ahh I can’t see tall buildings!

On my daily walk

My new neighborhood!

Despite being a city girl at heart, I am happy where I am and know that Josh and I are starting a new life together.  We make time to go into the city when I get restless and my family lives in Kalihi so I’m there at least once a week when I babysit!
I’ll post more about the West Side as I explore my new neighborhood!

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