This was where our long love affair with Kaaawa started. It was about this time of year in 1988, and we had been shopping for a house. At the time, we were living in a two-story townhouse in Tropic Gardens, on the other side of the freeway above Kahala Mall. It was nice, but we hoped to find something we could afford that didn’t feature a large ground-level parking lot right outside the living room window. We had this silly idea that we might be happy just with a place we would go for summers, vacations, and long weekends. So we looked along the north shore and along the windward coast.
One day, we were driving back with our realtor and stopped at Swanzy Beach Park. As we left, we were in the driveway looking toward the mountains. Behind the 7-11 store, you could see this A-frame home just up the hill. We both looked at that house, and its prime location with both mountain and ocean views. “We could live there,” we both said.
And, as it turned out, there was another house for sale just a little bit farther up the hill. We saw it and immediately made an offer. The rest is history. We loved every minute of the next 27 years living in Kaaawa. And we still enjoy visiting good friends, staying overnight, and walking the beach and the back roads the next morning.
Yesterday was another of those mornings.
Just click on the photo to see a few more.
Not just any house. It’s our former home.
We were out in Kaaawa again over the weekend, and were surprised to find that our former house is for sale again, just 18-months after we sold it.
In the interim, it’s had major renovations, with remodeled kitchen & bathrooms, new interior doors, new lights, ceiling fans, new flooring and paint throughout, and upgraded electrical and plumbing.
We heard through the neighborhood gossip network that the family that bought it from us underestimated the logistics involved in living in such a beautiful spot. With both parents working and two children now dealing with school and other activities, the commute to town–about 26 miles–quickly got to be too much.
I can certainly appreciate that. We were lucky to almost always have been able to arrange our lives to avoid peak traffic hours, and with just one car, the commute offered a daily opportunity for long, open-ended conversations and lots of NPR listening. But we didn’t have the challenges that kids introduce to the equation.
In any case, it’s a great house in a primo location in Kaaawa.
It’s listed on Zillow, with additional photographs available here.
I think the year was 2001. The specific date has been lost in the course of many backup operations.
This was taken just below our former home in Kaaawa. It sat at the top of a slope which dropped down on one side to a dead-end road below.
The lower area was pretty overgrown.
During the wet part of the year, the ape (pronounced ‘ah-pay’, also called “elephant ears”) grew rapidly, often reaching over six feet.
This photo was taken early one morning when we walked back up the road to view our property from that side.
It’s one of the things we miss in our new home.
In the garden
We spent New Year’s Eve out in Kaaawa, then got up early in the morning for our daily walk at dawn.
It was dark when we left our friends’ house, still dark when we got down to Kam Highway.
We moved into town more than a year ago, but Kaaawa still feels very familiar, and we see friends–canine and human–all along the walk.
But we also feel the past as we walk through the neighborhood. On some streets, we can tick off the names of all the dogs we knew through the years since we started regular morning walks 20 years ago but are now gone.
Anyway, here are a few images of the morning.
Back to substantive blogging soon.