Hawaii – the first few days

Another relatively quick update for them curious about what we are doing. So, yesterday’s post was a general announcement of our current location and associated intentions. It did show the beginning and end of Friday, the first full day we were here, and mentioned us running errands. 

Let me go into a few more details . . .

Since we lacked basic staples, on Friday morning we headed into town (more of a tourist center) to grab a bite to eat.


We first saw that tree some 25 years ago, February of 1991. It’s a bit more impressive now. Near there, we went to eat at a restaurant that used to be a Chinese food place (now, it has Hawaiian and American fare). It used to be fairly cheap, but now it’s as expensive as the San Diego restaurants we visited.

While there, we found out our waitress was planning on visiting Colorado in August. Specifically, Denver and vicinity, so we chatted about places to go and things to see. That led to us finding out that the couple sitting at the next table was here on vacation and lived in Colorado Springs, so we chatted with them about our move. It’s as they say . . . a small world.

We also ate breakfast . . . Breakfast — including tip — was around $28. 


It was a very good breakfast, but still . . . $28.

This is what people speak about when they say Hawaii is expensive. Eating out is expensive. Housing is also expensive.

However, after breakfast, we headed out to Safeway to buy supplies. Some things were a bit more, some things were a bit less, but on the whole, prices were comparable to the Safeway in Monument.

After that, we went to the Post Office to pick up the Priority Mail packages that had beat us here (the other packages will arrive next week). They beat us here, but someone had also given them a pretty good beating.

It was a bit of a surprise to see that most of them looked as if someone had taken a baseball bat to them. Nothing was broken . . . except for one of the Le Creuset cast-iron round Dutch Ovens we shipped. It was split from the rim to the center of the bottom. I had plenty of padding around it but I obviously had not counted on someone flinging the box against a concrete wall . . . over and over and over until large rips appeared on the sides and bottom and top of the box. I’m having a tough time imagining what it takes to split one of those pots.

I’m also trying to imagine what kind of handling the mail goes through. Again, I’m having a tough time of it.

I am now very concerned about the rest of the boxes which, although heavily taped, were shipped ground. We’ll see how they fared. Since some of them contain dishes, I’m not hopeful about their fate despite them being double boxed with an insulating layer between the outer and inner boxes. Live and learn.

After Safeway and the Post Office, we got back to the condo, taking refuge from the heat and humidity (although the weather app showed that Monument was hotter than Kona, albeit with less humidity). And so endeth the first day.

Saturday, we went and got a small storage space for said boxes. Our short-term housing is too small to comfortably house all the boxes we shipped . . . if they make it here at all. I’m worried some might get pulverized along the way.  And, after that, we went and got a safety-deposit box at the bank. We traveled with some of our important papers and we’re buying a bit of peace of mind that they will be secure while we look for more permanent housing.

Then, we went to Costco. Gas at Costco was about what it is in Colorado, or $2.36/gal. The surprise was shopping for food, paper goods, and other supplies. The prices were not just comparable to the Costco in Colorado Springs . . . for many things, they were lower.

Even though we had done research before leaving Colorado, we were surprised at the good deals we found . . . and had to pass up since we don’t have much room at the condo we are renting.

In a good mood, we opted to visit one of our favorite places . . .


We ordered a double cheeseburger and six Malasadas. I should have taken a photo of the burger. It was huge, and at $7.29 it was more than enough to feed both Melisa and I. Also, better than the Smashburgers we like so much.

The Malasadas were as good as we remembered . . . and I did remember to snap a photo before they were all gone. 

20160619_113953-01.jpg 20160619_114014-01.jpg

There is no sense of scale, so let me tell you that they are roughly square, about 4″ x 4″ and about 3″ thick. That sounds like a lot, but believe me, they go quick. Especially when, as these were, they are still hot. Tex is a two-hour drive (each way) from where we are staying . . . but we might consider moving closer to it.

For dinner, one of Costco rotisserie chickens and one of Costco’s salads made for a good meal . . . with leftovers for a few more meals. Yes, the rotisserie chicken is the same price here as it is in Colorado, as is the salad and sandwich combo.

So endeth the second day.


This morning, Sunday, we went for a four miles walk. We will be heading out a tad earlier tomorrow. By the time we got back, we were pretty hot . . . so we changed and went into the pool to cool off.

During our walk, we had stopped at a farmer’s market and bought some strawberry papayas and some limes. Why?

Well, because I made Brunch . . .


That is our favorite Hawaiian Sweetbread. It’s great for making French Toast.


. . . which we ate out on the balcony . . .


Honest, we can’t eat like this every day or I will gain back all the weight I lost during these past four weeks (about 11 pounds). Still, Malasadas every three months and French Toast every few weeks . . . we both think that is a reasonable plan.

After relaxing a bit, we went to Wal-Mart . . . were we again found cheap prices for things we normally buy.

By then, it was once again hot, but tolerable in the shade of the balcony. We relaxed the rest of the day, and now here I am writing about it.

Tomorrow I’ll post a few photos of the flowers from the grounds of the complex were we are staying. Mind you, I am snapping photos with my Nikon, but all of the photos in this post are — and all of the flower photos in the next post will be — from the Samsung Note II. I don’t have the big PC rig to process the Nikon’s large files, so phone photos it is. Based on what I saw of the boxes I received so far, I wonder if I will have to buy a new PC.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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32 Responses to Hawaii – the first few days

  1. Breakfast looked like a rip-off. What is that vile pink looking stuff? Spam?

    Am enjoying tales from Hawaii though


    • disperser says:

      Vile?! You are insulting a most favorite and beloved Hawaiian staple . . . yes, Spam.

      I happen to like the stuff, which tells me I must be at least part Hawaiian.

      As for being a rip-off, I’ve not visited any restaurants in recent times where breakfast dishes were less than $8 each. Even a-la-carte items, when combined, add up to that and more. Add a couple of coffees and a tip, and voila’ . . . $28.

      This was actually cheaper and better than the discounted buffet we had in San Diego. The bottom line is that if one is eating in a tourist area, one can expect to pay through the nose for mediocre fare . . . which this was not. It was an excellent breakfast. Spamtastic, even!


      • Yes, apparently Spam is rather popular there.
        Breakfast here is around a fiver, slightly less than eight bucks.
        For that you get, bacon, sausage, egg, hash browns, beans, tomatoes, toast, tea or coffee, or fruit juice (sometimes included). You can pay more ie up to nine quid but not necessarily any better.
        Vegetarian options are decent but that won’t interest you.
        No Spam anywhere though.
        We’re a prime tourist area, but a few years back, when construction was booming many builders took their main break at breakfast time, so I guess that’s still stuck.


        • disperser says:

          There are lots of places where a decent breakfast can be had for a few bucks . . . this is not one of them. On the other hand, the breakfast we made cost us no more than a few bucks and a bit of time.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That is some view. Amelia


  3. Sounds like you’re settling in pretty well. I haven’t eaten breakfast yet and when you mentioned malasadas, my mouth started watering.


  4. sandra getgood says:

    Everything looks delicious. Well, except for the Spam….I just am not a fan of Spam, although if you like it, I don’t think any less of you. I did notice that Spam didn’t seem to be included in the brunch you made, though.
    Sorry about that pot, and hope the rest of your packages make it through in better condition.

    So far, most of the news sounds good.


    • disperser says:

      Most people can’t think any less of me if they tried . . . and, we did have Spam in the condo. It will be used when we make eggs. When I make French Toast I prefer not mixing it with anything else.

      Honest, based on what I’ve seen, I’m quite apprehensive about the packages. But, regardless, we are here, and the loss of a few more things is not going to matter much in the scheme of things.

      So, yes . . . so far, most of the news is good. In a day or two, we’ll be looking at longer term rentals, hopefully for occupancy by the beginning of July.


  5. AnnMarie says:

    Spam is still enjoyed by mother and I, but not fried since it tends to get too salty. Anyway, glad to read that you’re finding positive aspects about where you’re at. As for the packages, that is a real concern. We sure hope your other ones get there in good shape and that nothing is damaged.

    And those ocean views are to be envied . . . but we can always go down to the Fox River’s edge for consolation.


    • disperser says:

      Like I mentioned in the other comments, I will be glad when those packages are here. They are supposed to arrive by Wednesday. Two were listed as having arrived today, but when we went to pick them up they said there weren’t any there. Not very reassuring.

      As for the view, after these first two weeks, we’re likely to be away from the water unless some kind billionaire lends us the use of their waterfront place. The two bedroom condos in this complex go for $460K . . . and that’s before the $1,600 monthly maintenance fee, taxes, and utilities.

      No, we’ll have a different view, and we too will have to go down to the public shores to see water.


  6. a delightful diary!! Have fun – I’m curious about those malasadas!



    Breakfast with an ocean view, you are in paradise. The only item you forgot was the spam.
    Affordability in Hawaii is simple, buy shares in COSTCO and every month buy more shares.
    The malasadas remind me of Polish Pączki.
    Wish you the best on the Big Island.


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, and as I mentioned, the Spam was not forgotten. The French Toast is very good on its own and needs no other flavor to augment or detract from it.

      They are like Paczkis but heavier and larger. Also, no one here offers Malasadas with prune filling.


  8. Emily Scott says:

    Jealous of that view and of the French toast. Your breakfast was expensive but not crazily so compared to what I pay in London. Breakfast in a local cafe for something like a full English breakfast or Eggs benedict with a coffee usually costs us about £15 ($22) for two. It would be more in the touristy central London parts.


    • disperser says:

      The view is temporary, the French Toast will be a regular (semi-regular, or I’ll balloon up in weight).

      Yeah, based on our recent travels, that was not way out of line with other places. I’m also pretty sure there are local haunts where the same fare can be had at a cheaper price. I just have to find them . . . then again, we like the breakfasts we make more than what we can buy when eating out.


  9. What an amazing view! Would make even great food taste even greater! :-)
    I like Spam!
    Still wishing you THE best!
    Hope things go smoother and smoothly as you take each day one day at a time…which gets you closer to being settled.
    Loving the photos and hearing about your BIG adventure!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, and yes, Spam is great. I get why some people don’t like it (I say that, but I really don’t), but we can polish off a can without batting an eye. I saw at Costco a Spam version made with Portuguese sausage as opposed to ham . . . I’ll be giving that a try as well, but the Original will still hold a place of honor at our table . . . when Melisa lets me splurge.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. PiedType says:

    I’m getting goosebumps reading about your having moved to that gorgeous place that has so many wonderful memories. Living the dream!!


  11. renxkyoko says:

    I like Spam. By the way, slice the meat, then wash it a little ( just water, of course, no detergent, ha ha ).. that’ s to remove the excess salt ( Spam can be a bit salty… that’s my only complaint )

    Wow , Hawaii ! Will you miss the snow ?


    • disperser says:

      What!? The whole point of eating Spam is the salt!

      . . . and, yes and no. I will miss the opportunity to photograph snow, but will not miss the opportunity to shovel it.


  12. Best food and best breakfast I had in my trips to the US were in Hawai’i, and I don’t ever recall paying $28 for a breakfast that consisted inter alia of hot freshly Roast Turkey and baked ham and everything else imaginable. I was amazed at the Americans capacity for food


    • disperser says:

      Well, sure. In out first visit to Hawaii, $28 would have paid for an evening meal, perhaps with change left over.

      Things change and socialist summabirches drive the price of everything up as they insist living wages be paid to good-for-nothing workers who expect the world and want to do little for it.

      Seriously, I think traveling today would have you quickly in shock with regard to how much it costs to do pretty much anything at all.

      That said, the last time we were in Europe, we paid through the nose for even basic things . . . except in Italy. Italy offered us good food, good coffee, good snacks, and all at reasonable prices. If it weren’t for all them Italians living there, I would move there in a heartbeat.


  13. mvschulze says:

    Our first trip to Hawaii, back in the 80’s, we were pretty much budgeting our expenses, and actually enjoyed a hot box of KFC, from our second floor balcony on the beach at Maui. It was being there, and the awesome view and…well, just being there , that really planted the smiles on our faces!
    M :-)


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