It was a Monday and we flew into Honolulu Hawaii. My first impression was "this isn't Hawaii!"
Of course, the smell was incredible. I had never smelled anything so fragrant before. It must have been all the fresh lei stands at the airport. What disappointed me was all the concrete everywhere. We hadn't entered a tropical paradise...it was a concrete jungle!
We got our luggage (two suitcases each) and rode the shuttle to pick up our rental car. What better way to drive in style in Honolulu Hawaii than in a convertible. We took the top down and got the directions to our hotel. It was just a few miles away. I was so excited...within 10 minutes we would be in our hotel and then we could explore a little bit.
45 minutes later, we arrived in our hotel, the Ohana Maile Sky Court. WHAT!?! We have to pay $8 a day for parking! So we did. We got the key to our little room and dropped off our luggage. It was time to get to business.
The first order was to find a place to live. The night before, a gentleman by the name of Marlo Lopez called and told us of a two bedroom apartment that was going to become vacant in a week or two. It as $825 a month. Todd and I both thought that was a little steep, considering we were paying that for our 3 bedroom house in Taylorsville.
We drove to the little green three story apartment on Young Street and met a few of the people living there. 6 adults in a 2 bedroom apartment! I was floored. It was small and dirty. But I could make it work...I was having visions of just how cute this place could look.
The following morning we contacted the Property Managers. There is a huge process you have to go through in order to get an apartment. Heavenly Father must have been looking out for us, because it went more smoothly than it should have. We used some of the money from the sell of our house to put down on the apartment (they required the first and last months rent as a deposit).
The current tenants wouldn't be out of the apartment for a week. So we lived in our little hotel room during that time. We spent the first week familiarizing ourselves with the one-way streets and hectic traffic associated with Honolulu.
I interviewed for jobs and applied with a temp agency. They found me a job working for a mortgage company downtown. It was easy, mindless work and I got accustomed to getting around by bus. Todd spent a lot of time at school meeting the teachers and finding his way around campus.
We went to Costco and loaded up on bottled water, airheads and snack-packs of cheese and crackers to live off of until we had a fridge and the other accoutrements necessary to feed ourselves.
Our first Sunday in the Makiki ward was wonderful. We introduced ourselves to Bishop Chu and he assured us that we would have callings right away. There was a baptism that Sunday after church, so Todd and I stayed and we were amazed at the ward participation and also to hear of the incredible missionary efforts that were taking place there.
That week there was an activity at Ala Moana beach park. We rode the bus there and met a couple in the same situation we were. Jodi & Rory Sorensen had just moved from Salt Lake City, UT to Hawaii. Rory was majoring in Engineering at the University of Hawaii. They had found a small one bedroom studio not too far from us.
Jodi looked very familiar to me...we tried to figure out how we knew each other. Come to find out, when she was searching for wedding dresses, she came into the bridal shop and I helped her!
After the picnic (which didn't have as good of a turn-out as the baptism) Todd and I got back on the bus and took a trip to the Sea Life Park. It took us 1 1/2 hours by bus to get there. Crazy! It was a cute, quaint little place. It had a few dolphins, some penguins, a few sea lions and seals. Todd and I both were certain that the place was meant for people with kids...and a little overpriced.