BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012
BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013
Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013
We were stationed in Oahu for 3 years, and it was amazing! We loved every min of it! We never wanted to leave. We liked the food, the weather, the people, the environment, everything. I had a fun job, and my hubby was Navy on Pearl Harbor. we had tons of visitors, and knew all the local places for surfing and shopping, and eating and hiking, and we never got tired of anything! We have been trying to go back ever since!
But for kids? The school system SUCKS! They are way behind, and lacking technology. The military schools are the best bet for younger kids, but as they get older they will age out of them. When we left they only offered school until 6th grade, after that it was out in town....
It?s very pricy to live in Hawaii, but if you manage your money, and shop smart then you can make it work just fine. There are not many major concerts that come to Hawaii, but if you?re in to football so is Oahu! And the other islands are only a hop flight away and you can go for the day and come back in the evening, and see a lot! Or stay a while and do more!
Tripler Army Medical Center is also known as Crippler, they have had some bad incidents, but I believe they are working to make improvements, and while we were there, my hubby had a major surgery on his face, and he came out of it just fine, but no thanks to the nurses. After his surgery they basically left him alone, and HATED me for calling for ice or meds when he needed it... So just be active in your medical care and you should be fine there.
The best housing right now is the Air Force housing and Navy housing, its being re-built and super nice! But the wait list is about 2 years long! So I would suggest renting or buying out in town, and you will also be in the more local crowd and able to adapt better, and understand local life easier. It is VERY different. Almost a culture shock if you have never been before.
I think you would have a great time, but it?s not for everyone. Some people get Island fever (we did not) and some people are not beach people or in to hiking and then it?s not as enjoyable, cause all that?s left are money activities. It?s all what you make of it, and if you want it to be amazing it will be! )
Good Luck! I hope it all works out for you!
I have been here on Oahu for about 2 years and it defiantly has it's good and bad points. If you have school age children I would recommend looking into private school because the schooling system here really stinks. It is very expensive, however COLA pretty much supplements our income, I believe we make an extra 700 or so every month and BAH is competitive. Food is ridiculously expensive so shopping at the commissary is the only way to go. There are some fun things to do and the weather is really great but I miss the seasons. For example, it is 80 degrees in December and really doesn't feel like Christmas season. If you like the beach and outdoor activities you will probably like it. Most of the housing we have looked at is very small, if you have big furniture you might feel cramped. Gas prices are around 4.20 right now and climbing. I am pregnant with my first child and overall I feel I have had pretty good care from Tripler and Schofield clinic. We are getting island fever and will be happy to leave here when it's time. We have had a few negative experiences with some of the locals as some are not thrilled about all the military here, but overall most people are nice. Thats about all I can think of, everyone's experience is different this is just mine. Not sure which branch your hubby is but mine is up for frequent deployments and I have heard that they send them pretty frequently. Good luck.
Other posters have already hit the positives on the island, so I'll skip telling you about the great weather. We have lived here about a year and a half, and are dying for our time to be up. We aren't really "outdoorsy" people, and while I love going to the beach, the beach alone is not worth living so far away from family. We just had family take turns coming to visit since we just had our baby in December, but that's probably the only time they will be able to come because plane tickets to Hawaii are insanely expensive. The traffic is the other major downfall. Rush hour is more like the whole afternoon. If there is an accident on the H1 you are pretty much guaranteed to sit at a dead stop for 3 hours because there aren't very many roads to get you where you are going. We live in Navy housing and the company that runs privatized housing here is not the greatest, but we do really like our house. I like living in a community with a gate guard, and being around other military families. Cost of living is high, but so is the COLA, and to be honest you sort of just get used to things costing more and deal with it. That hasn't been a huge deal for us. Tripler has a bad reputation, but from talking to locals, my own experiences there, as well as those of my pregnant friends, the "Crippler" crap you hear is really outdated. I had great care at Tripler during my pregnancy and delivery, and also really like my PCM at Makalapa clinic for regular stuff.
Good and Bad just like any post...just depends on where your priorities are. If living far away from family and friends doesn't bother you, and you love the outdoors...Hawaii might be a great move.
Quick note about base housing. When I found out I was pregnant we decided to move on base. We got new orders so we were higher on the list than if we were already on island. You will be higher too since your just getting here. Over the phone they quoted me 2-3 months for ANYTHING. I told them I want to live in a specific housing. They told me that it would be 18mo. Then they said well they could get me into housing I didn't want in a week if I was willing to take it. No, I really just wanted the 1 housing area. Then they said they had something in a nicer housing area. Nope, just I wanted the one housing area. Strangely enough they found me a house right where I wanted the whole time! In fact I had my choice of 6 houses...
Know your options
If I got someone who wasn't nice I thanked them and came back later. There are nice people that work there. Gotta find them. When you do grab their card.
I was born and raised in Hawaii and lived there all my life until we had to PCS to Texas six months ago. The school system is not as bad as you think. Do your research to find a good school for your children. I'd enroll them in the public school system if I was still living in Hawaii. I came out fine with the public school system and I got a Bachelor's Degree and so did a lot of people I know who are very successful. The weather is beautiful year round. I miss the weather in the 80-90s everyday. I also miss thinking 60-70s was cold. You'll find a diverse culture in Hawaii and I would recommend embracing it. Try all types of food if your open to it because you'll most likely NOT find it anywhere else. It is very hard for me to find certain foods in the states like something simple as an Acai bowl and I live near Austin where this is a big city and most people have not heard of it. I think Navy housing is the best on the island but I know many of the military housings are new or recently renovated. I would recommend living in a central location of everything which would be in the Salt Lake/Aiea area. It is the middle of everything from shopping, beaches, great public schools and universities, etc. Food is expensive if you shop as the local grocery stores. But if you shop at the commissary then it will be prices your familiar with in the states. Take advantage of shopping at the NEX. NEX is cheaper for a lot of things if you compare it to Walmart. I miss the NEX. I hate the PX here. I shop at Walmart more than the PX because it's cheaper. Take advantage of the beaches! I miss being in the water and paddleboarding. Living in the middle of a state and not near an ocean sucks! Lol.
Good luck on getting orders there! I'd love for my husband to get stationed there again...