Happy Aloha Monday!
Hope you all had a great weekend.
Mine flew by and was jam-packed. Saturday, I attended the Joint Spouse Conference at MCBH (Marine Corps Base Hawaii.)
The JSC was an opportunity for 300 military spouses to get together and participate in different workshops. The four that I chose were Elegant Appetizers (a cooking demo), Wine & Food Pairing, Stand-up Paddleboarding, and Mai Tais & Monet (a painting class.) They also provided breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail hour. It was a blast :)
Sunday, I got to attend the Wings over the Pacific Air Show at Hickam AF Base. It was amazing to finally get to see the Blue Angels fly.
This weekend really had me thinking a lot about living in Hawaii as a military spouse. I was telling one of my girlfriends last night that living here is unlike anywhere else I have ever lived in so many ways and I don't think it will ever compare to anywhere else that we live in the future.
That might sound like an obvious observation, but what I'm referring to is probably different from what your first thought might be.
Living in Hawaii as a military spouse, in my opinion, is a completely difference experience than living here as a civilian. I'm sure other spouses who have lived here would agree that there is a very large military presence on the island. If you were to visit Oahu on vacation, you may not notice is as much, but since we arrived five months ago, I have noticed it tremendously. There are some days when I feel like the whole island is just all military.
All branches of the military have a presence here on Oahu. There is the Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe Bay, Schofield Barracks (Army), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (Navy and Air Force), and even the Coast Guard has a small installation at Barber's Point.
Even though we don't live on base, I feel like I spend a lot of my time on a base, somewhere. Whether it's renting stand-up paddleboards at the Marina on Kaneohe Bay, having dinner with friends at Sam Choy's on Hickam Harbor, or shopping at the commissary on Schofield. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it. In fact, it's a good feeling and a it's safe feeling.
I think living in Hawaii is a very unique opportunity as a military spouse in that I have the opportunity to connect with spouses with all different kinds of military backgrounds. I also feel completely immersed in the culture, more-so than I probably ever will be again; and that, is what I mean about it being a completely different experience.
What has been your experience living in or near a military installation? Have you ever lived in Hawaii?