Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12 Decadal Highlights: Part 3

#6: Hawaii

I left Hawaii on July 26, 1985, and finally returned in November 2003.  I had a week to explore old haunts, see friends again, and remember that the state hates me.  Not the government - just the state.  First it conspired with Minnesota to give me an ear infection on the flight there, meaning I had to avoid putting my head underwater.  No problem - who wants to bother with the beaches when you're in Hawaii?  Then our car got towed at the surfing competition, leading to a 2-hour search through ... um, interesting neighborhoods and several Hauli*-unfriendly people.  On the plus side, I visited the library of the Mid-Pacific Institute and remembered a musty basement smell I strongly associate with books.  Rereading that sentence, it might sound like I'm being sarcastic, but it was a truly wonderful experience.

#5: Stayed In Place

It's the first decade I stayed in one city (yes, I'm counting Pflugerville as staying in Austin).  Relationships are stronger, and I had to pack far less times than in the 90s.  The 80s only had one move, but it was across half an ocean and half a continent.  From this steady base of operations, I did visit several places for the first time: Seattle, Tulsa, Indianapolis, Vancouver, Gainesville, Banff, Disneyworld.  (I went near San Francisco for work, but I don't think I can claim it until I visit the Golden Gate bridge.)

#4: Real Estate

I bought a townhouse in 2003, when everyone said to invest in real estate because it "only goes up."  That hasn't held true so much, but in fairness, the condo did appreciate 24% in 4 years before we bought the house.  Owning a house has frequently made me appreciate renting, but I do enjoy having a place that is mine (and/or Laura's).

TOMORROW: School or work?  I reject the tyranny of the or!

*Native Hawaiian slang for Caucasians.

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