I never thought I would say this, but I love my commute. The H3, which runs from Kaneohe Marine Base to Pearl Harbor is both uncongested and beautiful. In the morning, I get a view of the rising sun painting the pleats of the Ko'olau or the myriad of colors over Kaneohe Bay, depending on which way I choose to be distracted. On some mornings, heavy rains send waterfalls down the cliffsides, entertaining me as I enter the Tetsuo Harano Tunnel. In the evenings, as I bust through the tunnel, a wonderous vista of Kaneohe Bay and assorted islands burst in front of me -- no wonder some people rank the H3 among America's most beautiful Highways. As a bonus, I often get rainbows as I climb the gentle Halawa Valley, some of which seem to end right on the highway in front of me. On some days, I swear I can feel the impact of the pot of gold as I roll right over it, sending a swearing, ranting leprechaun flying into the rainforest. This is always amusing, but those chunks of gold ore are hell on your tires!
The H3 was controversial when it was built, opposed by Native Hawaiians who considered the Halawa Valley to be sacred. Some Native Hawaiians refuse to use the Highway to this day, even though it was completed around 2000. Am
Fondest memory: Amazingly, the H3 has its own website: http://www.hawaiihighways.com/photos-Interstate-H3.htm
Go there is you wantto see more photos of my commute. They took better pictures than I ever could, given tat I need to ocassionally pay attention to the road.
There is more rain on the Windward side of Oahu than on the rest of the island, though Kailua is generally drier than Kaneohe (its Windward sister city).
That statement of fact is generally construed as negative by most people but is viewed as a positive by those that live here. The rain is a good thing because it gives Kailua a tropical lushness. It also means that Kailua is a few degrees cooler than Honolulu, Aeia and the Ewa Coast, and cooler means much more pleasant in the summer months. That's why most homes in Kailua -- even those costing over a million dollars -- don't have air conditioning. There's simply no need for it. Believe me, there is enough sunshine in Kailua to make everyone happy, so it's nice to get a break from it every now and then.
Favorite thing: When we were looking at the house we that we tried to buy but had it fall through (due to shoddy conditions), we had two wild peacocks drop by the yard. They were hungry and the previous owner fed them, as we realized when we discovered his stash of bird food. Apparently, wild peacocks are common on Oahu's windward side, though most people consider them noisy pests rather than colorful neighbors. Since we eventually bought a house in the same neighborhood, we've seen the birds again -- though not in our yard