A hui hou kākou

Life is Good

The Boys Great Escape

It all started back around 2006 after my husband and I decided it would be a great idea to move to Hawaii. I launched “The Boys Great Escape” to document our progress and discoveries not really knowing that anyone would actually follow along or really give a damn. Turns out a lot of people were really interested in following our great escape and it led to meeting a lot of really cool people.

The Boys Hawaiian Life

After arriving for good on Hawaii Island a few years later we considered dropping the blog altogether, after all, the “great escape” was now past tense. This idea was not particularly popular with many followers that were living vicariously through our adventures. So our great escape became “The Boys Hawaiian Life” and the story continued. At the time we were making so many new discoveries and having such a good time doing it that it was easy to keep the blog updated with new and interesting content.

The Boys Busy Hawaiian Life

Over time we’ve seriously began to neglect this blog. I am not sure anyone really follows along anymore. Life is still good here and we still love island life but we also both work a lot. That does not mean that we don’t have time to appreciate life here but it does mean we are selective about how we budget our time. As such, the time has come to retire this bad boy. We’ll likely leave this blog in place for a while but will no longer be updating it. No tears kiddos… please :).

Kona Real Estate Blog

If y0u really feel like you just have to have your Hawaii Life fix, I do have my work blog, the Kona Real Estate Blog. I know that sounds all real estatey and boring but I try to sprinkle my unique personality and perspective into my post there and it is not all real estate all the time. I also work in some normal everyday island life experiences and the blog is updated regularly. So check it out but be warned that it may be addicting.

Aloha friends!

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Blakey’s iPhone Photos 1/23/14

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Note: For those who enjoy seeing our island photos I have added an Instgram feed for me at the bottom of the right-hand column where you can see regular photos as I take them. If you are an Instgram user … Continue reading

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All we want for Christmas… Some really practical sh*t!

IMG_7249Typically for Christmas we have always bought ourselves one big gift which is generally something that we have been wanting but have not yet indulged in. Christmas provides a good excuse to just do it.

This year, we got ourselves rubbish service! Who does’t want rubbish service for Christmas? LOL. Truth is, the County of Hawaii does not provide municipal rubbish pickup like most places so most people take their garbage for disposal themselves. Of course most people who live here also have a truck at their disposal for such things and we do not. And the trunk of a brand new BMW is no place for bags of garbage!

Honestly besides the transport issue it is just a hassle to take away our own rubbish. City boys… remember? And Christmas presents are supposed to make you happy, and I can truly say this made us happy!

As an FYI, we also got ourselves a cordless electric mower which we also love. Okay… I guess we’re just weird. Anyway, we hope everyone had a great Christmas and are wishing everyone a fabulous 2014. Aloha!

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Blake’s iPhone Pics 12/12/13

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Damn Howellogans!


For those not already aware, Lynn and I finally got hitched on Thursday of last week. You see, we are extremely patient individuals who are also very risk adverse so it makes total sense that we decided to wait almost 17 years before we tied the knot. Wouldn’t want to screw up and make a hasty decision! We’re just glad that after waiting all of these years to get married we can finally have sex! And it turns out I’m a bottom! Who knew?

In reality, on December 2nd, 2013 Hawaii became one of the growing number of states that has decided to stop discrimination against a class of individuals with the passage of Hawaii SB1 HD1. The bill was taken up after Governor Abercrombie called a special session to address the issue.

So on the morning of December 2 we applied for a marriage license with the Hawaii Department of Health online. I wish there had been more instruction but we applied here and paid our $65 application fee. We then arranged for a friend of our who owns Mahinui Rainforest Weddings to perform the ceremony at their home near Kawaihae. We had a very nice, simple and quick ceremony preceded and followed by champagne, photos and chair swings.

Afterwards we drove back to Waikoloa Beach Resort for an oceanfront lunch at Lava Lava Beach Club and we stopped by Genesis Gallery Hawaii at the Queens Marketplace and picked up our wedding gift to each other. We had planned a relaxing afternoon on the beach but discovered we had neglected to meet with our “marriage license agent” which was required to make it all official and legal.

As we left Waikoloa Beach Resort our low fuel light come on and the car indicated we could travel 51 miles on remaining fuel. Anyone that knows Kona knows there are no fuel options after Waikoloa Beach Resort until Queen K Tesoro near Honokohau Marina but we went for it. We were meeting the wedding agent at her home above the upper highway. By the time we reached Kaiminani Drive the car was saying it could go 31 more miles. So we pointed it up Kaiminani Drive towards the upper highway. If you don’t know Kaiminani it goes for miles between the lower and upper highway at a pretty severe incline. As we began climbing the remaining miles we could go began to drop by a mile every few seconds. By the top it said we had 6 miles remaining… So we changed strategy and had Siri find us a gas station. Weeee!

Anyway we finally arrived at the home of the wedding agent, produced ID’s and paid her the requested $5 and she provided us with paperwork showing a license number which we provided via text message to our wedding performer. And an hour or so later we were official. Yay!

All in all it was a pretty exhausting day. And FYI we are still Howell and Hogan and not Howellogan although that is pretty funny. We also will always consider our real marriage date to be March 17, 2007 when we had our commitment ceremony on a Maui Beach. This was also just a couple of months after we met BTW. So that risk adverse patient stuff was just bullshit for entertainments sake, but you probably knew that. We’re the boys that picked up and moved 3000 miles to an island, remember?? Aloha!

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Blakey’s iPhone Pics 11/19/13

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Some client photos, a beach day, some yummy food and some healthy food, new baby papayas and awesome sunsets. Lynn was on the mainland last week, Hawaii SB1 HD1 legalizing same sex marriage passed, and the boys are finally making … Continue reading

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Blakey’s iPhone Photos 10/24/13

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After a recovery break the boys are bringing it again with P90X2, SHARK!, Kona Ironman 2013, Hawaii Sunsets, Gifts of yummy 100% Kona Coffee, and Cruise Ship Season returns to the Hawaiian Islands.

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Car and Driver

BMW 328i CoupeAs our regular stalkers know, the time came to finally replace our BMW with a new one over the summer. We would have preferred to wait a few months as our model became a 4-Series for 2014 (now shipping), but that was not really an option for us. So we ordered a 2013 exactly like we wanted it from the factory in Germany and semi-patiently waited three and a half months for it to be built and delivered to Hawaii.

Unfortunately, the car had a pesky little problem with the passenger-side airbag “curtain” that was proving to be a bit of a bitch to correct. To make a long story kinda sorta short, we finally ended up leaving our car with the dealership for two weeks while they worked with BMW regional in California to identify what was wrong. Turned out to be something not unknown to this model and after following some very specific instructions from BMW engineers they corrected the problem… YAY!!

I have to also say, as I have many times before, that this BMW Center here in Kona is absolutely awesome. They even picked up a car payment citing our patience, our kind demeanor through the ordeal, and the fact that they had our car for more of the month than we did. The gesture was not really necessary but very appreciated and something that proves that this is a great dealership.

While we would have preferred to have our car for this two weeks, it was not an entirely painful experience as BMW kept us in sweet loaner cars — a total of 5 different ones, while we waited for ours to be repaired. It was kind of fun experiencing various models, engines, and options. And I now know I won’t ever have a BMW again that doesn’t have an M package. Damn that car was fun.

And now a Little Critique and Review


Joystick and iDrive

I am a tad disappointed about a few changes that are arriving on the new BMW models. I guess I am kind of old fashioned about this stuff. For one, gone are the days of gear shifters that are actually mechanically attached to the transmission. All new models (some 2013, all 2014) have what I call the “joy stick” which electronically controls things. I really dislike it. But it seems that all manufacturers of luxury vehicles and high-end sports cars are going this way (we watch Top Gear you know… UK… not the crappy US one).

Another thing I am not crazy about is every car in 2014 and beyond gets iDrive and the computer screen. I know, everyone is doing it but I already use a mouse and computer for everything and I have avoided it in cars so far… well until now… Dammit!

And finally, the shutty off thingy… GRRRR! I know we have to meet new fuel efficiency standards but first they put a 4-cylinder in a Bimmer (twin turbo — turns out to totally have balls) and now some cars engines turn off when you stop at an intersection. It’s amazing that it instantly starts and you can still zip off the line when you press the accelerator but it’s still weird. And I gotta say the AC also goes off. Fortunately, for now, this annoying little fuel saver can be turned off!

I had the opportunity to play with the new 4-Series Coupe when we went to pick ours up. First one they got. It is very similar to ours except it does have a cool looking and functional vent on the front fender behind the tire. The front end is styled a little differently and it has the grill/headlight connection that premiered on the 2013 3-Series sedan. The one we saw was a 428i which has the twin-turbo 4 cylinder engine. Looks like the smooth powerful inline 3.0 6 cylinder we have always had is slowly being phased out. Of course the 4-Series has the joystick and iDrive.

It will be interesting to see how these evolve over the next several years when the time comes for us to move into a brand new one again. Aloha and happy driving!

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Blakey’s iPhone Photos 10/10/13

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Best burger and chowder ever from Daylight Mind Coffee Company and the view aint bad either! Sharky beach therapy, we still don’t have our car back but we have a better loaner. And Ironman is Saturday… screwing up yet another … Continue reading

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Did you just see that?

sharkLynn (eyes still fixated on the water): “Did you just see that?

Blake (eyes also fixated in the water): “What? The big ass tiger shark that just swam by?”

Lynn (still looking at the water): “Yeah, the big ass tiger shark that just swam by.”

I think what was so startling and surreal to us is that this 9-10′ tiger shark was swimming in the exact spot where we had both been swimming not 30 seconds before. The water was incredibly clear, in fact we had commented earlier that we could see our toes on the sandy bottom 5 feet under water. This enabled us to see every detail of this shark, almost like viewing it in an aquarium. It was as if it was in slow motion as it swam by.

Several things then crossed our minds. The foremost being that we had to get others out of the water and let those on the beach know what we had seen. Lynn headed one way and I headed the other to spread the word.

Once we regrouped we discussed how others had also seen the shark. We wondered if there was someone else, some authority, that we should make aware of this sighting. We were in a fairly remote area about a mile from Waikoloa Beach Resort so obviously there were no lifeguards present. We still don’t know the answer to this but I am looking into it.

When we got home we also refreshed ourselves on what to do if we do encounter a shark in the water. We already pretty much know what conditions to avoid and do so although this spot we had been swimming in was not what we would call “sharky”. Just shows that an encounter could happen just about anywhere. Googling “what do do if you encounter a shark while swimming” will provide some good tips.

I’m not sure we’ll really change our swimming in the ocean habits a whole lot because of this but we will probably watch the ocean longer before getting in (always a good idea anyway) and we may be more likely to frequent beaches with lifeguards. We’ll also be less likely to get in the water where fishing activity or spear fishing is taking place or if we can see fishing boats anywhere.

Anyway Aloha and stay safe out there!

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Blakey’s iPhone Photos 10/02/2013

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The boys totally bust a gut over Pupu Rockets and discover life is good. Blakey drives a little blue go kart, more beach therapy, and we visit Ali’i Drives newest restaurants for the first time… nom nom nom. Tequila, weather, … Continue reading

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Blakey’s iPhone Pictures 09/25/13

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The boys are super excited to have Indian Cuisine back in Kailua-Kona… Can we have a greek place now??? Only in Hawaii moments, yummy bananas, beach therapy, marriage equality, revenge and more!

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Blakey’s iPhone Photos 9/18/13

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The boys return from their trip to Oahu. Nothing quite like sleeping late then spending entire days on Waikiki Beach or swimming, only taking breaks for food and beer at beachfront eateries. Also fishies, beach therapy, minions, the first thousand … Continue reading

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Marriage Equality in the Aloha State?


A little while ago I was walking around my office when I received a push notification from KHON 2 News on my iPhone advising saying that Governor Abercrombie would be making an announcement at 1:00 on whether he would be calling a special session to address marriage equality in Hawaii.

This is something that we have been waiting to hear for a while. Now after many years of discussion and slow progress in the right direction, it does look like the Aloha State may finally be poised to pass legislation that would make it the 14th U.S. state to legalize same sex marriage. This is big! This is really really big!

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Miss us? A quick update and other places to find us!

Blake enjoying hammock at beach

I feel like I have been terrible about updating this blog lately and for you faithful followers I apologize. I guess I have been spending too much time in a hammock at the beach. LOL.

Truth is I have been spending most of my time and efforts on my new KonaRealEstateNow.com website and the Kona Real Estate Now Blog. If you have not checked them out you totally should! I have also been better at updating The Boys Hawaiian Life page on Facebook more regularly than here so you can get updates from us there as well… if you are not already.

There are some other places you can check in on us as well if you are so inclined. You can find me on Pinterest and YouTube. So we have not gone totally dark, we’ve  just had a lot going on lately, besides the hammock time. :)

Things seem to be all set for school this fall which I am really looking forward to and am also a tad apprehensive about at the same time. The new car arrived about 2 weeks ago and we have really been enjoying it although it was a little sad saying bye to the old one. And this past weekend we had a little getaway at Mauna Lani, the hammock photo is from that. I posted more photos on our Facebook page if you’d like to see.

Anyway, things are great and I’ll try to get this blog updated more. Mahalo for following!

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