As a Coastie, I have traveled the States for the past 20 years going from coast to coast and one amazing adventure to another.
Read on in this blog to hear stories about my experiences living the Coast Guard life, not only as a military officer but also as a small town Midwestern girl who left home to enlist in the United States Coast Guard.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say about... My Coast Guard Career.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Living the Island Life

In the Coast Guard, you often get “stuck” living in beautiful coastal resort cities. I was lucky enough to get stuck in both Key West and Honolulu.

I mean no puns when I say Key West is living Margaritaville and Honolulu is a constant honeymoon (even if you’re not married). In Key West, shredded jean shorts and a tank top (usually without the proper support if you know what I mean) is considered proper attire. In fact, you often get served first at the bars because you look local. In Honolulu, on the other hand, everyone is always in tasteful aloha attire. Girls’ wearing flowery dresses with a fresh orchid behind their ear and the guys in brightly colored Hawaiian shirts. A better contrast might be to say a cold beer in a plastic cup or a fancy Mai Tai with fresh pineapple on the rim.

Both are amazingly beautiful places but I could only find two things in common between them. One, nobody wears shoes. They all wear sandals or flip-flops or slippers as they call them in Hawaii. The days of tight dress shoes are gone and are replaced with liberated toes. Another, the people are all so friendly. They may come from two very different worlds but are all crazy happy and full of life. Who can blame them?

The only way to truly experience the lifestyle is to live there. Go get a job, find a rental, buy an “island car” and move. It is almost impossible to truly understand the miracle of these places by just visiting once in a while.


Sue said...

I in the Tropics is awesome. Guam was amazing and Hawaii is too. Was the picture from the top of Diamond Head?

LadyCoastie said...

Actually Sue, that picture was taken from the top of the Koolau Mountains facing Kaneohe. You climb up over 3,000 stairs that were laid into the mountain by the old Coast Guard Omega station. The station used the stairs to inspect the antenna stanchions. It is an amazing hike!

Anonymous said...

TO be exact, there are 3,922 steps that lead to the top of the "Stairway to Heaven". I was stationed there from 1984-1986.
When it was built, it was a classified project. On December 7th, 1941, Jap Zeros flew over that same valley as the Stairway to Heaven to attack the Marine Corps Air Field at Kaneohe. At that time, the base had not been built in the valley yet. However, shortly after that, construction began. The U.S. wanted a long range communication facility that could communicate with U.S. Navy vessels as far as Tokyo Bay. originally, the place was a U.S. Navy facility. However, decades later, it was turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard. The USCG turned it into a long range navigation station which broadcast the Omega signal. The signal was so strong that I had amazed friends by taking a regular long fluoresent light bulb, such as you would find in your kitchen ceiling, and take it outside, and watch it light up...without being plugged in!
I was there when a segment of an old TV show called Magnum P.I. was filmed there. Since it's closing, the show Lost has filmed there. In fact, it is the "Dharma Station" on the show. That was long after it was the U.S. Coast Guard Omega Station.