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Things I Love About the Big Island's Kamuela (Waimea)

As the saying goes around here, “lucky I live Waimea,” as Waimea has to be one of the most wonderful places you could ever live. I first saw Waimea in the late ’80s on my first Big Island trip. I remember driving up from Waikoloa and seeing this town set in these beautiful green hills.

My dream back then was to someday live in green mountain hills, and here I am today living my dream in Waimea. So, let me tell you a little bit about living in Waimea by telling you some of the things I love about Waimea, also known as Kamuela, if you’re new to the islands or reading a map, but here, we say Waimea.

So, here’s what I love, in no particular order:

  • I love the green hills and how the town is built upon them. Some homes are just perched up on the hills. I never grow tired of looking at those hills when I drive back home, no matter what the weather. Some days there are blue skies and a few puffs of clouds and other days…well, you just have to know that the hills are there under the clouds and the rain.
  • I love the sound of a diesel truck, even better if it’s hauling a horse all saddled up ready to go with a couple of working dogs hanging out in the bed of the truck. Hey, this ain’t New York City here! This is Upcountry Hawaii, Paniolo Country, home of Parker Ranch. You’ll see good old-fashioned, hard working people here. In the beer isle you might see rubber boots up to the calves or hear spurs, and, if you know a few cowboys, your life will be enriched with tales filled with cowboy humor, which can be very funny.

The green hills of Waimea—Lucky I live Waimea!

  • I love a town large enough to have a Starbucks, but not a Walmart. Okay, I do like to shop as much as the next girl, but I don’t really want to have to live in a town that has all the traffic and other stuff that comes with a big town. In Waimea, people stop to let you into traffic, rush hour is more like rush minute at night, and strangers smile at strangers and say hi! Only in a small town will the FedEx man bring you a Christmas package that was addressed to your post office box. When this happened to me, I decided that small town life can be pretty special.
  • I love the rain. There’s a saying in Hawaii, “no rain, no rainbows.” If you’re going to live in a town that’s green, well, ya gotta expect it’s going to rain sometimes. Rain is a blessing here. Rain makes the grass grow, keeps the trees green, and makes for happy horses. Time for a hot bath or a good book, or maybe an afternoon nap. Waimea has some good napping weather.
  • I love being able to get down to the ocean in under half an hour. Okay, sometimes I feel a bit overly blessed with the rain or the wind, or the cooler temps. Then it’s down the hill and OMG…I’m back in Hawaii!
  • I love going to the Post Office ’cause you just never know who you’ll run into that you haven’t seen in the longest time! But, don’t ever be caught talking story in front of the post office by your car! Oh…talk about stink eye! Lots of people here could have mail delivered to their homes, but choose to go to the post office.
  • I love the fact that we have our own theater—as in performing arts, not cinema, several world-class restaurants here or close by, two observatories that have discovered amazing things about our universe, own our local hospital and raised the funds to build it, have 3 or 4 art galleries in town, and have two private schools with students from around the world. Waimea may be a small town, but it is not your typical small town.
  • I love showing Waimea off to buyers. But, even if you’re just passing through the Big Island, put Waimea on your tour list, and you can discover your own reasons why you love Waimea.

I love the Big Island! Aloha!

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Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

March 30, 2011

A GREAT list. And I’m glad it is all just half an hour away from Kohala! Now my additions would be the Saturday farmer’s markets and the Hawaii Life office…

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

March 30, 2011

A GREAT list. And I’m glad it is all just half an hour away from Kohala! Now my additions would be the Saturday farmer’s markets and the Hawaii Life office…

Catherine Klug

March 30, 2011

Pat, you are such a Waimea girl! I’m so glad you were able to move there. Since it is now your backyard, Buyers could not find a better Realtor to show them around. I will meet you at Solimene’s or Pau to celebrate your next closing…

Catherine Klug

March 30, 2011

Pat, you are such a Waimea girl! I’m so glad you were able to move there. Since it is now your backyard, Buyers could not find a better Realtor to show them around. I will meet you at Solimene’s or Pau to celebrate your next closing…

Sharon Brown

March 31, 2011

Pat, I related to your comment about the Waimea post office so much. When the line is long at our Kailua Kona post office, people will grumble. I will turn to them always with a smile and say, “I’ll bet we don’t even wait 10 minutes!” Usually they look incredulous…but it is so true. Waiting over an hour in a Chicago post office way back when….is almost forgotten.

Sharon Brown

March 31, 2011

Pat, I related to your comment about the Waimea post office so much. When the line is long at our Kailua Kona post office, people will grumble. I will turn to them always with a smile and say, “I’ll bet we don’t even wait 10 minutes!” Usually they look incredulous…but it is so true. Waiting over an hour in a Chicago post office way back when….is almost forgotten.

Brooke Derby, R(S)

March 31, 2011

I LOVE Waimea too! Every time I am up there it reminds me of growing up in the Midwest! It feels just like home! I’m with Beth, and glad it is all just half an hour away! Gotta love the cold and the cows!!!

Brooke Derby, R(S)

March 31, 2011

I LOVE Waimea too! Every time I am up there it reminds me of growing up in the Midwest! It feels just like home! I’m with Beth, and glad it is all just half an hour away! Gotta love the cold and the cows!!!

Pat Strausse, R

March 31, 2011

@Beth, Oh…I thought the good thing about Kohala is its just a half hour from Waimea? You’re right on the farmers market – did you know we now have 3 markets in Waimea? That’s actually the topic of a future blog. Pat
@Catherine, I do love Waimea so…and you’re on for luch sometime soon!
@Sharon, Too funny Sharon! But, you are right about the time.
I stopped there one day and wow..what a long line there is at the Kona P.O., everyone mailing stuff back home to the mainland.
@ Brooke, I’m a midwest girl too…guess it shows huh? You can
take the girl out of Iowa but you can’t take the Iowa out of me!
Aloha, Pat

Pat Strausse, R

March 31, 2011

@Beth, Oh…I thought the good thing about Kohala is its just a half hour from Waimea? You’re right on the farmers market – did you know we now have 3 markets in Waimea? That’s actually the topic of a future blog. Pat
@Catherine, I do love Waimea so…and you’re on for luch sometime soon!
@Sharon, Too funny Sharon! But, you are right about the time.
I stopped there one day and wow..what a long line there is at the Kona P.O., everyone mailing stuff back home to the mainland.
@ Brooke, I’m a midwest girl too…guess it shows huh? You can
take the girl out of Iowa but you can’t take the Iowa out of me!
Aloha, Pat

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

April 8, 2011

Aloha Pat – wonderful post! I have to admit, I can’t handle living in the rain (which of course is why I live in Puako, only 9-12 inches per year) but I sure love to hele on up to Waimea and enjoy everything the town has to offer!! And I must say, when the weather is beautiful and sunny in Waimea, it’s hard to beat in terms of sheer beauty and perfect temperatures.

I have to plug the North Kohala Community Hospital where as you know my husband, Dave, is in charge of all the technology, and my friend Kerry is in charge of fundraising. It’s a truly cutting-edge hospital leading the charge in rural hospital connectivity. Of course, the fact that many of our full and part-time residents are heavy-hitters in the high tech industry certainly helps! Ultimately, however, the community should be incredibly proud to have a hospital completely funded by private donations that gives exceptional care right in our own backyard!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

April 8, 2011

Aloha Pat – wonderful post! I have to admit, I can’t handle living in the rain (which of course is why I live in Puako, only 9-12 inches per year) but I sure love to hele on up to Waimea and enjoy everything the town has to offer!! And I must say, when the weather is beautiful and sunny in Waimea, it’s hard to beat in terms of sheer beauty and perfect temperatures.

I have to plug the North Kohala Community Hospital where as you know my husband, Dave, is in charge of all the technology, and my friend Kerry is in charge of fundraising. It’s a truly cutting-edge hospital leading the charge in rural hospital connectivity. Of course, the fact that many of our full and part-time residents are heavy-hitters in the high tech industry certainly helps! Ultimately, however, the community should be incredibly proud to have a hospital completely funded by private donations that gives exceptional care right in our own backyard!

Pat Strausse R (B)

April 9, 2011

@Katie – NHCH, the Waimea hospital has really made a difference on this island. Before we had the hospital, I knew people that had to move off the island because of health reasons and no medical care within reach. Now the hospital has changed all that and is also a great source of jobs…as you know!

Pat Strausse R (B)

April 9, 2011

@Katie – NHCH, the Waimea hospital has really made a difference on this island. Before we had the hospital, I knew people that had to move off the island because of health reasons and no medical care within reach. Now the hospital has changed all that and is also a great source of jobs…as you know!

Islands, Cities, Districts, and Neighborhoods In Hawaii | How To Live In Hawaii

June 16, 2011

[…] Things I Love About The Big Island’s Kamuela (Waimea) (upcountry in North Kohala region) […]

Islands, Cities, Districts, and Neighborhoods In Hawaii | How To Live In Hawaii

June 16, 2011

[…] Things I Love About The Big Island’s Kamuela (Waimea) (upcountry in North Kohala region) […]

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