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There is no better fragrance than fresh sea air! Research shows the salty air does wonders for the respiratory system. Those suffering from asthma, bronchitis, sinus pressure and chronic cough often notice a difference in their condition after just one day by the beach!

While the ocean air is therapeutic for the body, it wreaks havoc with everything else. Houses near the ocean can most definitely take a beating from weather elements so it is important to take the proper precautions to protect your greatest investment.

What kind of exterior maintenance does your island home need?

When was the last time you painted the exterior of your home? If it is overdue for a new paint job, always use the very best exterior paint the industry has to offer. The sun’s ultraviolet rays break down the chemical compounds in paint causing it to fade. Dark colors are particularly vulnerable. You may not notice the bleaching until you compare it to a non-exposed area!

Sometimes, during a particularly hot summer you may notice blistering or bubbling of the paint. The paint becomes so hot that it boils like water (sort of). Should it actually pop, repair the area immediately as it could expose the wood or stucco underneath leaving it vulnerable to the elements. Inspect for cracks, sand completely, prime and paint using the highest quality materials. This especially happens with doors, and may need to be addressed every other year.

The sun can also dehydrate paint over time and cause the chemicals to rise to the surface and leave a fine layer of white powder called “chalk”. You can delay this process by priming and painting, again with the best paint out there. It is crucial when painting exterior areas not to skip the priming step.

Near the ocean, salt is the #1 concern as it will slowly destroy any metal surface. If the metal is not naturally resistant (like copper) or powder-coated for protection, it will need to be painted to keep out any moisture. By way of maintenance, wipe down metal surfaces often to prevent the collection of salt-ladened moisture.

Is your home stucco? Stuccoed exteriors have their own set of issues. By the very nature of the product, it’s job is to keep water out, but if the surface should become cracked, water gets trapped between the stucco and your house, potentially causing mold and rot. Check for bubbles to indicate a water problem. This will need to be repaired, possibly having to remove even more stucco to release the trapped water. Homeowners usually paint or use a color-coated top coat to provide moisture protection to their stucco.

If you are in the market for a realistic-looking siding option, consider fiber-cement. This product, made of cement, sand and cellulose, needs little upkeep and requires far less repainting. It is fire-retardant and has high impact resistance against windblown debris. Another plus for this product is that it is a termite resistant material. The various styles can mimic clapboards, shingles and many other siding materials. It is a perfect product for homes with a historical aesthetic.

Maintaining stained surfaces in tropical climates is another big concern for homeowners. Wood surfaces needing attention are easily spotted as they look dehydrated and dry. Expect to maintain a wood stained door or garage door every 2 years at the very least, more often if they are in the direct sun for the majority of the day. If your deck happens to be wooden and is in constant need of upkeep, why not consider composite decking? You will never have to stain, paint or sand again! Composite materials can also be used for front doors, garage doors, fences and anywhere else you would use a wooden product. They are certainly worth a second look to save yourself the time and expense of resealing every year.

With all the salt in the air it is important to have your HVAC system serviced regularly and change your air filters monthly. You may not always want to run your A/C to avoid the expense or you may just enjoy the fresh air of an open window. Either way, remember you are inviting that salty air into your home! Wipe down all surfaces, doors, windows, fixtures and appliances regularly, especially anything metal. This practice will slow the deterioration of your interior items.

Now is the time to check the seals on your windows and doors. Penetrating water can result in the slow decay of window sashes, blinds, flooring and even framing systems.

Check your roof often! Wind, sun and salt air destroy roofs over time and all the more quickly near the ocean. If your roof needs to be replaced sooner rather than later, metal roofing is a great investment. While the cost is somewhat higher that traditional shakes or shingles, these systems last 40-60 years! Metal roofs protect against fire and harsh weather and they reflect sunlight to reduce cooling costs. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors including ones that resemble traditional shakes!

All things considered, the upkeep of your seaside home comes down to keeping every surface as clean as possible, inside and out. Pressure washing is an easy way to remove salt and dirt while also removing any mildew or mold growth that may have occurred. Please familiarize yourself with the proper use of this tool if you are a novice. YouTube has great how-to videos on almost everything and power washing is no exception.

Seaside dwellers have a few extra concerns and certainly more maintenance than the average homeowner, but the pros outweigh the cons by the boatload! You are living a life many can only dream about! Enjoy each and every sun-soaked day!


I just returned from a two-week trip to Japan to attend a level one Sake Professional Course. After I arrived, friends contacted me to see where I would like to eat that evening. They initially suggested the Izakaya, Gonpachi Aka, famous for inspiring the House of Blue Leaves in the Kill Bill movie. I read that this was mostly frequented by tourists and was huge. I politely suggested Warayaki-ya. This is a Japanese “bbq” place famous for cooking with straw! Actually the name in Japanese is straw-grilled shop! Straw grilling apparently originated in fishing villages along the coast of the Kochi prefecture. The dry straw burns at temperatures up to 900 C searing the outside of the meats or vegetables. The atmosphere and interiors are really nice and traditional Japanese. I was the only non-Japanese customer. They do have English menus and the wait staff spoke enough English to be helpful in ordering but my friends did most of the communication.. The waitress brought a amuse bouche of tasty monk fish liver (ankimo). Then we had a seaweed (nori) tempura, that was actually delicious. At that point I noted the reflection of a large bonfire in the window. The chef was preparing their signature dish: bonito grilled in straw in their open kitchen. Fortunately the ventilation system there is excellent. Bonito is also known as skipjack tuna or aku in Hawaiian. It was delicious, not fishy in any way. I wondered how he controlled the straw fire! The dish was accompanied by grilled asparagus, eggplant and an anchovy sauce. They have an excellent sake selection from Kochi prefecture where the straw-fire cooking originated. This restaurant has several other locations in Tokyo. I would highly recommend it!
03-6778-5495 (+81-3-6778-5495)
6 Chome-8-8 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo-to
3 minute walk from the Roppongi Subway Station
Open 5:00 – 11:00 pm daily


February 1st and 2nd…It is time for the Punahou Carnival. From 11 AM to 11PM enjoy the rides, live entertainment delicious food. Don’t miss the beautiful, handcrafted art for sale in the Cooke library gallery. Parking is always limited, so plan ahead.

February 8th and the 10th… check out the heart pounding action at the Pacific Rim Cup featuring professional soccer at Aloha stadium. There will be a clinic for children on February 7th, sign up now. For more information checkout their website:

February 10th… lace up your shoes for the Valentines’s Day Biathlon run at Ala Moana Beach Park. Sponsored by the Waikiki Swim Club, this 5K race courses through the park and finishes with a 1K swim at the beach. For more information visit

February 15th …Grammy award winner Eminem will performing at the Aloha Stadium.

February 18th… is the Great Aloha Fun Run. Yes, it is lots of fun!. Sign up today at There will be free workshops and training programs to get you up to speed. Thousands will participate in a run from Aloha Tower to Aloha Stadium.

February 28th- March 3rd…Wanderlust Oahu will bring together yoga and meditation teachers, speakers, artists, wellness experts and musicians to engage and inspire through activities at the Turtle Bay Resort. For more information checkout this site:


January 25th to February 10th… Noises Off will be playing at the Diamond Head Theatre. This comedy about itinerant actors rehearsing for a flop will keep you laughing.

February 1st-February 3rd… Vanessa Williams will perform at Blue Note Hawaii jazz club at 2335 Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu. For more information call 777-4890.

February 13th-16th…The Manhattan Transfer will sing pop and jazz hits at Blue Note Hawaii.

February 15th…UB 40, an English reggae and pop band , will perform at the Blaisdell Arena.

February 22nd- 24th … the Annual Hawaii Collectors Expo will be held at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Check out vintage art, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, antiques and more.

February 23rd and 24th… conductor Hans Graf and the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will perform Mozart and Bruckner at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Kind regards,
Cathy, Mary and Jeff