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Worth shipping wine, foodstuffs, kitchen equipment, (furniture?) to Oahu? [Moving--Time sensitive! ; >]

chaoticsoul Jan 19, 2011 11:35 PM

Hey y'all--

So I'll be moving to Oahu next week, the result of a job offer that came through suddenly. I'm very excited, and as part of the offer I have a relocation allowance to bring along some of my stuff. Basically I have a moving "cube"-- 6x7x8, or about 336 sq. feet-- and now I'm desperately trying to figure out what is really worth including.

So the question is: IF YOU HAD A SHOPPING SPREE ON THE MAINLAND, WHAT WOULD YOU PACK IN THE CUBE?

Assume you're starting with nothing, except clothes. Also assume that you really like food and really like to cook, and intend on being able to outfit a kitchen somehow. Further assume that you're a bit of a wine snob and have access here to some pretty good selection/prices.

To put it another way: for the difference in price/selection, is it worth shipping out wine or foodstuffs? If so, what kinds? Do blenders at Costco in Hawaii cost the same as blenders at Costco in LA? Is there anything that you really CAN'T find, or is so expensive to make it really worth importing?

(And, while we're at it-- anything else worth considering as I plan my move? I only get to do this once... ; >)

David

  1. chaoticsoul Jan 19, 2011 11:51 PM

    Oh yeah, and-- spices, seasonings? I'm in NYC right now and I can get ANYTHING!

    1. j
      Joebob Jan 19, 2011 11:58 PM

      If you have bottles of best Burgundies e.g. Le Montrachet, I would bring them and similar high-end wines (in your wine cooler, if portable). They are hard to get here. Anything ordinary is available here at comparable prices. High-end furniture, the same. All oriental ingredients are available here. Bring your truffles, saffron, etc. Vermont Shepherd ships its cheese here. If good, bring your art: not much good here. Odd things are expensive here e.g., tortillas and potato chips. Kitchen appliances e.g., Kitchen Aide mixers are probably about the same here.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Joebob
        j
        Joebob Jan 20, 2011 12:00 AM

        P.S. Bring expensive European stuff, nothing Oriental.

        1. re: Joebob
          chaoticsoul Jan 20, 2011 12:24 AM

          Hey, thanks for the reply. What you said makes a lot of sense-- definitely not importing Asian stuff. I assume I can probably get as much, or more, there. I'm thinking more about appliances and weird little ingredients like you mentioned (tortilla chips, really?). I didn't think about art-- that's a great suggestion.

          Let me give a spoiler. So far my plan is to pack:
          - a mattress/boxspring/bed, dresser, nightstand
          - 1 World Market "Mission" dining table, plus bench, maybe chairs. (I need one and it's on sale)
          http://www.worldmarket.com/product/in...
          - 5 padded shipping cases of wine: 1 box French bordeaux and etc, 1 box Italians, 1 box Misc non-U.S. (Spanish, Australian, etc), 2 boxes Misc Californian (from places I know
          )- 4 bottles of good single-malt Scotch (I can get Lagavulin here for about $50, I'm assuming it's significantly more...?)
          - Cutting boards, knives, mixing bowls, dishes, etc, etc...

          Anyone know where to get a good wine cabinet? = >

          1. re: chaoticsoul
            u
            UES Mayor Jan 20, 2011 04:44 AM

            Oh gosh-simply too much work!!!!! Just pack your clothes and buy everything at Costco or Walmart for essentials. Eat out first month or so then buy quality things as time goes on. All you need to do is buy a frickin bed!!!

            1. re: UES Mayor
              monku Jan 20, 2011 04:55 AM

              The only difference in prices at Costco in Hawaii and mainland is the price of gas is higher at the Hawaii Costco's.

              1. re: monku
                chaoticsoul Jan 20, 2011 06:19 AM

                Thanks, that's exactly what I need to know. Even gas prices that people are quoting to me seem perfectly (un)reasonable-- a gallon is $3.60 here in New York, too.

              2. re: UES Mayor
                chaoticsoul Jan 20, 2011 06:27 AM

                UES Mayor: That sounds like the Aloha spirit... ; > Still, life isn't always about essentials, and I've been living out of two bags for more than a year. If I have stuff, and I get a shipping allowance, why not bring it out rather than live without or buy (more) quality things? (I'm assuming, of course, that I'm going to leave/sell all of it there when I return.)

                But, you have a point. It does have a peaceful simplicity to it.

                1. re: chaoticsoul
                  manomin Jan 20, 2011 09:16 AM

                  I'm confused. If you love wine so much are you bringing it with you on the plane? If you are shipping it in a container pod the conditions will be completely wrong for it to stay temperate and arrive drinkable. Tamura's has plenty of fabulous wines and has a special cool room with higher end bottles. I shop in Chicago often for wine and find prices comparable here when I go to Tamura's or R. Field. Tortilla chips are not that expensive....nor are tortillas and there are locally produced products (Sinaloa for one.) I agree spices might be something you would want to bring but remember they get "clumpy" and lost their integrity quickly due to humidity conditions. - although that may vary depending on which side/where on Oahu you live.
                  We also have Macy's (you're not moving to Siberia) with great sales on small kitchen blenders, Target and as mentioned Costco. There is also Ross which has great pots and pans and Y. Hata the restaurant supply store. Enjoy your move.

                  1. re: manomin
                    j
                    Joebob Jan 20, 2011 10:55 AM

                    Hi manomin,
                    What is the address of the Tamura's with the cool room? It's time for me to drink another great white Burgundy. Do they have Le Montrachet?
                    I agree that shipping is bad for wine, but keeping it at 55-57F for a time will allow it to recover to a great extent.
                    Chips and tortillas are 2-3X what they were in TX. We could get 2lb of corn for $1.99.

                    1. re: manomin
                      Bill Hunt Jan 21, 2011 05:36 PM

                      There are wine shipping services, that will handle fine/rare wines quite well. I would coordinate the shipping for over-night, after a point that I know I would be available to receive it. As stated, one does not want fine wines to take a "sea cruise."

                      Now, there are some good wine shops on O`ahu, and one that I know of on Maui (lost one there not too long ago), but I cannot imagine liquidating my cellar. I used such a service, when just moving from Colorado to Arizona (about 90 cases), and they stored the wines for me, until I had completed my wine cellar in Phoenix, in a temp-controlled environment. In the years hence, not one of those bottle was damaged, though a few remain untouched.

                      We I in that position, I'd pack the All-Clad, the Riedel glasses, the fine china, and that is about it. Oh, my Tempurpedic mattress. The wines would be shipped by a service (now up to about 6K bottles), after I drank all the "regular wines" in a few blow-out parties for my friends.

                      The rest, I'd just buy, and pay the prices for items in "paradise."

                      Enjoy the move, and aloha,

                      Hunt

            2. f
              flavrmeistr Jan 20, 2011 10:58 AM

              Burn it. They have all that crap in Hawaii.

              2 Replies
              1. re: flavrmeistr
                i
                Island Jan 20, 2011 11:04 AM

                +1

                1. re: flavrmeistr
                  manomin Jan 20, 2011 11:45 AM

                  I'm with you on that one flavrmeistr! Who needs 2# of corn chips unless they are having a party? They get stale too fast here. TAMURA'S (the one I like) is on Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki.
                  Maybe you should call them and see if they have exactly what you are looking for.

                2. KaimukiMan Jan 20, 2011 01:00 PM

                  Bring the things that make your home your home. Bring things that are too expensive to replace. Remember that experienced nomads say that every time you move, you loose 10% of your possessions to loss, breakage, theft, whatever. Keep an eye on the things that are important to you, make sure they are packed securely and that they make it into the container.

                  You can buy almost anything here, albeit some of the more exotic stuff may come at a price. Most of the rest you can have shipped here. Edibles would be one of the lowest things on my priority list, unless it is a particular brand of something that you just know you can't find many places.

                  We have 3 grocery chains, we have costco, wal-mart/sams, we have target and k-mart. We have macy's and sears... we don't have penny's any more. We have nordstroms, we have williams sonoma, we have neiman marcus. We have several wine shops (tamura's, fujioka's, the wine stop, vintage wine cellar, and liquor connection among the most popular) We even have a sake shop.

                  You are gonna be just fine. ALOHA!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                    manomin Jan 20, 2011 01:03 PM

                    Well said - as always K-Man!!

                    1. re: manomin
                      KaimukiMan Jan 20, 2011 02:07 PM

                      Thanks, you had good points too.

                      One thing that I forgot to mention, this is the 50th state. We speak english (or close to it) we use US currency, and visa, master card and/or american express are accepted.

                      (a friend's mom is coming for a visit and was unclear about all that)

                  2. m
                    MRMoggie Jan 20, 2011 03:34 PM

                    Do not ship any wine with your household items. It will be baked with temperatures that may suprass 100 degrees for up to up to two or three weeks, by the time it sits on docks and in warehouses. It will NOT recover afterwards, regardless how cool your store.

                    Instead, talk to a local Oahu retailer, such as Tamura, and see if they will provide temperature controlled storage for a given period of time for a number of cases (like six or so) and air freight your best wines, the ones that are really special to you, directly to them. Plan on letting it spend a month or so settling.

                    While there are good wines available, my experience is that many of the more delicate ones may be slightly oxidized from the heat during shipping. The best distributors in Hawaii use temperature controlled containers to ship from the mainland to Oahu.

                    Talk to a good wine shop in NY about shipping and they can provide you with information -- and you may want to buy the top end items directly yourself after the move. (I'm talking about select high end special wines, such as Montrachet or a classified growth.)

                    Many day- to- day wines sell for substantially more in Hawaii because of shipping, but that doesn't mean you should air ship a pallet load, just your best selections and carefully buy the rest once you've settled.

                    Home Depot and Costco sell wine coolers, but don't always stock them and may not want to ship them to Hawaii, so this is one piece of furniture you might want to buy and have shipped with your househould items. Get one that's refrigerated, not electro-whatever cooled, and has a humidity control plus digital controls.

                    I'm (somewhat) retired from the wine business and we spend a couple of months a year on Oahu. I bring my wine with me, but I'm a major geek, and honestly think the wines that show best with the local foods are things like good Anderson Valley/Oregon PInot Gris, Gruner Veltliner, and younger Pinots (try a nice lower alcohol Pinot or Burgundy with ahi sashimi). Beaujolais and Rose's are also terific. Skip the high alcohol, ultra concentrated wines...it's too warm for them, at least for us.

                    As others have noted, there are multiple sources for cooking gear, knives, etc. in Honolulu, so use your valuable time to figure out the wine shipping (your Scotch is safe on the boat) and get ready to experience a beautiful part of the world. Aloha, dude.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: MRMoggie
                      chaoticsoul Jan 20, 2011 07:34 PM

                      Thanks all for your thoughts! I'm really excited about arriving. As the conversation progressed, I got the feeling some of you may have misunderstood my proposal or level of seriousness. Let me clarify:

                      1. I am not proposing to ship over cases of 1998 St. Emilion signed by the winemaker. I'm talking about wines that I like, that are somewhat difficult to find *here* (and presumably moreso there), that are moderately priced, and that I already own. As a rule, I don't drink expensive wine: there's too much good inexpensive wine, if you know what you're looking for. (Then again, my definition of "expensive" has shifted somewhat over the years...) In other words, no Montrachet, just "special" wines that are one or two steps above daily drinking wines (which I'm sure I can buy locally).

                      2. No, I'm not taking anything refrigerated on the plane. At this point I'm willing to take my chances shipping the wine in the container (or how do you think most of your wine arrives in HI?). I'm still a bit skeptical that my bottles, packed in styrofoam, stuffed in a pod, nestled in a shipping crate, stacked under a pile of other shipping crates, hanging out in San Diego or crossing the Pacific in January, is going to incur the kind of horrendous damage that will make it undrinkable. Yes, I know that metal intensifies heat and that my crate could sit in the sun. Yes, I know it's still warm in January. I'm still willing to take my chances: in my experience, wine's not as delicate as people make it sound, and this is a good time of year. I could be wrong.

                      3. While I appreciate the sentiment that says, forget it, don't bring anything, buy it on the local economy, or burn it-- I already own accumulated kitchen stuff, and I have a shipping allowance. Why not use it? It's not very much trouble at all; it's already packed, and it's better than feeding consumerism by duplicating items or living with crappy stuff from Target. (No offense, Target.) The only question is: what to pack and why? I've gotten some great suggestions here (spices, art, furniture) and some differing opinions on wine. OK-- fair enough.

                      4. I've read up about Tamura's and Fujioka's and Costco: that's probably where I'll go for daily stuff. And yes, I know that Hawaii has electricity, paved roads, paper currency, and internal plumbing (at least in most parts!). I'm mostly just trying to decipher the messages I've gotten that warn of dire, dire sticker shock. (For instance: "i couldn't find a salt grinder; finally I found one and it cost me $30." "Definitely bring furniture. If you get a furnished place, you'll be renting with the cheapest, most worn and oldest furniture that the owner has available...") Now, I'm coming from New York, so I think maybe folks are overblowing it a little-- but I honestly don't know. That's why I appreciate peoples' thoughts here!

                      It will all work out. I think I have a better sense now, and anyway the worst that can happen is that they drop the container in the ocean and I get to buy new stuff. 8 p

                      1. re: chaoticsoul
                        KaimukiMan Jan 20, 2011 08:37 PM

                        I didn't mean to insult your intelligence about the money or language or ... (nor do I believe you felt I was trying to), but people do have the strangest ideas about Hawaii. Being from NYC the sticker shock won't be to bad on most things, surprising on others. You seem like an urbane, sophisticated, reasonable person. Yes, it will all work out. But please, don't expect this to be 'just like everyplace else" any more than New York is. But if you were looking for that, I don't imagine you would be considering moving here.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                          chaoticsoul Jan 20, 2011 09:19 PM

                          Sorry, didn't mean to sound legalistic-- it's the over-caffeinated mainlander in me. I took it as intended, with good spirits (so to speak). I should have explained though that I've visited the islands, as a tourist, I just didn't take a good inventory of wine stores or kitchen supply depots (ramen, however?--yes, that I did).

                          I am hoping that it is as little like everyplace else as possible-- because then what would there be to experience?--with a few comforts thrown in for good measure.

                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                            u
                            UES Mayor Jan 21, 2011 03:54 AM

                            Hey KaimukiMan-You forgot of all things to tell person not to forget their passport!! Oh boy-I'm amusing myself again.

                            1. re: UES Mayor
                              manomin Jan 21, 2011 08:56 AM

                              You are funny UES! I hear people all the time say "back in the States" where do you think you are? Did you need a passport to get here?!

                              The other thing about shipping your things is that it will not come immediately off the ship, often it can take a week or more for the container to unload then you have to coordinate the date for the movers to bring it to wherever it is you are living. Hence, your wine will sit out in the sun at one of the piers used by Matson.

                      2. h
                        honu2 Jan 20, 2011 09:56 PM

                        The difficulty in providing advice is that one doesn't find out what Hawaii doesn't have until one is shopping for it here. It can be very frustrating if you have a certain brand in mind or are particular about what you want. For example, if you must have a Nespresso single-cup coffee maker (rather than a Keurig) you're going to find a better range of offerings in New York than in Honolulu and you'll be hard put to find it and the Nespresso single-cups at any store in Hawaii but Williams Sonoma. Same goes for mid-priced crystal wine glasses, flatware or a set of dishes in a pattern you like or cast-iron frying pans/bakeware. If you're fond of painting or sculpture, you should definitely bring that with you.

                        1. KaimukiMan Jan 21, 2011 10:25 AM

                          There are some things you won't be able to get here, but its going to be more an issue of living without. We do not have a decent deli in the state, head over to your favorite deli right now and enjoy your sandwich. I beleive Carnegie deli does ship now... you will get sticker shock. You can't find good rye bread or black and white cookies. In general you will be disappointed with baked goods. Gives you something to look forward to when you go home. And yes, people have tried opening deli's, but people here don't see spending $15 for a sandwich as a reasonable thing.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                            j
                            Joebob Jan 21, 2011 11:25 AM

                            Spot on as usual. Too, too true, sob, sob.

                            1. re: Joebob
                              KaimukiMan Jan 21, 2011 04:40 PM

                              Thanks joebob, I did forget to add that we look forward to chaotic's contribution to our discussion as a new resident, always good to have a fresh look at things in here!

                              added edit to manomin below: 35 years for me manomin. how i missed fresh sourdough and seasonal vegetables - both of which are far more available now.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                manomin Jan 21, 2011 04:49 PM

                                I'm still lamenting the lack of the large bottles of Rain vodka, the large bottles of Wild Turkey 101 and of course, Trader Joe's! This thread kind of reminds me of us 26 years ago!

                          2. c oliver Jan 21, 2011 11:48 AM

                            Don't know how much your relocation package is worth so operating in the dark here. But you seem to be writing like you own very little and either would be buying stuff to ship or buying things once there. Don't you own the basic kitchen basics? Is the allowance so small that you're not able to take what you want? I've worked long in the past with relocating expats (international) and this just confused me. Do they give you the money and you spend it as you wish?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: c oliver
                              c oliver Jan 22, 2011 08:33 PM

                              OP, I really wish you would reply this. There's so much info missing.

                            2. e
                              emu48 Jan 22, 2011 07:53 PM

                              I wouldn't be bringing any swell wines out here. First of all, there are lots of wine options here these days. Second, the climate here is not conducive to storing wine for very long. You really want to drink it pretty soon after you buy it. You're likely to find yourself drinking more whites and fewer reds. Again, it's the climate. I moved here 24 years ago. I brought wines, olives, all kinds of stuff that was scarce at that time. It was a good idea then. It's not now. Plus, I don't have much hankering for the big reds I used to drink (and collect by the case) in California. When I came here, it was impossible to find decent cheeses. The great god Costco changed that. You won't see lots of obscure little artisanal cheeses from Europe like you see in a big mainland city, but you'll be pleased with what you find. There's even decent bread here now. Things have changed a lot since I got here. And there are still the delightful obscurities to seek out, local and otherwise: my current one is Lao sausages, made only by one or two or three mom-and-pop enterprises around Oahu. (Same goes for Thai sausages ... the predominant strain of Thai cuisine here is northern, with heavy Lao influence). If you like Thai food, you can sample it or make it in a more authentic way here because small farmers grow an amazing array of Thai veggies, fruits and herbs that are scarce or unknown in most mainland states. If you're coming to Honolulu, start exploring Chinatown, where you find stuff you never see anywhere else. Just wash the hell out of everything you buy there ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGXcv2...

                              1. e
                                emu48 Jan 22, 2011 08:20 PM

                                Re kitchen equipment: Amazon.com won't give you free shipping for groceries out here, but they will give you free shipping for most else, as long as your order is at least $25. After years of dealing with incompetent retail store people who have a famous local attitude called ainokea, (it's pidgin ... say it slowly and you'll figure it out) I said to hell with it. I don't buy anything here except gasoline, medications and groceries. I need a new skillet or new knife or new MicroPlane or just a pack of bamboo skewers and some ink cartridges? I punch up Amazon.com. It's here in a few days, and it's always cheaper than buying it in Hawaii. Traffic here is a nightmare, so going shopping for anything sucks. Then when you get there, they don't have it, don't know when or if they'll get it, etc. Eh, ainokea. And I no care if their lousy way of doing business makes them all go broke. Mo bettah, as far as I'm concerned.

                                1. chaoticsoul Feb 1, 2011 11:45 AM

                                  Thanks very much for all your thoughts! I'm sorry I went AWOL there for a bit, I was caught up in all the craziness of moving, flying, jetlagging, hotel hopping and car shopping. (I actually packed out AS the blizzard was coming down... nothing better than sheets of ice raining down your neck as you try to get one last box in!) Anyway, I didn't want you to think I wasn't paying attention-- just really flat out exhausted.

                                  So I arrived on the island Friday, and I'm happy to say that from what I've seen I think I did it pretty much right (at least for me). I did pack out about five cases of wine: that seemed to be the focus of controversy, so I'll tell you how they fare when they arrive and I can open a few. I suspect that they will be fine; I probably would not have tried this in the summer, however.

                                  I went out to Tamura's my first day (I know, I'm obsessive) and was very pleased with the selection-- they had a lot of the less-popular varietals that I love and wasn't sure I could find. And, frankly, I think the prices were pretty comparable to what I would find most places on the mainland. At the same time, they only had one of the wines that I packed (the delectable Juan Gil Monastrell), so I feel pretty good about bringing out the rest. Again, no one's risking thousands of dollars in expensive French imports: these are little-known gems that I have found and collected through years of wine tasting in California, Argentina, France, and Italy. They're more valuable by virtue of being hard to find than by price tag.

                                  As far as other stuff, I'm happy I brought out my furniture and (some) kitchen equipment. Basically I packed everything that I would be happy to live with for a while but wouldn't mind leaving behind whenever I depart again; a decent compromise. If I really love it here, and can afford it, maybe I'll ship out the rest later-- but for now I'm sure I'll be comfortable.

                                  Food-wise, I'm thrilled. I remember eating well here in the islands but I don't remember so many interesting and exotic ingredients! I went to the KCC Farmer's Market on Saturday and was in heaven: I can't wait to make passion fruit sorbet or taro chips or deep fried abalone. They even had truffle oil, so I doubt I'll be hurting much. Diamond Head Market was also awesome; I bought a blueberry scone for the next day's breakfast but ended up scarfing half of it in the parking lot. I even had a cheesecake this morning from a market in Waikiki-- not New York, but pretty darn good.

                                  So now I'm looking for housing (mostly, Honolulu, Kailua and Kaneohe). So far the main hurdle seems to be finding a smaller place (i.e., 1 or 2BR) with a good kitchen. Electric stoves abound! : P Ideally, I would have a small house where I could start a garden... but I might trade that for a sunset view. Thoughts welcome.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: chaoticsoul
                                    KaimukiMan Feb 1, 2011 03:24 PM

                                    depending on your budget, i may know of a place (albeit with a electric range). kaimukiman2000@yahoo.com

                                    in the meantime looking forward to your continuing posts.

                                    1. re: chaoticsoul
                                      manomin Feb 1, 2011 09:44 PM

                                      Welcome! You the husband goes every Saturday to KCC and he often stops at Tamura's on the way home. It's a long way from Kaneohe but he loves to visit all of our farmer friends!

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