Six years ago, after Gary had closed the film production company, Lascaux, and I was still writing for D, Gary and I had the crazy idea to escape Dallas for a few months to our favorite place in the world, the Big Island of Hawaii.
We boarded a plane with four suitcases, three cases of wine, one Yoda, and one happy couple ready for an adventure. Those four months 6 years ago taught us that we loved the island more than we expected, and figured out how to get wine there (obviously a key element to living with the Cogills). In the midst of starting a new business, speaking circuit, and podcast, we said yes, we could live on an island.
Four years ago we sold our home in East Dallas, gave away most of our belongings to wonderful neighbors and friends, made sure every winery knew how to find me, and left.
Those final few days in our Texas home were bittersweet. It was the home we were married in, where countless dinner parties and Christmas night celebrations made memories that we will hold for a lifetime, and where we started our lives together.
It looked more beautiful the day we departed than it ever had before.
But, we were off on a new adventure. On September 11, 2017, we landed in Kona ready to see what our Hawaii life would bring. We found jobs, we found a house, we found that having a Costco membership is the only way to survive on the island, and we settled in.
Those first few years were crazy as I was still writing for D, contributing for KXAS, traveling the world chasing the grape, growing this website, doing the podcast, and both of us working full-time.
We found time for an occasional sunset and a little beach time, but visiting an island as a tourist is much different from working on an island.
But, in our Hawaii life, we took the time to refocus on each other, re-center our lives, reconnect, and flourish. And Yoda thrived.
Then, the pandemic came, life on the island essentially shut down. There were weeks where we saw only 5 or 6 people total, as living on the Mauna Lani property usually filled with tourists was empty.
Then new faces started showing up, new owners, new kids, new friends. Our cul-de-sac became a community, and socially distanced cocktail parties on the lanai became our reality. And, though we still were not able to fully appreciate our Hawaii life, as beaches, parks, and pools were shut down, we had the time to enjoy the beautiful Mauna Lani property, watch the wild goats and turkeys take over, walk the golf courses, breathe the air, honor the aina.
Life on the island is still not where it should be, as tourism slowly begins again. We were both re-hired after being furloughed at Lahaina Galleries, which we have had the opportunity to run on the Big Island together since last year. It is an amazing experience to work for a fine art gallery, and share the stories of our artists, find the similarities between wine and art/film and art, and make people happy by bringing beauty to their homes and lives.
But, sadly our island life has now come to an end. Circumstances out of our control made it impossible to stay, and graciously, the gallery has offered us positions in California. The Big Island location of Lahaina Galleries has closed and we are starting a new adventure with the gallery in Newport Beach. We arrived at our new Corona del Mar home last night at 2 am with 4 suitcases, 3 cases of wine, one Yoda, and one happy couple on a new adventure.
When we departed on Tuesday the island had never looked as beautiful as it did that day. We soaked in the sun, had one last fruity cocktail, watched the honu play in the surf, looked across the ocean at Maui, and though sad, we’re at peace. The friendships we have made will endure, and we know we’ll visit again soon.
But for now, come see us at the gallery in Fashion Island if you are in town. We would love to see your face. Wish us luck! #Cheers