Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cheryl's new Fish...

Last weekend, my nephew Jacob (8yrs), played some games at the Japanese Festival and won a fish! He gave the fish to Cheryl (Cheryl's last fish, Mr. Fish, died last year). Wasn't that sweet of him? It's common practice at our house not to name a prize goldfish until it has lived for at least 3 days...

I'd like you all to meet, Itch!

He's the newest member of our family, and lives in Cheryl's room...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Obon Sunday!

We spent Sunday at the Norwalk Japanese Community Center Obon Festival. This is traditionally a Buddhist celebration, but here it's celebrated as a Japanese cultural event. It started with a Hula Show. My mom was in the show. My kids and I agree that she's the best dancer out there... the prettiest too! In the photo she's in the center (with the striped skirt).

Then there is the ondo (Japanese dancing). Here are the kids and my mom all dressed and ready!

Here is us dancing. Going down the line: my mom, my nephew, my niece, my daughter, my youngest niece (you can just see her leg), my son, and me.

We stayed until the end of the marathon raffle drawing. No one we knew won the $1000 prize... but, my daughter won a keychain watch, and my niece won a tree (It's a good thing my brother brought his mini-van!), LOL!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Home from Kauai

Kauai, Day 11 - July 14
Here we are, on our way home!
Aloha Kauai! See you in a couple years!







Ahhhh.... No more roosters at 3am! LOL!


I've had a request for David's famous "seven things to do on Oahu" list. Here it is in it's entirety:


Hi Auntie Joni,
Here's seven things that I would recommend that you do while you are on Oahu.
1. Pearl Harbor
2. North Shore- this is kind of a long drive; if you go here, be sure to stop at Matsumoto’s shave ice - it’s one of the landmarks of the North Shore along with the beaches
3. Hanauma Bay - go snorkeling here, one of the biggest tourist spots
4. Diamond Head Hike - Not too hard, but not exactly a breeze. Gives you a great view of Honolulu when you reach the top. Like I said before, use the bathroom before you go haha
5. Tantlus Lookout - try to go here on a clear day, be sure to bring lunch, there’s a beautiful picnic area right before the lookout, you should drive right by it on your way to the lookout; Visiting this lookout shouldn’t take too long unless you get lost, but if you get the right directions, its not hard to find the place, plus the drive up the mountain is beautiful
6. Nu’uanu Pali Lookout - what makes this lookout fun is it is always VERY, VERY windy, plus it overlooks the other side of the island (which is MUCH more beautiful that the side you will staying on btw)
7. Ala Moana Shopping Center - if Cheryl wants to go shopping, this would be one of the best places to go, along with Kalakaua Avenue (which is right off Waikiki)
Hope your Oahu trip goes well.
-David


P.S. David's Dad recommends the Polonysian Cultural Center in addition to David's list for new tourists to Hawaii (complete with luau). We definitely aren't considered new tourists and avoid luaus whenever possible, LOL!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kauai - day 10

Today's update: With swimming workouts, running workouts, soccer workouts, an orthodontics appointment, and a cross country parent meeting, it was a busy day (but uneventful day).

Kauai, Day 10 - July 13
It's our last full day on Kauai, and our day of fun and adventure. My family and my nephew took a snorkeling cruise of the NaPali coast. We left on a pontoon speedboat from Waimea. We got held up a little a the missile range until we were allowed to pass(they were still shooting off missiles).
First, here is the sight that we woke up to this morning... A real Hawaiian Rainbow!
In this first picture you can see the beach we went to yesterday, Queen's Pond, in the background:

Isn't the coastline beautiful?



Can you see what these are? Spinner Dolphins! They started following us. There were hundreds of them! It was very fun! Occasionally, one would jump into the air and spin for us!



Can you see the cave behind my nephew?

Here we are inside!

Finally! Snorkeling!!!

But where are the fish?

There's the fish!!!!



Here's me too!


Here's more fish!

video

When we get back, the first thing we do is head for the shaved ice!



Then it's back to grandma's house, where it started to rain. This is our first rain on Kauai! I guess you don't need an umbrella if you're wearing your swimsuit...

Then it's family night... with a little HanaFuda...

... and some Hawaiian "Go Fish!"...
"Do you have a Lauwiliwili nukunuku 'ol'ol?" LOL!

That's it! Except for some packing... we leave tomorrow at noon!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kauai - Day 9

Chris didn't make the cross country team... he still has one more try at it next week. He said he'll make it for sure next week. Good luck to him!

Kauai, Day 9 - July 12
Today is going to be a beach day. We planned to start at Barking Sands Beach (where the sand barks as you walk through it) and continue to PoliHale State Beach. Here were our directions to Barking Sands:
1) Take the main road, and turn before it dead ends into the Missile Base.
2) Take the first "Haul Cane" road.
3) Bear left at the Monkey Pod tree.
Uhmmm... Monkey Pod tree? Yep! There's a Monkey Pod tree!

After we get to the beach we need to walk about 1 mile down the beach to reach Barking Sands. BUT, we couldn't get there... the military had the beach closed because they were shooting off missiles that weekend. We did have some fun at Queen's Pond. See the island in the distance? That's Niihau (the Forbidden Island).





The kids discovered that rolling down the sand dunes is good fun!

Talk about sand everywhere!!! <



Sliding didn't work very well... the sand was way too soft.

Uhmmm... flying doesn't work either...

video
My brother in the mini-van, got stuck at one point and decided to turn back. Our rental car had all wheel drive, so we adventured on to PoliHale State Park. The people there call it the end of the world. This is it! The end of the road, the end of the beach, ... the end of the world...

After a trip to the end of the world, we must have shaved ice! Jo-Jo's 60 flavors!



Then it's lunch, back to Salt Pond Beach, and naps before... Bon Dance! We go for the food and the dancing.

I only danced a couple of songs. I get self-conscious when I don't know the dance... The kids don't mind. They just follow along. They danced the entire first set!





That's it for day 9! Only one more full day in Hawaii!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kauai - Day 8

We'll start with an update from today... Cheryl is still practicing with the college soccer team. They played a scrimmage today, and the coach pulled Cheryl aside and told her not to stress out because she didn't start today. The coach told Cheryl that she is very impressed with what she has seen so far. Good luck to Cheryl!

Chris has cross country try-outs tomorrow... good luck to Chris. This is the first time his friends will see his new hair! Hahaha!

Kauai, Day 8 - July 11
Today we were invited to Auntie Tsurue's 3yr memorial service. Buddhists have special memorial services on 1yr, 3yr (and I think 7yr?... I don't quite remember) anniversaries of a person's funeral. We got dressed up and headed to the church where we burn incense in Auntie's honor.

After that we headed to the memorial lunch on the Japanese side of Wong's restaurant in Hanapepe. I can't remember the name of the restaurant either... I'm not doing too well today... ;o) Anyway, here are some photos from lunch:



After lunch my brother's family headed back to the house to rest up for Grandma's 90th birthday party. My family headed to the beach. What's a day in Kauai without a trip to the beach? Here are some photos from Ledgate Beach.



A day on Kauai is not complete without shaved ice!

We were just in time to meet up with the rest of the family at the cemetery to visit my dad's parent's graves. The kids lit some incense and put it in the ground in front of the grave to honor my grandparents.

Then we headed to Wailua River for my mom's mom's 90th birthday party! Happy 90th Birthday Grandma K!!!

Here are some more photos from the restaurant.






All in all, a very family day... but then that's the fun of going to Kauai... visiting with lots and lots of family!!!