Archive for December 2021

2021 November Trip to Big Island   1 comment

November 2021 Big Island

         My nephew Kazu Hernandez reserved Kilauea Military Camp for 7 of us: Claudine & Chloe, Cliff & I and Kazu’s 2 younger daughters, Ailah & Aulia for Veteran’s Day weekend. 

         We left on the morning flight to Hilo and headed directly to Ken’s Pancake House for breakfast. We did some shopping in Hilo at 2 Ladies Kitchen for mochi and Sig Zane for some designer clothing. We shopped for our provisions at KTA and met cousin Elvis Kimura, who works there. We drove to Pahoa town and I was amazed at all the changes there. We drove to Volcano National Park and checked in at KMC. We found out that our 4-bedroom cottage had no kitchen, so we couldn’t cook spaghetti, ramen and other planned meals. We ate dinner at the bowling alley. 

         That evening we drove a short way to a parking lot at Devastation Trail and walked a mile on a paved road and a short way on a dirt path to the lookout area. We had an amazing view of the eruption from the lookout point. The moon and stars were shining and the red/orange lava was spewing. We got there around 9:30 pm and there were several people at the lookout, but we had no trouble getting a good view and taking photos there. Cliff was especially enjoying photographing his first in-person view of an eruption. 

         The next day was Friday and we decided to drive around the south point of the island to Kona. Our first stop was at Punaluu beach where we saw one sea turtle in the shallows. We stopped at the famous Punaluu Bakery and bought all kinds of goodies there to snack on. Onward to Captain Cook, Kona where we had lunch at the Manago Hotel, famous for their pork chops. Right next door we shopped at Kona Chips. We visited my cousins Brian and Winifred Kimura at H Kimura fabric shop in Kainaliu. Also visited cousin Rene at the Y Kimura lauhala shop in Holualoa. I have tons of Kimura cousins in Kona, which is where my Dad was born and raised. We drove to Hapuna beach to enjoy the Kona sunset, and we weren’t disappointed! We drove to Kamuela for dinner and found delicious Chinese food at Jade Palace. We drove back to KMC via the Saddle Road or Daniel K Inouye highway. That night we all went to sleep except for Cliff, who went by himself at midnight for another photo shoot of the eruption. 

         Saturday was a rainy day, so everyone stayed in to rest while Cliff and I drove to Hilo to purchase mochi from 2 Ladies Kitchen (Closed on Sundays) to take home on Sunday. I stood in a long line and waited a total of an hour before I got my orders of mochi. While we were gone, Kazu found a grill to make burgers for lunch. That evening, he made steaks on the grill. After dinner, we played games like charades and jun ken po. 

         Sunday we packed up, checked out and filled gas. Then we drove to Kalapana to visit my friends David Jones and Robert LaMont who have a lovely vacation home there. We drove to Hilo, shopped at Big Island Candies and returned our rental car and flew back to Honolulu. We had a most enjoyable and fun time together on the Big Island! 

Posted December 23, 2021 by lariyasui in family, Pacific, USA

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2021 Trip to New York City and Kansas City   1 comment

October 2021 NY & KC

Cliff wanted to see an exhibit by Yayoi Kusama in NY Botanical Garden. It was on for several months and ended in October. But circumstances with his rental units, prevented him from traveling in September and October. He encouraged me to go by myself, so I could visit my daughter in NYC. I decided to visit Marcus Dowty and Linda Burgher in Kansas City on my way home from New York.
It was my first time traveling alone on standby. Cliff chose flights for me that had ample open seats, so I didn’t have any problems getting on the flights. My first flight was a 10-hr non-stop to Newark. Luckily, I had a whole row to myself near the back of the plane, so I could sleep.
On Friday evening, Erik and Yvette left for a romantic weekend getaway in the Catskills. I took the 2 kids on an East Village Crawl. We ate small bites at 4 different restaurants, including Moroccan & Japanese.
On Saturday, I taught them how to sew by hand with a needle and thread. They sewed their journals to bind them and wrote in their journals. After lunch Noakai had to leave for a track meet and Marlowe and I had the whole afternoon to ourselves. She showed me how to make bracelets with colorful rubber bands. We got dressed and took a Lyft car to the theater to see Lion King. That evening after Noakai returned from his track meet, we ordered take-out for dinner and watched Avatar for movie night.
The family Sunday morning routine is to take the PATH train to NJ across the Hudson River and have a wonderful Indian brunch at Sapthagiri. That afternoon, Noakai had to study and I took Marlowe to a Halloween party sponsored by their building. Later, Erik and Yvette came home & we had pizza rolls for dinner.
Monday, Erik went to work & both kids went to school. Yvette and I had time to pamper ourselves by going to Chinatown for massages followed by lunch. My last day in NY, Yvette & I met her friends Anisha & Tara for tea next door at the Winter Garden.
Wednesday morning I took the PATH to Newark and a Lyft to the airport to catch my flight to Kansas City to visit my friends, Marcus & Linda. It was rainy in Kansas City. The next day, they took me to the Johnson County Museum. That evening Linda and I had dinner with my other KC friends, Anna & Lynn.
Friday was still rainy, so we went to 2 art museums. I loved both the Kemper & the Nelson Atkins museums. I learned the history of the N-A: Mary Atkins donated money to build an art museum and William Nelson donated money to purchase art from all over the world. The result is that N-A Museum has one of the most extensive Asian art in the country. That evening, after we enjoyed famous KC BBQ dinner at home, Marcus & Linda took me to the lovely KC Concert Hall for an amazing Symphony Concert featuring a gifted young violinist.
The sun finally came out on my last day there and we drove to some lovely parks in the neighborhood: Parkville, Kaw Point & Wyandotte Co Lake. We hunted fall colors & found a few trees here and there, but they said in a week, everything will be in full color, so I missed the full glory of fall colors by a week.
I am so fortunate to travel on standby thanks to Cliff’s generosity.



Posted December 22, 2021 by lariyasui in family, USA

2021 Summer Trip to LA-Den   Leave a comment

August 2021 Trip to LA & Denver

         Cliff and I went on our first trip together on standby. He worked for United Airlines for 43 years starting part-time during college and retired in 2015. His last job was in Operations. Before we fly, he checks which flights have many open seats for us to have a better chance of getting on. All his adult life, he has flown standby and before covid, he traveled about 17 times a year, sometimes going to Japan twice a month. This was my first time flying standby, so I learned not to expect anything but to make it on the flights we chose. 

         Due to the pandemic, my daughter Yvette and her family, who live in NYC, had not traveled for almost 2 years. They decided to visit her hubby Erik’s parents in Manhattan Beach in LA for a few weeks in August. I asked Cliff if we could visit her while they were in LA. He agreed and we made plans to go. We rented a car from Turo and found a motel in Manhattan Beach. We also made plans to fly from LA to Denver to visit my sister Christine in Boulder. 

         We took a red-eye flight to LA and our friend, Elbert picked us up with his fancy Tesla and took us to breakfast in El Segundo. He dropped us off at the Aronesty’s home in Manhattan Beach and we got to see Yvette, Erik, Noakai & Marlowe along with Joe & Diane Aronesty, Erik’s parents. That night our whole gang went to FishBar for dinner.

         The next day, Cliff drove me around LA to show me his old stomping grounds of when he lived in LA from the mid-seventies to mid-eighties. We drove to his friend Beverly McAllister’s home for Mexican lunch in her back yard. She is a wonderful gardener and a baker of cookies. She sent some cookies home with us. We had pizza & kale salad for take-out dinner at the Aronesty’s. The next day we all went to breakfast at Two Guns, where we sat outside to eat. We took the kids to Seaside Lagoon at Redondo Beach where they swam. We walked to the Manhattan Beach pier and checked out the small aquarium at the end of the pier. For dinner, Cliff and I took Noakai to Sushi Bei, which was Cliff’s hangout when he lived in LA. 

         Erik took us to the airport & we flew to Denver and took a bus from DIA to Boulder and Chris picked us up at the bus terminal. Chris cooked dinner for us and Desmonne, Brian & Coen joined us. 

         Chris drove us to Westminster Denver to take Shirley Stokoe for lunch at Cava where we enjoyed Mediterranean bowls. Back in Boulder, we shopped at Trader Joe’s. We met Tom & Tyke Wortman, who drove in from Ft Collins for dinner at Chez Thuy. After dinner, Chris drove us up to Flagstaff for the view of Boulder from the mountain.

         The next day, Chris drove us to Red Rock. We hung out at the amphitheater and had lunch at Golden Diner. Back at home, we walked down to Boulder Creek from their house and watched all the picnickers and swimmers floating downriver. That evening, Chris cooked a delicious dinner and Desmonne, Brian & Coen joined us before we left the next morning.

         On our non-stop flight back home to Honolulu, we were lucky to be upgraded to Polaris first class seats! Yay! It was a wonderful trip and I was glad that Cliff got to meet my mainland families and they all got to meet him.

Posted December 22, 2021 by lariyasui in Uncategorized

Christmas Newsletter 2021   22 comments

2021 Holiday Greetings from Lari & Cliff

         Hopefully we are slowly coming out of pandemic mode, so we can return to traveling, sporting events, concerts and partying with family & friends.  

         My daughter’s family: Yvette, Erik, Noakai & Marlowe returned home to Battery Park City in early September after spending almost 2 years in Margate City, NJ during the pandemic. Marlowe is in second grade at Battery Park City public school and Noakai is a senior at Stuyvesant High School nearby. 

         My son’s family: Ryan is an instructor at Shipfitter Shop 11, Pearl Harbor Shipyard. Kara teaches kindergarten at Holomua in Ewa Beach. Jensen is a Junior at UH West Oahu. Madisen is a senior & varsity cheerleader at Moanalua HS. Allysen is a 6th grader at Salt Lake Elementary and is in club Cheer. 

         My brother Bruce Kimura and I used to go dancing before covid and now we occasionally have dinner together. He loves to sing karaoke. He is retired but still does small jobs for friends and family. He helps me around my condo whenever I need odd jobs done. We are each other’s airport shuttle. His baby is Sweetie, a lovable Yorkie.

         My sister Christine lives in Boulder, CO with her hubby Phil Shull. Her daughter Desmonne lives nearby with her hubby Brian Bennett and their son Coen, who is now 5 years old and in kindergarten. They usually come to Hawaii in February, during their winter to warm up at our beaches. 

         My nephew Kazu Hernandez, who is a doctor at Schofield, reserved KMC (Kilauea Military Camp) for the Veteran’s Day weekend for Cliff & I, my niece Claudine with her daughter Chloe, and his two younger daughters, Ailah and Aulia. We took a day trip around the island to Punaluu, Kona, Hapuna beach and Kamuela. We also visited Pahoa, Kalapana and Hilo. During the summers we go tent camping at various beach campgrounds around Oahu with Claudine and Kazu & their kids, along with Madi &Ally. Last year, we camped at Malaekahana and this summer we camped at Bellows.

         Grandma Lari’s Camps: Three times a year, I invite 7 kids to sleep in my condo for 5 days-during spring break, summer break and winter break, starting in 2020 & continuing in 2021. They love to come to play, swim, and have fun together. I taught them how to sew in March of 2020, and now they come with sewing projects of their own. Most of them already know how to cook breakfast and dinner, so they can prepare meals while they are here. They love to bake cookies, swim in my condo pool, take bus rides around town, play in Makiki District Park nearby, play board games, create skits & plays, play scavenger hunt, card games and more. We usually have a movie night with popcorn and Grandma chooses the movie. They love Uncle Cliff’s Instant Pot spaghetti, so they request it each time they come. 

         This year for Thanksgiving lunch, I ordered a delicious meal from LCC (Leeward Community College) culinary school. Cliff’s family came to enjoy Thanksgiving with us at his home in Kapahulu. Cliff’s son Jordan with Easton (5), daughter Dayna with her hubby Cayce and sister Liane with hubby Paul came for turkey lunch. (sorry, but I forgot to take a photo of Cliff’s family) We ate another turkey dinner at Ryan & Kara’s home in Salt Lake with Kara’s sister, Kandyce and her family.

         On Fridays & Sundays I go to Tsutomu Nakao’s Dragon Beat Taiko classes at Jodo Mission. His classes are so much fun! Saturday mornings I go to the Kakaako Farmers Market on Ward and Ala Moana Blvd. Later in the morning I walk with neighbors to Sandra’s condo’s heated pool at the top of Wilder Ave, where we swim & do water exercise-sometimes we do more chatting then exercising! 

         Cliff Kimura and I met on Match.com in September 2020 and celebrated our One Year Anniversary this September. Yanagi Sushi was Cliff’s hangout late at night while he was working swing shift at United Airlines Operations office. He was a late night regular there for years and now we go there every Saturday night. In May his St Louis class of ’71 celebrated their 50th Class Reunion. We go to art museums, galleries, to the beach, dinners, enjoy wine (beer & sake too), watch movies & enjoy sunsets. Cliff enjoys his photography hobby and goes out often for various photo shoots throughout the year, which include Astro Photography, surfers, Raptor planes, sunsets, sports and more. When he is not taking photos, he is editing them on his computer and sharing them on Flickr and on his WordPress blog.

We traveled standby on United Airlines together for the first time in August. We went to LA for 3 days & flew to Denver for 3 days. In October, he couldn’t travel, so I went by myself on standby to New York to visit Yvette and her family for a week. On the way home, I visited Marcus and Linda in Kansas City, MO for a few days. We can’t wait to travel to Japan & hope to enjoy many future trips together. 

May the holidays and the New Year bring you much peace, health & happiness.

                              Love and aloha,

                                Lari & Cliff

Posted December 15, 2021 by lariyasui in Christmas, Christmas news