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Christmas 2019 in Colorado   2 comments

In 1992, our Kimura family had a reunion in Mt Hood for Christmas. The cousins remembered how much they enjoyed being together there and wanted their children to have that bonding experience, so we planned a family reunion for Christmas in Colorado. I found a huge house called Homestead House in Dillon-Keystone area that sleeps all 24 of us (13 adults & 11 kids) with 8 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. We planned this trip well in advance. We set up a Christmas Eve sleigh ride, set menus for shopping and cooking, prepared for skiing, planned for events before and after the Christmas week, and more. Then unexpectedly, Kara’s mom died the day after Thanksgiving, so Ryan’s whole family had to cancel their plans to attend. Now instead of 24, our group was down to 19 people. We had to carry on without them. 

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Claudine and Yvette’s families and Lari stayed in Boulder before and after Homestead House. Kazu’s family and Bruce came just for the Christmas week at Homestead. Those of us who were in Boulder went to the Denver Zoo lights and the Planetarium show at CU campus. On Monday, Dec. 23, everyone drove up to Homestead after some of us did grocery shopping at Costco and Trader Joes. We settled in and bought pizza for dinner.

The house had foosball, pool table and all kinds of games, a fireplace and a kitchen with 2 dishwashers, 2 sinks, an island, and tons of dishes, pots and pans. They had parking for 6 cars and a hot tub outside as well as sleds for the kids to play in the snow.

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Phil just got a hip replacement, and he couldn’t ski so he worked on his puzzle.

On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, the skiers went to Keystone while us non-skiers did more shopping. Since our Christmas Eve sleigh ride included dinner, we didn’t have to cook. All 19 of us rode in a sleigh pulled by 2 mules. During dinner they provided entertainment for our listening pleasure. We sang Christmas carols on our sleigh ride back. It was a fun experience for all.

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Kazu and his girls along with Brian, Coen and Desmonne waiting for the sleigh ride

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7 kids at sleigh ride dinner

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On Wednesday, the skiers drove to Vail while the rest of us prepared Christmas dinner. We had shrimp scampi, prime rib and all kinds of sides. After dinner, the 8 kids were divided into 2 teams for a Gingerbread House competition. Both houses were fabulous, so the judges declared a tie.

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Prime Rib for dinner!

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Claudine always cleaned up!

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On Thursday, the skiers were tired, so we decided to go to Keystone Lake for ice skating. The kids had a blast! For dinner on Thursday, we had Mexican with all the fixings for make your own tacos. 

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Skating cousins: Azlyn, Chloe, Aulia, Ailah & Marlowe

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Skating cousins, Kazu, Claudine & Yvette

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Friday was the last day for skiing… we prepared curry stew for dinner. Kazu’s cousins (on his Dad’s side) who live in Denver joined us with their kids. The 13 kids got to play games like scavenger hunt, card games and fun minute-to-win-it games. 

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While the kids were running around the house playing scavenger hunt, these adults played their own game.

Saturday, we cleaned up, and left the house to go tubing on Copper Mountain. We had a blast! Some of them made a train of 10 tubes sliding down the hill. Then off to the airport for Kazu and to Boulder for the rest of us.

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Our last day at Homestead house.

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8 kids

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Whole group before leaving Homestead House… only Phil & Bruce are missing.

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3-person train at Copper Mountain tubing

Back in Boulder, 3 families did some activities: Yoshiki, Aronesty & Bennett families tried going to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, but it was closed due to high winds. So for plan B we went to Urban Air Adventure, where the kids from 3 to 15 could enjoy indoor rock climbing, zip lining, trampoline, and much more. That evening we went to a Denver Nuggets NBA game at Pepsi Center. The next day, we did a tour of University of Colorado Campus, Yvette’s alma mater. It was very impressive. On New Year’s eve, we had dinner at Christine’s house and on New Year’s Day, the Aronesty’s and Yoshiki’s went home. Lari stayed a few more days and visited friends in Fort Collins and Denver.

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Rocky the Denver Nuggets mascot

Posted February 13, 2020 by lariyasui in Uncategorized

Trip to Portland   Leave a comment

Every other year, TCA (Taiko Community Alliance) holds a North American Taiko Conference. I went to UNLV in 2015, to UCSD in 2017 and this year to Portland State University in downtown Portland. The workshops and performances are amazing. Mary and I were roommates at a nearby hotel and we just walked over to the workshops at PSU. We’d walk by food trucks with amazing food and had deliciousness at the Saturday Farmer’s Market right next to the campus during our break. We took a trip to The famous International Rose Test Garden, where we enjoyed thousands of varieties of lovely scented roses! 

Mary at the International Rose Test Garden

We loved the fresh, juicy peaches and delicious lunch here!

Taiko legend from Sado Island, Chieko Kojima.

Our Odaiko sensei, Isamu Kageyama doing a demo on the Odaiko (large standing drum)

Before the conference, I went a couple days early and spent time with old friends from Hawaii now living in Beaverton, Pam Ferreira and her sister Debby Higa. They took me to Willamette Falls and to lunch.

After the conference, I drove over the state line to Vancouver, WA, to stay with cousins, Jonathan & Heather Steinmann. Actually Jon is the son of my Kimura cousin, Kathy Steinmann, who also lives nearby with her other daughter, Tiffany. I got to meet 3 of cousin Kathy’s children and their families. One son live in Michigan. One night we went to dinner at Kathy’s daughter, Sarah Sherland’s lovely home, with a river and pond in their yard, that Sarah’s hubby, Will designed. I had so much fun meeting all my relatives in the southern WA area.

Jon & Heather have a menagerie at home!

Heather has 4 chickens and a trained cat.

Family dinner at Sarah & Wills home.

Yummy lunch with Kathy & Ron

Faith slept over with me at Heather’s and her sisters visited one day. They are Tiffany’s kids.

We visited the Columbia River, separating WA from OR.

I taught Kathy & Jon Hanafuda

Osso Buco for lunch at Swiss Hibiscus with Kathy and Tiffany.

Martin Wyss was in the kitchen helping Jennie at her Swiss Hibiscus restaurant.

 

Posted November 29, 2019 by lariyasui in Uncategorized, USA

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