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Cliff & Lari to Arizona   1 comment

Trip to AZ

April 24 to May 2, 2022

Cliff & I have friends in Arizona and we had planned to visit them in Feb, but changed our plans and went to Tasmania instead. This time we actually did go to AZ. First to Prescott to visit my friends, Derrill & Sandy Fulkerson and then to Phoenix to visit Cliff’s friends Steve Hood & Alise. In all we were gone for a week.

Fulkerson’s live out in the countryside of Prescott, where the lots are large and neighbors are far apart. An ideal location with no light pollution, for Cliff to take evening photos of the milky way, which he did every night, just stepping out the front door. They had dinners reserved for every night at really great places with great food. First day, we went to downtown Prescott where we walked on Whiskey Row that has many historical saloons. The most famous is the Palace Saloon, where we sat at the bar and enjoyed a beer and crispy french fries. That evening they took us to a wonderful restaurant called Essence where they serve all kinds of fish. 

The next day, we drove to Sedona and saw many views of the red rocks. We went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross on a hill surrounded with great views of red rocks. That evening we enjoyed a tapas dinner at El Gato Azul. On our last day in Prescott, Derrill took us around their neighborhood to visit friends with fancy cars, like Bentleys and Rolls. That evening we enjoyed Thai dinner with their son John, grandson Tyler and daughter Cindy. 

They drove us to Phoenix where we met Steve & Alise at Mountauk restaurant in Scottsdale. We switched our luggage to Steve’s car and they drove us to Desert Botanical Garden to see Chihuly in the Desert. We loved the Chihuly sculptures all through the gardens and had dinner at Gertrudes with delicious offerings. We saw more Chihuly sculptures in a building and at dark we revisited the outdoor sculptures which were lit up and glorious to see. The next day we went to Tempe Marketplace mall to see Ken Koshio’s taiko group perform. We had a Japanese lunch and went to shop at Trader Joes before heading home to relax in the pool. Steve made huge margaritas along with guacamole & chips. The third day, we had a leisurely breakfast and drove out to Queen Olive Mill. We looked at all the various olive oils and flavored balsamic vinegars. We had lunch there and shopped. 

We are so grateful for wonderful friends who hosted us and drove us around their areas. Cliff and I flew home via San Francisco and were lucky to participate in the United 75th Anniversary of flying to Hawaii. There were festivities at the SFO gate, on the plane and at the HNL gate. There was Hawaiian music and hulas, gifts for us, free beer to toast on the plane and much more! 

Posted May 18, 2022 by lariyasui in Uncategorized, USA

2022 Trip to Australia   11 comments

As soon as Australia opened up for travelers on Feb 21, 2022, Cliff contacted his Tasmanian friend, Gillian and texted with her to make plans to visit her. He has known her over 20 years and has been there many times to visit her family. He has seen her sons grow up from little boys to big men. We already had plans to fly to Phoenix and Santa Rosa to visit friends but we had to cancel those plans when our Tasmania plans firmed up.

Since United does not fly to Australia from Hawaii, we had to fly to San Francisco and on to Sydney then to Hobart, Tasmania. Tasmania is about the size of Lake Huron or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Many drives were 2 hours long to get to places. The weather there is similar to the California coast… cool and comfortable.

Gill and hubby Ian met us at the airport and drove us everywhere this entire trip. They reserved 4 nights accommodations in Hobart and up the east coast where we enjoyed many wonderful sights. First they took us to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where we held a wombat, fed kangaroos and saw many species unique to Australia, like the Tasmanian Devil and koala bear. They drove us up Mount Wellington for views of Hobart below. They took us to Port Arthur, a former prison compound and many strange and unusual natural formations such as Tesselated rocks & blow hole. On Bruny Island we went on a hike and ran into a wild kangaroo on our trail and to chocolate house, honey shop, whiskey place and had lunch at a beer & cheese place. We went to a few wineries.

They drove us home to Launceston, in northern Tasmania where they have a huge home. We stayed in a guest cottage back of the main house. Gill has many fruit trees in her garden and I got to taste delicious plums, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes and more. Every day they drove us far way to some caves, waterfalls, platypus in the wild, Platypus House to see them up close, Seahorse World, and Cataract Gorge right in Launceston. We met their grown children and grandchildren. Their son Adam owns a distillery making whiskey and gin and he took us riding on his 3-wheeled Harley Davidson. They cooked fabulous breakfasts and dinners and the wine, beer, or other spirits flowed freely. Australia is known for meat pies, sausage rolls that are found at bakeries everywhere. The delicious fish n chips are made with flaky shark meat.

After 2 weeks in Tasmania, we flew to Sydney where we stayed for 2 nights and had a full day to visit sites there. We were lucky to enjoy a wonderful Italian dinner right next door to our hotel and a delicious breakfast across the street. It was raining hard when we arrived, but the rain stopped on the one day we had to tour the city on our own. We walked to the Opera House and took a ferry ride to view the Opera House from Sydney Harbor with a good view of Harbor Bridge. The second night, we had a lovely dinner with the Lastro family, whom I had met in New York a few years ago when they lived in the same condo as my daughter Yvette. This was our first long, international trip together and we hope to travel to many more places in the coming months and years. 

Please enjoy the slide show below by clicking on the right arrow:

Posted March 15, 2022 by lariyasui in Uncategorized

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 2020   1 comment

2020 Holiday Greetings from Lari


Who knew? That we would be stuck at home for months? We are living in unprecedented times and will never go back to the old “normal”. Hopefully, the “new normal” will be much better. I love how Mother Earth has been rejuvenated since we all stayed home… we need to keep caring for Her with less abuse. Traffic has been so easy. We have many blessings during this pandemic.


Who knew? That I would cancel 4 trips: to Australia with Madi in March during spring break, to Myanmar to visit friends in April, to Fukuoka with 3 girlfriends in May and to Switzerland with 3 Pohakea teacher friends in June. Side benefit: saving money!


Who knew? That I would find a new romance in this pandemic? Cliff Kimura and I met on Match in September and are in a happy and loving relationship. We both enjoy travel, wine, jazz, photography and more. In fact, he is an avid photographer with a big camera and belongs to 3 photo clubs. We go on photo expeditions to Kewalos, Sandy Beach, Diamond Head, Pipeline and more for surfing & sunset photos. He gets some nice sunset photos from my lanai. Because we are not traveling, we are spending most of our days and nights together, meeting each other’s families/friends and watching Netflix and Prime Video. His son Jordan has a daughter Easton and his daughter Dayna is married to Cayce.


Who knew? That my new boyfriend would cook for me? And because Cliff retired from United Airlines, that he would share his flying privileges with me? We can’t wait to travel together! We walk to Kaimana beach from his home in Kapahulu, so we get our exercise and enjoy the ocean getting some vitamin sea.
I invited 7 grandkids to sleep over for 5 days for Grandma Lari’s Spring camp during spring break in March. The “Bigs” are 3 high school girls, the 3 “Littles” are girls in elementary school and 1 boy in middle school. We had many fun activities: daily play in my condo pool, playing in Makiki District park across the street, board games & movie nights in the evenings. I taught them to sew their own pillowcases on my sewing machine. They wrote in their journals each evening.


In July, I had them over again for Grandma Lari’s Summer Camp for 5 days in July. More fun activities and this time, they each sewed their own masks. They loved it so much, they requested a Winter Camp in December. End of July, Kazu & Claudine invited me to a camping trip at Malaekahana for the weekend. The 7 kids spent all day in the ocean, we ate delicious food cooked by Kazu and Claudine, crab hunts at night and slept in tents.

I miss my daughter Yvette’s family in New York/New Jersey. They are fine and doing well there. Noakai is a Junior in NY and Marlowe is a 1st grader.


Both Cliff’s family and my family are safe and healthy. We are thankful for our many blessings. Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season filled with love!
Love and aloha,

Lari

Slide show has many photos including many friends, families, visitors and activities during the past year.

Posted December 14, 2020 by lariyasui in Christmas news, family, 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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