Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

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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Traveling & Making Connections   1 comment

Traveling & Making Connections
Over the past six months, I have been traveling domestically to visit friends and relatives. By staying with them or sharing a meal, I re-connect with loved ones near and far. Before I leave, I make arrangements to visit with different friends and relatives, asking if I could stay with them for a night or two. Then I rent a car and drive from house to house, just spending quality time with them. I don’t want them to go out of their way to entertain me or take me site-seeing in their area. I tell them that I just want to hang out with them in their daily life: chores, errands, soccer games or whatever they are doing, I would just go along with them.

Last October, 2018 I flew to the Bay area, because Hawaiian Airlines had a sale. I visited with Paul and Sigi in Point Richmond and went to a Halloween party with them. Then to Vacaville to stay with the Golden family, who were renovating their house. On to Lafayette to stay with Lovelle, my taiko friend and lastly to Monterrey to stay with my Pahoa HS classmate, Daniel and his wife Toki. (Sad note: I am so glad I spent time with them, because Daniel just died recently.)

Sigi and me at Halloween party

Sigi and Paul in Richmond Point party

Diane & Bronce in their unfinished kitchen in Vacaville

Chad and Cody at home

Lorin, Phil and Lovelle in Lafayette. Lorin and Lovelle are taiko friends.

Toki and Daniel in Monterrey. Daniel just died in May 2019.

In November 2018, I made a last-minute trip to LA, when I learned that Yvette and family would be in Manhattan Beach visiting Joe and Diane Aronesty for Thanksgiving. So I booked a flight and stayed with the Aronesty’s. We got to have dinner with Norway trip friends, Patti and Shunji, who live in Torrance. We also spent a day with Erik’s relatives from San Diego and New Mexico, going bowling and having fun with them. Mostly, we just went to the beach every day.

Diane, Yvette and Marlowe in Manhattan Beach

Thai dinner with Shunji and Patti and the Aronesty family

In January 2019 I flew to Long Beach airport, a new route for Hawaiian Airlines. Patti & Shunji picked me up and took me home to Torrance, where I stayed for 2 days. Then they kindly and generously loan me their car and I drove to Culver City to visit my cousin Ann and her family there! It was my first visit with Annie and her family and I had a blast getting to know her and her kids and grandkids! Then I drove to northern LA, near Glendale, where my childhood friends, Bev and Ethel Jane (AKA Ettie) live. I then drove to Fountain Valley to visit my former student, Richard & Debbi Ross and then to Nancy Bauer’s home in Fullerton. (I forgot to take a photo of the two of us.) She had just lost her husband, Jim, and we shared experiences. I ended up back in Torrance staying with Roger’s high school classmates, Reto and Nani. The next day they dropped me off at Long Beach airport.

Shunji, Patti, me, Sharon and Wenshing having dinner. We met on a tour of Norway in August 2019.

Cousin Annie and hubby Trace in Culver City

Downtown LA with Annie

Bev Nii in LA

Ettie Nii in LA

Debbi and Richard in Fountain Valley

Nancy w/Jim before he passed.

Nani & Reto in Torrance

In March, I flew to Seattle and first stayed with Phil & Jane in Renton. They are Pearl City HS classmates of Yvette. Then on to my cousin’s daughter, Elda in Bellevue. Then I drove to Federal Way to stay with 2 young doctors, Eve and Jenn, who took me to a friend’s birthday party in Bremerton, and to get a Korean massage the next day. I had lunch with Brett Hudner and his girlfriend Lauren. The next day, I met Wendy & Bridgett for lunch in downtown Seattle. Lastly, I stayed with TJ and Pam Bauer who live in a lovely home on Lake Tapps.

Phil & Jane Pearl City HS class of ’84 now live in Renton

Elda in Bellevue

Jennifer me and Eve on ferry to Bremerton

Lauren and Brett at Korean lunch

Wendy & Bridgett used to work for Symetra, now at Strategic Planning Partners in downtown Seattle

Pam and me in their living room. Zander is photo bombing behind me

TJ & me before he left on a business trip.

In April, I flew to NYC to visit with YENM (Yvette, Erik, Noakai, Marlowe). We celebrated Marlowe’s 5th birthday at a bowling alley party. I took a bus trip to Laurel, MD to visit cousin Gary & Sally. Every visit they have their kids and grandkids come for dinner. Then to Severn, MD to visit Sharmaine, David, Colin and Addison. (I forgot to take a photo of the Hornsby family!) Sharmaine is my cousin Brian Kimura’s daughter. I returned to NY and spent another weekend with YENM, going to another birthday party, this time at a Karaoke room in Korea town. Then I stayed with Shari Tamashiro in a nearby hotel. We spent 4 days eating our way around the city, going to art museums, getting massages and seeing 4 broadway shows.

Date with Marlowe to see broadway show.

Marlowe’s bowling birthday party

Matt & Audrey w/Layla, Grandma Sally, w/Quinn sleeping in front, Billy and Kat w/Lily and Grandpa Gary on far right. In Laurel, MD.

Hornsby’s new home in Severn

Sharmaine waiting for bulbs to bloom in spring

East Village crawl: we went to 3 restaurants! Noakai, Marlowe and Grandma Lari

Shari and I enjoying omakase dinner at Tori Shin.

Shari and I at Whitney Museum

We loved the flower show at Macy’s

In June, I flew to Denver to visit my sister Christine and her family in Boulder. The first night, I stayed in Fort Collins with the Wortmans. They always invite their kids to come to dinner whenever I visit and I have watched their grandkids, Marshall and Audrey, grow up through the years. Chris and I flew to Omaha for a 3-day visit with Kaitlin, Shaun, Kaia(3) and Liam(1). Kaitlin is cousin Brian’s youngest daughter, sister of Sharmaine in MD. It was my first time to Omaha, and Kaitlin with her 2 kids, took us to Old Market with cobblestone streets, to the fabulous zoo, to Lauritzen Garden, to Bob Bridge, and more. Back in Boulder, we visited Brian and Desmonne and played with Coen(2), went to the Farmer’s Market, visited Shirley Stokoe in Denver, had dinner at Riffs with Leslie-taiko friend from Denver(no photo), and I helped Chris cook Father’s Day dinner.

Tom and Tyke Wortman, Fort Collins

Audrey, Marshall, Brian and Lori-daughter of Tom and Tyke

Kaia, Kaitlin and Liam at the museum in Omaha

Chris and I on the Bob Bridge over the Missouri River on the state line.

Playing with Coen in his ball pit.

Grandma Chris with Coen

Fathers Day: Phil, Des w/Coen, me, Chris and Brian

Posted June 29, 2019 by lariyasui in family, USA

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2017 August San Diego and LA   1 comment

2017 August San Diego and Los Angeles

Mary and I decided to attend the Semi Annual Taiko Conference, this year located at University of San Diego campus. On my flight over to SD, I sat next to Christine Noble and we chatted almost the entire flight and became friends! We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites in La Jolla and rented a car. Since we got there a day before registration, we drove to Alpine to visit my friend Carmen Shagham. She showed us around her estate and all the work she has done in her yard. Then we went to lunch at Montana Grill Café.

Carmen and I are in her back yard.

After a lovely visit with Carmen, we drove to the UCSD campus to register for the Taiko Conference. Elsie was waiting for us, then Lorin and Lovelle came to join us for the Welcome Reception.

Elsie, Mary, Lorin, myself and Lovelle at Taiko Welcome reception.

Taiko Kanikapila-people just jump in and play!

On Friday we had opening session and breakout workshops all day and in the evening we enjoyed a Taiko Concert. We repeated the same thing on Saturday.

I was honored to meet Kristy Oshiro, awesome drummer!

Sunday morning was the closing session. After the closing, I drove down to Coronado Island to meet Mel and Karen Tanaka for lunch and to visit their lovely home on the island. Then I drove to Temecula to stay with Ali Nash. Her hubby is a firefighter in Long Beach so he was gone. We had a nice dinner downtown at Public House.

Mel grew up in Ewa Beach: his family owned Tanaka Store. He and Karin live on Coronado Island.

I stayed in Temecula with Ali Nash. Her sister Heather Bown played volleyball at UH and the US Olympic team.

The next morning, Ali had made me a bracelet with the beach glass that I gave her. Then I drove off to Anza to visit cousin Paola, her hubby Phil and daughter Beca, who was working at a campground on a lake. We hung out by the lake enjoying the sun before heading to the village for Italian dinner at Ferro.

Phil, myself, Paola and their daughter Rebecca at the lake where Beca works for the summer.

On Tuesday, I drove to Los Angeles to stay w/Tom and Margie Hernandez, Kazu’s Dad and Mom. Margie made Nopales-cactus. She cooked chicken, beef, beans, salad and Tom’s sister Rosemarie brought 2 peach pies. We had a feast! The kids all came for dinner and Tom’s brother Angel brought Grandma Hortense. Renae brought her baby, Quetzal, so it was a wonderful family reunion!

I stayed with Tom and Margie Hernandez in Los Angeles. Tom is Kazu’s dad!

Wednesday morning I had to say goodbye and drove to LAX to catch my flight home.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in USA

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2017 New York, London, VA & MD   1 comment

2017 October
NY, London, VA-MD

I found a good deal on Gate1 for air and hotel to London. So I asked Debi if she wanted to go with me, and she said yes, because she’d never been to London. I have been there twice before, but never went to the museums, and so I planned to go to some London Museums. I flew non-stop on Hawaiian Airlines and stayed with Yvette for a few days. I visited Marlowe’s pre-school and spent time with Yvette and Marlowe during the weekdays. On weekends, we hung out with the whole family. I usually try to give Yvette and Erik a date night, and stay home with the kids while they do their own thing. So this time, I took Marlowe to the movie theater to see My Little Pony and then dinner at Hudson Eats while Noey was with his friends. On Sunday, I went with the 2 kids on PATH to NJ for brunch at Sapthagiri, their favorite Indian $10 brunch buffet. I like to stop at the threading shop to have my eyebrows threaded for only $6. We met Miko and Donna for late lunch with Donna’s parents. I had a date night with Noey, and we had tons of food and fun doing the “East Village Crawl”-we ate at 3 different restaurants to try different kinds of food!

 

Sunday brunch at our favorite Indian buffet in Jersey.

We had a late lunch with Miko and Donna and her parents.

East Village Crawl with Noakai.

Monday, Marlowe, Yvette and I took a car up to 6th Ave Michael’s store, shopping at Trader Joes and Old Navy, then lunch at NY Burger. That evening, I went with Erik and Marlowe to watch Noey’s soccer game then home for dinner. The next day, I read a story to Marlowe’s pre-school class and sang a song.

Marlowe has 3 teachers: Miss Janet, Miss Gyro and Miss Mildred.

On Wednesday, Yvette and Marlowe flew to Germany to visit Tara and I relaxed, packed and took the subway to JFK and met Debi at our gate for our red-eye flight to London. We arrived at Heathrow on Thursday, Oct 19 and took a city transfer to our hotel. They gave us a room right away so we could shower and rest then we walked around to eat Fish n Chips for our dinner at Hobsons. On Friday, we at breakfast in the hotel and caught the tube (London’s subway) to Leicester Square to buy discount tickets at the TKTS booth for The Mousetrap, a long-running mystery by Agatha Christie. We walked to the British Museum and had lunch there. Then we spent the afternoon riding on the HOHO (hop-on, hop-off) bus. We sat upstairs and enjoyed a relaxing tour of London. Then we went to see The Mousetrap play, after having some difficulty finding the theater. Afterwards, we saw Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant, so we had dinner there and took the tube back to our hotel.

At the British Museum

 

Victoria & Albert Museum

On Saturday, we went back to Leicester Square to buy discount tickets to see An American in Paris at 2 pm and tickets for Lion King at 7:30 pm. After getting our show tickets, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where we spent 2 hours enjoying the exhibits. Then to our matinee by the tube, a light supper, then to our evening show at Lyceum Theater for Lion King.

We loved Lion King!

On Sunday, we got up early and took the tube to the Coach Station for our bus tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. Our guide was Lucy and she was very charming and our bus driver was Ricardo. First stop was Windsor Castle, where we saw the Queen Mary Doll House and the State Apartments. Then a bus ride to Stonehenge then to Lacock village for lunch at The George Inn, oldest Pub in Lacock. Then a bus ride to Bath-by then we were tired so we just shopped.

Windsor Castle

Stonehenge

After breakfast on Wednesday, we checked out, stored our luggage and went to Camden Market and then to lunch at Taste of India. We caught a cab to Heathrow, flew back to NY, arriving close to midnight, and said goodbye there. Debi stayed overnight near JFK and I took a cab to a hotel in Chelsea.
Tuesday morning, I caught the GoBus to Vienna, VA for only $18. It was a large and new bus that arrived at 2 pm at the Metro stop in Vienna and Janne Hudner picked me up. We cooked dinner and watched Dancing with the Stars. The next day, Janne and I went to the movie Marshall after breakfast, and it was wonderful! After lunch, I borrowed Hudner’s car and drove to Laurel to cousin Gary and Sally’s home. We chatted and relaxed until dinner of Salmon, peas and rice noodles. Their Siamese cat, Tubs had passed away, and I played with the other Siamese, Crocket before bedtime. Thursday after breakfast we relaxed and drove to Ellicott City. We walked down Main St, checking out the many shops and had lunch at Trolley Stop. Then we shopped at Trader Joes and Savage Mill closer to home. We prepared dinner and Kat, Billy and Lily came and Matt and Audrey followed soon after. We all enjoyed the baked chicken dinner and of course, 14-month-old, Lily was the center of attention.

When I was there, they had just recovered from a huge flood, and now this June 2018, there was another flood in Ellicott City.

Kat, Billy and Lily-the golden child!

Front: Matt, Audrey and me Back: Sally, Gary w/Lily and Kat

On Friday, we relaxed all morning until we went to Mission BBQ for Navy Day lunch with some friends. Back home we rested and worked on organizing old photos from Aunty Carol, Gary’s mom who passed away. After lunch, I drove to Severn to stay with Sharmaine, David, Collin and Addison. After dinner, we went to watch Addie play soccer and she is dynamite! Even the ref came over afterwards to say she was his favorite player of the game! The next day, Collin left for a boy scout camping trip. We had quiche for breakfast. I helped them clean closets and went to help sell Girl Scout cookies. We went to Casa Dela Nonna for Italian dinner.

David, Addison and Sharmaine live in Severn, MD

On Sunday, we had breakfast burritos and went to help sell GS cookies, but it was too rainy so we closed up shop after half an hour and Addie’s soccer game was cancelled. After cleaning Addie’s room, we had lunch and I left Severn to drive back to Vienna, VA to return Hudner’s car. We had cannelloni for dinner with Dennis’ Mom, who comes every Sunday for dinner.
Monday morning, I had to leave for the airport, so Dennis dropped me off and I got home after a layover in San Francisco.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in Europe, USA

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2017 Thanksgiving in Northern Cal   Leave a comment

2017 November San Jose
I fly to San Jose whenever Hawaiian Airlines has a sale. I rent a car and drive from one house to another to visit friends/relatives in the vicinity. This time, I stayed with Paul and Sigi in Point Richmond overnight, then to Santa Rosa to stay with Scott and Taylor. Tay showed me the devastation from recent fires in the newer and upscale hills area that all got burned. After a little shopping, we hung out and Tay cooked salmon for dinner.

2 of Sigi and Paul’s 4 doggies!

Taylor in their back yard! Scott is MIA-came home late from work.

The next morning, I drove east to Alamo to stay with cousin Carolyn. Her daughter, Jessica and family were there from LA for Thanksgiving week. On Wednesday, we celebrated Jose’s birthday with dungeness crab for lunch and crab pasta for dinner. On Thanksgiving day, I helped with dinner preparations and neighbors joined us.

In Alamo for Thanksgiving, my cousin Carolyn, Justin, Jordan, Jessica and Jose.

Friday after Thanksgiving, we shopped and had left-overs for lunch! After lunch, I drove to Lafayette to stay with Lovelle, my taiko friend. Lorin and Lovelle live near each other, and I met them 2 years ago at Taiko conference in Las Vegas. Three of us went to a Peruvian restaurant, Barranco for a delicious dinner. The next day, we spent the morning at Sausalito, walking and window-shopping. We had a delicious lunch at Scomas. Then to the city to shop at Muji and home to attend Taiko class.

Peruvian dinner at Barranco with Lovelle and Lorin.

On Sunday, I drove to the city to stay with Susan, Yvette’s high school classmate. We went to SFMoMa for lunch and enjoyed the art in the museum. My favorites were the spider sculptures by Louise Bourgeois and Walker Evans, prolific photographer of signs, faces, people on the street, and more, from all over the US. We went to tapas dinner at Contigo and had a very nice dinner with a bottle of red wine for me n Tom.
On Monday, Susan and Tom went to work, so I was on my own. I drove to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park then walked to the Japanese Garden. I drove to Ocean Beach, past Cliff House to Lands End for a walk in the woods and along the coast. What amazing scenery! After Susan and Tom came home from work, we went to B-Star, a Burmese restaurant-Yumm!

Art!

Giant spiders by Louise Bourgeois

Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park

Forest at Lands End

Next morning I left at 5:30 am to drive to San Jose for my morning flight home.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in USA

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2017 Pahoa HS Reunion in Las Vegas   Leave a comment

2017 September Pahoa Reunion in Las Vegas

Chris and I decided to attend together, so I arrived on Sunday morning and she arrived a couple hours later. We rented a car and drove to Trader Joes first thing! Then we went for a $20 foot massage (which is really a full body massage) and had Vietnamese lunch at my favorite place on Spring Mountain Road-LV Chinatown. We visited my friend Tiger Todd and Elena where they live there are lakes and ponds so we fed the ducks and koi. After that we checked in at the California Hotel. We met Scott and Janis Kinmore and had dinner with them at Honey Salt in Summerlin.

We visited Tiger and Elena and fed the koi and the ducks.

Pan roast at the Oyster Bar!

Monday, we took Janis to massage with us and went shopping afterwards. Back at the hotel we went to the Slot Tournament. For dinner we went to Carrabs with Greg and Tammy Pau and Scott and Janis. Chris, Janis and Tammy are 1969 Pahoa HS classmates. Back at the Cal, we socialized at the Hospitality Suite.
Tuesday we went to Palace Station Oyster Bar with Scott and Janis for brunch. Then we went shopping, and got massages (every day! for $20/hr). After more shopping we hung out at Hospitality Suite before going to our respective Class dinners. So my class of 1961 went to Main Street buffet with classes of ’60 and ’62.

Classmates, Joann, Wayne, me, Daniel and Gloria.

Class of ’60

Wednesday, I took Chris to $5 eyebrow threading on S Rainbow Blvd. In Hawaii, it costs $20! Then we got our massages. We checked out the Bellagio Garden. We decided to try two burger places, so first we drove to Summerlin to try Bachi Burger where we shared the Kiki burger w/side of brussel sprouts. Then we drove to the Strip and shared a Wahlburger with a side of string onion rings. Both were delicious! I could not choose one over the other. That night was the Pahoa HS banquet in the Aloha banquet room in the California Hotel.
Thursday, after Chris met the Kinmores and Paus for breakfast, we checked out and went to get our last massage before returning our rental car and going to the airport. I had a nice chop salad at the terminal restaurant before my flight home.

Christine’s classmates at the banquet.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in USA

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2017 December to Las Vegas   Leave a comment

2017 CAFG to Las Vegas
Dec 1-11, 2017

I work part time for Chinen&Arinaga Financial Group in Mililani. The entire staff was treated to Las Vegas for the 25th Anniversary of the Corporation. Gwen and I planned all the fun activities while in Sin City for the 30 participants. But first, I flew to Phoenix to visit the Fulkerson’s in Prescott, AZ. I had fun in downtown Prescott with Derrill and Sandy, enjoying the Christmas lights and gingerbread houses and more. I stayed in their beautiful and huge home, and we visited a neighbor who had a newborn baby donkey. Derrill had a war going on with a gopher that refused to die no matter what Derrill tried! It gave Sandy and me a huge laugh whenever D would check on the gopher every morning.

Derrill, Sandy and Lari

Fulkerson’s house is so huge, you have to walk a mile from one end of the hallway to the other!

Derrill’s war with the nasty gopher.

Then I flew to Vegas and rented a car and first thing I did was go to eyebrow threading and massage. Then I drove to Dannette’s new home, where I stayed for one night. We went to IKEA the next day and a fabulous buffet lunch at M Casino. Then I visited Tiger and Elena before checking in at Orleans Hotel, where the whole CAFG gang was staying.
The next day, we went shopping and prepared for the activities for Friday. On Friday morning, everyone gathered at the Chinen’s suite for explanations for team activities. Orleans has several bowling lanes at their bowling center so in the morning, we went bowling. Then after lunch, 7 teams were assigned for the Scavenger Hunt. Each team had a car and chose which items to accomplish on the long scavenger list, which included the Venetian and the Bellagio Hotels and ending at the Town Square Mall. We celebrated with dinner at Texas de Brazil.

Alan, our CEO, had knee surgery and had to use the scooter. His wife, Flo, is the photo bomber!

Orleans bowling alley

The blue bowling team

The pink bowling team

The green bowling team

Purple scavenger team with a diamond necklace at Tiffany’s.

Blue scavenger hunt team at Victoria Secret

Yellow scavenger team with 3 blonds!

Red scavenger team at Victoria Secret.

Orange scavenger team found a redhead.

The pink scavenger team found the last place to meet.

On Saturday everyone got to select a fun activity: They could stay and gamble, go shopping, get spa treatments, or try Top Golf at the MGM hotel. For dinner we went to Hikari for AYCE for 37 people. At dinner, we announced the winners of the scavenger hunt… very high competition amongst the teams! Fun was had by all. On Sunday we checked out and left for home.

Hikari AYCE for results of the scavenger hunt! Party time!

This was the 4th place team, who had to give hugs to strangers at Hikari. Mike wasn’t happy!

 

On free choice day, some guys went to Top Golf.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in USA

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2017 Denver in September   Leave a comment

2017 Sept. Denver
Sept 25 to Oct 2, 2017

My sister Christine is a new grandma, so I had to visit them in Boulder to see this golden child. Brian and Desmonne Bennett named their son Coen who was born in Dec 2016. So he wasn’t a year old when I first saw him. I took the bus from Denver Airport to Boulder, where Desmonne picked me up. It was very cheap and an easy one-hour ride. I stayed with Desmonne and Brian because Christine and Phil had not returned from their trip to Italy. First things first: I had to eat at Riff’s. The next day, I drove to Westminster to visit Shirley at home. We had a lovely visit before I drove back to Boulder. Christine’s 2 besties, Debra and Leslyn came over for dinner. We had a great time chatting. And of course, Coen was the center of attention!

Grandma Lari meets Coen for the first time!

The Bennetts at their Pearl Street front door.

Debra, Brian and Leslyn: 2 Aunties visit!

On Thursday, I drove to Fort Collins to visit Lynda at her friend’s home and we had breakfast and caught up with each other. Then I drove to Wortman’s and stayed with Tom and Tyke. Their daughter, Lori and her family all came for dinner. We had Tom’s famous meat loaf and Tyke made baked butternut squash –yummers!

Brian and Tom in back. Lori, Tyke and Lari in the middle Audrey and Marshall in front

I visited Robbie Stokoe at his bioengineering lab.

After breakfast on Friday, Tyke and I took their dog Kennadie to the Vet hospital to be checked. Then I drove over to visit Robby Stokoe at his bioengineering lab at CSU. Shirley’s grandson is a grad student there! I knew him since he was a baby! Then I drove back to Boulder.

Coen in Roger’s silk kimono

The whole gang at the Boulder Farmer’s Market on Saturday: Lari, Brian, Desmonne w/Coen, Christine and Phil.

On Saturday, Chris and Phil picked me up and we went to the Boulder Farmer’s Market. Desmonne, Brian walked over with Coen in his stroller. We relaxed in the afternoon. The next day, we had lunch at Riffs then we went shopping.
Monday morning, I caught the bus to Denver Airport to go home.

Posted June 25, 2018 by lariyasui in family, USA

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June 2015 to NY, VA, MD, LV   4 comments

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Roger walking from BnB to Yvette’s apartment in Battery Park City

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We took Noakai to the top of Freedom Tower

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We had dinner at Miko’s restaurant, Serafina Meatpacking

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Roger at Hudner’s home

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Sharmaine and I having wine in Severn, MD

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Roger with Addie and Collin

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Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant in Frederick, MD

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Matt and Audrey wedding

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Dinner with Dennis and Janne Hudner

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Las Vegas Waipahu reunion w/ Nani and Reto

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4 L’s taiko sisters at UNLV

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Taiko class with Tiffany at UNLV

 

Presenting the latest episode of

“Hawaiians on the East Coast and Vegas”

starring: Lari and Roger

May 27 to June 15, 2015

 

       We were invited to a wedding in Maryland, so we added on New York City and connected to Vegas for a class reunion making our trip three weeks long. First, we flew to NY to visit Yvette, Erik, Noakai and Marlowe (YENM) for a few days. We stayed at an AirBnB apartment close to their apartment in Battery Park City, right near the World Trade Center. We went to the broadway show “On the Town” and I saw “Kinky Boots”. We watched Noey play little league baseball, just a couple blocks from their apartment. We took Noey to the top of the Freedom Tower the day it opened and saw the awesome views from 104 stories up. We went to the World Science Festival at Greenwich Village, where the kids could do all kinds of hands-on science activities.

We took the Chinatown Bus from New York City to Arlington, VA. It cost $27 each and took 4 hours non-stop. Dennis Hudner picked us up at the bus depot and took us home. We stayed with Janne and Dennis for two nights and they loan us a car for a week. The first night, Janne prepared a nice supper and the second night, they took us to Clarity, a very nice restaurant in their neighborhood. After that we moved to an AirBnB in Hyattsville, MD close to University of MD campus in College Park. From there, we drove up to Laurel to visit and have dinner with cousin Gary and Sally. And the next night, we drove up to Severn to visit and have dinner with cousin Sharmaine, David, Collin and Addison.

I went by myself on the metro into DC one day to Senator Mazie Hirono’s coffee hour and another day to Congressman Mark Takai’s coffee hour. I got to meet other guests at the coffee hours and both the Senator and Congressman shared their goals and committees that they sit on in Congress. I discovered the Postal Museum right next to Union Station, and spent a couple of happy hours there.

Then we drove to Frederick MD staying at another AirBnB so we could attend the wedding of Matt and Audrey Shiomichi. The visit to Frederick, MD was so much fun! It is a small town about an hour NW of DC. We lucked out because they were having an Art Festival, which is held there the first weekend in June. On Friday night, we went to Volt, Top Chef’s Bryan Voltaggio’s signature restaurant. We sat at Table 21, only 8 seats in the kitchen, with 21 courses! It was fabulous and we enjoyed watching the chefs in the kitchen. After dinner, we went to a local bar to join the bride and groom-to-be having drinks with their friends. On Saturday, we spent the whole morning at the Art Festival, then drove out to see two covered bridges and get some fresh ice cream at the South Mountain Creamery dairy farm. Then we got dressed for the wedding and drove to the Stone Manor country club for the elegant and charming wedding and reception. Everyone (except Roger) danced the night away. We all had a grand time! Note: Roger has a difficult time walking, limiting his activities.

We returned to the Hudner’s home in Vienna on Sunday to return the car and the next day, Dennis drove us to the airport and we flew to Las Vegas for Roger’s all-class Waipahu HS reunion. At the California Hotel, we had fun at the hospitality suite talking stories with old and new friends, watched the slot tournament and attended a banquet where everyone gathered for a final dinner. I made sure to get a $20 massage almost every day while in Vegas. Roger and I rode the huge ferris wheel, The High Roller at the Linq before I dropped him off at the airport.

I stayed back for 3 days in Vegas to attend a Taiko Conference at UNLV. It was fabulous! There were hands-on workshops for us to learn techniques and exhibits and sales at the Marketplace and awesome performances at lunchtime and after dinner. My taiko sensei, Kenny Endo was one of the workshop leaders. I made friends with Leslie, Lorin and Lovelle, and we were the 4 Ls. We had so much fun, talking and laughing. After the conference, everyone left, and my flight was late at night, so I spent the evening with friends Danette and Jason, who live in Vegas. We went to massage together and then to dinner at Hikari for AYCE (all-you-can-eat) sashimi and sushi.

I am so happy that we took this last trip together before Roger died a month later.

 

Lari’s Top Ten:

10 Meeting the 3 L’s at Taiko conference: Leslie, Lorin and Lovelle

9 Enjoying the Art Festival in downtown Frederick, MD

8 Seeing Kinky Boots on Broadway, such a wonderful musical production

7 Taking Noey to the top of the Freedom Tower

6 Seeing friends at the Waipahu HS reunion at the California Hotel in Las Vegas

5 Attending coffee hours at Senator Hirono and Congressman Mark Takai’s offices

4 Matt and Audrey Shiomichi’s wedding

3 Taiko conference at UNLV

2 Visiting with family and friends

1 Table 21 at Volt (Top Chef Bryan Voltagio’s restaurant)

 

Posted April 17, 2016 by lariyasui in USA

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November 2014 Dubai and NYC   2 comments

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Erik, Marlowe, Yvette and Noakai in Battery Park City near the Freedom Tower and Wall Street

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Noakai attends Battery Park City School, a short walk from their apartment

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Our tour guide, Mounir

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Burj Khalif is the tallest building in the world

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The view from the 124th floor of the Burj Khalif

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Desert Safari wild crazy ride over sand dunes

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This is so much fun!

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Desert safari camel ride

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belly dancer

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Camels for sale at the market

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Gina took us to lunch at the Marina beach mall

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The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

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Our Dubai tour group

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Parade!

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Brrrr… it is cold waiting for the parade to start!

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Snoopy!

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Thanksgiving lunch with Yvette and Marlowe

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Grandpa Felix and Grandma Gina and some cousins in Brooklyn.

Presenting the latest episode of

“Hawaiians in Dubai”

starring: Lari and Debi

November 14 to 28, 2014

 

On Facebook, I noticed that one of my friends lived in Dubai and I thought perhaps it would be interesting to go there. Then I saw a discounted Gate1 tour on Travelzoo to Dubai and decided that I would go. I asked 3 people before my friend Debi said yes, she would go with me. Meantime, my daughter Yvette and her family decided to move to NY City from Durham, NC, where they lived for 8 years. So I visited them before my trip to Dubai and everything worked out fine. I went to their apartment in Battery Park City, next to the freedom tower a few days ahead of Debi, and helped Yvette organize and settle into their new apartment. When Debi arrived, we stayed in an Airbnb in Brooklyn and flew out the next day to Dubai.

Dubai is one of 7 emirates in the United Arab Emirates. Our tour group consisted of 19 of us, and our guide, Mounir was very knowledgeable and organized. We had a city tour of Dubai the first day and as we drove around the city, we couldn’t help but admire the amazing modern architecture of the city. We went to the giant aquarium at the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Island and then to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalif 124 stories high with a view of the city. We went to the Souk, a marketplace, where we could shop and bargain for jewelry, spices and more.

The next day we had a free morning, so my friend Gina who lives there, picked us up and took us sightseeing to the Marina area, where we had lunch. In the afternoon, we had a special desert safari tour that took us over sand dunes in Toyota Land Cruisers on a rough and crazy ride. We arrived at the camp where we rode a camel, watched the falcons who are trained to hunt, and had a delicious buffet dinner seated around a large stage. Two dancers performed, a man who could spin around for a long time and a belly dancer. After we got back to town, we asked our driver to drop us off at the Dubai Mall where we could watch the dancing waters show, like the Bellagio hotel in Vegas.

On Sunday, our tour took us east into the desert to the oasis city Al Ain. We saw the Sheik museum, Sheik palace, a date farm and a camel farm. The next day, we went to the emirate of Sharja, just north of Dubai, where we learned about the Islamic culture and religion at the museum and shopped at the Blue Souk. Then we went to the hotel to pick up our luggage for our drive to the emirate of Abu Dhabi where we stayed for 2 nights. The next day, we toured the city of Abu Dhabi, where we saw the magnificent Grand Mosque built in 2007. We also visited Sheik Zayed museum and Heritage Village. It was fun making friends with the people in our tour group.

Back in New York after a 15-hour flight, we rested and woke up early on Thanksgiving Day to catch the subway from our BnB to Central Park West to watch the Macy’s parade. It was very cold, so after a half hour, we left to eat breakfast, then to Yvette’s place to have Thanksgiving lunch with them. That night, I visited my adoptive Puerto Rican family at Grandma Gina’s for Thanksgiving dinner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where Yvette lived 10 years ago.

My 6 trip favorites:

-Riding 124 stories to the top of the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalif.

-Seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in person for the first time, in the cold and with crowds of people from all over

-Visiting with my friend Gina in Dubai

-Visiting my daughter, Yvette and her family in Battery Park City in Manhattan

-Learning about the Islamic religion and life style was so interesting

-The desert safari wild sand dune ride was the highlight of my trip to Dubai

 

Posted December 4, 2014 by lariyasui in Middle East, USA

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