Archive for the ‘family’ Tag

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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2018 October “Roots” Trip to Japan   1 comment

Presenting the latest episode of

Hawaiians in Japan

Starring: Lari, Christine, Bruce, Kazu, Ailah, Aulia, Fred, Fumiko, Maya, Elvis

October 3-14, 2018

We planned a pilgrimage to our family’s roots in Japan. My mother’s Hokada family came from Kumamoto on the southern island of Kyushu. My father’s Kimura family came from Oshima Island, Iwakuni in Yamaguchi prefecture. So Fred, Fumiko and Maya Hokada went to Kumamoto with us. Our cousin, Elvis Kimura, who lives in Hilo, went with us to Oshima Island. Kazu flew with Ailah and Aulia to Osaka and took the shinkansen to Kumamoto. Christine, Bruce and I met in Tokyo and flew to Kumamoto from Haneda.

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Bruce and Chris did not like this hostel

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Before flying to Kumamoto, we had dinner with Yumi, Asako and Koji. Yuba is liquid tofu and you eat the cooled “skin”.

My second cousin, Hiroshi Hokada took us to Kumamoto Castle, where we got to see some of the damage from the 2016 earthquake. They were having a festival at the castle, so we enjoyed entertainment with a picnic lunch and the kids got to play all kinds of games.

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When we returned to their home in the late afternoon, we walked over to the Hokada grave site. When Chris, Bruce and I scattered our parents’ ashes it was an emotional experience to take Mom back to her ancestral roots. Cousin Fred’s wife, Fumiko comes from Nagoya, so she translated all of our conversations with our Japanese relatives throughout our visit. While we were at Osaka Castle, the ladies at home prepared a huge feast for dinner all spread out on a long table. All of us had a wonderful time getting to know each other and meeting all the relatives.

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What a feast!

The next day, Hiroshi took us to Mount Aso National Park and we visited 3 active volcanic craters. Then we went to Takachiho Gorge, where we walked in the gorge and enjoyed the scenery and waterfalls there.

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The next morning, we visited Suizenji Park, with miniature versions of the major sites in Japan, from Mt Fuji to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Then we drove to Nabegataki Falls, where we could walk behind the falls to the other side. 

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We stayed overnight at Ryokan Yamanoyu in Kurokawa Onsen village with Hiroshi and Takako, who left for home the next day. The next day, we did the “Onsen Hop”. We  paid 1300 yen to visit 3 out of 25 onsens in Kurokawa, walking from one to the next. Then we drove to Yufuin, another onsen town. We stayed overnight, but didn’t get to see much of this town because we had a long drive to Iwakuni-Oshima Island to visit our Kimura relatives. IMG_4592IMG_4624

When we arrived at Oshima Island, Hitoshi Okabatake was waiting for us with Tony, a translator, that stayed with us the entire visit so we could communicate with our relatives. We visited the Kimura grave, and scattered our parents ashes there. The Okabatake family took us to a fine dinner at a restaurant and the next morning, we picked tangerines at their orange grove.

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After they served us a delicious home-cooked lunch, we drove to Iwakuni airport and flew back to Tokyo.

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Chris & I bought new eyeglasses for $60 made in 30m minutes, including eye exam.

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Before Bruce left for home.

Lari’s Top Ten:

10 Buying new glasses for cheap in Tokyo from Zoff & JINS

9 Kumamoto Castle

8 Yufuin onsen village shops

7 Meeting and “chatting” with Japan relatives. In Kumamoto, we had Fumiko to translate, and in Oshima, we had a professional translator, Tony, with us the entire visit with Okabatake’s

6 Scattering Sue/Kongo’s ashes at Hokada/Kimura graves

5 Nabegataki Falls -walking behind it!

4 Being with cousins and family traveling together

3 Takachiho Gorge

2 Delicious home-cooked lunch at Okabatake’s and home-cooked dinner at Hokada’s

1 Kurokawa Onsen Hopping

Fred’s Top Ten:

10. Convincing Lari to study conversational Japanese?

9. Witnessing Christine scatter the ashes of Uncle Kongo and Aunty Sue at the Hokada grave in Kumamoto.

8. Hotel Breakfast buffet with the Kimura’s 3x

7. Spotting Mt. Aso from the propeller airplane on the way to Kumamoto and the scary landing at Kumamoto Airport.

6. The clouds and the mountains of Kumamoto reminded me of Hawaii.

5. Maya tricked me. She took a nice photo of Kumamoto Castle but it was actually a picture of a picture of the Castle. I didn’t even notice that it was taken before the earthquake!

4. Aulia correcting me saying “I’m not Ailah, I’m Aulia!”

3. The 800 year old tree at Takachiho Jinja.

2.  Buying some Kumamoto rice for Mochi Tsuki.

1.  Visiting the Hokada home. They were so good to us. It was just like visiting our aunties, uncles, and cousins here at home.

Fumiko’s Top Ten:

10. Okonomiyaki Place. 

9.  Local super market.

8. Souvenir shops

7. Propeller airplane to Kumamoto. 

6. Hotel breakfast buffet. 

5. Kumamoto Castle. 

4. Mt. Aso. 

3. Takachiho Gorge. 

2. Hokada ancestors’ Graveyard. 

1.Dinner @Hokada San’s House.

Maya’s Top Ten:

10. Hotel breakfast buffet.

9. Singing in the car.

8. Free hotel smart phone.

7. Propeller airplane to Kumamoto.

6. Okonomiyaki Place.

5. Kumamoto Castle.

4. Graveyard.

3. Hokada San’s House.

2. Mt. Aso.

1. Takachiho Gorge.

Christine’s Top Ten:

10  Takachiho Gorge

9   YufuIn shopping area

8  Sleeping & playing with Ailah and Aulia

7  Freddie & Fumiko, Elvis, Kazu & Bruce’s company

6  Lunch at Otabatake’s

5  Oshima (Yashiro) Island narrow streets

4  sunrise at Sunshine Sazanseto Hotel

3  Onsen Hopping

2  IchiRan (Saimin) Ramen

1  Scattering Mom and Dad’s ashes

Bruce’s Top Ten:

10 Picking Mikan at Okabatake

9. Sunrise at Sunshine Sazanseto Hotel

8. Mount Aso

7. Suizenji Esuko Park

6. Kumanoto Castle

5. Toto and other Japanese toilets

4. Kimura Grave

3. Hokada Grave

2. Lunch at Okabatake’s

1. Dinner at Hokada’s

Elvis’s Top Ten:

10 Suizenji Jojuen Garden

9 Yufuin Street shopping

8 Eating Soba in Oguni

7 Visited Kimura Grave

6 Riding Shikansen

5 Picking Mikan at Okabatake’s

4 Museum of Emmigration

3 Dinner at Ryokan Yamanoyu -Family and food (especially the horse meat)

2 Kurokawa Onsens (3 extra ones)

1 Oshima family Dinner: cousins and food (sashimi was fantastic)

Kazu’s Top Ten:

Ailah’s Top Ten:

10 Going on long train rides while playing games (w/ daddy & Aulia)

9 Eating & drinking sweets (a lot)

8 Playing w/Maya(in the car) 

7 Seeing and feeding the koi fish 

6 Seeing waterfalls -fav.-nabegataki 

5 Going to many Onsens -fav.-okunoyu 

4 Staying @neat hotels -fav.-Yamanoyu 

3 Going shopping -fav-Daiso 

2 Sagamihara-favorite -seeing Mia 

1 Kumamoto -favorite-seeing my family

 

Aulia’s Top Ten:

10 eating sushi (it tastes good)

9 going to Kumamoto zoo (seeing the giraffe)

8 seeing coyfish(taking pictures of them)

7 going to see Nabegataki water fall

6 going to the Takachiho gorge (seeing the nice green water)

5 going to the Okunoyu onsen (going in a lot of pools)

4 staying in Sunshine Suzan Seto (resting)

3 seeing our cousins (playing with them)

2 going in the trains (sitting and looking out)

1 playing balloon popping game

Posted December 11, 2018 by lariyasui in Asia

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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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