Day 6

One of the reasons for getting to come out was the 60th anniversary of our family’s church in Aiea. My uncle Kenneth was an original founder of the church and my dad was in charge of the anniversary program. For Sabbath School there was a panel that talked about the church’s history and how God had led in its birth and growth. The main service featured performances by the children’s choir, church choir, and a dramatist. This was followed by THE BEST CHURCH POTLUCK EVER. Finally, the festivities ended with a concert by former and current members of the Aiea Church. Good program, good food, good music. Good to hear about the roots.

That night we did make it out for a sunset stroll along the beach, which counts for a beach day in my book.

Day 7

Another big reason for coming out was to celebrate The Aunties. The Aunties are Alice and Ellen, who will be turning 90 and 88, respectively. The combination of the church anniversary and this event resulted in about 30 of my relatives coming from the mainland. I saw cousins who I hadn’t seen in years and many others I hadn’t met before. I tried to give Sara a bit of a crash course in people’s names and how the family tree worked, but it was a tall order (the only time you’ll here tall associated with Okinawans).

We dined in a banquet room in this nice hotel in Waikiki. There were tributes done about The Aunties by their children and various party games as well. We also got in on the act as each of the K families had to provide entertainment for a talent show. Our whole family sang a song about The Aunties to the tune of “You are my Sunshine” It was a hit with The Aunties, but we got beat out by cute kids and settled for 5th place out of 6. I am bitter about that. Amanda looked forward to the day when we could exploit children for family talent competitions.

After that shindig we changed into our beach clothes and went out to crowded Waikiki Beach. It was difficult to find a place to lay our towels. Kevin avoided the water due to germ paranoia. Sara and I bobbed in the water attempting blissful ignorance. One time at Waikiki per vacation is plenty.

Day 8

More family fun time awaited us on Monday. We headed back to Ala Moana Beach Park in our special purple shirts to meet more relatives wearing special purple shirts. Although we kind of looked like the Barney Fan Club, we proudly displayed the color of the Okinawan sweet potato (some more proudly than others).

There were various games for the young, relatively young, and old. Sara and I took home the gold in the wheelbarrow race, but I tweaked my shoulder as I lunged for the finish line. My ego was then taken down a notch as I failed to toss any baseballs in the bucket. It didn’t help that Auntie Alice started ragging on me afterward. After some lunch we headed to the beach for more swim time.

That night after dinner, Sara and I spend over two hours talking with my grandma. Since Grandma fell and hurt her hip last year she’s had trouble getting around. But that sure hasn’t seemed to affect her attitude much. We talked about her days growing up milking cows, living in Hawaii during WWII, and her work at Castle Medical Center. It was genuinely one of the happier memories of the whole trip. My grandma rocks.

Day 9

Just another day at the beach. Back to Kalama for some bigger, badder, waves. Sara passed on the board this time, but she did get some bobbing in.

We probably took a walk around the neighborhood as well. It’s nice when your uneventful day of the vacation still involves going to the beach.

Reoccurring thought for the trip: I could totally live here.

Day 10

In order to find parking, beat the crowds, and avoid the educational video about protecting marine life, we got up at the bum crack of dawn to head to Hanauma Bay. We met some relatives at the park and were pleasantly surprised to find out that coming in early also means you get to go in for free. So if you ever go to Hanauma Bay, I recommend you go early and on a Wednesday. The park is closed on Tuesday so you get a cleaner beach and ocean experience by doing that. Plus the morning light on Hanauma is quite right.

We had a fairly typical Hanauma experience, with lots of fish and a number of big ol’ fat fish. One of my little cousins saw an eel which scared her out of the water. Sara and I missed out on that, but did sea a honu (aka sea turtle) on two different occasions. We were also fairly impressed by the startling number of people not standing on the coral.

That night we took another 4-mile walk around Kailua and got back in time to see the dessert team go down to bitter defeat on Top Chef.

Speaking of TV, Sara also got me quite interested in watching the Tour de France. It was one of the few things she watched on TV as a child, and it was just weird/contagious to see her that excited about televised sports. I became familiar with le peloton, breakaways, Big Tom Boonen, and colored jerseys. It made me really want to…exchange my blood with someone else’s. No seriously though, we had lots of fun watching.

Days at the beach: A robust 8

One Response to “The Aloha State: Days 6-10”

  1. […] Got time?  Click here to read the rest. Posted by teachiro Filed in […]

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