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Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Aloha Everyone,

This was an eventful one week. The start of our trip began when our UAL flight had a mechanical problem. The solution was for everyone to deplane and wait for a replacement plane to arrive from Chicago. Two plus hours delay at LAX, but the rest of our flight went smoothly.

This morning we woke up at 5:30 am allowing more than sufficient time to finish packing and get ready for departure. There is no good timing when your hotel elevators are not working. The front desk clerk informed us that there is a district wide power outage due to the heavy thunder and lightning. The result was we had to take the fire stairwell from the 32nd floor to ground level  Fortunately a maintenance man joined our climb down and he came to our assistance by carrying our suitcase.

Our airport shuttle service claimed that we were no show when they phoned. Perhaps we could not hear our phone ring as we were navigating the narrow, musty stairs.

Quick decision to take a taxi to the airport saved our morning. There was a 30 minutes departure delay due to the baggage conveyor system not working. Again, the culprit was the weather.

But then when we look at our Hawaiian album, all that would be embedded in our memories would be happy smiling faces, beautiful scenery and great food.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Renewing Our Friendships

Aloha Everyone,

Joett is one of our oldest and dearest friends in Hawaii. Our auspicious friendship began at a campground in Pompeii, Italy when she and her husband, J.J. and I with our young sons were traveling through Europe in an RV (recreational vehicle) almost 35 years ago.

Joett is a foster care volunteer with Hawaii Fido and she is currently taking care of a 4 1/2 months old Labdoodle (cross of Labrador and poodle) named Josie.   

Curiosity and passion for travel has taken Joett to many exotic locations. Traveling with Road Scholar, a not-for-profit organization primarily offering educational travel tours to older adults, she has visited Burma, India, Africa to name just a few destinations.

Kumu Keahi teaches Hawaiian language, history and religion at Chaminade University. He is also the chief of staff for Senator Shimabukuro. His understanding and sensitivity to Native Hawaiian issues would certainly be a huge asset to the Senator in working with her West Oahu constituents.  

Gordon and Linda were also our neighbors and they are a wonderful loving couple. Our topics of conversation covered many Hawaii issues including current Hawaii political climate, now defunct Super Ferry project, Rapid Rail Transit System, Ala Moana and Kakaako area hyper development and their positive and adverse impact on local residents.  

Sharon is a gentle lady with a steely “can do” spirit. She was first to join my yoga class when I began my volunteer teaching. A mainland transplant from years past, she now studies Hawaiian with Kumu Keahi. She loves learning but even more is her ability to interact with her fellow classmates who could be her grandchildren’s age. Keahi with admiration and affection in his eyes and voice told us Sharon brings snacks for her younger classmates. Now that is one kind grandma!

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, June 24, 2019

Ala Moana Beach Park

Aloha Everyone,

Located just across from the hotel on the other side of Ala Moana Blvd is Ala Moana Beach Park. The adjacent reclaimed land area, Magic Island, is an ideal place to get your walking or running exercise.  The late June weather can get hot, humid and muggy, but I couldn’t resist when Jeff and Jenny invited us to join them for their morning workout.

Jenny is in a great shape. Jenny is a runner and she is fit. While she ran her 6 miles, Jeff and I went on our brisk walk. 86 degrees with high humidity means we were drenched by the end of our walk. J.J. was clever as he opted to enjoy watching fishermen and beach goers.

11 years ago, Jeff and Jenny got married at the western edge of Magic Island. Reminiscing the happy, celebratory occasion, I joked that perhaps we should plant a tree to commemorate that special day.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Wonderful Evening With George & Lena and Jeff & Jenny

Aloha Everyone,

What more can one ask for than spending an evening with one’s children and dear friends over a sumptuous dinner.

The choice of La Mer at Halekulani Hotel as our venue for this reunion was absolutely perfect. Each of us savored  every precious moment as we immersed in lively conversations and enjoyed the dishes that were laid before us.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Aloha Stadium Flea Market

Aloha Everyone,

Jeff suggested taking me to the flea market. The Aloha Stadium is located about 25 minutes drive from Waikiki by car. This flea market claims 400-plus stands which makes it the state’s largest open-area market. Some of our friends visit the place at least once each time they are in Honolulu to find gifts for their families and friends back home.

This was my first time. The parking was free, but there was one dollar each entrance fee. The two of us enthusiastically started our exploration methodically starting with the first row. The stalls included some Made in Hawaii handicrafts, but bulk of the stalls carried inexpensive foreign made merchandise. Another section was stalls consisted of personal garage sale items randomly strewn on table tops and plastic bins.

After walking around for nearly 45 minutes, Jeff and I came away with a Hawaii baseball cap and a small shoulder bag.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ala Moana Center

Aloha Everyone,

Hawaii still is one of the favorite destinations for visitors from the US Mainland and overseas. The reliance on Japanese visitors is particularly strong. Signs are in both English and Japanese.

Today, my daily walk route was the main section of the Ala Moana Mall where luxury brand name shops line both sides.

It was interesting to people watch. I caught passing conversations in regional accented English, French, Chinese, Filipino, but more often in Japanese.

I maintained my steady walking pace trying to avoid running into shoppers often absorbed window shopping or focused on finding that perfect purse, shoes or dress.

Far different from my normal exercise routine but today’s walk added a new dimension — people watching.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Aloha Hawaii

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I are grateful that we can travel and visit our family. Although Jeff and I speak or text on a daily basis, it has been over year since we were together on our Alaskan cruise.

Giving me big hugs, Jeff commented how tiny I am. I guess I sound bigger than my actual physical stature. We found our younger son to be happy, healthy, content, purposeful and comfortable with his life.  

Our lunch was dim sum selections at Jade Seafood Restaurant at Ala Moana Center. Among the dishes we enjoyed, the roast duck was particularly delicious and the sesame ball filled with red bean paste dessert was one of the best we have tasted.

It is wonderful to be back in Hawaii.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Food Highlights of our Recent Visit with my Mother

Aloha Everyone,

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one's voice.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

“I'm not a chef. But I'm passionate about food - the tradition of it, cooking it, and sharing it.” - Zac Posen

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.” - Guy Fieri

“Food, to me, is always about cooking and eating with those you love and care for.” - David Chang

Aloha -- Cathi