In my last post about our trip to Hawaii, I left you with photos of where we stayed and some idea about what our day to day was like. Now it's time to talk about our reason for getting together in the first place: Grandpa's 90th birthday party!
"Party" is not really the best word to use for Grandpa's birthday events, because it was a weekend of festivities. On Friday evening our family gathered for swimming, grilling and a photo session by my cousin's cousin Sarah. Above, my Auntie Lani, cousin Amy and Sarah pose for my point and shoot camera. All of Sarah's nice photos are below!
Above is one of my favorites: Grandpa with my oldest cousin Amy. Below is the group shot, and everyone is in!
Grandpa has been living for the past few years in Hilo with my Uncle John and Auntie Lani (above) and they take such good care of him. Below are our Portland travelmates: Uncle Don with Grandpa, Auntie Katy, and my younger cousins Sam (17) and Jordan (27).
Gigi and Marcos being lovely, and my Grandpa surrounded by his three kids. John is the oldest, my mom is in the middle and Katy is the youngest. Our family is not very big (if you've seen the group photo up top, you've pretty much seen it all - we're missing a few of Lani's kids and their grandkiddos!) but we're very close, despite living so far apart. I feel so lucky to be part of such a good, loving and relatively drama-free clan of people.
Truthfully, when it was time for the photo shoot we were climbing out of the swimming ponds and looked a bit ragamuffin. However, my cousin Amy and her family showed up darling and ready to go, and their photos are beautiful. Here is her little one Charlie, and her with her daughter Malia below!
The weekend of Grandpa's birthday celebration was also New Years Weekend, so on Saturday morning we drove a stretch to a little town on the Waimea coast, which hosts an annual "mochitsuki" - a mochi pounding festival. Mochi is Japanese sweet pounded rice, and it's said to be good luck to be a part of the pounding. We each took a turn with the heavy wooden mallets to ensure a sweet New Year!
Next - the crazy world of O'ahu!