It's time to post about the real things that happened while over there.
I didn't decide to go until Thursday night when Kenji and I connected and he told me he could get a buddy pass for $210! I said, hook me up, buy the ticket right now! I was soooo excited and giddy and now emotionally invested in seeing my family and going to HI. When Kenji called the next AM to tell me that I wasn't confirmed on the flight, I freaked and so I just went online and bought a confirmed, direct flight to and from. This made me very happy and relieved (although it did cost me a whole lot more than originally expected) but it was/is SOOOO worth it!
Friday Night I arrived and Jacob and Carol picked me up at the airport. My flight was a little delayed so they drove around for a little while before I could get out there. Oh, did I mention I'm a grumpy traveler? If I haven't, read last year's travel log. It got worse this year as the airlines now charge $15 or $20 per checked bag. Had I remembered this, I would have brought the freakin' largest suitcase possible!
Jacob took us to Wal Mart where I promptly bought some sun protection and then we ate at L & L, thank goodness too, it's the only time we ate L & L! It was a great time to reconnect and figure out the family drama issues as not to churn the waters any more than necessary by accidentally asking the wrong cousin about another cousin.
Jacob had so much to do before the next AM and he still neededto pick up the t-shirts for the reunion, etc. etc. He took me on the entire drive and we went to Laie Point where he promptly told me about the lady who had just driven her car off the side of the cliff as to commit suicide! I said, must we? It seems like they always figure out a way to squeeze a depressing item in there.
Grandma's surprise - It's sooo late Friday night when we finally reach the farm. I guess earlier that day Kristina had spilled the beans that I was coming so she waited up for me and it was about midnight by the time we got back there. Maybe later. So I go in and am like Hi grandma!! I just sit down next her and she's looking at me like - what are you doing here. She plays along well! She said, where's your brother? LOL...gotta love it. I said he doesn't get here until tomorrow and in my grandma's fashion she says, oh, I thought your brother was coming. I said he is and I thought I'd tag along. She just smiled so sweetly and giggled her giggle. It made the trip SOOOOO worth it. Auntie Emily had set up a bed for me next door (across the porch).
The reunion began Saturday and Bubu and Tiaura spent the night over in the tent so we met with them for breakfast. Dang it's humid over there. You get used to being "wet and slimy" all the time. I woke up at the crack of humid dawn. Starting with breakfast, the Nihipali Ohana Reunion was SO FUN and I didn't realize it at the time because there were videos and cameras every where, but I should have taken my own photos.
My two favorite things about the reunion were the Gravesite service - i actually cried not for those have passed but to see such a small part of our HUGE family all singing together (not a hymn either, a Hawaiian chant). My next favorite part was the comedy event on Saturday night. She was totally winging it and it was funnier than all get out. This must be where we get it from. Calling all the oldies up, she told them all to dance and then the music began!! They did the twist and on from there. The worst was she said let's get all the big people up there! Of course I was offended and didn't go up!! but Jacob and Abraham and two other people did and Hammy was in rare form! The laughter and giggles never ceased for the whole night. I loved it when she played "All the SIngle Ladies" and I got up as well as 10 little girls - I said, I can't possibly be the ONLY single lady out here, eh? But no one joined me. Maybe that's embarassing to them as much as being big. Ok, the being big part was punctuated because she said if you are over 250#'s. Now, who is going to freakin' admit that in public? OF course we all know was/is over that weight but come on now. That was my only gripe about my entire trip (well, and that I had to chose between my prefered beaches and being with my cousins).
It's late Saturday night and I'm giggling and laughing etc when I hear someone say, oh, it looks like there's a seat for me right here and I turn to see Kenji!!!! He's FINALLY made it. I was all confused about his arrival time but it ended up he got a direct from NJ to HNL, first class none the less. I hugged him like crazy and aunties were coming up to us asking for pictures and saying, oh, you do really belong here Sharon. I thought you were an intruder!! Whatever...
I had a tought chioce, stay and hang with Kenji or go to the last bon dance being held in Kahuku. EVERYONE it seems was headed to that Bon Dance, which is a traditional Japaense dance that is a bit relgious I think. Kenji can tell me more (served his mission in Japan). So, Aunty Kathy and Uncle Freddy were there, Aunty Gail, Aunty Peggy and Larry, all the kids, even Anne and Brian made it. Aunty Ruthy and her whole brood (all kids and grandkids except Melissa). It was REALLY fun and I'm so glad I went. We got home really, really late but again, totally worth it. The reunion was a blast and learned a lot about how scattered around the states our family really is becoming. We used to know we were the only Nihipali's in any phnone book in the Western US but hardly the case any more!! Maybe not even the only ones in WA.
Since Aunty Emily was in charge of the food for the reunion, she was all spent and just wanted to relax. Can't hardly blame her one bit. So Sunday for breakfast we head out to Papa Ole's and there is a He/She/It behind the counter and my cousin is chatting away with her telling me that is Melissa's best friend in the whole wide world. I'm like, what? He always hooks my aunty up with a "little something" which is a bag of cookies, lol. Papa Ole's is a favorite for folks since it seems to be the only remaining restraunt besides 7-11.
Enough for now, more to come!!! With pics I hope from now on. The first few days I was without camera.