December 23, 2012

September 9 - 16, 2010

Back to California

Okay, so I haven't blogged for over two years.  I figured I might get caught up on the few trips we've gone on in the past few years.

Our first trip back to California was in September of 2010.  The main purpose of the trip was to attend Jenn's cousin Kyle's wedding in Long Beach.  But of course, since we were traveling to California, we had to also hit a few more spots, including Disneyland!

We flew into San Diego, and drove up the LA area a few times to see Jenn's relatives as well as hit a few spots we always do while in the area.

One of the places we always go to is the Umeya Rice Cracker factory in Japantown, LA, to pick up a few boxes of arare and senbei to take back to Maui.

 The window where you purchase your arare and senbei

We were lucky that day as the owner (?) let us go "behind the scenes" and look down at the factory machines working.

Later we stopped at Gardena Bowl, to eat some "local" food at the coffee shop.

We then went to ohaka, to visit Jenn's grandparents on the Katsuki side.

The next day was the wedding, at the Japanese Gardens at Long Beach State University.  It was such a beautiful setting.

We got dressed up and I actually wore a tie!

Jenn got to see most of her cousins too!


It was a beautiful wedding and we got to see Jenn's relatives which we don't get a lot of chances to see since they're spread out across the U.S.

The next day, we had breakfast at Kyle and Kelli's house and said our goodbyes before heading off to Disneyland!

We hadn't been to Disneyland for over a year so we were excited!  We parked at the Mickey and Friends parking garage and took the shuttle for the first time ever.
You can't really see it, but I have a huge grin inside!

We got on It's A Small World and had the entire boat to ourselves.

I decided to try holding my hands up during the big drop on Splash Mountain, but only got them half-way up!  =)

I was sad that Haunted Mansion Holiday hadn't opened yet. They were installing the overlay and wouldn't be open for another few days.

We got on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blaster and for the first time ever (probably 50 rides) Jenn beat my score!  Woohoo!

Later that night we went over to Disney's California Adventure to watch the World of Color water fountain show.  Very impressive!

The next day, we started at Disney's California Adventure and Jenn rode Tower of Terror three times in a row,  No way I'm riding it!

We then jumped on Mickey's Fun Wheel (non-swinging cars of course!)

Back over to Disneyland but on the way we visited our brick that we bought back in 2005.

We were hungry so we stopped for a snack, a corn dog from the Red Corn Dog Cart on Main Street.  They cost about $6 but they are the best corn dogs we've ever had, hands down.  Yum!!!

 Then off to take our photo in front Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

We rode Splash Mountain again and this time, hands and arm fully extended and I even got Jenn to do the same!


Jenn's cousin Lisa, her husband Brandon, and son Luke stopped by and we all rode Pirates of the Caribbean together.

Then it was the long slow walk down Main Street and one last look at Sleeping Beauty's Castle before we left Disneyland.  And as we passed Walt Disney's apartment above the Fire Station, we thanked Walt for the great time we had at Disneyland.

We drove back down to Carlsbad and stayed with Jenn's aunty and uncle before heading home the next morning.  We enjoyed a beautiful Southern California sunset.

It was a nice long vacation to Southern California and we enjoyed ourselves greatly, seeing all of Jenn's relatives and also getting to go back to one of our favorites places to visit anywhere, Disneyland.

September 18, 2010

Last Few Days in the Bay Area

August 12-16, 2009

Driving back from Tahoe, we took one last drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Later, we had one last meal at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Yuki Sushi, with two of our best friends, Tim and Dave.

Just a few of the maps we used during our road trip (yes, we used an Auto GPS too!)
Fanciest tamago sushi I've ever seen
Strawberry-filled mochi, with azuki beans
Jennifer at Ike's Place on 16th (now closed)
After a fun-filled six years in the Bay Area, we headed back home to Maui, leaving behind good friends but taking great memories with us.

Lake Tahoe

August 10 -12 , 2009

We stayed at the cabin for one more night and even played one epic game of Mexican Train.

And took one last photo of the cabin before heading on out.

Jenn and myself headed up to Lake Tahoe, driving through a few CA counties we'd never been through, grabbing caches along the way.  One of our favorites was near Kirkwood, where we had only been once before, a few years back to ski.  No snow now, just great views of the lake.
Overlooking Caples Lake in Kirkwood, CA
We arrive in Tahoe and checked into Harvey's.  We gambled a bit, while waiting for my parents to arrive.  The next few days were spent gambling, driving around the Lake, caching, and of course, more gambling.  We had our best luck at the smaller northern casinos, especially the Tahoe Biltmore.

Near Elev. 6555 geocache
Jennifer sure is strong!
Emerald Bay
Dusk at Tahoe
 After a few fun days around Tahoe, we headed back to the Bay Area for one last hurrah, before moving back to Hawaii.

My Brother's Big Day!

August 8, 2009

We woke up to a glorious sunny day, perfect for an outdoor wedding.  But before heading into Yosemite Valley, my brother had given us a task.  He needed large branches to form tripods from which the wedding flowers would be placed on.  Luckily this cabin's surrounded by woods, so we tromped through the wilderness, looking for the branches.  It took us a while, but we finally found some good ones.  We used a rotary saw (which my brother had provided the night before) to cut the branches to good lengths for the tripod.
Dad hacking away at the wooden posts
After making sure we had everything for the wedding, since it'd be an hour round trip if we had forgotten anything, we headed back into Yosemite.  Our destination was the Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite's top hotel.  We couldn't check in yet although plans were made ahead to let us check in early so we could get ready for the wedding.  The front desk said we could check in soon so while waiting we had a nice lunch at the hotel restaurant.  We went back to check in and they said we still couldn't check in, even though the wedding hour was getting close.  My brother was able to check into his room, but we still needed two more rooms to get ready.  Eventually, they released the extra two rooms and we were able to get ready with plenty of time before the start of the wedding.

The wedding took place on the outside lawn of the Ahwahnee, with the sun shining and a cool breeze keeping things comfortable.  I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.
Everyone mingling before the ceremony

The tripods we helped build
Jeff and my parents waiting for the ceremony to start
Waiting for the bride
Jayne reciting her vows
Mr. and Mrs. Hayashida
Name cards
Origami crane tree
Cruising before the reception
Jenn and myself before the reception
Mom making a toast
Wedding sign
The buffet - yum!
Best man's speech

The beautiful wedding cake

First dance
The Hayashidas
After a nice ceremony and fun reception, we headed back to our room to recuperate from the busy day and to rest up for brunch.
Brunch at the Ahwanee Dining Room