It's been a whirlwind week and a half with still another week to go before we settle down a bit. We've had more activities in the past few days than we've had in a couple of months.
After a day of our son and his girlfriend, Sarah catching their breath, we had a party on Thursday with the family of one of my college roommates and still close friend. It was a lot of fun to see our children become reacquainted with one another.
With everyone together in one place for this brief time, we had to make sure we remembered it by having our photos taken by our dear photographer friend, Dave on Friday evening.
Here is Art, Jon, Sarah and Tiffany's husband, Ed checking out Jon's new camera while Dave takes photos of the rest of us.
Saturday was our "Cousins Pot Luck Party." My mother's sisters and their children (my cousins) all got together for a fabulous meal. I'm starting to gain weight here.
Tiffany and Jon took this opportunity to give me a gorgeous orchid lei and my 2nd birthday cake celebration.
On Sunday we had another party with more close friends, Diane and Joanne and their families.
Then came Monday! It was my real birthday! We got up before dawn to catch a flight to the Big Island.
We landed in Hilo and saw a statue that looked very new of King Kamehameha I. The Big Island is the birthplace of King Kamehameha I.
We were startled to see this rather strange looking bird. Does anybody have an idea what kind of duck this is? Or is it a goose?
Our next stop was Honokaa, Art's hometown. We saw right away that because of the Japanese movie, Honokaa Boy which was filmed there, the town had become a tourist stop.
We'd bought a lot of anthiriums at a Farmer's Market in Hilo to arrange for the columbarium where Art's parents have their ashes resting as well as for the temple where we arranged to have a memorial service conducted.
After the service, we drove to the family grave site and arranged more flowers. Unfortunately, we were attacked by a cloud of starving mosquitoes that swarmed around us.
After tending to all the gravestones we headed back to Honokaa. The buildings were all the original structures but the stores had changed to cater to tourists.
Art found the building where his parents once had their restaurant. The current owner was thrilled to hear Art's stories of what it used to be like. You could even see the shadows of the bases of the counter stools where they once sold milk shakes, lunches and dinners.
We returned to Hilo where "the kids" treated me to a birthday dinner and another candle to blow out.