Off I go...again

Tuesday, July 19, 2014

Hi Rough Riders

I am in the air, flying over Canada on my way to Budapest, Hungary!  Life is too short and there are too many things to see and do!  

Last Saturday night was one of those moments that makes life so precious.  Thank you, the 148 of you that came to celebrate our 45th Class of 69 Reunion.  

The Reunion Committee did a fabulous job setting up the Manoa Grand Ballroom.  

Arthur Akana and Ben Flores set up the welcome banners and Ipo Cullen had the

VW photo booth ready for your personalize photo.  

Lisa Chang and her sister, Linda, put up all the posters and wall 60s decorations.

Nellis Kunieda brought all the photo albums of all our past events, memory lane.  

Dayle Hoopai, Josie Akana and Lavern Flores opened the old souvenir t-shirts

sales booth. Bobby Imoto KHS '69 and Keith Kurahashi MHS '69 had a great slide

show of all the past events.

The evening started right on time with tons of hugs and kisses greeting old friends.

Nora Clark Taylor, Jean Takehara Zahn and Rosanna Palmer got awarded for coming the farthest.  James Kaheke was the first to sign up for the reunion.  Sad to say that Brian Taniguchi could not make it, traveling.  He was the one that saved everyone from my long speech at our 40th.  Yes, I had a lot to say and many to thanks for all the hard work to make last night a success.  

                                                       The Chairman's Choice for most outstanding alumni went to Lani and

                                                       Courtney Harrington.  They made the name badges, posters, all the

                                                       accounting and designed and keep our website current.  These two made

                                                       our class of '69 look good!

                                                       We invited Jeanette Uyeda, Roosevelt High Principal, to accept a check

                                                       from our 5-year Pledge that started at our 40th Class Reunion.  There were

                                                       67 fabulous classmates who each year donated to this Pledge.

The check was for $25,000.

A month ago, at our Alaskan cruise both Russell Shiroma and I both had heart attacks on the same day. I had a stent installed and Russell had a 5 way by-pass.  We were all happy to see Russell at the reunion!  He even played his guitar for one song and danced ….against doctor's orders, of course.  Why you think they call us Rough Riders!  

White Light played 60's and 70's dance music for us, but the highlights started when David Hirao came on stage and sang Sukiyaki for us followed by Ernest Morikubo playing his guitar. Then Malcom Sur sang with attitude!!!  Everyone went wild!  It was a great evening that went by too fast.

I've told everyone come to our monthly meetings.  

That's when the party starts.

It is an 11-hour flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt.  Right now we are halfway there between the North Pole and Iceland.

I might be able to say hi to Santa Claus for you.

Talk to you later.

Vicnent and Wendy are globe-trotting again.

This time it's to Germany - via the North Pole.

Part two of Vincent's cruise down the Danube River.

Some (or most) of his photos were lost so we've added some suitably modified Internet versions for illustrative purposes.

August 21, Thursday

It is 6:00 am and I am sitting in  the forward lounge on the Avalon Panorama

river cruise.  

I have been up since 4:30 am and waiting for the rest of the world to join me.

We are about 10 minutes from approaching our first Lock on our 11 days on

the Danube.  There is no one except me, out and about.

Without asking, the steward has set up the coffee and pastry station

just for me.

                                                     I can now see the lock. It is huge and it

                                                     looks like an electrical dam. We are

                                                     following a cargo barge into it. It is the

                                                     largest of the 30 plus locks we will

                                                     be going thru for the next 10 days.

                                                     Holy moly, the captain is moving the ship

                                                     alongside the barge inside the lock.

                                                    We have less than 2-feet of clearance with

                                                    the cargo barge and on the other side there

                                                    is a rubber bumper scraping the wall.  

It is tighter than 20 Japanese tourists in one elevator going up to your room

on the 30th floor. We are now coming out of the lock, by-passing the barge

with only 2í clearance between us...amazing!

                                                       Last night’s dinner was wonderful.  We had our own table for 8.  We are

                                                       traveling with Ron, Susie Shima, Yvonne Nakata, Gwyn Naguma, Dennis,

                                                       Alicia Matsumoto.  So far all our evening dining has been 3 hours.

                                                       Numerous appetizers, to soup, then salad before the entre and of course,

                                                       desserts. Too many to choose from - that it is a sin! A white or red wine

                                                       and after-dinner wine.

                                                       Andreí, the food and beverage manager just came by and told us that last

                                                       night 158 of us consumed 98 bottles of wine.

                                                       Dining at its finest with no rush in mind.

It is 9:00 in the morning and we finished breakfast and are still sitting at our table.  The dining room can sit everyone on board. There is no rush to leave your table for a second feeding.

The staff comes around every few minutes to talk with us and making sure all our needs are tended to. Llie, our waiter just told us that everyday there is be a different breakfast special - today is Blueberry pancakes.  So many choices!

Seeing the world on the Blue Danube.