Thursday, February 25, 2016


Our boating friends Dean and Charlotte from Chicago were in Honolulu recently to attend the Convention Commemorating Daisosho Hounsai's 65th Year Journeying Overseas and the Tankokai Hawaii Association's 65th Anniversary. These organizations follow a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony with roots going back over 450 years, to promote "peace through a bowl of tea". There are affiliate organizations of Urasenke followers around the world with many thousands of members. Dean is a long time student of Urasenke and he heads up the Chado Urasenke Tankokai Chicago Association.

Following the Honolulu convention, Dean and Charlotte joined us here in Ko Olina for two days. What a wonderful time we had catching up with them. They had not had much time to explore Oahu, so the first day, we fit in a driving tour of Oahu including:

Byodo-In Temple on the Oahu east shore, built in 1968 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1st Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. At the rear of this stunning property stands a replica of a 900 year old temple in Kyoto, which Dean and Charlotte had visited

Lunch at Kahuku Farms Cafe on Kamehameha Highway along Oahu's east shore. This farm was originally started by Japanese immigrants and is now run by 4th generation family. Their cafe serves a menu of lovely vegetarian food all made from products grown on their farm. We had Grilled Veggie Panini and salad made from hydroponically grown lettuce. And for dessert, grilled banana bread with vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with vanilla haupia and vanilla caramel. Mmm!

North Shore Big Surf - There had been a weather warning for 45' to 55' surf along Oahu's north shore for today, so it seemed like a good idea to try and see that somewhat rare event. The warning included the likelihood of damage to property, road flooding and the possibility of drowning for anyone who ventured out on a beach or in the water. Wow, did we have a treat. After a couple of brief stops at Waialee Beach Park and Sunset Point Beach, we parked near the famous Waimea Bay where the biggest surf occurs. We walked to the nearby beach park for a better view, only to discover their parking lot had already been closed to the public. Five minutes after we arrived, the whole park was closed. Apparently, the tide was coming in and authorities were worried the surf could flood the park. Walking to the other side of the bay, on higher ground, we managed to get some photos of the unbelievably large waves and some appreciation for the power of Mother Nature.

As we drove further along the north shore to the town of Haliewa, the authorities closed all access to the north shore, except for local residents. We made it through just in time.

The next day, we took Dean and Charlotte on a walking tour of Ko Olina, mostly focussing on the lovely man made lagoons along the west shore. We also saw commercial vessels making their way in and out of the narrow entrance to Barbers Point Harbour, rolling from side to side in the large rollers. Later we had lunch at Corner Pizza in Ko Olina's market, followed by a lazy afternoon at our condo and pool.

While the get together was all too brief, it was great fun to catch up and enjoy this paradise with friends. Wednesday morning we dropped Dean and Charlotte off at the airport for their short flight to Kauai for the rest of the week.

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