Hawaii 2022 – Kona

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Following the passing of Umeno Morita, Valerie’s Mom, the family began making plans for a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, Umeno’s birthplace, to scatter her ashes.  That trip began on June 4, 2022, approximately one year after her passing.  We flew into Kona, HI, and stayed in Fairway Villas by Outrigger in Waikoloa.

Scattering Ashes - Kona

The scattering took place on Monday, June 6, 2022.  Under a beautiful blue ski and mild temperatures, we boarded the boat in Kona, HI.  They took us out a couple of miles north along the Kona coastline with some of Umeno’s favorite music in the background.  Once we were far enough out, some of the family members spoke about what made Umeno special, then released the ashes along with some flowers.  Afterwards, the family enjoyed a group lunch at Umekes Fish Market.

On Tuesday, we drove down south of Kona to Two-Step Beach, well known as a good location for snorkeling.  Also, next door to the beach is a national historical park, City of Refuge, also known as Pu’uhonua O Honaunau.  In the ancient times, these pu’uhonua provided a safe place for warriors to find safety and to achieve rehabilitation.  There were many such places among the Hawaiian Islands with this one being the most well known, at one time housing the remains of 23 Hawaiian kings.  The site is protected by a massive wall constructed over 500 years ago using dry stack masonry with lava rock.  The wall measures up to 12 feet tall and 18 feet wide.

On our last full day on the island of Hawaii, we went to Hilo in order to have lunch with Valerie’s aunt Naomi and some of Umeno’s cousins.  We enjoyed a very nice lunch at the Fairway Grill, located at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course.  Afterwards, the family visited the burial site for some of Umeno’s ancestors.  On the way back to Waikoloa, we drove around the north end of the island in order to visit Honoka’a, the childhood home of Valerie’s father.

Food wise, the family took full advantage to sample some of the special foods and snacks available in Hawaii.  Mai Tai’s, ahi poke, loco moco, lau lau, shave ice and much more.

Next the trip continues on the island of Kauai.

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