This weekend was so heartwarming and beautiful. It made me so much more thankful for Hawaii being home and made me realize that I need to start taking care of myself and my family so much more because times like these, are something you cannot just take for granted. 

I was not able to get a picture of everyone at the cook-out but this picture already brings a smile to my face. I think of how much laughs were shared around the BBQ. Everyone took us in as family immediately and took good care of us. They spoiled us with yummy food and hugs. I will never forget this night and how family oriented everyone was. I have never been so thankful of something this much before. Mark Oyama has one of the best personalities I have ever seen and I wish I could have been one of his students. I would have loved to have attended his class. 

It was hard to choose which one was my favorite food. Everything at the after party and the beach cook-out was so yummy and made me appreciate local grown food so much more. But, to be honest, I really enjoyed Hamura’s Saimin. It made me feel like I was a kid again. Made me think of how much I love my family and miss hanging out with them. A lot of them are much older now so I don’t get to see much of them anymore. It made me think of whenever we were in Wahiawa for lunch or just a rainy evening, we would drive out to Shige’s Saimin to eat a bowl of their won ton mein & BBQ sticks. I haven’t been there in years, but I know I will be visiting there very soon.

Thank you again for everything! This was such a fun trip. One I’ll never forget. 

- Melanie Inouye