Last night, Da' Hawaii
Club held its Christmas Dinner Party, and what a superb event it
was! Chairwoman-Mistress of Ceremonies Fely did a fine job, and the party was a
smashing success in every way.
Chairwoman - Mistress of Ceremonies,
Highlights of the
evening for us were the lively entertainment by musicians Harry, Max, and
the guys from Duke's in
Huntington Beach: Pete, Eric, and gang who played with style, class, charm and
poise; Fely's graceful and sparkling White
Christmas hula solo, and Hedy's breathtakingly beautiful and
passionate solo rendition of Mary,
Did You Know?.
Hedy, hula dancer and singer
This group of Hawai'i
folks is overflowing with talent, musicianship and enthusiasm.
Add extensive versatility combined with the seasoning attributed to veteran performers and you've got
the makings for the best kind of Hawaiian song and dance, the kind
that comes from the heart.
Harry, `ukulele maestro & Peter,
steel guitar master
Santa must've dieted all
year, as there was little girth to Santa Al (you can see him in the
background in the picture below). He was
delightfully spry in his baggy bermuda shorts, prancing from table
to table, pulling out fistfuls of candy from his bulging pockets and tossing them on the tables with a
ho, ho, ho.
The hula ladies wore
their newest hula garb: white, lacy holoku-style mu`umu`u with
trains. Like snowflakes, they gracefully drifted on the dance
floor to the strains of Mele Kalikimaka and Tiny Bubbles.
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say...on a
bright Hawaiian Christmas day...
for an enlargement
Our instructor, Hilda
(that's her to the far left), did a fabulous job of patiently
teaching us novices, and we had so much fun keeping up with the seasoned
dancers. No one has anything to
prove in this group. Le'ale'a -- have fun. Mai hilahila! --
don't be shy! If the Merrie Monarch Hula Competition (the
Olympics of hula) was judged on good sportsmanship alone, Da'
Hawaii Club Hula Hâlau would win that competition, hands-down.
Da' Hawaii Club Hula Hâlau
for an enlargement
Most enjoyable was the
uplifting camaderie and happy spirits of being with my buds.
All around us, we saw friends that we've known before joining the
club, many for years and years: Jeanette and Harry, Sharon and
Keith, Toby and David, Arlene and Roy, Mary Jane and Kay, Henry and
Doris, Kay, Gylene, and Hedy. We are also making many new ones,
including Rudy, born on Kaua`i and raised in Kalihi, and his wife
Becky, who we met last night.
Gylene is a
godsend to me (that's her with the 'ukulele below). I first got to
know Gylene, Beulah, and Hedy from the Leal School Read-Alouds and
look what that lead to! It is Gylene who got me involved with the hula
hâlau, even loaning her club mu`umu`u to me and getting my lei and
lei po`o to perform with the group after one
lesson (oh my, aren't we brave in our senior years?).
L to R: Flo, Hedy, Hannah,
Jeanette, Yours Truly, Beulah, & Gylene:
My hula seestahs and buds!
for an enlargement
talent of this group is exceptionally remarkable. Many of these folks
held high-powered, responsible positions before retiring, and it shows!
They are movers and shakers who are now putting their well-honed skills and talents to
excellent use with club activities and events.
These are the club's music lunas:
the choir director and multi-talented guitarist, singer, and
The tasty dinner (with the
sinfully scrumptious chocolate cake for dessert), games, lucky number game,
and caroling (complete with printed lyrics and chords) were
efficiently organized and well-paced. The program
moved fluidly without any hitches.
Although we are, for
this little while, the
youngest in the club, we feel right at home; raised by grandparents,
we've long noticed that as a couple,
we are drawn to those older than us. Some of the kupuna
(elders) around our table are in their 70s and 80s, and yes,
although we are baby kupuna at age 50 and they could be our parents,
we feel at ease with them, enjoying the grace of their years and
their uniquely Hawaiian warmth and friendliness.
My heart was bursting
with happiness to see them singing their hearts out with familiar
tunes like Mele Kalikimaka and 12 Days of Hawaiian Christmas,
keeping the beat with the tambourines, rattles, and bells, laughing
at Max's jokes, and having good fun, just as
they did as keiki in Hawai`i.
What a wonderful night
full of Christmas cheer and Hawaiian Aloha it was!
entry on Da' Hawaii Club
This morning, I finished
up the last of our Christmas cards and newsletters, and they are now
in the mail! Now, I can relax and fully enjoy Christmas.
And relax and enjoy we
did. At 5 pm, DH and I were walking down Hollywood Boulevard
at Disney California Adventure to "where the sky meets the
road" to see
The Power of Blast! at the Hyperion Theater. It is a limited
engagement, and we made sure that we caught this Tony-winning event,
as it will be moving on to the Orange County Perfoming Center with
its full length show.
>> Click here
for more about Blast!
The outdoor vendor's
frozen banana looked too good to pass up, and we shared one as we
stood in line. Cruella
from the 1001 Dalmatians movie slinked by us with a sneer befitting
her character, further amusing us with her snarl. As Jim
Carrey would say, " N-a-a-asty!"
DH had no idea what
Blast! was about, and knowing how much he loves brass music, I
watched his face as he realized that it was a musical extravanganza
with brass and percussion instruments. The beaming smile on his face
No hype here; the show
is exactly as billed. It is... POWERFUL. It is a
With great music, stunning choreography,
and incredible moments, it is awesome. The 40-plus cast is high
energy and in constant motion. We loved it!
After the show, we
checked out the new Italian restaurant that replaced the store and
deli at the Winery, two of our favorite sites at DCA that bit the
dust. Not yet hungry, we passed on the Italian fare.
We trekked over to Disney's
California Grand Hotel, which is a jewel of hotel for every
season. The decorated lobby was as magnificent as I'd
anticipated with a towering tree placed regally smack dab in the
middle of the Great Room. As we stood admiring the tree, I caught a
glimpse of a familiar face. It was Dan, a friend and client
for 18 years. The last time I saw him, about a month ago, he'd
mentioned that in all the years that he's worked at Disney as a
(real) fireman, he has only seen one person he knew.
And so I unobtrusively
sidled up to him, and whispered, "And now it's two!"
Seeing me out of context, Dan was shocked in the most pleasant way.
Within an hour, I pulled off two surprises. Oh, happy
The hotel has the most
wonderful rock fireplace, always with a roaring fire going. We
found the two adult rockers in front of it just waiting for us, and
we spent the next hour kicking back and rocking in front of the
fire, holding hands and taking in the Christmas ambience.
A couple of young
families joined us in the alcove, and we enjoyed the young
children's puppy energy as they played their version of musical
chairs with the little rockers.
A storyteller named
Ellen stopped by. With a
walking stick, dressed in rugged hiking clothes with a canteen and
cooking pan hooked to her stuffed backpack, she played the role of
master storyteller to the hilt with excellent expressiveness.
She regaled us with Native American stories, including one about the
braggart, prideful bear who was outfoxed, losing his beautiful,
plume of a tail when he went out fishing on the frozen
Storyteller Ellen at the Disney
California Grand Hotel's fireplace
We then sauntered over
to Disneyland, and took a walk in the New Orleans Square, our
favorite area there. By then, DH had worked up an appetite. We
stopped by the River Belle Terrace, where DH had a hot turkey
sandwich and I had a bowl of clam chowder. We dined al fresco on the
terrace overlooking the Rivers of America and the majestic Mark
After dinner, we made
our way to the Partners'
Statue, right in time for the fireworks and in the right spot
for an unobstructed view of Sleeping Beauty's Castle on one side and
Main Street on the other, which was thronged with holiday revelers. For
dessert, we munched on freshly popped popcorn.
As the night sky lit up
with Disney's unbelievable spectacular fireworks, we remembered what
Dan, our fireman friend, had just told us. Each show costs
"Life is a Gift."
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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