Another busy year with work, Aikido, travel, and spending time with the grandchildren - and their parents :-)
In March, Michael drove up to Arcata (400 miles north of Monterey) to spend a weekend with Aikibojitsu founder, Tom Read. Michael is now ranked as a 4th degree black belt in Aikibojitsu (a martial art based on the short staff) and has an active group of students at the dojo.
As we try to do each year, we attended a Giants baseball game in April, for Michael's birthday, and again in August for Danielle's birthday. The game in April featured a ceremony before the game during which each member of the Giants club was given their championship ring for the 2012 World Series. And everyone in attendance received a very nice replica ring - BLING!
A few days later we joined our cruise friends, Stewart and Katie, aboard the Grand Princess for a two-week San Francisco - Hawaii roundtrip cruise, with day stops in Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawaii, and Ensenada (Mexico). Above right: Akaka Falls. Below (L-R): Formal Night; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Thurston Lava Tubes. (more photos)
In May we went on a whirlwind, one-week trip to Japan with our friend Linda Holiday, chief instructor at Aikido of Santa Cruz. Little sleep, lots of activity, and experiences that will never be forgotten. By the time it came to leave, it felt as if we had been there for twice the time. Highlights included Japanese hotspring baths, a visit to Nachi waterfall, and a trip with our teacher, Motomichi Anno (age 82), to "Onigura" a seldom visited rocky outcropping in the mountains of Kumano-shi.
Above left: Onigura, 1000' above an unknown river, full-power strikes with a wooden sword and full-throated kiai which the Kumano mountains answered back in waves. Above right: Tanabe ryokan (traditional hotel). Below left: Kumano Hongu Shrine. Below right: Nachi waterfall