Petey and Ian have been friends since junior college. The roots of the New Years tradition run deep.
A proud Ian with both his sons.
Ian with Niece Alison and Sister-in-law Rochelle. Ian has known Rochelle since she was 13. Deep roots.
After dinner it was hot-tub time, always a hit with Alexia.
New Years Day we piled into two cars and drove an hour and a half across Orange County to Gardena to celebrate Japanese New Years at the Inouye's house. Gardena is where Ian and Rochelle went to high school with the five Inouye brothers. This tradition dates back to then but now the gathering is generational. Zach with the chopsticks is the son of Minihiro, Ian's brother's college roommate. The roots run deep.
This is actually the sashimi. Most of the sushi is on two tables in the living room. The tuna which is on the corner of the table went really fast and you can see the tako is almost gone. There was so much to eat, and I did my best. The sushi there under the foil has spam in the center. Mini's children are half Hawaiian so his daughter Kikuye always makes spam sushi. It's an acquired taste but it's tradition and I always eat it.
And the moment we anticipate - the tempura. Omar and Don get it kicked off. I've known Omar for 15 years. He's a friend of Don's son, and is so serious about this role that he had his wife drop him off in the morning so he could get the shrimp deveined in advance. There is another anticipated tradition - the saki toast to past, present future. Ian and I ducked out early. I drove down and he was the return driver but his eyes were tired so I didn't want to drink in case I needed to drive. I *hate* driving on LA freeways and want to be a sober mind when I do.
Every year I think that this was the best New Years ever, and then it gets upstaged by the next year. We came home with full hearts.