The Mauna Kea's famous white crescent sand beach.
For the first night of the gala, the tables were set in white with white roses, lilies and astroemeria.
Big Island guitar trio Kohala performed before and during dinner. From left: Charlie Recaido, Grammy Award winner Charles Michael Brotman and Rupert Tripp, Jr.
Guests arrive and get a lei.
There were food stations throughout the party.
In for the the occasion was head sushi chef Miyasaki of the Prince Park Tower Tokyo.
Mark Monette of Monette's (the new private restaurant at the Mauna Kea) served up kalua pig in Maui onion veloute.
Preparing the sake for the opening toast. The small cedar boxes, traditional in Japan, are called masu.
For good luck, it's important to smash open a barrel of sake. Here Adi Kohler (gm of the Mauna Kea for 27 years), current gm Jon Gersonde, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, former vice president of the United States Dan Quayle and Takashi Goto, president of Seibu Holdings, which owns the hotel.
The toast. Yes, that's really Dan Quayle. Adi Kohler at the end doesn't look like he's enjoying the sake.
GM Jon Gersonde was in an ebullient mood at bringing back the glory of Mauna Kea.
Two mayors—Billy Kenoi of the Big Island and Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu.
The main act the first night was Hiroshima, highly popular in Hawaii, best known for fusing jazz and Japanese music. Leaders Dan Kuramoto, playing a Japanese bamboo flute, and June Kuramoto, playing her six-foot long Japanese koto.
The taiko drummers of Hiroshima thundered out the rhythms.
Lunch the second day featured chef Thomas Loghan, demonstrating Mauna Kea shrimp curry with li hing mui.
Rainbow carp swim through the Mauna Kea lobby.
The second night of the gala was a full-on luau, which started with the lighting of the torches.
It's the same venue, with a much more casual Hawaiian look.
Keiki hula dancers greet the guests.
You can't start a luau without blowing a conch.
It would be hard to ask for a more beautiful evening.
What would a luau be without hula dancers?
And, of course, a fire knife dancer.
No speeches the second night. Just Hawaii favorites Cecilio and Kapono getting the entire party to sing along.
Wish you could have been here. It was a splendid weekend.