For dinner we met up with Dallas’s parents and his Aunty Kitty and Aunty Myrtle. We went to a Japanese restaurant called Gyotaku. The menu was big and confusing, but I muttled through enough to order a good meal. I got the bento with ahi sashimi, teri chicken, and miso butterfish. Aunty Kitty got the same thing but tempura instead of the chicken, I think. I hadn’t seen these aunties from Dallas’s mom’s side for years, so it was good to catch up.
The food was pretty good at Gyotaku. I especially liked the butterfish. All of the meals were served with a lot of extras – rice, salad, soup, pickles. The clientele was all families and a lot of older people who seemed to be regulars. The wait staff seemed to know everyone and to spend a lot of time talking and joking with diners.
Safina and Swede playing ball with Dallas and Erik
Aunty Nancy said the kids have brought these to school for Show & Tell!
Mountains of ahi sashimi!!
Portuguese Meat, Aunty Nancy’s Specialty
In the house tonight…
Swede and the family cat.
Safina and Swede putting sprinkles on the cake.
Safina and Swede blowing out candles.
Dallas’s family’s best friends on Kauai are the Matsudas. They live just down the road from where Dallas and his family lived and we try to see them every time we go back to Kauai. Some years it’s just the family and us and some years, like this year, there are a lot of people. I think because Dallas’s parents were with us and a lot of their friends came over.
After the drag races we headed over to the Matsuda’s house. Uncle Bob and Uncle George and the others had to finish up at the race track and put the car back into storage so they met up with us later. Every time we come to Kauai, no matter what, Aunty Nancy makes Dallas his favorite dish that only she makes: Portuguese Meat. At least that’s what they call it (Aunty Nancy is Portuguese). This year she also got this enormous platter of ahi sashimi. Seriously, it was the biggest plate of sashimi I’ve ever seen… and probably the best-tasting too.
It was fun to see everyone again. Safina and Swede are growing up so big! They are such nice and open kids. Right away they fell right in with us. Swede was saying “Uncle, Uncle look at this!” to Dallas and kept bringing things out. We played ball and helped them decorate a cake for everyone (just the sprinkles). We’re not positive if it was someones birthday or if the kids just wanted to blow out candles.
So nice to see everyone and visit! Until next time..!
I have always heard Dallas and his family talk about the drag races. Dallas’s dad used to drive a car in the drag races and Uncle Bob (Matsuda) and Uncle George (Matsuda) were the car designers and mechanics. Dallas and his siblings grew up at the drag races.
Well, Dallas’s dad no longer races, but Uncle Bob and Uncle George are still very involved. They own and run Matsuda Racign and they have a car that they designed and that they maintain. Their driver now is Riley, who is Dallas’s same age, although they were not classmates. At one point Uncle Bob’s daughter Marissa was their driver!
Car in the pit next to us.
Uncle Bob preparing the parachute.
Riley and Uncle George
Tying the car to the truck to pull it to the racing area.
Riley’s dad drove the blue car in the pit.
The pit next to us had a lot of keiki. Reminded Dallas of when they were kids.
Since I’ve always heard so much about the drag races I was excited to finally get a chance to check them out. Man, everyone knows everyone there. People were coming up to Dallas even. One lady was his old babysitter! I had a lot of fun watching the action from the pits. There were a ton of families in the pits with lots of kids growing up at the drag races. Reminded Dallas of when he was young.
Riley helped me understand how the racing was done. It was pretty much simple brackets. If the Matsuda car kept winning they would drive in 4 races total. When we arrived they’d already won once and had advanced on.
This is their second run:
They won again!! One thing that really surprised me is that any car can be a race car. The Matsuda car is pretty fancy, but there were souped up Volkswagon Beatles and old classic cars. All kinds of things. You can hear on the video when I ask Dallas “What is that orange car doing there?” It was the car up against Riley, but it was such a different car I was confused about what was even going on!
And here’s a video that Riley took from inside the car on that second run!
Pushing the car back in to the pit area from the race area.
Race results sheet.
Getting ready for the next race.
Andrew and Riley
Getting the truck in position to pull the car to the race area.
Pulling the car to the race area.
Pulling the car to the race area.
Here’s the third run:
They won again!!! Just one more run and if they won then they’d have won the whole thing! But….. unfortunately, something broke on the car during the race. There were some tense moments in the pit when all the other racing teams and the officials came over. Uncle Bob had to make the tough decision: Race again and risk breaking the car more or forfeit. In the end they decided to forfeit. That kind of sucked, but I can understand why.
Back in the pits.
Tense moments in the pits.
Aunty Linda rushing in to see what happened while she was away.
We saw the winning car on the way out. Won by forfeit!
The winning car.
I had a fun time at the drag races! Check it out if you want something really different to do on Kauai!
Oh, and check this out. The Garden Island, Kauai’s newspaper, did an article back in 2009 on Matsuda racing, Team Matsuda: 40 Years of Speed. There’s a great video embedded in the article that has Uncle Bob and Uncle George and Riley talking about racing and their fancy car. And a fun fact from the article: “When Bobby and Nancy’s younger daughter, Marissa, was a junior in high school, she was the first woman on Kaua‘i to obtain a license to drive the race cars.”