The family always enjoys a luau while in the islands so Kim picked a bit of a different one this time. Usually, these are just a dinner and show. But we learned of the Polynesian Cultural Center over on the other side of the island. It was more of an all day adventure. Kind of like Epcot meets luau — meaning they had several little villages setup for each of the major Polynesian islands. So you traveled over a bridge to that country and would partake in games, crafts, songs, and what not for those peoples. In between, there was a canoe parade with dancing.
Over in Samoa, this dude stole the show. He was very dry and hilarious. He did a demonstration involving coconuts that had us laughing as he did a variety of jokes that just fit in. Turns out he is a fixture here. Does this skit several times a day for like 20 years. So he has all the nuances dialed in and plenty of subtle jokes. I would blog them but you had to be there.
Mid-show, his buddy showed us how they climb trees in Samoa to grab the coconuts. Nice job with the legs there buddy. Impressed. He was way up that tall tree. Like falling would have killed you high.
Next up was New Zealand but it had a funny tribal name that I don’t recall. They had us play a children’s game with sticks. Basically, you stood there with your stick, then the leader called out left or right. You then ran that direction and grabbed the next stick leaving yours behind. You had to grab the stick before it fell over. Turned out to be fun as they reversed directions and expanded the circle. Good simple campfire/scout game.
I was hot in the running for world champion when I lost out in the finals. Notice how the girl plays dirty on my out. REF!
We got some sick tats as a family for completing the challenge. These babies better be permanent.
In another land, we made some children’s toys by weaving them. Apparently, there is no Walmart there (yet) so they make the toys. You could cast this little fish on the line. Neat.
Time to arm the kids with spears. Kids would make good warriors I suppose. So they learned how to throw some spears.
Over in Fiji, we learned about cannibals. Hmm. Keep your eyes on that dude in the middle around your kids.
Back in Hawaii, we learned the hulu. I was awesome. The girls…eh.
Time to get to dinner. We took a canoe ride to get there.
I got 2 hula chicks sitting with me!
Dad, what’s for dinner? Mac-n-cheese? Pizza? No. That thing they are pulling out of the ground over there kids. Yum!
Let’s get a closer look. Uh, your dinner is looking back at you. Yikes! Traditional pig.
So finally time for the show. It was the best luau show I have seen. More 21-st century to keep this generation entertained. Had a story line and some production value. I enjoyed it. Crowd gave a standing ovation when it was over. No photography during so that was cool because you didn’t see everyone with their iPhones out trying to record it to show it to nobody on Facebook later.
So the back story to this place…if you are still with me. The reviews were mixed for 3 reasons.
The first was because you can make it an all day thing. You can just go to the show. Or you can go to dinner and show. Or you can spend the day. Your choice. Lots of packages. I wasn’t sure how it would pan out but ended up being good. We got there at 1 PM and walked around in our tour until 5 PM (dinner) and were busy with no downtime and we didn’t see everything. So that was good for us.
The 2nd class of reviews were mad alcoholics because there was no booze on the premise served. Odd but I don’t care. I was curious why. That brings me to reason number 3.
3rd. Mormons. Huh? In Hawaii? Apparently. So years ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints came to this island spot in 1915 and built their 5th ever temple. Later on they built Brigham Young University (BYU) Hawaii here next door. Then in the 1960s, the church built this “theme park” deal here. They say its a non-for-profit but its the #1 paid tourist attraction in Oahu by their own claim. What they do is employ the kids from the university to work at the park. If the kids work so many hours (I think it was part time…maybe 20 hours a week?) and go to school, they can leave school debt free with a 4 year education. Interesting. There is no visible association from the park to the church until after dinner really. They offered time to shop at the markets in the park or you could take a town tram ride. We knew the story a bit so we were curious and hopped on the tram. They sped us through town and dropped us off at the temple to view and learn more about Jesus. Pushier people have come to my front door. We just viewed and saw to get the full experience. I can check that off my “saw that” list now. The self-proclaimed volunteers at the temple were a lot of teens who were their on a mission for 18 months. Not going to school but there to serve. Draw your own conclusions. I wasn’t aware but you don’t get to go into these temples once they are dedicated. So it was a photo op then back to the party at the park.
Jesus, that was a long day.