Friday was our day to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center. When we’d bought our airfare and hotel package, the PCC was listed as one of the possible touristy things we could tack on for an additional price. Since we tend to gravitate toward cultural sorts of things anyway (like Behalt in Amish Country, for instance), we decided to go for it. It wasn’t until after everything was bought and paid for that we read online that the PCC is owned and operated by the LDS church, and that the center is more of a theme park than an actual cultural experience.
Even without booze at the luau, though, we still had a great time:
You can start the Flickr slideshow with Friday’s photos, if you’d like, beginning with our morning walk on the beach at Waikiki. That would probably be the best way to see/read the story, in fact.
Notes that require some clarification:
“Rice balls with the normals while waiting for the bus” refers to our Japanese-style brunch. Even though we had a continental breakfast, we knew we wouldn’t be getting fed again until dinner, so we stopped into — you guessed it — the ABC Store to get some yummy goodness. We got some onigiri (mine had plum, Aaron’s was smoked salmon), along with some drinks and flavored breads, and chowed down as we were waiting by the Hyatt Regency. One of our fellow tourmates-to-be seriously did come up to me and ask, “Is that good, even though it’s raw fish?” Aaron and I had to explain that a.) yes, it is good; and b.) it is NOT raw fish. Oh, and c.) we first had these in Tokyo, Japan.
“Crazy Samoan man ruled” is my incredibly weak description of the Samoan fire-knife dancer / comedian who did the presentation on Samoa in the “Samoan Village” of the PCC, then did fire-knife dancing in the “Horizons” night show. The presentation in “Samoa” was the first thing we attended at the PCC, and was supposed to involve how to start fire and how to open a coconut. Yawn.
OMG NO WAY. The crazy Samoan was the BEST part of the whole PCC experience. I so wish I would have captured his whole schtick on video. It was fantastic. I can’t even do it justice here. What also made it so awesome was that he made short work of making fire (Aaron and I aren’t too good at that around these parts) and actually explained how to open a coconut, and then OWNED the coconut, and then promptly shredded the hell out of the coconut in maybe one minute flat, then wrung the shreds in a coconut husk to make coconut milk, all while saying the most hilarious shit in the most unassuming way.
Samoan dude, I salute you!
Also of note: the food at the evening’s luau was so delicious that I stuffed myself silly — the only time I did so during the entire vacation. I was so full I was quite uncomfortable, and that was enough of a reminder to myself not to do that again.
One final point: we did use SPF 50 before going outside all day in the Hawaiian sun.
I did not take into account the fact that a camera bag? It WILL rub the sunscreen off of a bare shoulder. Which will then get sunburnt, much to one’s chagrin.
It was a good thing I packed a convertible bra with a see-through strap, as I got burnt badly enough on that one shoulder that having a bra strap rubbing on it for the rest of our vacation could well have ruined my good time. As it was, I bought some lotion and some aloe gel, wore my fancy bra with the strap on the diagonal, and everything worked out fine.