Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hawaii Day 2-- Polynesian Cultural Center

Right next to the temple is the Polynesian Cultural Center. This was the expensive part of the day. It's around $150 each for this place, and I must admit, it wasn't high on my list of things to do in Hawaii. It is now, though. I really enjoyed seeing the presentations on the different countries. For those of you who haven't been to the center, it's sort of like Disneyland for the cultures of the Pacific. Every half hour is a show put on by the cultures and you skip around and try to catch each of the 25 minute shows. I liked the Samoa show best. The presenter showed how to open a coconut, get the meat out, and separate the milk. It was amazing how much milk a coconut actually contains. Finally, he showed how to climb a coconut tree (Spoiler: Tie a cloth between your feet and use it to shimmy up.). Hawaii showcased Hula dancers and history, New Zealand had dancing and singing in an ornate Maori building. Tonga had drumming contests. Fiji had you play an instrument while giving an oral history and information about Fiji's geography. I found it to be a great educational experience, as well as a lot of fun. There are some other things going on, too. There is a "Canoe Parade" in which you sit alongside the faux-river and watch barges go by with dancers from each culture. And later you can be poled down this river as well. Arrive early if you want to see every show, take the river ride, watch the parade, and take the tour of Laie on the bus that includes a trip to the Temple Visitor's Center. After the show, there is a luau. This is the part of the PCC I'd skip next time. The food and entertainment were mediocre (and expensive). In addition, I was sort of Polynesian-cultured out. There is yet another show later that night. This show is more full-length play with fire-dancing and a story. I was tired (it was 8pm there, but 1 am at home), ready to get home, and had a difficult time following the story. As a skeptic of the PCC before I went, I'd definitely go again, but next time without the Luau or the evening performance.

He had lots of different poses once he climbed the tree, but this was my favorite.

The Maori building was beautiful inside and out.

From the Canoe Parade--these are Tahiti dancers with their fast shaking hips.

Randy on a canoe ride.

These girls are doing the hula!

That's the pig we are going to eat at the luau.

Our friends at our table loaned us their pineapple drink for the picture that they took of us.

I took a picture of my plate so Mark could see all the things I tried.
The purple roll--pretty good.  The purple poi--horrible.

Anyone celebrating an anniversary got to come up front and dance.  Once again, our friends snapped a picture and they even caught the emcee grinning in the background.  I am going to watch for him on TV someday hosting a game show.

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