Honeymoon Recap: Polynesian Cultural Center
It took us through some beautiful parts of Hawaii.
Seriously, it looks like Lost (which I know is filmed there, but still!)
Finally we made it to the PCC. Many people had recommended the PCC to us. We had also read about it in our Frommer’s Hawaii 2011. From what we’d heard and read, we thought it would be this quaint cultural center, kind of like a museum. No . . it’s like Epcot, including the prices. Just a fair warning to those who plan on going there. It was interesting, but we were just not prepared for what we found.
We decided that since we’d driven all the way up there, we would get a package which included admission, a luau, and the night time show. We only had an hour and half or so to see the park before the luau. We made our way to Samoa for their show, where we learned about how to break open a coconut and milk it.
They also demonstrated how to climb a coconut tree to retrieve the coconuts.
He was like a monkey!
After the show, we made our way to Aotearoa Maori, which is a tribe from New Zealand. They demonstrated the many songs and dances associated with their culture. Some of them included dancing with poms that were attached by ropes. You can sort of see the motion in the pictures below. It was so interesting to learn and watch, especially since this “dancing” was performed later in the night show. We got to see what we had learned later!
After this show, it was time to make our way to our Luau. We were greeted with beads and shown to our table. We sat with some nice couples from Minnesota and Boston (!). While we waited for dinner, drinks were passed around.
How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?
Before we could eat, they had to uncover the pig, which had been roasting all day.
Then it was time to fill our plates.
Clockwise: there was a purple roll (made using the purple sweet potato), a salmon salad, pineapple, a type of fish “jerky” (in the plastic cup), rice noodles, teriyaki chicken, a white fish, pork, and the purpley-brownish stuff is Poi. I’m still not sure if you were supposed to eat Poi by itself or as a sauce. It was funky . . .
While we ate, we were treated to a traditional Luau show complete with Hula dancing.
At one point, they told all of the couples celebrating to stand up. Then we were told to go on stage and dance together. This was Matt’s face as he sat back down.
Hell no, Anne! I did the big wedding thing. I will NOT go on stage and dance!
Unfortunately, all of the other couples at our table decided to avoid public humiliation as well. The host noticed and we were all dragged by our ears to the stage. Obviously, we survived!
And we were rewarded with DESSERT!
A pineapple bar, angel food cake with coconut frosting, and a very dry chocolate brownie thing. Winner? ANGEL FOOD! (and not just because it was the biggest!)
After the show, we were informed that there was a bus tour of the park. Since we hadn’t gotten to see the entire park in our abbreviated afternoon, we decided to take it. Somehow, we had misinterpreted what the tour actually was of. The next thing we know, we were being shown the surrounding town and BYU-Hawaii. For those of you who don’t know, the Polynesian Cultural Center was originally built as a way for the students of BYU-Hawaii to make money for tuition, while sharing their Polynesian culture with others.
The best part of the tour? Seeing a mongoose! We saw something scurry about the grounds. Matt jokingly said that it was a mongoose, when a tour guide informed us that it was in fact a MONGOOSE! Here’s my attempt at catching a picture of it (we chased it all over the Temple grounds):
Random Fact: Mongooses (Mongeese?) were brought over to kill the rats, which came with the boats of settlers to Hawaii. Unfortunately, mongooses are daytime creatures, and rats are nighttime creatures. Oops! As our helicopter tour guide told us “Another example of a government program gone awry.”
Anyway, the Temple at BYU-Hawaii.
After our tour, it was time for the show.
Obviously, no photographs or video were allowed, but here’s a link to a video of it, if you are interested.
Thank goodness there was fire! I told Matt that fire must be involved for the cost to be worth it! It was really, really cool!
All in all, the Polynesian Cultural Center was really interesting. I wish that we had more time. Also, I wish that we had known what to expect. Of course, as we learned on our trip to Hawaii, everything there comes with a bit of sticker shock.