Sunday, April 22, 2007

Polynesian Cultural Center

My Aunt Luz treated the whole family to a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I don't know why I've never been there, it was a lot of fun! It took a while to get there from the house, but it was well worth it.
Before we even got to the first island (the Center is divided up into the different islands that make up Polynesia), I had already found my tiki self, I'm pretty sure that is a spoon in its left hand.
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Some of the islands are connected by bridges over a lagoon.
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A Fijian Bure Kalou, which literally means "Spirit House".
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Each day, along the main waterway, there is a canoe parade where each of the islands are represented:
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Aotearoa (New Zealand)
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Samoa
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The dancers have a little fun with their oarsman. At a manuever, to spin the canoe around, the dancers "rocked" the boat at the right moment.
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Which ends up with this...
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Fiji
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Hawaii
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Tonga
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Tahiti
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Can you tell it was my favorite canoe?

Love them waterfalls... Ok, so they are not the real thing...
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Celia and Jim at one of the many bridges.
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After the Canoe Pageant, we went to the different islands and tried our hands at some of the dances and other things that had some potential of pain...
Poi balls anyone?
Jim?
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Adrian?
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Ivana?
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Minnie?
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How about tititorea, the Maori stick game designed to develop hand-eye coordination?
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After a while Celia, Jim, Minnie and Olivia were doing very well. Then mom and Auntie Thelma decided to give it a try.
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Oh well...

Me at the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Exhibit
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Jim and Celia at the waterfall
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Getting tired and hungry and waiting for the evening show (which was not for another hour.
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Evening show
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Once all the pyro-performers wrapped up the entire cast came out for the finale.
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On the way out I found a couple of dancers to take the tourist photo with me.
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It was a great end to my visit. As soon as I got back from dropping Celia and Jim off at the Banyan, I had to start packing. My plane leaves at 7 am, which meant I had to be at the airport "around" 5 am (c'mon! Airport rules or not, this was still Hawaii. They are still pretty laid back here!)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Picnic at the Beach

Tonight the families all got together for a picnic at the beach next to the Hilton. The Hilton puts on a hula show and fireworks afterwards. I remember coming here for a similar picnic a long time ago. I had forgotten how nice a beach it is considering how close it is to the hotel and well... it's Waikiki after all. One thng about the park and its picnic area there are a lot of trees that birds roost at and most of the picnic tables are right under the trees... where the birds roost... You have to be careful where you park yourself, I was going to take a picture of a bird just when it unloaded. I was so surprised that I didn't even think to take the picture but then again who would want that picture...
Here are the families getting situated and getting their food when Minnie spotted a bird getting ready to make a deposit...
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While people slowly trickled in and setting up the tables, the kids went to the playground.
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Tasha
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Others wanted to go to the beach.
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Celia and Jim
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For a Friday afternoon, the beach wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be...
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Everyone loves a sunset.
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After the hula show that the Hilton puts on the fireworks show starts.
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As soon as the fireworks show ended, 2 performers started a pyrotechnic show of their own for donations.
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After a little more eating and cleaning up we packed it up and called it a night.
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