Monday, December 31, 2012

Hawaii Day 6

Friday was our first full day with the whole family.  We visited the temple first, and I met some of my relatives; Bob and Ofa Lilywhite, that was pretty cool, they were there serving a mission. :)
 Okay, so cool story.  Jared and I are big Hawaii Five O fans, love the show.  This guy (Taylor Wily) is one of the frequent guest stars on the show, and the only Poly on the show.  His character owns a shrimp shack and his personality is super fun.  So while I knew he was just a star on a tv show, and that he probably doesn't really own a shrimp shack part of me still really wanted to eat shrimp at his shrimp shack, for the authentic Hawaiian experience, dumb, I know.  But as fortune would have it we stopped at the Hukilau restaurant, very near to the temple and guess who was outside waiting to go in an have lunch - Yup Taylor Wily.  I was shocked and thrilled.  So even though I have never been "that person" who goes to get pictures with a celebrity, I totally did, and I am glad I did, and I may just start being "that person". :)  Don't worry though, I didn't bug him at all after we got a picture.  And yes we had shrimp, just like he ordered, and he is super friendly.  A Laie native.  Pretty cool, and a fun surprise to our vacation. :)

After lunch we went to the Polynesian Culture Center (PCC).  I was looking forward to the PCC ever since I found out we would be going to Hawaii.  The PCC is like the Epcot Center for all of the Polynesian Islands.  You get to visit each island, taste some of their food, hear the music, play some of their games, see their homes/temples/schools, and learn all about their culture, all while visiting natives from the island.  The PCC is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, along with BYU-Hawaii, which is next door.  The church visits the islands, invites natives to go to school at BYU-Hawaii for free, if they will work at the PCC.  Talk about a great deal. :) Other employs at the PCC are students at BYU as well, working as tour guides etc.  Our tour guide was David, a fun and very informative guy, we learned so much!

 The games were so fun, especially when you get our competitive group together. :)
 The object of this game is to leave your stick standing and catch your neighbors stick all while moving left or right according to the callers instructions.  Jared won - he cheats ;)
 This game was similar, when the caller says left, right, front, back you move accordingly into the next square, it is harder than it looks and lots of fun. :)

 It so fun to see people actually climb a palm tree free hand, start a fire with sticks, brake open a coconut, with a tiny hammer, do the hula as well as many other awesome dances, and do the drum shows.  The Poly's have a GREAT sense of humor.  My cheek bones hurt by the end of the night.

 We also got to try throwing spears - Jared won that game as well - on pure skill. :)

 The highlight of the tour was our dinner, Prime Dinning - a terrific buffet, and the night show Ha - Breath of Life.  The show was amazing, made more so by our front and center seats.  The story, music, dancing and then incredible fire show at then end were amazing!  Who knew a man could were a grass skirt, flower leis, dance the hula and look so tough and amazing.  When they do the Haka, Yikes, it is intimidating, skirts and all!
The PCC was everything I hoped it would be.  I am SO grateful for Wyn and Dee Ann's generosity in affording the whole event, ambassador class and all!

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