Hawaiian Luau at Paradise Cove

On our final day in Hawaii, Papa Steve took us to Paradise Cove for a wonderful luau experience.  We got to immerse ourselves in Hawaiian culture by doing arts and crafts, playing games and watching a Hawaiian performance while enjoying a nice dinner.

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Parents looking very tropical in their floral printed outfits

My dad took these photos on the way to Paradise Cove:

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(I didn’t see most of these sights because I was sleeping in the backseat.  I woke up with a fever that morning T__T)

On our way to Paradise Cove, Papa Steve took us to see Aulani, the Disney Hawaiian Resort.

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The resort is owned by Disney but aside from the gift shop, I didn’t really see any signs of Disney in there.  It’s not like they had Mickey Mouse waiting to greet us in the lobby.  (Although they might have Hidden Mickeys all over the place and I just didn’t notice.)

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Taking pictures on the lobby balcony

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They had a lazy river.  I would have loved to try this 🙂

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Koi pond

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Some fluffy stuff.  Not sure what they are.  Spears?  Some kind of weapon?  (They look a lot like feather dusters though.)

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We were sitting in the lobby and chillin’ when this guy showed up:

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He gave us a brief history of Hawaii

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He was very passionate about it too

After his little history lesson, we walked around the hotel for a bit

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After exploring the place and checking out the gift shop, we continued our drive to Paradise Cove

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Posing in front as Daddy and Papa Steve buys our tickets for us

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Despite our little detour to Aulani, we got there a bit early.  They weren’t letting people in yet, so we grabbed a bench and waited for the opening

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After a few minutes, the staff told us to form a line because they would be letting people in soon

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Getting our leis from the staff

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The sun was really harsh where the line was, but I found a good solution

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Papa Steve though I was being sweet by coming up to stand so close to him, until he realized my true intent 😄

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Quick shot before we went inside.  We were at the front of the line so we got to go in first, yay!

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Time to get the line moving


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 We were welcomed by this lady’s singing

IMG_8048a (2)aWe were also given free drinks as we entered the place

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Cheers
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This was the stage where the dancing would take place later that evening.  We saved some spots in front before seeing what this place had to offer

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We went down to the beach to take some photosIMG_8076

And we walked around to see all the free activities they had:
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Like this Polynesian Tattooing station

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And these traditional Hawaiian games

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We tried this spear throwing game

IMG_8098But none of us came close to hitting the target.  We watched a few other people try it and no one managed to hit the board either.  Some of them asked if it was even possible, so the guy in charge of the game showed us how it was done:

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Bullseye!

We also tried this other game which was similar to bowling:

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We did much better in this game than in the spear throwing one

They also offered some free dance lessons, which we decided to try:
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They gave us these ball-like things on strings, which we were supposed to spin around

When the lady showed us how to do it, she looked so graceful and elegant, but I just kept getting the string tangled up

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Mama too, lol

We saw that they had tables where you can make flower bracelet and headdresses, so we decided to do that next

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Ezra went to a different table.  The bracelet she made used leaves and flowers, while ours was used flowers and plastic beads

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The lady helped me put my bracelet on.  I wanted it on my right hand, but she told me I had to wear it on my left to show that I was in a committed relationship
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Ezra too of course
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Aside from trying the activities they offered, we also checked out the gift shops around the area

IMG_8147Some wood carvings


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I found flower clips, like the one Ezra’s wearing


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Flower overload~


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My parents enjoying their drinks in the shade

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We watched a short performance by these lovely peopleIMG_8193

They also taught us how to wear the sarong thing. This is for women

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And this is for men

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Afterwards they invited some people to come forward and dance with them

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Ninang and my mom went for it

Then we headed back to the beach for the Shower of Flowers
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This guy climbed this coconut tree so quickly

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Weeeee~

After this everyone went to the shore to watch the fishing ceremony

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(They didn’t actually catch any fish, it was just a demonstration for the audience)

There was also a short dance performance by these lovely ladies:

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Again, they asked for some volunteers from the audience for the next dance.  I think they were asked to participate in some kind of rain dance, or fishing dance (or something of the sort).
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 After this we were asked to move to this other stage area where they have the underground oven/pit.  But before that, we took a few more pictures by the beach because the lighting was better and less harsh now:

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Kurt posted this photo on his FB page just before he went to bed that evening and a lot of people thought that they got engaged/married that day.  They woke up the next morning and found all their friends congratulating them.  Brinks even texted me on Viber to ask what was up, lol.  Ezra made Kurt post an update to clear things up.  They were just showing their new couple rings in this photo.  You gotta admit, it’s pretty misleading.  A newlywed couple on the beach (real ones) even came up to Ezra and Kurt after we took this photo to congratulate them, lol.  (But now they really are engaged and are planning their wedding :D)

After taking a few pictures, we watched another short performance

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Here comes the king

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More dancing girls

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They talked about and showed us some of the food they would be serving us that evening

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They asked for volunteers to taste this Hawaiian dish called “poi”, which is taro that has been blended to the consistency of baby food.  They warned us that not a lot of people like it, but we should try it and see for ourselves.  I tried it later that evening and it’s not bad (at least not as bad as they made it out to be).  It reminds me a bit of unsweetened ube.

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Bringing in the kalua pig

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Putting it in the underground oven

After their performance they asked us to head over to our tables because they would be serving dinner shortly.

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Pina colada, yumm~

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I noticed the tag on the men’s lei 😀  It’s from the Philippines, surprise surprise~

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Lots of guests that evening

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Our food arrived shortly.  The dinner was actually a buffet, but the tickets we got allowed us to stay in our seats and avoid the crowd.  The servers brought us our food and we could just ask for more whenever we want.

While we ate our meals, we watched the performance on stage.  I’m not going to bore you by posting all the photos I took, but here are some just to give you an idea of what the show was like:

IMG_8338a (5)There were lots of traditional dancing

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The ball on string dance that we tried to learn earlier

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I thought this girl was super pretty~

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 The performers wore a lot of colorful costumes

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Ther was even a fire dancer

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I was impressed by how graceful all the ladies looked

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Here they were showing us a traditional Polynesian wedding dance

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This guy was really popular with the ladies

They also asked some of the audience to come up on stage to dance with them
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There were a lot of people who volunteered.  My mom was one of them, but she didn’t make it on stage because there were so many people.  They mostly asked the kids to come up with the adults stayed on the sides and were asked to dance there.

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See that pretty lady in the middle wearing a grass skirt and a coconut bra?  That’s actually a guy that they pulled out from the audience.  He seems to be enjoying himself.  I think he mentioned that his family was there to celebrate his graduation … or his brother’s graduation, I can’t remember. (He didn’t actually come to the luau dressed like that, they made him change before he went up on stage XD)

After the show we got to take pictures with the performers

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I got to take a picture with the pretty girl I pointed out earlier

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My dad with two beautiful ladies

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Kurt looks happy

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And with this guy, who the ladies went crazy for.  My mom put her arm on his waist for the photo and those guys behind him kept pulling it down so that it would be on his bum, lol.

This ends our amazing Hawaiian adventure last summer.  It took me almost a year to post these entries, but I had fun looking back and remembering all those great moments we had.  It’s been a while since the trip happened so seeing all these photos brought back a lot of wonderful memories 🙂

Thank you so much to Papa Steve and Tita Rachel for this wonderful Hawaiian vacation.  Thank you for helping us plan our trip, for all the suggestions, the discounts, and (most importantly) taking the time to show us around this beautiful place 😀  We had an amazing time which we will cherish forever 😀

Related Entries:

And if you prefer watching videos to reading long blog entries, then you can check out some videos that Kurt made of our Hawaii trip by CLICKING HERE.

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