This weekend, Matt and I went to a luau at Paradise Cove to celebrate our anniversary and his birthday early (he'll be deployed on the actual days). It was our first date night in about 6 months, and it was a really nice time out. Matt went all out and bought the deluxe package, so everything was included: we got beautiful leis on arrival, free drinks throughout, and table service at dinner (everyone else has to walk to the buffet, poor slobs!).
On the way, we saw this complete rainbow:
Enjoying before dinner drinks:
I got a sea turtle "tattoo":
There are many shows before dinner. There are demonstrations of how to open a coconut, canoe rides, and the Shower of Flowers. A man scaled this palm tree in seconds and scattered beautiful flowers down upon us:
Sunset was gorgeous:
Then there was a ceremony celebrating the pig they roasted underground all day for the meal, and they raised the pig. It was paraded around for all to see (uggh).
Dinner was pretty good, and it was a great opportunity to try some local dishes which I didn't want to pay for in case they were awful, but I did want to taste... For instance, there were tiny samples of 'lomi lomi' which is a fish based chopped salad (not bad); poi, which is a ground up root (not good); and haupia, which is a coconut custard sort of thing (pretty good).
Then the show began, and it was very entertaining. The dancers dressed in costume and performed dances traditional to many Pacific islands. The costumes were fantastic:
This is the "sitting hula" which was 'invented' in the 60's. Really, she sat in a chair and did the hula...
The fire eater was phenomenal:
I'm not usually a fan of things like this - they feel like such a tourist trap, and you know there are no Hawaiians who go to luaus. But it was really nice to be out with Matt, it was a beautiful night, and they do put on a good show! You just have to accept it for what it is, sort of like Vegas!