Many years ago, i read James Michener’s book “Hawaii”. At more than 900 pages, it is not for the faint of heart! The narrative begins with the formation of the islands themselves eons ago and follows the arrival of various cultural groups through the mid-1950s. Hawaii is a mixture of cultures, each with its own influence. After we had our tickets for Hawaii, Robert and Shelly told us that they would take us to the Polynesian Cultural Center as our Christmas present and we were looking forward to it. It was an all afternoon and evening experience! The view on the drive in is of the Laie Hawaii Temple of the LDS church.
We purchased an upgrade that provided a guided group tour through the villages representing all the blended cultures of Hawaii. Our group of about 16, called our family, was led by a young Philippine student at the Mormon college on the grounds.
Each of us got one of those bead leis and were instructed to introduce ourselves to someone in the group we didn’t know and place the lei on our “lei buddy”. All of us were asked periodically if we could see our lei buddy, so the group wouldn’t wander off as we went through the various cultural villages.
Each area had a presentation of dancing or games typical of the culture and after the presentation, we got a chance to participate in said dance or game. Eye-hand coordination is not my long suit! I can, however, wear a temporary tattoo with the best of them!
There was a pageant performed on canoes. At either end of the water stage, the people on board had to duck under very low bridges. You’d think they had done that before, because no one was knocked off!
Our evening meal was a luau with another stage presentation about Hawaiian culture. Each of us received a beautiful orchid lei.
I would recommend this experience if you are planning a trip to Oahu!