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Monday, November 09, 2015

Hula Lesson Video Update! Three Dreams at the Old Laihana Luau

At Old Lahaina Luau, most giving 'Shaka' hand signal, left to right
Jeffery, v. nice lady, Jordan and Jeannie
Every trip to Hawaii, by law, must include a Luau. OK, there is no such law, but there ought to be, especially since we already abide by it. This trip the error was made to let me make our luau reservations. I booked us at The Old Lahaina Luau. The gang was horrified I chose ground seating on cushions with a low table, instead of the usual table and chairs. I was so jazzed: ground seating just like on all those  '50s TV shows I watched before Hawaii was a state. Hurrah, a dream come true! After all, being the oldest I figured if I am willing to sit hours on this old tush, they can do it too.

Fresh Tuberoses

But let me back up a bit. As we arrived and picked up our tickets, we were immediately offered fragrant Tuberose flowers from a basket. Mine immediately went behind my right ear which in Hawaii means I'm 'available', though for what I'm not sure. If you're married you put your flower over the ear on the side you wear your wedding ring: easy peasy.

A miracle: as we entered the grounds a real flower lei was dropped upon each of our necks. GAK! Most luaus give out shell leis - shell leis are cool, but they can't hold a candle to a fresh & fragrant flower lei resting on your shoulders. Am totally awestruck by this 2nd dream come true. I wasn't quite recovered from my joy when a handsome sarong clad bit of man-candy smiled at our group. He offered us refreshment: Mai Tais (virgin for the kiddies), POG (Passion - Orange - Guava nectar) or water, & such, all with orchid flowers or wedges of pineapple floating in them. I had to have a Mai Tai if not for yet another flower to admire.
Ron took this great picture of 'the gang'
In the photo above, you see right to left, Jeannie, Jordan, Stephie in Blue dress with little Gracie, and behind her is her brother Jeffery. In the rear is Steve in white top & shorts and a v. happy 'moi'. The first table behind us with a pineapple and poofy cushions to sit upon, was all ours for the night.
Ron, Jeannie and grand-baby Gracie

Sipping our exotic drinks, we had about an hour before the meal. So we all wandered about and I discovered there were HULA LESSONS. I mean, dream three come true! Feeling I was in dreamland, I picked up a pair of the bamboo rhythm sticks from the little lawn, and I soon I swayed to island breezes. Always wanted a Hula lesson while actually in Hawaii, and although I endlessly searched on line, none were offered. Just as the lesson began, I'd looked around to see if Jeannie or someone could film my lesson but no one was in sight. Still, I was sooo happy, I had to fight back happy tears. You ever had to dance in public while stifling back tears of joy? At the dance's end, Ron tapped me on the shoulder.   "So... would you be upset if someone videoed your lesson?" He looked just guilty enough to confirm it was he who did the filming. Rampant joy ensued...
Teary & happy fat lady enjoying a Hula Lesson on freakn' Maui - YAHOO!
The dug out Kalua Pua'a from the Imu

So those were the 3 miracles of the Old Laihana Luau. Mind, the remainder of the Luau, was pretty great.

We watched the opening of the imu - the in ground oven - and the removal of the slow roasted pig.

The Luau food was... sorry I use this word so much, must make note-to-self to use thesaurus - awesome! I've been to three other luaus thus far and this one, in my opinion had the best food. I say that as it was, authentic and as tasty as one could hope for. OK, except for the poi which did reliably taste like wall paper paste, but I always eat it anyway, I mean, heck, I'm in Hawaii, right? There was Pork Laulau (pork in banana leaves), Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Ahi Pokie (spicy raw tuna salad), taro salad, Pohole Salad (ferns, Maui onions & tomatoes) and of course the Kalua Pua'a (the pork from the imu). Loads of other tasty dishes as well, followed by a plate of desserts just for our table shown on the right here.  The white cakes shown on the far left are pudding-ish coconut milk squares called Haupia while my favorite of the lot, on the opposite far right - almost too dark to see - are Hawaiian Chocolate Chili Pepper Brownies. The cookies and cakes in the middle were pretty yummy too.

When we were done filling our faces it was time for the show to begin. I held my iPhone up for the recording, making sure to kept my eyes on the dancers, not the screen - you know, live in the moment. I seem to have done better than I expected and this video below is the result. Starts out solemn Hula, then progresses to some of the best Tahitian dancing I've ever had the pleasure to view. Towards the end they use the bamboo dance sticks that I got to use in my Hula lesson, and it all ends with what else, but Aloha Oe, written by the great Queen Liliʻuokalani.

Hawaiian Super Men

When the hoopla, dancing and encouraging shrieks of joy ended, it was suddenly time for us to leave. No! Can't we stay?  *puppy eyes*

Before leaving there were lots of photos taken with stars from the shows. Jeffery and Jordan had a chance to show they were Hawaiian Superman ala Iggy.

 A fun ending to a fantastic evening.

Gracie gets her pose with the nice man
Home? Shoot... I'm staying! 

Oh, but before we were sent on our way, there was a small loaf of banana bread for each and every one of us, including the kids. Can you believe that? I mean, it was as if each of us suddenly knew the joy of having a sweet Hawaiian granny who wasn't sending us on the road home without a bit of sweet to remind us of our Maui evening of dreams come true.

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