When we entered the gates we were given a Mai Tai to sip as we explored the luau grounds. The luau grounds of the Paradise Cove Luau are quite extensive and included all kinds of different cultural events. There was a spear throwing area, canoe rides, handmade Hawaiian jewelry stands, Hawaiian hula dancing lessons, and much more.
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Travel Blog #143 - An Evening At The Paradise Cove Luau
We had been outside waiting by the curb for about 30 seconds when the Paradise Cove Luau bus pulled up in front of us. The luau representative greeted and gave us our admission tickets to the luau grounds. It took a little more than half an hour for us to get to our destination. Once we were there we filed out of the bus and made our way through the gates and into the luau grounds.
We cruised around the luau grounds and checked out all of the sights. I was very impressed by the small protected lagoon that they had to do canoe rides in, and the fish net pulling ceremony (also known as a Ho’okilau) was fantastic. Not long after we had completed our tour of the grounds we heard the conch shell blowing that signified the beginning of the imu ceremony, where they were going to dig up the pig that had been roasting in an underground oven (imu) for the majority of the day. The imu area at the Paradise Cove was very nice, with stadium seating extending all the way around making it possible for those in the back rows to easily see what was happening.
After they finished digging up the pig and moving it onto a giant tray they carried it back over towards the thatched roofed "Buffet Hale". It took them a few minutes to finish preparing the buffet. When everything was ready they called everyone up table by table to make their dinner plates at the enormous luau buffet. When we were called to the buffet I made a mountainous plate with all of my favorite dishes. Lomi Lomi Salmon, Chicken Long Rice, BBQ Strip Steaks, Fresh Pineapple, and of course.....a huge pile of Kalua Pork covered with Poi. The food was fabulous! Just as we were finishing our plates the show lights dimmed and the show began. The show had an enormous cast with dancers from all over the Pacific Rim. They performed dances from Tonga, Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa and of course.....Hawaii.
When the last act came to a close and the lights came back on we made our way back to the bus. Earlier in the evening we were considering getting off the bus more towards the center of Waikiki and spending the rest of the night out on the town. However, the large cocktails and gigantic buffet dinners took a good amount of the wind out of our sails and when we both began to fall asleep on the bus ride home we officially abandoned any plans to continue the evening in the clubs of Waikiki. We had already had enough fun at the luau to not feel guilty about calling it a night and going home to go to sleep.
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