Biggest Ball of String

Our road trip adventures, quirky roadside attractions, generally in the United States or Canada (and with occasional travel off the mainland into Hawaii, Alaska, Caribbean and Europe – so far)

Lu’aus, Kalua Pua’a, and icky Poi

on September 23, 2013

Each time we went to Kona (well, The Island, actually), we did some tourist-y things –edit like, visited the Volcano and went to a bunch of beaches and snorkelled… but, we didn’t actually make it to a Lu’au for NINE YEARS!

Lu’aus just weren’t on the list of things I wanted to do. Until, I realized, we’d been there 9 times, and hadn’t done the most classic thing.

After taking a random opinion poll, we decided to go to the Lu’au at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.

The Royal Family ArrivesWe chose that particular one because the Royal Court arrives by boat, the Court Herald announcing their arrival blasting the Conch.  Also, it was our understanding that they were the only lu’au at the time that had the Fire Dancers.  The dress was traditional, but not what you see in the movies – well, the male dancers were wearing loin cloth, but the hula girls were in full dress, not in coconut shells. (We were fine with that – not sure how the guys in the group felt, but we knew in advance.)

They have the unveiling of the Kalua Pua’a (pig) that is cooked in an underground oven (imu), and they serve that, along with poi (which is basically Imugoo made out of taro root… it comes in different textures – depending on how many fingers you need to eat it – one, two and three finger poi, depending upon the gooiness (spell check says that’s the way to spell it). Poi is, in my opinion, GROSS!! but apparently…popular.)

Unburying the pua'a in the imu

pua'aComplimentary mai-tais helps to drown out the icky taste of poi, though, so that’s great! and for dessert, often pineapple upside down cake, which is YUMMY too!

We learned that we could attend a Time Share Presentation and get 4 free Lu’au tickets, which seemed like a good idea at the time.

We agreed in advance to “just say No” – no matter what.  WELL! those are TERRIBLE!!!  Peter’s good at them.  I am NOT!   I caved right away. Well, I made it through the first room and the first presentation.  The second was trickier.  And, by about the 4th, we were arguing.  It pretty much wrecked the entire day.  We didn’t buy a time share.  We DID get free tickets.

We had a lot of fun at the lu’au.  We crossed it off our “we have never done this before” list…

This year, as mentioned, we were with Chris & Amanda & daughters, who hadn’t been to a lu’au before, so we chose the one at the Royal Kona Resort.  (This time, we chose based on the “classic” attire – coconut shell bikini tops BUT, it turns out, they ALSO have Fire Dancers!)More Hula DancersThe hula

The lu’au dinner menu seems similar to the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel (yummy kalua pua’a, pineapple upside down cake, icky poi)…Icky Poi

We paid for the tickets this time – NO MORE TIME SHARES FOR US!!  Learned that lesson the hard way for sure.

Both shows were great! We enjoyed both.  Each had things to offer.  So far, we haven’t been to a lu’au where the dancers invite people up to learn to hula, like in all the movies – but it must happen.  Anyone know where?

Fire Dancer

You should go!  There are other options at other hotels, too. I’m sure we’ll find ourselves at another some time, and maybe I’ll pick a different hotel again. (Which reminds me – sometimes the hotels give special deals, too, if you are staying there.)

We’ve only stayed at one hotel in Kona and that’s the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel, when we were too late coming into town and so we snuck and told everyone we arrived the next day 🙂 shhhhhhhhhhh.

The King Kam Inn (which I believed was the name, until I started writing this particular blog) has THE BEST EVER dinner buffet on Fridays and Saturdays.  They feature Prime Rib (Peter’s favorite) and Seafood (including Snowcrab, which is my second favorite), and a LOT of other items, and a great dessert buffet, too.  (The Buffet is on my To-Do list every year!)Probably the World's Largest Shave Ice

After dinner, you can take a lovely stroll down Ali’i Drive ~ enjoy the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, the happy people sampling what could be the World’s Largest Shave Ice, chirping birds in the Banyan Tree putting themselves to bed for the night, the scent of the seawater merging with plumeria, and the perfect 72°F (22° Celsius) weather (which, as we all know – 72° IS “Comfort Zone”.)

Speaking of Ali’i Drive – I think that’s what we’ll tour next blog.

 

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