Heaven on Earth - Fall 2006 travel blog

Aloha Stadium

Hawaiian garb

T shirts in sizes up to 6XL

leis

Vietnamese dresses

wood art

luau

taking the pig from the fire pit

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 721 K)

hula show

(MP4 - 888 K)

lighting the torches

(MP4 - 665 K)

removing the pig from the fire pit


Since our condo is on Waikiki, we are surrounded by oportunities to shop for souvenirs. A short stroll overwhelmed us with T shirt shops, swim wear, jewelry both fancy and of the puka shell variety, and handicrafts. We had heard that the best place to go for such treasures is the swap meet at Aloha Stadium. Aloha Stadium is a professional arena about the size of Soldier's Field where the University of Hawaii plays it football games and many bowl games are held. Next week the Rolling Stones are performing there. Three times a week vendors set up open air booths around the entire circumference of the stadium selling many of the great things we saw at twice the price on Waikiki as well as other great stuff we didn't know we needed until we saw it. It took us almost three hours to walk past all the booths. Many of the vendors were Vietnamese, leading us to speculate that they take the role that many Mexican immigrants take on the mainland. I was surprised to see that T-shirts were commonly availabe in sizes up to 6XL. Hawaiians tend to be a hefty people, so perhaps the merchants were trying to serve the customer. I took photos of some of the things that intrigued me. You can guess which ones I also bought.

In the evening we boarded a bus for a ride to Germaine's luau on the beach where we had dinner and a show with 450 cousins, as the Hawaiians affectionately call new acquaintances. The party began as soon as the bus pulled away. Hawaiians know that tourists are their bread and butter and they know what most tourists like. Our escort told funny stories, sang funny songs and generally made the time fly as we drove to the beach site. As we arrived we were each lei-ed, a rather tired Hawaiian joke, but a nice tradition. We were taken to the fire pit (imu) where a pig had been baking in the ground for the last ten hours. The meat was heated by hot rocks placed inside the carcass. The luau meal featured this fall-off-the-bone pork, poi, lomi lomi salmon, and other more common buffet items. Then the hips began to swivel as dancers demonstrated the various sorts of hula performed by various Polynesian island groups such as Tahiti, Samoa, the Maori of New Zealand, and Hawaiians. We were invited to get up on stage and swivel our hips as well, but we geezers left that to the newlyweds who were there in great numbers.

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