This morning was a bit grey and cloudy, but by the time we dragged ourselves out the door for breakfast at the Wailana coffee shop at 10ish, it had turned sunny again, so that was nice. The big shocking news of the morning was that someone from my class in middle/high school was the first person my age I know to get married! I guess we're all actually growing up!
Anyways... back to Hawaii, after breakfast we decided to head up to the Polynesian Cultural Centre near the North Shore. Its a 43 acre complex which has seven villages representing the different Polynesian nations, a canoe pageant, canoe tours, imax, a luau, show, etc. It's somewhat like a Disney-esque slice of the islands.
We got there at two fifteenish, and headed straight to the canoe pageant, where they have about eight big flat pontoon type canoes being poled down the central river thing by one pole boy, and then there were six-eight dancers in traditional dance showing off something from each of the islands - it was pretty interesting!
We walked up to the Marquesses Islands (sp?) for a snack, and then Peter and I jumped on the canoe tour while Mom and Grampa went to Tahiti and the Marquesses. The canoe tour we took was a ten minute, one way ride down the river and back to the other end of the park - it was a good way to get an idea of the park's layout, and we saw some pretty cool buildings along the river banks. We jumped off the canoe at 3:59 and then raced into see the 4:00 IMAX showing about Coral Reefs. It was amazing!
The reefs were so gorgeous, and it was also shocking to see some of the dead reefs. We saw one scientist/diver, who after observing how a huge potato cod fish got its mouth cleaned by these funny looking insecty type creatures which ate the parasites in its mouth, decided to whip out her ventilator and get her own mouth hoovered! It was crazy!! She was just floating there with her mouth wide open and these two creatures cleaning her out. She was like 'well, I was worried that I was going to inhale him, but it turned out OK'. I was thinking it wasn't a great idea to open your mouth underwater, invite some creatures in, and not be able to breathe without the ventilator thingy, but I'm the one completely freaked out by snorkeling, so there you go!
We met back up with Mom and Grampa, and slowly headed over to the buffet, before heading to Horizons, the big show everyone seems to go to at the end of the night. It was a pretty impressive 1.5 hour production, with singing and dancing from all the regions, and then a pretty spectacular set of fire dancing/fire walking/sitting in fire/setting grass skirts on fire, etc. The set was pretty cool, and the exploding volcanoes at the end were great!
We didn't really have time to see any of the islands, but we get reentry once in the next three days with our tickets, so I think we're going to combine a trip to the North Shore with a look through the islands which would be cool - I want to try spear throwing!
Back to the hotel relatively early, at about 10:30, and I think everyone is just collapsing for an earlyish night - our quiet vacation week hasn't exactly been slow and I think we're all ready for a good sleep!