Saturday, July 9, 2011

Real Family Fun: A day at the Polynesian Cultural Center...

Yesterday was Willy's birthday. He took the day off work to have some family fun time, which of course translated into a bit of sleeping in, a bit of lounging around the house, a bit of wishy washy decision making about our plans for the day and finally getting out of the house a little grumpier and a little later than we'd expected. Once we officially hit the road toward Laie (after a doctor's office detour to pick up a prescription, a Walmart detour to pick up oil for the car and camping gear for Ben's scout camp trip next week and a Wendy's detour because in our sort of lazy then crazy departure from home we never got around to eating lunch) we had a really fun time!

We spent some time in the Samoan village attempting to climb a coconut tree and attempting to build fire. Attempting.

I think in the end, Brady got a tiny bit higher up the tree than the others. Toby didn't even want to try.

And Willy managed to produce some smoke (and a lot of sweat) while trying to start fire. The other kids just managed some sore muscles.

Then we stopped by Aotearoa (New Zealand) where Brady and Toby got the first of their various tattoos and the rest of the gang gave spinning poi balls a valiant effort with some surprising success (and lots of fun and laughter).

Whoops... Toby got himself in the face (but giggled about it)

Molly may have had more fun swinging her poi balls at others than actually trying to twirl them properly.

Off to Fiji next where the kids got to experience an activity new to the PCC since the last time we went: riding on the bamboo rafts. Brady and Ben hopped right on, Molly managed to convince me to let her go on (!!!!) and Toby was so reluctant to get on that the boat actually started to push away from the dock before he finally nodded his head to indicate that he wanted to ride too. I managed to watch them enjoy the experience without having a complete panic attack back on the dock. They loved it!

You have to check out a close up shot of Toby in the photo above. Seriously the best picture of him. Ever!

Next we stopped in the Hawaiian village where Molly joined with all the Japanese tourists in a tour group as they learned a hula dance while the boys headed straight to the Hawaiian games and entertained themselves for quite a while.

Hula girl Molly!

Since we'd arrived late we thought we weren't going to see anything else at this point, but somehow we managed to hit the final show in the Tongan village. Willy had never seen this presentation before and as luck (and a very small crowd at that time of day!) would have it, he got chosen to go up on the stage and participate. We all loved cheering him on. After the show the kids got to go on stage and bang on the Tongan drums to their heart's content. Fun fun fun. Enjoy the videos of our time hanging out in Tonga!

Next we fed fish, took some photos, threw some spears and then headed to McDonald's for a quick bite to eat.

Willy was just a few inches from hitting the target!

I think this is what Willy enjoyed most about the day... taking pictures. And I love taking pictures of him taking pictures :) He's so in his element.

Fancy pants McDonald's with a waterfall inside!

After dinner we headed back to the PCC to enjoy Ha: The Breath of Life night show. I was so excited to be going to see it with Molly more grown up than the last time we went as a family. She was only about 18 months old the last time we went and she didn't have the patience or interest to sit still for the whole show so I ended up taking her out and missing some of the show. I thought this time would be bliss because she'd be interested in the show and I was so excited at the prospect of watching the show without disruption. HAHAHA. Molly lasted through the first maybe 15 minutes of the show before the relentless squirming, seat-changing, lap-climbing, not-whisper-talking, potty-demanding and theatrical sighing began. And then all of that joyful goodness carried on throughout the entire remainder of the show. Fun, fun times. Oh well. Still saw the whole show and we all (minus Molly) enjoyed it a lot. Especially the fire knife dancers. That's always the most exciting! (And I personally love the Tahitian fast hip shaking dances, too!)

So a fun, fun family day. Maybe not the perfect way to spend a birthday Willy style, but he was a good sport about it. In fact going to the PCC on his birthday was actually his idea a few weeks ago, and I'm so glad we were able to go through with it! We'll enjoy cake and ice cream today since we weren't able to get to it yesterday. Of course he's out in the water right now so the birthday treats will have to wait even a bit longer.

P.S. Hey look at me! I've successfully figured out how to bombard my readers with videos and pictures on Blogger! Yay me :)


  1. Yes! Yay you! My sister saw that you started a new blog and said she was so happy because the last time you blogged it was March something or other. She has missed your blog immensely because it so funny and real.

    Anyway the PCC looks so incredibly fun! I want a boat ride! I am glad you had fun celebrating Willy's birthday. Reading about how his birthday passed sounded so familiar, and we are always so fly by the seat of our pants and last minute. Glad you had a great day!

  2. Oh I'm happy Erin's keeping tabs on me heheheh :) Tell her hi for me!! Does she blog? I'd love to follow her too!

    I hope you guys will come to play while we live here! We'd love to go with you to the PCC. It's such a great place to visit!

  3. Thanks for coming by my blog to introduce yourself! We're gonna have a blast with this competition!

    Great pics!

  4. I'm so happy to have new blogging from you. I've missed you and your family. I can't believe how grown up all your kids look-that's what about 16 months (I think) will do to them.

    Since you're such a blogger expert now, do you have any ideas on how to post my comment with my name at the top. I can't get it to work on your blog or Ashley's, but it's been fine on everyone elses. Not sure what the difference is. -Teresa