We woke up quite early again and decided to head out to the beach before PCC. We wanted to try a different beach and went to Kalama Park Beach by 7 am. Technically a part of Kailua beach, but it has bathrooms and showers. In terms of the quality of the sand, I felt like it was littered with too many leaves and debris close to the entrance. We much preferred the private access that is granted to the Hula Breeze guests. We still had a great time and stayed until 10:30am.
Ate lunch and got ready for the Polynesian Cultural Center. The drive took us quite a long time with some roadwork, but the scenery was breathtaking. We took note of places to return to on our North Shore drive. We also stopped at Surfin Tacos for the shrimp and fish taco platter. The fish tacos were just ok, the shrimp tacos were great, and so were the rice and beans. Service a bit slow, but nice.
As we drove up to the PCC, we saw lots of tour busses and were a bit worried about the crowds. We has the Ambassador ticket and were offered a tour guide. His name was Jesse and I have to tell you he was phenomenal! Funny, witty, personable, and just plain nice. I think we really got a lot out of the tour guide than just doing it ourselves. The canoe parade was g reattach, we saw a few performances in Samoa and Tahiti, as well as did some hands of games and activities. My daughter was fully engaged as were all the other kids that were part of our tour group. By the end, we really did feel like cousins :). I highly recommend this experience, as at first I thought it was just a tourist trap, but it was really educational. Did you know that Togo is the only Polynesian country that was not colonized? And that their King adopted Christianity and added it to the constitution, making it illegal to work on Sundays? Well if you did, I did not :)
We opted to the traditional Hawaiian Luau dinner, and the food was not very good. It was passable but just barely. We had a smoothies that was very good, and actually enjoyed the performances during the show very much. I was also pleasantly surprised that shaved ice was $3 and not $10 like Disney would charge you, the other things such as ice cream and souvenirs were also fairly priced. Could you get them cheaper? Sure, but they were not gouging prices. Wat er was $1.50 not $4, you get the idea. After dinner we went to see the backstage tour, which was ok but you could pass on this if you want to do something else during this time.
We then headed to the Ha show. We had 2nd row, middle seats, and they were fabulous. The show was fantastic, the dancers, the music, the passion, they were all present and wonderful. The main theme throughout the entire PCC, whether dinner, checking in, villages, or anywhere else, people were full of the Aloha spirit. If you even remotely looked like you had a question, the staff would ask how they can help you before you had a chance to say "excuse me?". I also felt that they were really proud of their culture and genuinely happy to share it. It showed with the funny performances, the demos, and the smiling, joking, happy faces of everyone there. My 7 year old was fully engaged. We got there at 1:30 (a bit late, and I did wish we were there right at noon), and left around 9:30pm. If I had one complaint, is that by the time you are seated for the show at 7:30 and the lights are turned off, you are so tired, you want to take a nap. thankfully that show is great and engaging, but quite late for a kid and a tired Mom :)
The fourth day, we headed out back to our private access Kailua beach. It was a great day and I have sunburn to prove it. We picked up lunch at the local Kalapawai deli and spent half the day playing in the turquoise water. Then home to change and head out for shaved ice at the Island Snow. It was really good and we ate it to he last drop.
We drove out to the Pali look it, WOW! What awesome views and history. We enjoyed reading a bit about the place and looking at the backdrop of history. It was super windy there and tons of bees. Not sure why, but there is a sign to be careful. Not sure what you can do to be careful around bees, but a young girl of about 7 or 8 got stub right next to my daughter and we quickly moved on. Would have liked to spend more time there, but we got scares of being stung.
For our last hurrah before heading out of the Winward side, we went to the picturesque beCh of Lanikai. Although beautiful with great view of the 2 islands, Kailua beach is softer and in the water is all soft sand as opposed to Lanikai having those teeny pebbles underfoot. My daughter did not care either way :). We spent an hour playing in the sand and noticed that the surf was basically non existent, not sure if that was because of this beach or the time of day. The homes around there are amazing.
We decided to head to Lucy's for dinner, but as we drove up we saw a for lease sign. They are permanently closed down. A shame as they and great reviews. In a pinch, we went to CPK for standard fare. A great day today spent with my beautiful daughter.
On to discover the North Shore and then check in to the Hilton Hawaiian Village.