Category Archives: Honeymoon

Honeymoon Recap: Polynesian Cultural Center

After our morning/early afternoon at Pearl Harbor, we decided to head up to the Polynesian Cultural Center.  The drive took about an hour.

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It took us through some beautiful parts of Hawaii.

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Seriously, it looks like Lost (which I know is filmed there, but still!)

Finally we made it to the PCC.  Many people had recommended the PCC to us.  We had also read about it in our Frommer’s Hawaii 2011.  From what we’d heard and read, we thought it would be this quaint cultural center, kind of like a museum.  No . . it’s like Epcot, including the prices.  Just a fair warning to those who plan on going there.  It was interesting, but we were just not prepared for what we found.

We decided that since we’d driven all the way up there, we would get a package which included admission, a luau, and the night time show.  We only had an hour and half or so to see the park before the luau.  We made our way to Samoa for their show, where we learned about how to break open a coconut and milk it.

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They also demonstrated how to climb a coconut tree to retrieve the coconuts.

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He was like a monkey!

After the show, we made our way to Aotearoa Maori, which is a tribe from New Zealand.  They demonstrated the many songs and dances associated with their culture.  Some of them included dancing with poms that were attached by ropes.  You can sort of see the motion in the pictures below.  It was so interesting to learn and watch, especially since this “dancing” was performed later in the night show.  We got to see what we had learned later!
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After this show, it was time to make our way to our Luau.  We were greeted with beads and shown to our table.  We sat with some nice couples from Minnesota and Boston (!).  While we waited for dinner, drinks were passed around. 

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How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?  Smile with tongue out

Before we could eat, they had to uncover the pig, which had been roasting all day.

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Then it was time to fill our plates.

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Clockwise: there was a purple roll (made using the purple sweet potato), a salmon salad, pineapple, a type of fish “jerky” (in the plastic cup), rice noodles, teriyaki chicken, a white fish, pork, and the purpley-brownish stuff is Poi.  I’m still not sure if you were supposed to eat Poi by itself or as a sauce.  It was funky . . .

While we ate, we were treated to a traditional Luau show complete with Hula dancing.

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At one point, they told all of the couples celebrating to stand up.  Then we were told to go on stage and dance together.  This was Matt’s face as he sat back down.

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Hell no, Anne!  I did the big wedding thing.  I will NOT go on stage and dance!

Unfortunately, all of the other couples at our table decided to avoid public humiliation as well.  The host noticed and we were all dragged by our ears to the stage.  Obviously, we survived!

And we were rewarded with DESSERT!

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A pineapple bar, angel food cake with coconut frosting, and a very dry chocolate brownie thing.  Winner?  ANGEL FOOD!  (and not just because it was the biggest!)

After the show, we were informed that there was a bus tour of the park.  Since we hadn’t gotten to see the entire park in our abbreviated afternoon, we decided to take it.  Somehow, we had misinterpreted what the tour actually was of.  The next thing we know, we were being shown the surrounding town and BYU-Hawaii.  For those of you who don’t know, the Polynesian Cultural Center was originally built as a way for the students of BYU-Hawaii to make money for tuition, while sharing their Polynesian culture with others. 

The best part of the tour?  Seeing a mongoose!  We saw something scurry about the grounds.  Matt jokingly said that it was a mongoose, when a tour guide informed us that it was in fact a MONGOOSE!  Here’s my attempt at catching a picture of it (we chased it all over the Temple grounds):

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Random Fact:  Mongooses (Mongeese?) were brought over to kill the rats, which came with the boats of settlers to Hawaii.  Unfortunately, mongooses are daytime creatures, and rats are nighttime creatures.  Oops!  As our helicopter tour guide told us “Another example of a government program gone awry.”

Anyway, the Temple at BYU-Hawaii.

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After our tour, it was time for the show.

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Obviously, no photographs or video were allowed, but here’s a link to a video of it, if you are interested.

Thank goodness there was fire!  I told Matt that fire must be involved for the cost to be worth it!  It was really, really cool!

All in all, the Polynesian Cultural Center was really interesting.  I wish that we had more time.  Also, I wish that we had known what to expect.  Of course, as we learned on our trip to Hawaii, everything there comes with a bit of sticker shock.

Honeymoon Recap: Pearl Harbor

Remember how the airline lost my luggage?  Well, I still didn’t have it when I woke up at 5:30am on our first day in Hawaii.  Since we’d gone to bed at 9pm, I missed the phone call from the airline at 11pm informing me that my bag had been located.  They tried to deliver it to our hotel, unfortunately my luggage had my maiden name on it and we were registered at the hotel under Matt’s name.  Oops!  I called them about 8am and my stuff was delivered by 8:30!

Anyway, while we were waiting on my luggage, we went down to the Plumeria Beach House for breakfast.  We prepaid for our hotel using their bed and breakfast package, so we attended their AMAZING breakfast every morning.

This was our view:

Did I mention that every time we went there the staff kept calling us Mr. and Mrs. T?!  It was crazy!

Anyway, after my luggage came and I took a nice shower, it was time to head to Pearl Harbor.  When we decided that we were going to Hawaii, I said that I didn’t care what we did, but we HAD to go to Pearl Harbor.

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After getting lost and finally finding some parking (parking is limited, FYI!), we got our free tickets for the 1:30 boat to the USS Arizona.   While we were waiting for our time, we decided to go check out the USS Bowfin, a submarine.  You pay about $10 for this self guided audio tour.

(SPOILER ALERT! The USS Arizona is in the background of these photos)

Here’s the boiler and the place to sleep in the boiler room

Matt had a bit of a hard time moving around.  Being 6′-3″ he wasn’t really built for submarine life.



The kitchen was pretty interesting.  I wonder if this mixer was available when we registered for our kitchenaid.

I took this picture for all of my friends who work for GE.  (You know who you are.)  GE IS EVERYWHERE!!

The whole tour was very interesting.  I think it was well worth the $10 (which goes towards keeping the area restored).

Now it was time for our tour of the USS Arizona.

First you are taken into a theater for a video telling the story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Did you know that the radar actually picked up on the Japanese planes when they were north of Oahu, but they were dismissed as there were American planes due back that day from a training exercise? 

Then it was time to board a boat to be taken out to the Memorial at the U.S.S. Arizona. 

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There was a map showing the sunken ship and what was visible.

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There was a room which listed all of the men who had died during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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A special section was dedicated to the survivors who chose to be buried with their shipmates upon their death.

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The USS Arizona as we went away.

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After our sombering tour, we walked around the area on land, which had more memorials.  Of course I found some Marine memorials for my brother.

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It was an amazing place to visit.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone.  My dad, who is a WWII buff, was very jealous.

Honeymoon Recap: Our First Night in Oahu

We left for our honeymoon on Monday, May 23, at 6am.  It was pouring down rain.  We were delayed out of Cincinnati, so that we were THOSE people running through the Dallas airport.  Of course when we finally got onto the plane, we were told that there were storms coming in.  We waited on the tarmac for another 1.5 hours.  Whatever, we were on our way to HAWAII!  We landed in Hawaii around 3:30pm (which was 9:30pm East Coast time), and guess what, THEY LOST MY LUGGAGE!!  ARGH!  Whatever, we got our rental car, and drove through rush hour traffic to find our hotel.

We stayed at the Kahala Resort, which is absolutely beautiful!  It’s on the other side of Diamond Head from Honolulu and Waikiki, so it’s very quiet.


The whole lobby is open air (it’s such nice weather in Hawaii).

The room was so relaxing.

(Note that the only clothes that I had were in that small carry-on.  That would be my swimsuit and my lingerie from my cupcake bridal shower and bachelorette parties.  What else do you really need on your honeymoon? ;P  )

We chose to not splurge on an ocean view and instead faced the Waialae Golf Club.  I think that it’s still a pretty freaking fantastic view.

And look what else made the trip to Hawaii and was  awaiting us when we got there?


My bouquet and champagne!  My bouquet was so pretty that I couldn’t stand to just throw it away.  So I packed it up.  It’s a little worse for the wear, but still gorgeous.  Around the box are mine and Matt’s leis, that we were given upon check-in to the Kahala.  No, we were not given leis at the airport, but we were when we checked in.  The Kahala gifted us with champagne.  That’s what you get for telling people that you’re on your honeymoon (along with probably half of the people on our plane to Honolulu!).

Since it was almost 5:30pm (that would be 11:30pm Eastern), we needed to find some food.  We went downstairs to the Plumeria Beach House at the Kahala and ate outside.  The view was so nice.

Matt dug right in (I think he ate the entire breadbasket!)

And now for the food:

Matt got Hawaiian Style Braised Korubuta Pork which came with sweet potatoes taro puree (they would be the purple looking stuff).  DELICIOUS!

I got a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes.  Everything was decimated when I finished.  So good!

After eating, we explored the Kahala.  They have live dolphins!

Can you spot a fin?

And we went to other pond and found a ray!

It was a beautiful night.  After going to a nearby mall and Longs (our CVS equivalent!) for some toiletries and flip-flops for me, as well as some booze (Hooray for being able to buy alcohol in a drug store!  And hooray for our mini fridge in our suite!), we were exhausted.  So we packed it in, and went to bed at 9pm.  And that is the beginning of our Hawaiian honeymoon.  Stay tuned as we visit Oahu and Maui!


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