Dole Pineapple Plantation
Thursday was a jam packed day. We hit the road early to head to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. I have one word for this place- lame. Do yourself a favor if you are ever in Oahu, skip this place. We browsed the gift shop, which was nice, but overpriced. We also took the Pineapple Express, a train tour of the “plantation”. I put that in quotes because it isn’t a plantation anymore. This tour was terrible; you don’t really see anything and you have to listen to a super cheesy audio recording. We did get some good pictures of Ava as a pineapple though.
The plantation is free to visit, so if you must stop by, just check out the gift shop and say you have been here. While you’re here check out the trees by the entrance. They do have super cool bark. Just don’t pay money for the Pineapple Express.
North Shore Eats
We continued our journey to the North Shore and made a lunch time stop at the Grass Skirt Grill.
This teeny tiny cafe was featured on the Food Network. It is known for, what else, their plate lunches (are you noticing a trend with plate lunches). I had the special, a grilled vegetable sandwich. It was OK, didn’t blow me away or anything. The Lakes got an order of garlic fries and those were awesome! Leave it to Angela to always know what to order. FYI, this place is super small and there is limited seating. I am pretty sure it didn’t even have a bathroom.
After lunch, we headed to Aoki’s for shaved ice. This is apparently THE PLACE to go on the North Shore for shaved ice. I wish I wasn’t having stomach troubles, because I love shaved ice and everyone was raving about how delicious it was. BTW, shaved ice + ice cream = awesomeness.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Last stop for the day; the Polynesian Cultural Center. This place is touted as the number one PAID attraction in Oahu. Interesting: The PCC is owned by the Mormon Church and the majority of the employees go to BYU Hawaii. Many of the entertainers or "Island folks” were recruited (not sure that is the right word to use) into the church and given scholarships in exchange for their work at the center.
Everyday at 2:00 the PCC features a parade showcasing the culture of the different islands. We didn’t really get a good view of the parade, so I don’t have any pictures. I was kind of over it, since Dan and I were here 2 years ago. Plus it was so HOT and I was still not feeling well.
The center is broken down by islands. Each island has a show or demonstration as well as hands-on activities. Our favorite island was Samoa. This guy was very entertaining, don’t miss his show. You also get to see men climb coconut trees (very impressive).
The luau starts at 5:30. Tables are family style and you may be seated with people who are not part of your party. There is entertainment during the luau and a buffet in which you get to sample some local delicacies.
Taro rolls are on all the tables. They look really weird, but do not turn these down. They are sweet and delicious.
Here is a picture of Angela’s plate. The purple sweet potatoes are fantastic, even better than regular sweet potatoes. The purple sweet potato salad rocked my face. Yum! If you are ever here, try everything.
Like all tourist attractions, they take your picture and try to sell it to you (why buy it when you can just take a picture of it). Here is our beautiful group.
You admission ticket also includes tickets to the evening show. Dan and I went to this show 2 years ago, so we decided to skip it to get Ava home and in bed before she became a major cranky pants. The drive back to Oahu is beautiful and I am glad it was still slightly light out so we can see it. We were back in time to put Ava to bed and enjoy a few cocktails on our lanai before calling it a night.