I promised myself a long time ago, during my first Luau, that I wouldn’t be in this situation but here we are. Here comes the part I dread the most. They’re asking the men to come up on stage. Just blend in and do not make eye contact, I tell myself. Here comes one of the women dancers coaxing the men to come up on stage. She’s wrangling them left and right. No one is saying no to her. I don’t blame them. She looks very authoritative and imposing even in her grass skirt and coconut shell top. She’s getting close and I’m feeling sick to my stomach. All the while you can hear the beat of the drums go louder and louder. Do not make eye contact. I turn my face away from the stage and put my head down. I take a nervous sip of my maitai and feel someone behind me as the hairs on the back of my neck start to rise. Don’t look behind you. I see Duke’s expression. His face is saying “better you than me!” I don’t know what magical powers she has but my head turns and we lock eyes. She gives me a look and points to the stage. I shake my head timidly. She gives me another look and I just know that she’s the type that always gets her way. The drummers have a steady rhythm by now and everyone waits for the last sacrifice of the night. I get up and I hear the call of the wild. Chee hoo!!!!
Happy birthday, Duke!
In honor of Duke’s birthday, Here’s the no-nonsense plan for Day 3: breakfast at Lulu’s Surf Club, head to Lanikai Beach, lunch at the town of Kailua then head to Kailua Beach before heading back to the condo to get ready for tonight’s main event, Chief’s Luau.
Lulu’s Surf Club
Located at Park Shore Waikiki. This restaurant is on the second floor and has a great view of Queen’s beach. Come here if you’re extra hungry because the servings are huge. Duke orders the French toast, Massimo asks for the chocolate chip pancakes and I order a Denver omelet with a side of toast. Look at the picture of our food. You’ll be full before you even take a bite.
After breakfast, let’s head to the beach for some fun under the sun. We have some calories to burn.
Viewed as one of the most family friendly beaches on Oahu. There are small reefs scattered near the shore that make the water calm. The reefs provide a natural barrier against strong waves. One thing, I’ll say about this beach is that there’s no restroom facility. Parking is in the residential area. Be mindful of where you park. Don’t block any driveways.
Town of Kailua
This lovely beach town is very laid back. Every Friday afternoon, they have a Farmers market with lots of food trucks to choose from. Try the “Pig and the Lady” and get a banh mi sandwich. Order your food, grab a picnic mat from one of the bins and find an open spot. Like I said, it’s pretty laid back.
However, for lunch, we’ll check out a place called Lemongrass Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. This is a perfect place when you can’t decide what to eat. You get the best of everything South East Asia. Our server looks to be the owner as well. She looks like a no-nonsense woman. Massimo and I both order the vermicelli Noodle with chicken-pork-shrimp. The only difference is I ask for no cilantro or vegetables in mine. Duke gets the lemongrass chicken. All of us order the Thai tea to sate our caffeine cravings.
After lunch, let’s walk around the corner to ChadLou’s Coffeehouse for coffee and ice cream. We need more coffee. The Thai iced tea for lunch is not going to cut it.
After lunch, we head to Kailua Beach to get some more beach time. I just love the vibe here. It’s family friendly. The sand feels nice under your feet. The water is calm. The temperature is just right. It’s no wonder the plane tickets are so expensive especially during the summer months.
It’s a thirty-minute drive from Waikiki to Chief’s Luau. The Luau is located within the Wet ‘n Wild water park. What distinguishes this Luau from the others? I’ve been to a few other luaus and the food is about the same. So, let’s just get that out of the way. You have the imu or roast pig, BBQ chicken, macaroni salad, desert, the works. It’s all the same to me. What I like about Chief’s luau is the entertainment value. You will be entertained throughout the night. I would describe it as a one-man comedy show starring the Chief himself and his backup dancers representing all the Polynesian islands. It’s still a family show although there are some raunchy moments depending on where your mind is. There are several activities before the main show. You can walk the grounds and make a headband out of coconut leaves. Your ticket includes two alcoholic drinks. Head to the bar and get some maitais.
Have a seat. The show is about the start. Enjoy the show. Here’s a tip, don’t sit at the head of the table if you don’t want to get picked on to participate in tonight’s festivities.
Legs quaking next to the other men, I tell myself to breathe and just relax. It’s not that bad. The Chief is talking fast and I can’t quite understand what he’s saying. Slow down. The crowd erupts in laughter. What did he say? The rest of the guys are turning around and I follow suit. Okay not bad. It’s better than facing the crowd. He then tells us to tuck our shirt tails in to expose our derriere. Mortified, I hesitate and look to the other men for guidance. Now the Chief is telling us to bend our knees a little bit and raise our arms above our head. I think I know what’s next. We’re going to have to shake it like our lives depend on it. The best shaker gets to live. The rest will be thrown in the volcano as sacrifice. The beat of the drums start to pick up tempo. I don’t know what’s coming over me but I succumb to the whole experience. The beat of the drums reverberating and vibrating the stage floor. The energy of crowd flowing through my body and powering the sway of my hips as they go from side to side. Yes! My hips in synchrony with the rhythm of the drums. Yes! My knees bend lower and lower and I’m completely lost in the whole experience. Yes! And then the music stops. NO!!!
What a fun night! Let’s head home and get some sleep. Day 4 is just a few hours away. There is more to explore.
Click on the arrows to watch the slide show.
#chiefsluau #lanikaibeach #kailuabeach