March 5, 2010
Aloha Pirate Nation,
Day three in Honolulu and we just arrived at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium for this afternoon’s game against No. 1 Washington.
Wednesday night we went to the Paradise Cove Luau and had a great time. This morning the players enjoyed some more time at the beach before heading to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and leaving for the game.
I cannot leave out a very important part of yesterday. After the afternoon’s practice the team headed to Yogurt Mama. I love ice cream so was more than happy to go along to grab some yogurt.
When we walked in, there were yogurt dispensers and toppings everywhere. You got to select and make everything for yourself. Your flavors and toppings were unlimited as the price you pay is based solely on the weight of your cup at the end of your creating. There were about 14 flavors of yogurt, ranging from mixed berry to cheesecake to cookies-and-cream to birthday cake. The toppings were also just about anything imaginable. There were M&Ms, chocolate syrup, cookie dough, graham cracker crumbs, fresh pineapple, chocolate chip cookies and so many more. Everybody agrees that Greenville needs to get a Yogurt Mama as soon as possible. I think we could keep it in business all by ourselves.
Paradise Cove Luau
After pulling ourselves out of Yogurt Mama, we headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and left for the luau. What a great experience that was.
The bus came and picked us up in front of the hotel and we drove the 27 miles to Paradise Cove. Our guide along the way, Trina, told us that heading out there we would experience Hawai’i time. Talk about traffic. Those 27 miles took about an hour to cover. But the view was nice and Trina was really funny. She encouraged everybody to relax and have a good time at the luau. She outlined what would take place and when as well as finding out any birthday, anniversary or honeymooners on the bus.
When we arrived at Paradise Cove, we were escorted through the entranceway where everybody had the opportunity to get his or her picture taken with a very attractive hula man or woman. After we got inside, the members of our party took a big group picture. We filled about four rows with all the parents and family members who joined in the fun.
It was then time to check out some of the activities that Paradise Cove put on. You could make a flowered headdress or wrist band to wear, get a Polynesian tattoo drawn on for the evening or learn the hula. Other options were going on a canoe ride, watching a demonstration about how to crack a coconut or seeing a recreation of how Hawaiians used to go fishing.
Finally, the conk shell blew, indicating that it was time for the food ceremony to start. The pig was removed from the ground where it had been roasting for the past six hours and everybody moved over to the dinner tables. We said a prayer and listened Hawaiian music while tables were dismissed to go to the buffet. We ate field green salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, rolls, fish served with a macadamia nut cream sauce, fried chicken and of course, the roasted pig served over rice. For dessert there was banana cake with coconut frosting, chocolate cake and pineapple slices.
In an attempt to make my grandmother proud, I tried everything that was on the table. The food was absolutely fantastic.
After dinner, we watched a performance featuring numerous Hawaiian and Polynesian dances. It was a great way to learn a little bit about the histories and cultures of those places. We saw different versions of the hula, a fire dancer and listed to the most popular Hawaiian wedding song. The fire dancer was the most exciting as he twirled around his flaming sticks so close to his body that I don’t know how he didn’t burn himself. At one point, he put his lit torch on his feet.
Our team also got into the act as numerous players volunteered to do the hula on stage with the dancers. Junior Sissy Jimenez stole the show as she was selected as a special volunteer. One of the hula men and Jimenez danced alone in the spotlight on stage. She received lots of encouraging shouts from the crowd, especially from the Pirates.
The performance drew to a close and we all got on the bus back to the hotel. It was a long night and everybody was exhausted. It was certainly an experience I’ll never forget. For more information on Paradise Cove and its luaus, click here.
This morning, the players had until 10:30 a.m. to lie out on the beach before they had to retreat to the hotel to get some rest for today’s game. At 11:45 a.m. we walked to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. We wanted to leave the hotel at 2:00 p.m. for the game and when it reached 1:00 p.m. and not everybody had gotten their food at the restaurant yet, the stress level started to rise.
Eventually, we got all the food and raced back to the hotel in time to leave by 2:00 p.m. Now the team is warming up on the field getting ready to play the Huskies.
Tomorrow East Carolina does not have a lot of free time as it plays at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. against Seattle and Hawai’i.