The MLA luau last night was a great way to end a fantastic conference. It started out with cocktails (i.e. one beer/wine ticket per person) and mingling near the beach. Then at least 500 people (that is probably a conservative estimate!) made their way to the tables that were set up near a large stage. Fun, edible pineapple centerpieces adorned the tables. The pineapple is so tasty here in Hawaii, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to enjoy it quite the same “on the mainland.” The wait staff first brought out some very interesting appetizers/salads (including seaweed) and then brought heaping portions of meat to each person. There was no way one person could eat all that food! Some of it was tastier than other parts, but all in all, it felt like a very authentic Hawaiian meal. While dessert was being brought to the tables, the official luau show began. We enjoyed a tour through Polynesia, seeing dances from Samoa to New Zealand to Hawaii, of course! The evening ended with the obligatory audience participation portion. To my surprise, I was dragged onto the stage to demonstrate my hula skills! It actually ended up being a lot of fun and is one of the highlights of my time in Hawaii so far!

Picture courtesy of Julia Shaw-Kokot

Picture courtesy of Julia Shaw-Kokot