Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Hui Hou Kakou

Today was annual 'raver' day in very sunny Buttonwood Bay.

This was the day when the park owners and management thanked us residents who have put up with their numerous rules and regulati.........opps......better not upset anyone here as I'd like to come back. Lets try this again.........

This was the day we residents let the park owners and management lay on free food, drink and entertainment to thank us for being jolly nice people who they'd like to see return year after year or, in the case of year round residents already, remain here for ever and ever.


Over the next few days, the snowbirds will be leaving the park to return to their northern homes (6 more weeks in my case) and so this was a sort of "thank you and farewell till we see you next winter" type bash.

So once again, down in the glade by the lake, things were stirring, and with a luau being the theme this year, things were of an Hawaiian nature. Yes, despite being almost 5,000 miles and 6 time zones away, a little bit of the Pacific came to us today and no one was complaining.

Around 1200 tickets had been issued and judging by the line for the food, it seemed like everyone had turned up.

Considering such numbers, the meal had to be basic. Hot dogs with all the toppings, chips, cookies and frozen sorbet for dessert. Drink, both soda and beer, were free flowing and you just helped yourself as often as you liked. So I did.

The park management and staff did the serving and grunt work and a fine job they made of it. Dennis helped with the hotdog grilling and probably never wants to see another one for a long time.

Debby was handing out the plates and the 'goody' bags containing the cutlery, chips and cookies.

This went on for about 3 hours and finally everyone had passed by at least once and it was time for seconds....and then thirds. There was certainly no shortage of food and drink and if anyone left hungry and/or thirsty, they only had themselves to blame. By the very end, in fact, pitchers of beer and goody bags were being taken out to anyone left in the area......they didn't even have to move.

But I've jumped ahead as usual.

By the time I got there at noon, the luau was in full swing and the entertainment was about to begin. We'd all been lei'd when we'd entered the area (!) and most people had tossed aside the mothballs and brought out the brightest, loudest, most Hawaiian looking tops they could find in their closets. The sun was blazing down, the palm fronds were gently swaying in the lake side breeze and if you'd closed your eyes, the sounds alone would've convinced you you were in Hawaii. Glorious.

Some grass skirts were on display but again, this being a family blog, I'll keep those images to myself. At least until money changes hands. Oh wait, here is a 'clean' one that can be published.....

The entertainment was awesome. Numerous costume changes led us to believe dozens of dancers had been hired when in reality, I think there were only 5 or 6 girls and 2 or 3 boys. I'm not sure myself as I never saw them together.

And before any sharp eyed reader comments on a non Hawaiian 'act' in there, that was part of a story in dance around other Hawaiian type islands and so New Zealand was included.

There were plenty of opportunities for audience participation and if it's one thing I've learned about life in this park, it's that you need to step aside sharpish when the cry goes up for volunteers from the audience !!

By 3pm the main entertainment was over but few people left. As I said earlier, food and drink was still available and the music played on.

The Hawaiian Dance Formation Team also stayed around for a while so everyone could have their photos taken of them and with them. Old male (and probably female) hands were a blur as residents got themselves between the very attractive young dancers and posed for photos that are sure to be deleted when seen by their better halves !

Ever the professional, I contented myself by just taking photos OF them and here are a few, ending with my favourite.

So a grand time was had by all. Well I say that but what do I know. I had a grand time anyway. What wasn't to like ? Free food, free drink, free (very attractive) entertainment and the park was at its very best. Add in clear blue skies and hot sunny weather and yes, it was just about perfect.

What would have made it totally perfect ? Free jaffa cakes of course.

Maybe next year.

A huge thank you goes out to the Buttonwood Bay management and staff who put on this wonderful event again. The organisation and hard work put in by you all is much appreciated by this snowbird.


Jennyta said...

How disappointing! I was waiting to see a photo of you in your grass skirt, Ian! :)

rhymeswithplague said...

The girls are all lovely, but the guy with the tongue scares the bejeebers* out of me!

(*bejeebers is Methodist for living crap)

dancilhoney said...

Excellent - It made me think about retirement in a totally different way. Good call to action - I will really try to take up the challenge. lifestyle retirement villages

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