The one thing that caught on my eye on the wedding invitation: a luau at the Royal Kona. The little eighth grader inside of me was jumping for joy.

#kvphawaii Happy Hour at @RoyalKonaResort. Hello Mai Tai!

We enjoyed our first sunset in Kona sipping Mai Tais, catching up with Bay Area friends and waiting for a pig, slowly roasting in the ground.

I missed the luau experience on our first family trip to Hawaii. My dad had me so excited about the fire dancers and the roast pig. As a pre-tween, I knew the hype was for tourists. It didn’t matter. I loved lechon and that made me crave the idea of succulent, fatty pork meat, falling off the bone after a day of cooking in banana leaves.

The rain thwarted our plans. A canceled luau crushed me.

In Kona, I was one of the first people out of my seat when they announced they were digging the Kalua Pua’a out of the pit.

I was also one of the first people to go after the pig skin. I think I was the only woman trying to break off a piece from the smoking hot flesh. My fingers burned. I thought it would have tasted like crispy lechon skin. I think my ninong tried to warn me that it was a little different. He was right. The skin tasted chewy and fatty. Still good, but lechon is better.


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