Poke Nachos & Quiet Picnics – Dylan Loo

The Spirit of Aloha

The word “aloha” is the most recognized of all Hawaiian words. In its simplest use, it means “hello”, “welcome”, or “goodbye”. But the word, to many Hawaiians, can also be used to convey a much deeper and richer feeling, one that encapsulates a way of living, being, and most of all, treating others. This Spirit of Aloha inspires us to do what we do and influences every facet of every tour we offer at Polynesian Adventure Activities.

We wanted to delve further into this particular meaning of Aloha, so we asked Dylan Loo what the Spirit of Aloha means to him, as well as some of his favorite things to do, see, and eat on Oahu.

Hi, Dylan! How long have you been a member of the Poly Ad Ohana?
3 months

What are some of your favorite things about Hawai’i?

I love watching the Hawaiian sunsets at the Ko Olina Lagoons. The horizon is unobstructed and the sky becomes a beautiful gradient of colors. Each lagoon is different, some with grassy areas, others with rocks near the break. Watching the sunset with the sound of waves rolling towards the lagoon makes me feel calm and safe.

How would you describe the Spirit of Aloha to someone who is unfamiliar with the concept?
The Aloha Spirit is a common agreement to respect others and treat others like family. From verbiage like calling elders “aunty” or “uncle”, to simple actions like thanking other drivers when changing lanes- there is an unspoken understanding that everyone should acknowledge and appreciate other people’s humanity and generosity.

What is your favorite local food? Where is the best place to eat it or to buy it?
Plantation Tavern in Kapolei has the best poke nachos, which are wonton chips with shoyu or spicy ahi, unagi sauce, avocado, and tomatoes.

What is your favorite “off the beaten path” place to enjoy?
I like having picnics at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Gardens. The park is clean, quiet, and surrounded by the majestic Ko’olau mountains. There are so many great spots for a picnic, including different campsites with tables, benches, and even one with a sparkling lake full of koi. Even though it is a huge place maintained by the state, it is hidden away in Kaneohe and there is always room to lay out a blanket and enjoy a spacious picnic.

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