“They weren’t kidding when they said it would be a bumpy ride,” I said as I held onto dear life. The jeep went over a rock and we flew through the air for a few seconds.
“Fun, huh?” Tom answered.
It was pretty fun. We were at Kualoa Ranch and had decided to do the Jungle Expedition tour. It’s basically what it sounds like: they take you into the jungle. They also warn that it’s extra bumpy. They are not exaggerating when they say this.
The jeep stopped and pointed at a pond area.
“Is anyone here a fan of the show Lost?” the tour guide asked.
My hand shot up. It was like I was in English class all over again. “OH! ME!” I said a little too enthusiastically. I looked around the Jeep that held at least 8 other people. They blinked at me in confusion. The Japanese family muttered something I didn’t understand. (Probably “strange Americans and their flamboyant ways.”) Tom just rolled his eyes.
“The pond is where the submarine blew up.”
“Tom,” I hissed. “Take a—”
“I’m on it,” Tom said. He raised the camera and snapped away.
“And you know this hill,” the tour guide continued.
I almost fell out of my seat with anticipation. Did something significant in Lost happen there too?
“Is where the vehicle fell down in the movie Rundown with The Rock and the guy who plays Stifler in the American Pie movies.”
“That was a funny movie!” Tom said and took another picture.
We drove on and then stopped again.
“This was where a lot of the Lost jungle scenes were filmed,” the tour guide explained.
“Tom!” I hissed. “Take a—”
“I’m on it.” Snap.
He knows me well. He doesn’t watch Lost but he knows I love the show.
We drove on and stopped again at a tall lookout point. Pretty.
We also figured out what Shy Grass was. If you touch it, it shrivels up. Sort of like what I would do if Newt Gingrich ever tried to touch me.
After that tour we went on the movie one. While we were waiting for the bus, we found a chicken:
And a turtle.
Plus a tired rabbit.
So the first place they drove us on the movie tour was an old World War 2 bunker. This was used in the movie Pearl Harbor.
Still pretty ocean around it.
In the bunker they had the submarine from Lost!!
Yeah, don’t mind that dude in the background. He was taking pictures of some other Lost artifacts in a glass case. He would not MOVE. He took pictures for like 5 minutes of the same thing. (It wasn’t anything interesting. It was an Oceanic brochure. Cool, I guess, but nothing that I’d stare at for 5 minutes..)
We drove around some more. Beautiful ranch area. And it looked like there was a project about to film since we saw white tents dotted around. It’s used a lot in Hollywood.
For instance, this was the tree that was used in Jurassic Park. Remember the part where the guy and the two kids were running from the dinosaurs? They hid behind a tree? THIS tree!
Remember the part in Lost where they started a golf course? That was here!
Did you see Godzilla? This is the footprint of him. Well, made by the film people, obviously. (Or WAS it??!!)
Do you recall the part in 50 First Dates when Adam Sandler lets a penguin loose to get Drew Barrymore’s attention? That was done here.
Did you like the movie Windtalkers? That was filmed here and they left behind some props from the movie.
We were shown a few more movie location but nothing I was really interested in.
Kualoa Ranch was interesting to look at and I recommend a stop there. You can also go horseback and ATV riding but we opted not to do that.
That evening we went to a luau and it was a lot of fun.
Look at the food!
That’s shredded pork from a pig that was cooked in the ground. Holy crap, yum. (That fried stick looks dirty but I assure you, it was a fried banana and I loved it..) (Uh. That’s what she said?)
At the end of the luau a 13 year old kid came and did a fire dance. 13! I kept thinking, “Oh my gosh, please be careful.” Because he was, you know, 13. I kept thinking when did he start playing with fire? How must his parents feel when they watch him twirl a flaming stick? What if he accidentally dropped said flaming stick on his HEAD?
The kid did great though. At the end of the show he shook hands and people marveled on how young he was. He was very humble and was like, “I had great teachers.”
Note to self: don’t tell Tommy that a 13 year old was able to play with fire. Then, in the future when I tell him never, ever to touch matches he’ll be like, “But that 13 year old in Hawaii works with fire!”