Monday, June 27, 2011

The Hukilau Recap

A couple of weeks have passed since The Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale and it has taken almost that long to recover, regroup & look back at all that transpired. I can honestly say The Hukilau weekend far exceeded my expectations and I'm am eagerly awaiting next year's event.
The weekend started mid-day on Thursday with checking into the Bahia Cabana. The room would not have been considered 'luxury accommodations.' But we did not come for a lazy hotel stay - that can be saved for other vacations. We came to Hukilau-it-up!
We freshened up in the room and headed over to the famous Bahia Mar where the majority of the festivities were to occur. We rec'd a great little goodie bag when checking into The Hukilau. The extra large Swizzle sticks were super cool -I cannot wait to incorporate them into my bar decor.

Over the course of the weekend we saw the bands multiple times, each performance was fantastic. I'm now a huge vibraphone fan and cannot wait to delve into the world of Exotica Music. I think my favorite band was The Exotics out of Milwaukee. It is definitely worth checking them out if they play near you. The weekend started with the big Thursday night performances of The Intoxicators & The Tikiyaki Orchestra - both did a great job serenading us poolside at the Bahia Cabana. The Tikiyaki Orchestra had the bonus of having the beautiful sea siren Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid at the end of their set. Everything after the poolside bands is fuzzy due to the unmeasured & unidentified alcohol intake but I do have a distinct recollection of a nifty set of surf music in the Bahia Cabana Penthouse including my new favorite Go Go Gorilla.

Friday proved to be a late start for our evening festivities. We headed over to the former Yankee Clipper and had a non-Hukilau dinner there. The food was awesome and Secret Agent Man tried their Tequila Sampler while I sampled a very tart passion fruit Margarita.

After dinner we headed back over to the Bahia Mar for the music, dancing and primitive Hukilau partying. We particularly enjoyed Grinder Nova and the late night arrival of The Disasternauts.

Saturday was our big day at the Mai Kai - it was very exciting to see what everyone had told us was basically the Holy Grail of Tiki Culture. The examples of tiki were well beyond my expectations. We wandered the gardens,enjoyed drinks in the Molokai Bar and finally that evening attended the dinner show. The show was amazing & the dancers did a great job of entertaining Secret Agent Man with their hips & other exposed body parts! The Mai Kai costumes seem to defy gravity at times, they girls are quite...talented! The drinks were superb but the food was surprisingly excellent.  We enjoyed some of the best Orange Beef I've ever tasted along with an array of appetizers. We finished up the night enjoying another performance of The Intoxicators along with a few more drinks.

Sunday afternoon we returned to the Mai Kai anticipating the meet and greet with Laramie Dean & Dick Dale. We again enjoyed some quality time in the Molokai Bar with a much lighter crowd. It was nice to take in the decor and examine the details of the bar. Dick Dale and friends were a no-show. This was a small disappointment but we were going to see them later in the week in Orlando so we shed only one or two tears. We loaded up into our Command Vehicle and hit the road north back to our own Tiki Heaven - Melbourne for a little recovery time.

I know my wrap-up is weeks too late and the festivities have been very well documented by almost all who attended. Honestly, I spent more of the weekend soaking up all the tiki fun and not focusing on what I was going to blog about.I immersed myself into the experience. All after Thursday seems a little fuzzy now. Like a dreamy summer memory to be savored until the next Hukilau rolls around.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Hukilau Big Pack!

The moment has finally arrived. After waiting weeks and months - The Hukilau weekend is finally here. Work seemed to drag endlessly today as I doodled to do lists, to pack lists, things to buy lists, etc. I was as dreamy as a high school girl writing her 'imagined' married name. Circumstances prevented me from doing any pre-packing - a big move to a new condo is upcoming next week but that is small beans compared to The Hukilau right now.
So out came the suitcases and in went all my best 'tiki' outfits. I debated if leopard was appropriate tiki attire & decided it could be considered a neutral in a sea of Hawaiian print so into the suitcase it went. We'll be there four days so fifteen outfits seemed a reasonable number. This was pared down from twenty two outfits. I tossed in a couple sarongs, 6 pairs of shoes, beach hat, hair flowers, 4 purses, a beach bag, some fans, a parasol and hmmm........what else?

I gathered my priceless junk jewelry collected from years of flea markets, swap meets and grandma's jewelry box (Thanks Janie Lau!)  Two pairs of cat-eye sunglasses, sleep mask, a couple books, my parrot cooler (yes a cooler in the shape of a parrot, hopefully not too Jimmy Buffett.)
Next up electronics - first generation Ipod Nano (I'm retro like that), laptop, phone charger, camera, battery charger for the camera. In the morning I'll pack the make-up & hair items. Oh can't forget the sunscreen.

As a couple of last items to watch on the way down - I tossed in two DVDs to brush up on my dance moves - The Pontani Sisters Go-Go Robics & Do The Jive with Miss Wolff. The Pontani Sister's DVD is great to learn all the basic go-go dance moves, the Hully Gully, the Pony & the Twist are just a few. I've had Miss Wolff's Jive DVD for years and have taken several of her classes at Viva Las Vegas. Secret Agent Man and I love to cut a rug once we have a few drinks in us. We have been known to impress and embarrass all in the same song while dancing.
So that wraps it up for The Hukilau big pack. Thank god we're driving down to Ft. Lauderdale - no weight limits on the luggage. Until next time - Keep your tiki mugs filled (Mai Kai drinks this weekend) and be on the look-out for The Metiki Gal!

BTW- I'm Metiki-less at the Hukilau. A petition needs to start to hold a Hukilau car show. Trophies could be tikis and awards to go to car with most bamboo on it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Car Show or Parking Lot - You Decide.

Saturday afternoon we took a ride up to Port Canaveral for the Hot Rod Power Tour Car Show - with the promise of 3,000+ cars. We decided at the last minute to leave the poor little Metiki home as the port is a bit of drive and it was really hot out. The no A/C thing in The Metiki really limits my travel in the summer months here in Florida. Every year on my wish list from Santa is a Vintage Air system for The Metiki. Honestly though I don't know if the little1500cc Austin engine could handle it.We drove Secret Agent Man's Command Vehicle and enjoyed the comfort of A/C. This was a good move because we sat in traffic for over half and hour to get into the port. We found a parking spot, hopped out and headed to the cars. Walking towards the lot, several cool hot rods passed by.

We were ready for a spectacle of cars along the lines of Turkey Rod Run. Sadly disappointment began to set in as we entered the parking lot. The promised hot rods were parked alongside someones daily driver for row after row in multiple parking lots. There as no dedicated area for the Power Tour vehicles and the promised 3,000 vehicles was more like 200 tops. People were wandering through the 'show' aka the parking lot as hot rods, daily drivers and motorcycles drove in and out. It was very dangerous and unorganized.

We meandered through the parking lots for a bit. There were many really nice cars, its just too bad they ere not lined up & displayed better. The heat started to get to us so we jumped back in the Command Vehicle and headed back south.

I really hate to complain about an event put on by one of my favorite magazines. I've looked at other stops they made in previous years of holding this event. It did not look like what I saw happening at the port. I'm hoping that if they stop here next time it will be better organized and safer. Much love to Hot Rod magazine from a gal who owns the most unHot Rod of vehicles. If I were more mechanically inclined and had more money, I'd be reving it up in a sweet Hot Rod. But for now I'm just The Metiki Gal - keeping my tiki mug filled and on the look-out for you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Night of The Non-Hot Rod

 Tonight was the Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour in Cocoa Beach. It was the first of seven stops across the US. I know The Metiki is in no way shape or form a Hot Rod but I do like to take it to play with them. So we barreled our way down A1A doing a scorching 50 mph past Patrick AFB and down into Cocoa Beach. Coming through downtown we did not notice any hot rods but once entering into the more touristy portion of Cocoa Beach, we were cruising like it was American Graffiti - hot rods heading south, hot rods heading north, they were everywhere. It was hot rod heaven.
We pulled into Ron Jon's right behind an out of state Hot Rod devilishly named EVL DO R. The crowds walking around were snapping pics of the cars as we pulled into the Ron Jon parking lot. And even though The Metiki was the most unHot Rod of vehicles there, it was still well received with waves, thumbs up and yells of "is that an amphi-car?" (I will have to do a post comparing and contrasting The Metiki with an Amphi-Car to show everyone how different they really are.)

Cruising A1A looking for trouble?
 They parked 20 Hot Rods on the front lawn of Ron Jon's - beautiful cars were everywhere. We parked The Metiki in a lot behind the store with about 150 other hot rods, classics and restorods. The crowd was thick and people were lined up on the sidewalk to watch the cars drive past. They should do this every month, it was a blast!

We even found a few tikis lurking about amid the rides. This guy(and I mean the tiki) was protecting a flat black, louvered hood, ratty(in a good way) Chevy. Loving the old school Hot Rod style. It doesn't need glossy paint and shiny chrome to be cool.

There were some very familiar tikis out for sale near Ron Jon's but this crowd did not seem interested. They were here for the cars.

We finished up at Ron Jon and cruised back south making a stop at one of my favorite Cocoa Beach bars, The North End. Appropriately named as it sits on the north end of Slow-n-Low BBQ. We pulled in to more smiles and friendly faces. The bartender remembered us and made me an Irish Whiskey prepared my favorite way. He shakes it in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice for about thirty seconds then pours it into a rocks glass sans the rocks. It is super cold and almost slushy. Now I know this sounds like a sacrilege to fine Irish Whiskey but it is so unbelievably good you must try it!

Pulling into The North End, Cocoa Beach, FL aka paradise!

We did spot another tiki in the wild outside of Slow-n-Low, he appeared to be a doorman admitting entrance to the establishment. Thankfully Secret Agent Man myself were permitted through the gates and into the land of meat and alcohol! Yeah!!!