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.

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