Tiki Bars—Even Better Than The Real Thing!

Mai-Kai Gardens

I was sipping a Mai-Tai at Foundation with my good friend Lisa. Lisa loves Disney World and was excited about her upcoming trip to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. She has a family and everyone is coming along!

Ray and Lisa at Foundation
Ray and Lisa at Foundation

Now, Lisa lives in Milwaukee and what I’ve heard is that Cancun is the most popular tropical destination for Mid-Westerners. I asked Lisa what she thought about traveling to Cancun for vacation. She said she would much rather vacation at Disney. What about the Caribbean, or the Florida Keys for that matter? Lisa still preferred Disney. Lisa had my curiosity now. Why would she prefer somewhere that is completely made up over going to an actual tropical destination?

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West Winds Motel Mount Vernon, WA

West WInds Motel Mount Vernon WA

You sometimes forget that there was a time before highways…

I drove Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. (just like the song) and it was bittersweet to see all these cool stores, gas stations, and restaurants that where left behind. Once the new freeway was built, traffic wasn’t going to pass by again.

On The Mother Road: Route 66
On The Mother Road: Route 66

It was around the ’60s when freeways started to crisscross America. When it comes to searching for cool Mid-Century establishments, you have to go where cars used to travel. Tiki was at its height in popularity in the ’50s and ’60s so it didn’t surprise me to learn that a cool Tiki motel was located on the main road that used to go right through the center of Mount Vernon, Washington.

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Charles Phoenix: The Ambassador Of Americana

Charles Phoenix

“I don’t want to live back in time, I just want to be able to touch it.”

– Charles Phoenix

I couldn’t agree more! I don’t know if living back in the ’50s and ’60s would be any “better” than living in the present, but damn, did it look great!

I’ve always felt that Kodachrome pictures are the closest thing you can get to a time machine. The colors are so rich and the pictures have so much depth that they make you feel like you were the one behind the camera taking them. Charles Phoenix collects Kodachrome slides and puts on presentations showing off his collection. Words can’t describe how fun and entertaining Charles’s slideshow is. You just have to go see for yourself!

I had a chance to chat with Charles while he was driving his car around sunny California. Here is his story…

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