Every journey starts with a first step, but sometimes you may forget when and where that first step might have been. When it comes to the living the Tiki lifestyle, it usually starts by walking into your first Tiki bar. Then you hit another. Then you buy a Tiki mug. Then you buy another, etc.
I can remember my first Tiki bar. It was Hula Hula in Seattle, WA…
The year was 2006. In theory, Hula Hula should’ve been my first step in the Tiki world, but actually, it wasn’t. My first step was at an amusement park in Pennsylvania called Knoebels Grove…
Time machines haven’t been built yet, so the closest you can get to going back in time is looking at old pictures. Sadly, most pictures were taken in boring black and white back in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Usually the film was cheap and those pictures have faded away anyway. Kodachrome pictures are different. They look vibrant, colorful, and alive. These pictures really are the closest you can get to seeing what the past was like. Or maybe there is another way to experience the past:
One of my favorite things to ask people is, “What got you into Tiki?” For some people, their first step was going to a Tiki bar for the first time. Another thing people tell me is a trip to Hawaii or someplace tropical got them interested in living the Tiki lifestyle. There is one last reason that is quite common, especially out on the West Coast, and that is Disneyland!
If you’re looking for cool a Hawaiian (Aloha) shirt, your search can be a little difficult. There are some stores that may sell Aloha shirts new, but usually the designs are not that cool or the material is cheap. Another route you can take on a search for a cool Aloha shirt is going to thrift or antique stores. I can tell you from my own experience that finding a shirt that is cool and actually fits from an antique shop is next to impossible, especially if you’re a bigger person.
Don’t fret though. Dawn Frasier has you covered! Dawn Frasier, aka Sophista-Tiki, makes custom made shirts that are super cool and guaranteed to fit every body type.
We all work hard and we all get into our own routines. One day turns into the next and before you know it you’re a decade older. Sometimes being able to escape from your day-to-day life and pretend you’re somewhere else is not only fun, but I think needed! Besides Disney, no place does escapism better than Las Vegas, NV.
Just walk down the Las Vegas Strip and choose your own adventure. Want to stay in a medieval castle? Want to be whisked away to Paris? How about New York City? Or even spend a weekend in a pyramid? You can do all these things and after a couple drinks, you’ll forget that you’re in the middle of the desert!
Yes, the people who design the hotels in Las Vegas have escapism down to a science. If you run a Tiki bar there, you have to up your game! Branden Powers, the owner of the Golden Tiki, rose up to the Las Vegas escapism challenge and came back with a full house! The Golden Tiki is awesome!
If there is anyone that should be considered a Tiki VIP, it has to be Martin Cate. Martin’s Tiki “resume” is just incredible! He has had his hand in several Tiki bars, including Forbidden Island, Hale Pele, Smuggler’s Cove, and San Diego’ False Island. Did I mention he also wrote one of the most important books on Tiki? It’s called Smuggler’s Cove, named after his bar. This book covers everything you want to know about Tiki and Tiki culture. It really is an essential read for anyone into the Tiki lifestyle.