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Kauai Tiki report
Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2002-09-25 11:51 am   Permalink

Gretchen and I just got back from a week in Kauai and we were happy to see that there ARE some tikis alive and well there. I'll be putting up a full page of photos and info soon, but here's there short of it.

There were respectable tikis at both the Marriott and Hyatt resorts. Plus, the Hyatt wins for best Mai Tai on the isle. Downside is it's in a plastic cup. Second best, but very close, were Mai Tais at Zelo's in Hanalei. They were in proper hurricane glasses and hands-down won the "presentation award". Now, I appreciate a good dive bar more than most, but the Tahiti Nui is just sad. Basically a beer joint with sports on 2 tvs. Cool interior wall treatments and 4 or 5 great tiki barstools couldn't make up for the squalid feel of the place. I couldn't even bring myself to order a cocktail since the bartender seemed frazzled just getting the occasional bottled beer for one of the 5 other (drunken) customers there.

The tiki highlight was that right next door to our resort was the house of a wonderful old gentleman who happened to be an amazing tiki carver. He had a couple of beautiful pieces there in his yard and we chatted him up about his work. He's a retired building contractor and doesn't sell through stores or galleries. He just does them for fun (and profit). I liked his way of working: Don't send money, just a picture of the kind of tiki you like and he'll just do it. He didn't have email or business cards, he just scrawled his name and address on a piece of paper for me. There will be pics of his work on the page I'll put up.

Needless to say, we had an awesome time. We went in the ocean every day and there was NO surf all week, so we snorkled a lot. Highlight was at Ke'e when a sea turtle stared me right in the face from about 2 feet away as I just hovered there motionless, then swam slowly right underneath me! It was very exciting.

Oh, and the best place to do all your tiki shopping: Walmart! They have a whole tiki section, cheap mugs and everything. Sure it's not "collectable", but we seemed to have collected an awful lot from there anyway!


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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2002-09-25 1:53 pm   Permalink

That sea turtle experience sounds great! That's what I was looking for (a turtle experience) when I went last - unfortunately the surf was pretty damn choppy....bad snorkling!

We found the most "cheap - for sale" tikis at Wal Mart too - how sad is that!

Did you get a chance to go to Hamura Saimen - the best noodles on the island!

Sorry to hear about Tahiti Nui - I never had a chance to be served - just ran in & took a few pix....
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Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2002-09-25 4:26 pm   Permalink

Hi Tangaroa! I know, I know, I went on and on about Hamura Saimen too, but we never made it there. I'm on this controlled carb diet and pastas and breads are out. I could've cheated, but there was so much great fresh fish on the island that we didn't have the urge to. And it was either cheat with saimen or with mai tais - which do you think we chose?

But we did make a new food discovery as great as HS: Fish Express! They're a supplier to the finer restaurants on the isle, but they have a deli case open to the public right in their storefront. They are right across the street from the hospital next to Walmart. Absolutely out of this world fresh sashimi of different kinds that have been marinated in all kinda good stuff, plus fish salads and straight up sashimi. We stocked up on ample amounts of 4 different fishes and the bill came to $11!!! And the owners couldn't have been nicer. She was like our auntie saying "try this" and "if you like that, here have some of this". We felt almost sated just from the tasty samples she offered us. Those people are coming back as gods I tells ya!


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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2002-09-25 4:41 pm   Permalink

Oh man - I gotta go back!

The wife was teasing me the other night saying - "maybe next year....."
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TikiMikey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 24, 2002
Posts: 179
From: Dallas, TX
Posted: 2002-09-25 8:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2002-09-25 11:51, Tiki-bot wrote:
Oh, and the best place to do all your tiki shopping: Walmart! They have a whole tiki section, cheap mugs and everything.



Wal-Mart?!?!?! Egad. It's the end of the world as we know it.....and no, I don't feel fine.


 
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DawnTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1675
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2002-09-25 10:34 pm   Permalink

WAL-MART!?!?!?!?! Did they have Smiley Faced Tiki's? What's to become of us?






[ This Message was edited by: DawnTiki on 2002-09-25 22:38 ]


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2184
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2002-09-25 11:14 pm   Permalink

I've been to Kauai several times and the last time that I was there I found all kinds of tikis. Stay out of Wal-mart on your vacations, save your money for drinks and real souveniers. If you can find something at wal-mart in Kauai, chances are that you can find the same thing on the mainland if you go in the right shops.
The truth is that I bought three tikis at what turned out to be a tourist store. I thought the tikis were original to Kauai but I later found the same mass produced ones at a store here in Newport Beach.

If anyone is going to Kauai soon and doesn't want to be disapointed by the Tahiti Nui, check out Duke's on Kalapaki beach. The drinks are great, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere is world class. The restaurant has a strolling hawaiian acoustic group during dinner and hawaiian bands at the barefoot bar at night.

There is also a really cool vintage store just past Kapaa where I bought a mid 1940's uke. I don't remember the name of the place but I do remember them having a huge tiki section. Everything there was very pricy though.

I also met a tiki carver that I bought some small pieces from. The carvings that he did were very intricate and in monkey pod and milo wood. I don't know how to get a hold of him but the name on the tikis is signed T.Huni.

If someone can let me in on how to post pictures on this forum, I can put several pics of the tikis that I saw and the carver that did them.


 
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Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2002-09-26 10:59 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2002-09-25 23:14, Luckydesigns wrote:
If you can find something at wal-mart in Kauai, chances are that you can find the same thing on the mainland if you go in the right shops.

..check out Duke's on Kalapaki beach. The drinks are great, the food is delicious, and the atmosphere is world class. The restaurant has a strolling hawaiian acoustic group during dinner and hawaiian bands at the barefoot bar at night.

...I do remember them having a huge tiki section. Everything there was very pricy though.




While the stuff at Walmart is cheesey tourist stuff, it IS half the price of the cheesey tourist stuff on the mainland. I just buy tiki stuff I like, not because it's collectable or whatever, and they had some stuff I liked - for half the price! So I'm an evil, awful person for buying something at Walmart? Maybe you should look at where YOU shop and see if it's not the pot calling the kettle black. I had plenty o' money to shop there, at Hilo Hattie's, AND never suffered for want of a drink.

I'm not saying people shouldn't seek out real tiki stuff, just that you can get some decent gew-gaws cheap there if you want. I'll probably buy a $400 hand carved tiki from the carver I met there, so it's not as if I don't recognize the value of the real, hand-made stuff. But I enjoy my dopey $6 mug from Walmart, too.

You speak the truth about Duke's. We had the best experience there. Food and atmosphere are amazing, and it's even reasonably priced for the stellar quality and setting. The aunties serenaded us at our table and insisted we take pictures with them - they were so sweet. Highly recommended.

Mahalo!




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[ This Message was edited by: tiki-bot on 2002-09-26 11:03 ]


 
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DawnTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1675
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2002-09-26 6:30 pm   Permalink

Geesh! I need to learn how to read between the lines ALOT better because no where did I read anything remotely accusing you (Tiki-Bot) of being "Evil" or "An Awful Person" for shopping at Wal-Mart, I was making reference to the homogenisation of the planet! It was a joke son, you missed it! I wont make any assumptions as to what the other posts were implying, but I am glad to hear you had such a memorable time there. It sounds like you met some interesting people and turtles. The last time I was on Kauai it was Thanksgiving Day, we were in the middle of a typhoon, EVERYTHING was closed down, as it should have been, where did we have Thanksgiving Dinner? McDonalds. Would I do that again? You Bet!



















[ This Message was edited by: DawnTiki on 2002-09-26 18:45 ]


 
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Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2002-09-26 7:05 pm   Permalink

Sorry if I got a tad defensive there. It's just that sometimes the tiki snobbery on this board (of all places!) is a bit much.

"What?!! He drinks Mai Tais with less than the four absolutely essential rums???!!!"
"He has less than 100 vintage mugs??? What's he even DOING on this board???!!!"
"Paint??? On a TIKI???!!! Into the volcano!!!"

I exaggerate, but that seems to be the sentiment around here sometimes. Everybody celebrates tiki in their own way. I just get what I like and don't care if it fits someone else's standard of how a tiki-phile should behave, or where they should purchase their tiki goods. Tiki is in the eye of the beholder.


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thebaxdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 19, 2002
Posts: 775
From: Santa Ana, CA.
Posted: 2002-09-26 7:15 pm   Permalink

PLEASE, get the "beholder" to the hospital and have that removed.
It is affecting his eye sight.
You you you Walmayrter
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DawnTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1675
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2002-09-26 7:37 pm   Permalink

Tiki-Bot you are so dead on with the snobbery statement. I think that this superior attitude has alot to do with why there are almost 500 members but just a few of the brave are willing to post comments. It can get pretty deep in here with the "if it weren't for me, were would Tiki be" "I inventented the Tiki" statements! God! You'd think that they carved the first Tiki. I have found that overall the people who post here are very open and friendly and VERY FUNNY! Your going to come across people in every crowd who need to feel like they have the biggest "Tiki" if you get my drift. But, I have felt the very same intimidation that your talking about, mean people SUCK! By the way, your "Sweet" Tiki Hut, is Very Nice!

[ This Message was edited by: DawnTiki on 2002-09-26 21:53 ]


 
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Luckydesigns
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 15, 2002
Posts: 2184
From: Costa Mesa
Posted: 2002-09-26 11:49 pm   Permalink

Woah........woah.
Everybody slow down..... I never had the intention of insulting Tiki-bot or where he shops. In fact that is why I put in the phrase about me buying at the tourist shop. I'm not at all trying to be elitist.

Also when Tiki-bot wrote:
"I had plenty o' money to shop there, at Hilo Hattie's, AND never suffered for want of a drink," I started thinking, maybe I drink too much. I don't know.

By the way, I don't care what you put in my mai-tai, I don't even have have close to 100 vintage tiki mugs, but I DID, in fact, carve the first tiki....and it's HUGE.

I'm glad we agree on Duke's, it is delicious!


 
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thebaxdog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 19, 2002
Posts: 775
From: Santa Ana, CA.
Posted: 2002-09-27 07:45 am   Permalink

I in fact carved the first Tiki
And it is so big
I had to buy two pair of pants

Hey Lucky E-mail me I live in tustin grew up in CdM
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It's our fault
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Trader Woody
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2301
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
Posted: 2002-09-27 10:45 am   Permalink

Quote:

tiki-bot wrote:
It's just that sometimes the tiki snobbery on this board (of all places!) is a bit much.



I hope people who are newer to Tiki aren't afraid to post on this board because of a perceived 'snobbery'. There are some pretty hard-core Tiki-philes on here and it's often the details about things like mugs, drink ingredients etc. that are of major importance to them. What might look like snobbery is actually a passion for the subject.

It's a rarity that someone actually comes out and says something daft like 'I was into it first', and then we all laugh at them for doing so anyway!

So forgive those who want to use the right combination of rums in their drinks and wonder how they are going to fit their 500 mug collection into their new apartment, and don't be afraid to get posting yourself.

Trader Woody


 
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