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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events Sabina and Mike's California Coastal Crawl- May & June '05!

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Sabina and Mike's California Coastal Crawl- May & June '05!
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3691
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2005-07-15 4:23 pm   Permalink

Wow! Those tikis were definitely *not* at the Whale Watcher Cafe in Gorda when I was there in 2003, but I may be to blame for them!

The town of Gorda is very, very small -- only a handful of people who run a cafe, gas station, gift shop, and a very small motel with a few rooms. The "residents" of the town of Gorda mostly live in a dormitory behind the little speck of a town at the south end of Big Sur.

When I was still living in Seattle and was taking a road trip to Oasis, I drove up the California coast on my way home. Midday on a Wednesday, I was just hitting the start of Big Sur, and I was sad to see that the weather was a little gloomy -- I wanted to put the top down on my convertible. I decided to stop and eat a bit while I got gas, with the hopes of the weather clearing up a bit. I stopped in Gorda.

I sat down at the counter, and immediately there was a bustle of activity behind the counter, as all the employees of the cafe took turns coming out from the back to see the single girl at the counter. They don't get a lot of excitement in Gorda, and they're not accustomed to having lone diners, and were eager to chat a bit.

Before long, folks were coming over from the gas station and shop to hang out, too. I pretty quickly made friends with all of them, and a crew of CalTrans workers who had been in town for the week doing some road repairs.

My new friends were amazed to hear about tiki bars, and to hear that they were the focus of my two weeks of travels. I pointed out some of the features they had there in the Cafe that were close-but-not-quite -- a couple native totems, some old floats.

I finished lunch, but the weather hadn't improved. The tiny town of Gorda was very excited to have a new person to talk to, and they literally begged me to stay the night, and hang out with them after work. I was a little nervous -- I didn't know these people, and I'm but a small girl -- but I decided that this was just the sort of adventure that road trips are for, and I checked into one of their rooms.

I continued to hang out in the cafe for the rest of the afternoon -- I tried to convince them to let me wear an apron and work the cafe for a few hours, but they wouldn't let me. After everyone got off work, we went down to the nearest town, Cambria, which is about 45 minutes to the south, and has a population of about 1,000. We shot pool and drank in the scariest bar I've been in in my entire life. At one point, a fight broke out, and the town cop (who was the brother-in-law of one of the fighters, apparently) came to break it up.

I turned in for the night in a lovely cabin that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.

The next morning, the skies were sunny, I got a coffee for the road from the Cafe and said goodbye to my friends. I was told that my short little visit would be the talk of the entire summer. I was gifted with some nice small pieces of jade from the beach, and folks said they would think of me when they saw tikis.

Yep, life must be incredibly, incredibly dull in Gorda.

I can't imagine things are *so* dull there that they *still* remember that visit from so long ago, who knows if the same folks are still working/living there, but it's THRILLING to see those tikis there!


Critiki - Hundreds of tiki bars, Polynesian restaurants, and other sites of interest to the tiki traveller, collector or urban archaeologist

[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu 2005-09-23 14:50 ]

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