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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel The Bongofury\\'s Big Island Adventure (Image Heavy)
The Bongofury\\'s Big Island Adventure (Image Heavy)
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Oct 15, 2002
Posts: 1560
From: Ventura County
Posted: 2006-05-19 2:21 pm   Permalink

Here are some photos of our trip to the Big Island.....This is why we missed Oasis.

We stayed at Dug's Tiki Island. A beautiful house in Kona with plenty of room for all 4 of us. Dug is a great host with lots of tips on places not in the guides. He has a jaw dropping collection of Tiki, Witco, Disney, Black velvets, etc. We should have spent more time there. Highly recommended.

The geckos were everywhere.

We barbequed by his pool the first night with the ocean in the background.

We brought Mrs. Furys parents for their 50th anniversary ( and their first trip to Hawaii)

I will try not to repeat the same pics from Puamana whose trip was very similar.....Place of Refuge

My brother was also staying in Kona with friends at the same time. He was here the day before and said the carver was there working on these. He has pics & video. We met them later at Don The Beachcomber ( awsome decore, drinks and food so so.....seared ahi was very good ) then over to the Marriott to watch the manta rays at night.

Female Tiki in some art gallery near Waimea

Fiberglass Tiki fountain....to big to get on the plane. It was 5 or 6 feet tall.

Alien Tiki at a home decor store

Their other Tiki

Uncle Billy's roof detail in Kona

This was the support beam inside of a soon to open antique store in a small town on the east coast. The drive from Kona to Hilo is beautiful as you go from the drier sunny side, through the Parker Ranch, to the wetter tropical Hilo side.

No one was around and the door was open so I took a few shots.

in a hallway near the back. In another store we found a cool 6' carved Tiki panel. The lady was asking $150.00 and said it was from an old hotel in Hilo but couldn't remember which one. It was too big to hassel with so I left it there for you to find.

We stayed in Hilo at the Naniloa Volcanos resort recommended by Dug, but we give it a thumbs down. The view was nice but the hotel was suffering from deferred maintainence. The staff understood, telling us it was due for rennovation as condos. One of the elevators was not working and everything was dirty. The Hilo Hawaiian a couple doors down looked much nicer. They did have these cool supports everywhere.

We walked into Uncle Billy's next door as the duo was playingg "Kahlua" from the movie "Bird Of Paradise" These guys were very good and they had hula dancers too.

After a few cocktails I rode the Naniloa mascot in the lobby.....i could not find a place to put the quarters.

The ceiling at Uncle Billy's next door in Hilo. We were told the food was average, but we found the food and the service excellent. Music was good too.

One of UBs lamps

Another one in the bar.

This Tiki was in the Volcano House. Spending the day at the volcano was surreal.

Outside Uncle Billy's roof detail

Lobby ceiling detail

Back at Naniloa, this is an area that was closed. It looked like it may have been a restaurant for the hotel with the same poles and some cool carved doors. I have some panels like the one next to the pole that were made by "Panel Carve".

They were working inside one day and I gor this shot.

This was inside Ken's restaurant & pancake house in Hilo. Very overated. The parking lot is impossible. We recommend the Firehouse about 2 blocks north. Plenty of parking. Mostly locals, and better food and service!

Big Island recomendations:
Tiki Island or Al-ii condos
Kahlua pork tacos at "Killer Taco"
Manta Rays at the Marriott
Place of Refuge
Look at Don The Beachcombers

Fresh fish at Bamboo restaurant in Haeva

Farmers Market
Cafe Pesto
Uncle Billy's
The Firehouse (breakfast)
The Volcano
Botanical Gardens and 4 mile drive just before Hilo


Stay tuned for adventures on Oahu.....

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Matt Reese
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 1182
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-05-19 3:12 pm   Permalink

Great pictures. Thank you. Watch out Ric may end up with some new lamp ideas.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1676
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2006-05-19 3:19 pm   Permalink

Bongo, thanks for the great travel log on Hawaii. My favorite island by far. I've got the big island bug! I was so happy to see images from Uncle Billy's, I haven't been there since I was 16, just a year or so ago I have great memories from there and have been wondering how it's held up. Thanks again for all the images and travel tips, you've given me high hopes to get back there sooner than later.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2987
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2006-05-19 3:44 pm   Permalink

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. I do a lot of traveling but it's been too long since I was on the Big Island and I miss it very much. I agree with you on Uncle Billy's in Hilo. We stayed there and thought it was very friendly with nice rooms and lovely gardens.

[ This Message was edited by: thejab 2006-05-19 15:44 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 02, 2002
Posts: 290
From: Seattle, WA
Posted: 2006-05-19 4:01 pm   Permalink

Awesome pics, Bongofury ! Looks like a great time was had by all. Just seeing that first photo of Dug's Tiki Island reminded me of how nice it was to come home to after a day of adventures around the island...its hard to imagine ever staying someplace else, now ! Glad that Mrs. Fury's parents got to go, too. It was good to see pics of Uncle Billy's in Hilo, and know the food & service was preferable. Also, thanks for posting recommendations... we missed the manta rays and botanical gardens this past trip, and we'll make sure we do that on the next visit ( as well as the restaurants recommended). Thanks for sharing the great pics and info !

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2006-05-19 5:14 pm   Permalink


After a few cocktails I rode the Naniloa mascot in the lobby.....i could not find a place to put the quarters.

This is my new favorite picture...ever.

Must start planning my next trip to Hawaii.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11591
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2006-05-21 04:21 am   Permalink

Ron, it looks like you had a swell time! Kona, Doug's place, the City of Refuge snorkeling, and Hilo make the Big Island my favorite too. I did like the Naniloa for its urban archaeological aspects, too, and it sits on a beautiful site.

Forgive me if I use your post to point out a devolution of Tiki style I must warn about, especially in Hawaii. Those two blondewood Tikis flanking the entrance to that home decor place are a classic example of the new misbegotten Poly-Asian style, where vendors that sell Asian Import decor use their connections they have with relatively cheap Asian labor to have Tikis carved.

Philippine and Balinese carvers have great skill and a great carving tradition of their own, but simultaneously lack any background in Tiki culture, and it shows. Flowing lines, (not primitive simplicity), human-like hands and feet, the heads in human proportion to the body (feeble mana !), you name it, they all are "off" somewhere, and not, like the American counterparts, stylized in a creative way. They are just ordered product.

One can see it in the nouveaux Tiki columns in some of the recently opened Trader Vic's outlets, and in a few other carvings offered here in California, but in Hawaii these cheap imports are taking over, and a new generation of tourists sadly will take these Tikis for the real thing. There are just not enough Geckos around there (except the green ones above )

I know to some my concerns may not make sense, and I realize that midcentury modern Tiki style was primarily based on commercial considerations too, but I wrote the book that defined what I see as 50s Tiki style, and I like to point out what I personally believe to be not fitting.

Of course this is no critique of your impeccable taste and Tiki knowledge, Ron, I know you just documented these guys, thanks for giving me an opportunity to voice my concerns.

[ This Message was edited by: bigbrotiki 2006-05-21 07:36 ]

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Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 4777
Posted: 2006-05-22 07:59 am   Permalink


On 2006-05-19 15:12, Matt Reese wrote:
Great pictures. Thank you. Watch out Ric may end up with some new lamp ideas.

I know I just got some ideas for lights. Plus painting an old tiki. {especially white!} Should be punishable by law. Great photos.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 824
Posted: 2006-06-01 02:36 am   Permalink

Thanks for sharing your trip! My wife and I spent a week on the Big Island about 20 years ago and it seems we went to many of the same places you did. We spent the night at Uncle Billy's and at the time could not fully appreciate the decor, now I am kicking myself for not recognizing it for what it was. We stopped there for dinner when we saw that they had hula dancers, we had just been introduced to "real hula" and were hooked. As it turns out the dancers that night were two 12 year old girls who were so cute they could have been doing hip hop and we would have enjoyed it. I was blown away by the volcano park, most notable was the Cliff house. Thanks for stirring up old memories. I need to return there with my current TiKi mindset and enjoy it even more.

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