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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel Hibiscus and Barry's Excellent Hawaiian Adventure
Hibiscus and Barry's Excellent Hawaiian Adventure
Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-28 11:58 am   Permalink

Aloha, all. Going to try something here that I hope will work - a little photo essay of sorts.

Barry and I got back last week from a trip to Kauai and the Big Island, and aside from generally having a fabulous time, we did some tiki field trips - notably to the venerable old Tahiti Nui bar in Hanalei, Kauai, the recently renovated Don the Beachcomber's in Kona, Hawaii, and last but not least - La Mariana in Honolulu on a long layover in Oahu. Aside from the notably fine drinking and dining experiences, we also saw some historical tiki at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau/Place of Refuge on the Big Island, as well as several little oddball spots along the way. Over the next week or two I'll try to put up some photos for anyone who's interested. Stop back periodically for updates.

A hui hou!
Hibiscus





 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-28 12:35 pm   Permalink

Our first stop - Tahiti Nui, or Da Nui, as it's known locally, bills itself as the oldest bar in Hawaii. Their website is http://www.thenui.com for more detailed info.

We set out from our hotel in Poipu on the south coast of Kauai and wanted to drive as far as the road let us go to the north, knowing that it ends abruptly at a beach and the start of the Napali Coast, where roads cease to be possible because of the massive, gorgeous cliffs. We knew we'd be driving through Hanalei, so we wanted to make sure we stopped at the Nui. It was still closed when we first arrived in the afternoon, but after driving to the end of the road and back through Hanalei again, it had luckily opened. We were still too early for the entertainment which comes on later at night, but the mai tais and the vibe were terrific nonetheless...





The bar is very eclectic and "homey", for lack of a better word. Photos of the owners, random memorabilia, and wonderful old school tiki touches were everywhere.

Here's one of the carved tabletops -



Carved bar stools (with random feet!) -



Enjoying the mai tais -



Tiki outside -



Nearby was a small shop called Havaiki, which sold all kinds of amazing South Pacific art and artifacts, from carved bone jewelry to rare antique weapons from Papua New Guinea. There was even a skull exhibited from headhunting times (didn't get a picture - sorry!)



One of the cool tikis outside the shop -



Next up - Don the Beachcomber's in Kona!









[ This Message was edited by: hibiscus 2008-11-29 12:27 ]


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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-28 3:09 pm   Permalink

Don the Beachcomber's in Kona had been closed for renovations, apparently, so how psyched were we to find it was open again in time for our trip! It's located in the swanky-looking Royal Kona Resort...





We actually went here twice - the first time was just to Don's Mai Tai Bar, which is an outdoor situation just outside the restaurant proper. Our waitress was awesome, and once I told her we were tiki bar aficionados, she gave us a menu and a stack of coasters, so yay for nice waitresses!

We had a Navy Grog and an original Mai Tai (not to be confused with Don's assorted mai tai spin-offs)



Barry in his nifty new Duke Kahanamoku shirt...



We timed our second arrival to the sunset. Kona is known as one of the best places on earth to view the elusive 'green flash', but because of the vog from erupting Kilauea, the air wasn't pristine enough for it. We did get some lovely sunsets, nonetheless...



The central pillar of the round restaurant was a cluster of moai, tikis and plants - pretty much tiki freak heaven...







A tiki overlooks a tank full of tropical fish...



Our table had a pretty nice view...



We started with the Mai Tai Sampler, a collection of their four most popular drinks - left to right, Mai Tai Quencher (we found it kind of weak, like a Mai Tai Lite), Pele's Volcanic Mai Tai (Yum! Potent and delicious), original Mai Tai, and the Green Flash, which, despite having a bit of melon liqueur in it (something I generally despise), was excellent...



After a terrific dinner, we had a nightcap at the bar, not quite willing to leave just yet. Another Green Flash and Pele's Volcanic, please!




Next up - the Place of Refuge and the erupting Kilauea volcano...

















[ This Message was edited by: Hibiscus 2008-11-28 15:11 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Hibiscus 2008-11-28 15:12 ]


 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3078
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2008-11-28 6:55 pm   Permalink

Nice pictures, looks like you had a lot of fun and a lot of Mai Tai. Sounds good to me.

 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2242
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-11-28 7:14 pm   Permalink

hey, we were on Kauai 2 weeks ago too! (nov 7-14)!

nice pix! (mine are posted on myspace)


 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-28 9:05 pm   Permalink

Dogbytes - where were you staying? We were down in Poipu from Nov 6-12. What a coincidence!

Hiltiki - yes, many mai tais (and other things) were consumed!


 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-29 4:42 pm   Permalink

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, or Place of Refuge of Honaunau, is a bit south of Kona on the Big Island. In olden times it was a sanctuary for violators of kapu who, once cleansed by a kahuna, were free to go and live unpunished once they left the sanctuary. That's assuming they were even able to make it to the refuge in the first place - not an easy thing to do, as violators of kapu were "free game" for anyone who was able to kill them.



Along with a tiny beach that used to serve as a royal canoe landing site (and now a favorite basking spot for turtles - we saw 3 or 4), there are tikis all over the place...











Devourer of islands...



The mister next to the two famous guardians...











 
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dogbytes
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2242
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-11-29 5:14 pm   Permalink

we always stay at the Hyatt ~ (i know, very spoiled).
our pix are in my
blog

we got to see Chongolio a few times, that was extra fun.


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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-30 08:09 am   Permalink

Dogbytes - the Hyatt looks beautiful! We stayed at Kiahuna Plantation - it suited us really well - like having a little vacation home!


 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-11-30 08:24 am   Permalink

While not strictly tiki, I'd be remiss not posting a photo or two of an erupting volcano, so with a respectful nod to Madame Pele, here's Kilauea...





Halema'uma'u Crater has been erupting since March. We didn't see any lava glow or anything, but the plume was impressive on its own.



 
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rugbymatt
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Jun 03, 2005
Posts: 1202
From: Sacramento
Posted: 2008-12-02 4:10 pm   Permalink

Awesome stuff Hibiscus! Welcome back to the bloody cold.

 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-12-03 07:38 am   Permalink

Thanks, Matt! Yeah, "bloody cold" is right...

Next up (in the next day or 2, hopefully) are shots from The Best Little Bar in Honolulu - La Mariana.

And did you know - they're making their own tiki mugs now? So awesome!



 
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WooHooWahine
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 3083
From: Mission (Impossible) Viejo, Ca
Posted: 2008-12-03 7:40 pm   Permalink

WooHoo! Tiki-rrific Pics Mahalo for taking the time to post them.

 
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Hibiscus
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 210
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2008-12-04 7:19 pm   Permalink

We left Kona and had a several-hour-long layover in Honolulu before flying back to the mainland. What better way to spend the time than at that beloved tiki palace, La Mariana! We loved the fact that even the taxi driver didn't know where it was, tucked away so far as it is from the beaten path.




Some of you are familiar with this wonderful old place, but for those who aren't, it's in a very industrial area of Honolulu, far from Waikiki. You pass warehouses and rusty buildings and think, How can there be a bar of *any* kind, let alone a cool, legendary one, in an unappealing area like this? But come to a chain link fence by the side of the road, drive through, and you come to a lovely little hidden marina, a walkway lined with tikis...





and this -



(LMSC stands for La Mariana Sailing Club)


Here are a few details -











A little waterfall in the back room -





A small remembrance area was set up for the recently departed Miss Annette, the 90-something owner who lovingly presided over La Mariana -





Some of the many, many tikis -










Barry and 2 of the 7 Mai Tais we had between us that evening...





The food isn't the real draw here. It comes in one flavor...fried. Still, combined with the excellent drinks and the easy, ultra-tikified vibe, this place makes me ridiculously happy. I would *live* here if I could!





Not only was our waitress, Toddlyn, really nice (she turned on the waterfall just for us), she's talented as anything - she created two fabulous (signed!) tiki mugs (as well as shot glasses). Did we buy some? You have to ask?





They are now happily sharing my mug shelf with Queequeg, the skulls from Velveteen Lounge's NETT room crawl, mugs from the Kowloon and Bali Hai, and all the others.















 
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