Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tiki Oasis 2015: Thursday and Friday

Dave and I flew down to San Diego to visit with friends and to attend the annual Tiki Oasis gathering located at the Crowne Plaza hotel.  We arrived late Wednesday night and spent our stay there with friends, and most excellent hosts, Gil and Cimmaron.  We are so grateful to have such thoughtful and amazing friends.

This year, since I was so caught up with catching up with friends and seeing as many friends as I could see while I was here, I unfortunately did not take as many photos of the performances, amazing bands, and incredibly cool costumes that were flooded throughout Tiki Oasis.  So my blogs (there will be two) will be more about my experiences and memories of spending time with our friends while attending the event.  I promise, the internet and Instagram are not at a loss of incredible pictures from this year's event.

We started Thursday morning out at one of our favorite old haunts; Rudford's Restaurant located in North Park.  The 24 hour diner has been opened since 1949 and has a long history in San Diego. It has been a favorite of mine as the decor hasn't changed much since it opened and they do it right by playing oldies tunes only!!  Nothing turns me off more when the music does not fit the theme or atmosphere of the restaurant.

This photo was taken by a local San Diego teenager on June 6th, 1963 when our 35th President, John F. Kennedy, was visiting San Diego.  The photo was taken when the President was on his way to give a commencement address to 2,097 graduates at the 65th commencment ceremony of San Diego State college.  It would only be 169 days later than the beloved President was assassinated riding in a similar parage through Dealey Plaza in Dallas Texas.

We were joined by our friends Jonny and Vanessa. We were so happy to spend the day, and rest of the weekend with them.  These two mean so much to us.

After a big hearty breakfast we spent the rest of the morning visiting some of our favorite thrift and vintage shops in San Diego.  Jonny pointed out the vintage Esquire magazines to me and I definitely had to have them.  I have been uploading some of the fantastic advertising and other content on my Instagram account.  These are in excellent condition and still have the pinup foldouts intact!  Some are done by George Petty and Al Moore.  I will share those soon!

The very hot day required some frozen refreshments!  I of course insisted we all get Dole Whips at the cart that is located in Belmont Park.  Sadly I discovered this cart two months before I moved.  I wish I had known it was in town sooner.  I surely would have required Dave take me there every night for dessert. Now if I could only convince one of the Hawaiian restaurants here in Southern Oregon to carry Dole Whip! Seriously this stuff is so addicting!

After a fun day of driving around San Diego with Jonny and Vanessa, we headed back to Gil and Cimmaron's house to get ready for the Meet and Mingle night at the Bali Hai.  I did my hair up with a slight bouffant. (I'm working on perfecting this hairstyle and with the goal of getting it bigger and bigger each time).

We are Bali Hai ready! I wore the last dress I purchased before moving away from San Diego from Frock You Boutique, my favorite vintage shop in San Diego.  Dave wore a tiki shirt I thrifted in Medford and the Captain's hat he recently purchased from an antiques shop in Grants Pass. He was lucky enough to have found the white linen pants the day prior while thrifting of course.

We had dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in town before heading to the Bali Hai.  Miguel's Cocina has been one of my favorite restaurants ever since I first moved to San Diego.  My sister was the one that introduced me to their amazing jalepeno white sauce which they serve with the chips.  Seriously this stuff alone warrants a visit to their restaurant.  My sister and I used to fill up on chips and the dip and then order an a la carte item off the menu! If you live in  San Diego you can also find their amazing white sauce in local grocery stores.  Oh how I envy you!!

The Meet and Mingle was interesting compared to years past.  I think part of the difference was we didn't get there as early as we have in the past.  I think Dave and I have been pretty diligent about arriving around 6pm or sooner.  This year we were caught up in enjoying our time and conversation with friends.  We didn't arrive to the restaurant until a little past 8pm and were greeting by a huge line to get our registration bracelets for the weekend.  We waiting in line a little under and hour!  It went by fast as we had good conversations with those in line with us and made some new tiki friends in the process as well.  Once inside we tried to find a good spot that was near the stage and made it just in time to watch The Tikiyaki Orchestra take the stage. (again sorry no photos)   They were amazing as always.  Dave and the guys patiently waiting in line for drinks as Cimm and I watched the show.  The outisde crowd ended up being to much for us so we ventured up into the restaurant to see if we could possibly find a shorter drink line and maybe a place to sit down.

We got lucky after waiting patiently for about 20 minutes.

The guys (Gil, Jonny, and Dave).

Cimmaron and Gil.

The guys and a Robot!

My friend Natalie was working her tail off this year as part of the Tiki Oasis staff.  I was happy to squeeze in this fun photo with her! (photo bombers Robot and Cimmaron)

We of course couldn't leave without taking photos with Mr. Bali Hai himself. Here is an excellent link to a blog written by Kevin Kidney about how he and Jody Daily helpe to restore Mr. Bali Hai in 2001.

Friday morning we slept in a little.  I got ready to meet up with my dear friend Lindsay for some lunch and to catch up on what I have missed since I moved away.  It was so great to see her!

In the meandtime, Dave helped Gil with his newly aquired Chevy shorty van.

Later we went for a mini cruise against the coast and then got ready for a BBQ before heading to Tiki Oasis for the Friday night show.

Jonny made these awesome shirts for the guys!  

It says "The Goodfellas Social Club San Diego, CA".  He used Dave's likeness for the "fella" on the front. I'm waiting for him to design and make some "Goodfellettes" shirts as well!

I'm so happy I had a chance to hang out with these two.  Jeff and Rosalynn were so monumental in helping us move to Oregon and we miss them so much!

Me and my thrift sister Ros!

I caputred this beautiful sunset from Gil's balcony before heading out. Oh how we miss the palm trees of Southern California.

We are Tiki Oasis ready!  I wore my recently purchased DeWeese Design dress and Dave wore a 1940's rayon long sleeve orange Aloha shirt.  He acquired this when we were in Burbank the month earlier from the vintage shop Hubba Bubba.  It's definitely one of his current favorites.

Because our BBQ ran a little later we ended up getting to Tiki Oasis just in time to see The Phenomenauts take the stage.  We spent the remainder of the evening sitting poolside and visiting with old and new friends.  It was a blast and I will admit we slightly overdid it as it made for an interesting Saturday. (I swear I make this mistake every year).  

Me and my gal Vanessa!

It came out in conversation with our friend Gil that he had been an extra, playing a henchman, for the film "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain" filmed in 1998.  He had a few scenes with Hulk Hogan and Loni Anderson.  Pretty crazy!!  I got a little star struck and had to take a photo with him :)

Was so happy to spend some time with our friend Daren!  He is our closest tiki friend up in Portland.  Looking forward to seeing him again in a few weeks!

The rest of the evening flew by so fast!  Stay tuned for part two of our Tiki Oasis experience with highlights and photos from Saturday and Sunday.

Till' Next Time,


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