When I was younger, we always looked forward to our annual summer roadtrip from Michigan to California. It was long but tons of fun—we were just reminiscing about it last week at the lake house! Does your family have any fun vacation traditions? Do you go camping? Or visiting family? Do you have an annual staycation? Or visit friends? In addition to visiting family, we have a fun family tradition we’ve been doing for the past three years. You see, August 22 is my birthday. And lucky for me that end of the summer weekend is always the same weekend as the awesomeness known as Tiki Oasis. It’s become a family tradition to head on down there, and Greg and Wolfie and I just love it. So what the heck is Tiki Oasis, you may ask? It’s a kooky, awesome sun & fun filled weekender down in San Diego celebrating the magic of classic 50s/60s Tiki culture! The whole shebang is hosted by premier Tiki expert Otto von Stroheim and his ultra fab wife Doe (who happens to be one of my bestest pals!). It’s truly a super cool experience. Basically they take over the historic Hanalei hotel and fill it with amazing bands, DJs, dancers, loads of tiki mugs brimming with tasty cocktails and unique symposiums on the history of tiki. The atmosphere is festive and totally family friendly! Wolfie just loves it—and there are always tons of kiddos running around. Each year there is a special theme—last year it was Tiki goes South of the Boarder, and the air was filled with Herb Albert and hip mariachi mania. I never posted the photos, so here’s a little peek at the colorful antics we’ll be gettin’ into this weekend!
The hotel itself is really lovely. Palm trees, little waterfalls, a huge pool and, of course, lots of cool Tikis all over the property. Everyone lounges poolside to the soothing tunes of a retro, exotica band and amazing DJs spinning vintage vinyl. The mamas always manage to sneak off to the vintage retro bazaar to check out the piles of vintage clothing, records, artwork, tiki mugs and tiki necklaces for sale.
Around dusk, the party kicks into high gear with bands and other live performances. Due to a sound ordinance, the festivities are over around 10:00—but then the crazy crowd parties the night away at room parties with special “themed” drinks. I rarely make it to the room parties and like to just sit in the warm summer night air by the pool, reviewing the day with pals.
We let Wolfie stay up a little later this weekend so he can hear some of the early bands….and there is a “Tiki Tweens” room where the kiddos can munch on pizza & popcorn, do crafts and watch retro movies or old Batman episodes. Lots of people dress up (which I love!) but the best part is that it’s a super happy fun crowd and if you don’t feel like sportin’ a kooky outfit, you’ll still fit right in!
In honor of the retro latin theme, I was workin’ some Frida style hair-dos!
THE NEXT DAY.
More pool side lounging! Also, there is always an adorable Tiki Tour for the little kids.
Last year my friends Shone and Doe and I all realized we had matching 60s “sunglasses” hats! It was so awesome. This year several of our other Dames pals (including Dottie) got similar hats, so you can bet we’ll be taking a fun group photo at some point!
Greg looks so serious….is he sad to leave or sad that I packed WAY TOO MANY SHOES AND THOSE BAGS ARE HEAVY!!????? hee.
So that brings us to this weekend! This year the theme is SPY! Which should be tons of fun….although I have to confess I was at a bit of a loss for what to wear. Winter spy? No problem! Furry hats, trenchcoats, sleek black dresses and berets….easy peasy! But SUMMER SPY?? Hmmm. I’m eager to see what people come up with! This year is going to be extra fun because so many more friends are coming down—including Dottie and her family! She hasn’t been since 2007, when we both performed with the Devil-Ettes. I just know she’s gonna love seeing how it’s grown even bigger and even more fabulous—and i can’t wait to see Little Miss Peach in her hawaiiana finest!
Wolfie is excited as well because he’s become good friend’s with Doe’s two boys AND three of his other close friends will be there this year, so I’m sure they will be a gang of tiki shirt wearing awesomeness racing around!
We leave today and if you are an Instagrammer, please feel free to follow along on all the fun! I’m @galexina and I can promise you that there will be some very colorful photos and sassy antics this entire weekend! (be sure to check out @missdottie too, of course!) Seeeeee you on Monday everyone!!!