Here’s a blog post I started back in March 2016 and left sitting in drafts. I’m not sure why I didn’t publish it then, but I may as well hit the button now. I’ve added some updates here and there to bring things up to date, but otherwise please enjoy a peek into 2016.
As you probably know by now, I’m an enthusiastic fan of tiki. Yes, a bona fide, card carrying tikiphile here. That includes acquiring mugs whenever I visit a tiki bar, whether I’m visiting an old favorite or exploring someplace new. They’re great souvenirs (especially if the design is unique to the bar and/or features the name of the bar on the mug), they give you a reason to go back (as if the drinks and atmosphere weren’t enough!), and they’re just plain fun.
I don’t have an exceptionally large collection, since I’ve only recently started making a real effort to seek out the better tiki bars when I travel. Even that small number, however, was rapidly filling the space I had commandeered in the kitchen. They never really looked right in the white kitchen hutch where they had taken up residence. [Update 2020: I still don’t consider my collection to be large, but it has grown quite a bit in the last few years.]
A few weeks ago, I decided to rearrange things to give the collection some breathing room and tie it in with some new art. My Orange Bird Sunshine Tree Terrace giclée has been patiently sitting, propped up against the wall, still in the plastic wrap for months, and now it finally has a home on the wall. I paired it with some tropical bird stamps from IKEA, which while not strictly on point for the theme, are close enough. They fill the blank space on the wall until I find something better. [Update 2020: Orange Bird is still there along with the IKEA bird stamps. I’ve added some reproduction Trader Sam’s signs as well. I have several prints to get framed as well, so maybe this is the year those birds get relocated.]
Below the art, the shelves which previously contained cookbooks and knick-knacks, now hold my mugs and other related items. I’m going to run out of room again before too long, but it does give me some space to expand. I also now have room to organize things a bit more than before. Each shelf has a different theme. Orange Bird on one shelf, Polynesian Village Resort on another. The Enchanted Tiki Room over here, and more mugs over there. [Update 2020: Spoiler alert, I did run out of room. Remember that white hutch that I had vacated? Vacated no more, with two out of three shelves occupied by mugs again.]
It’s not much now, but it helps put me in my happy place when I look at it. Throw on some Exotica music courtesy of Martin Denny or Les Baxter, and it’s the next best thing to being there. Hopefully, it has the same effect on you. If you’re wondering which mugs I have, I’m working to add my collection on Ooga-Mooga! Once I finish that, I’ll post a link. [Update 2020: I didn’t make much progress in adding mugs to Ooga-Mooga. Which is a good thing because after a lengthy period of neglect, the site is now completely offline. I know the site owner has had other priorities the last few years, but it is unfortunate for the people who had extensive collections logged there. Just goes to show that you should always have a copy of the stuff you store on someone else’s site.]
Until next time… Mahalo!
[Update 2020: I can’t believe how empty the shelves looked back in 2016. I’ve added a more up-to-date gallery after this one.]