Tiki-Tiki ~ a Polynesian experience
"It's all in the hips man"
said Leo de Souza
It's funny how something as a night out at a restaurant could be that special thing that your mind remembers...
Seen above from left to right: Auntie Ted, Me and my Grandfather (on my Dad's side, Leo).
When my grandfather would watch the Holla dancers on the old home movies brought back from Hawaii he would always remark "It's all in the hips man!", a fun little saying that took hold for explaining how to dance well, still to this day!
Located in Edmonton, Alberta this restaurant was like walking into a tropical island and I am sure must have been just like going home to my father and his family. I know it was a favorite experience for them as well as me.
The large wooden teak style tables and dim lightening offered atmosphere a plenty. It was a place a family could enjoy together however I think the intent was more a lounge experience for an adult crowd.
To my recollection there certainly weren't many places to go and eat that offered an experience like the Tiki-Tiki other than maybe at Disney. It was a full immersion into a travel destination that we certainly would not have been able to afford. You walked into a Hawaiian fantasy from food to dance and music!
The drinks were so fun! I remember that this was the first time I ever had a "Shirley Temple"! It was exotic and sweet and I felt like I was so grown up!
A Shirley Temple is pretty, pink, and irresistibly fizzy. It turns any occasion into a celebration, and it's the perfect beverage for every age.
▢1 (12 ounce) bottle Grenadine (see note 1)
▢1 (2 Liter) bottle lemon-lime soda (see note 2)
▢Maraschino cherries for garnish, optional
Grenadine: A deep red, pomegranate-flavored syrup.
Soda: Modern Shirley Temples are made with white soda such as Sprite or 7UP. For a more traditional approach, substitute ginger ale (you could add a splash of orange juice, too).
Yield: Makes 8 drinks.
Roy Rogers: Substitute Coca-Cola for the Sprite.
Cherry juice: It’s not the same as grenadine, but using the maraschino cherry juice from the jar tastes good too (and also makes a pink drink).
To this very day I still love an experience... just look at the Parlour! I actually have a 1950's style Tiki Lounge (My office space) and the entire place is stylized to represent a different time. This restaurant had all of that and obviously left a lasting impression.
I truly believe that we have missed a huge opportunity when styling our homes to create an atmosphere of anywhere or anything you want! why do we simply paint or wallpaper our walls? Why not design like a movie set and have removable walls that you can create and change the space into anything you want... like the holodeck on Star Trek.
When I win the lotto... that is what my house will be like!
Dad, Auntie Ted and Grandma (Thelma)
Cousin Christi, Cousin Lisa and Auntie Mary. Actually... speaking of Disney... Auntie Mary, Auntie Ted, Grandma and Grandpa and I were all heading there soon. This was while my parents sorted their divorce and so I would not have to go through all of that with them and could instead enjoy a little magic in my life during this time... thanks to all who made that possible!
And thank you to my Mum who searched everywhere for these photos so that I could write you this Bugle! It would not have been as dynamic without these images!
I remember thinking how beautiful the girls were and how fun it would be to dance like that.
Shortly after, I did in fact, take Hawaiian dance along with Tap. I still remember some of the moves but never continued to take the dancing.
I am so thankful to my parents for taking so many photos and for keeping them safe all of these years.
Although this isn't as much a "story telling" formatted Bugle, I hope it is still fun to see a memory of a place that no longer exists. It sure was a fun place and we had a great time.
My Dad used to drink Black Russians ... which later became my drink of choice and my Mum loved the Mai Tai. But I think there was a Pino Passion and a Tiki Tiki Volcano at the table that night too! Such cool presentations!
I have to say, that as pricey as I found it, the local restaurant "The Lark" restaurant here in town offered up a Tiki style cocktail that was spicy and unique and it brought me back to this memory! Thanks Lark for reminding me of this fun experience. If you're looking for something new to try, they have some really unique drinks.
Here's a funny story relating to that night at the Lark. It was Mr. Rees and my anniversary and although we couldn't leave Norman at home for long, we thought we had time to celebrate with one drink... so we headed to the Lark on Bridge Street.
I knew I wanted a Tiki style drink and so I simply told the server that and left it up to him to bring me what he thought I would enjoy. It's been a while (years due to CV19 that we have gone out for drinks somewhere so I had no idea what to order). The drink was shockingly spicy but I loved the flavor palette and would definitely order it again. So, after a few moments of giving us some time to try our beverages, the server returned. "Well? What'd ya think?" he asked "I like it!" I said "It's got a real BITE!" He smiled, looking proud of his choice.
Our waiter did not know we were there on our anniversary so when I asked him what the drink was called, as I took another sip, and he replied "It's called a Suburban Divorcée", I nearly spit my mouthful clear across the table. I proceeded to tell him that this was our anniversary and expressed jokingly that this might not have been the best choice of cocktails after all. He turned a few shades of red but we all had a good laugh.
Back to the Tiki-Tiki night out; The girls used to come and get a guest to dance with them and it looks like my Dad didn't have any problem with that. My Dad is a great dancer and boy could he limbo back in the day!
To read more about the Tiki Tiki you can follow the link below. There's not a whole lot of info but I did see that this chain was small and only located in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon.
I hope you enjoyed a trip to this memory with me.
Dancing is an incredible way to release tension so dance when you can even if it is alone in your living room... and don't hold back... dance like no one is watching or everyone is watching... whichever works for you!
Wash your hands often and try not to go out too much.
A reminder to write in your journals and try something new.
Go through your family photos and start to organize them in a way that makes them easy to grab and go and to find. God forbid you ever have to grab and go but they are the things you can't replace! Just sayin'.
Do fun things!
If things aren't working out where you are in your life, take the steps to make changes. It's okay to let go and start over. If you don't start over... you'll never know how happy you might have been!