Whew! Hot day in Fort Lauderdale!

tiki-time-coasterHad to be in the 90’s today…and since it’s one of the first days this year that’s been that hot and humid, the air conditioner (which is pretty much on all the time) got very confused and let the house go up to 78. I drained almost a gallon of water (condensation) out of the outlet pipe because when the weather switches fast like this, it gums up and clogs. Had to reset the system, and it’s finally cooling off! We’re going out tonight, otherwise it would be a great evening to sit in the pool and sip Mai Tais.

We got very lucky when we bought our home in Florida. My wife insisted on a pool. I insisted on a garage. We were able to get both, within our price range. Of course the first thing I did was start to transform the lanai (the covered patio area next to the pool) into a Tiki Bar. It took a few years and a lot of work to get it to where I wanted, but it looks great now, is fun to hang out at and has enough booze to make lots of exotic drinks. The pool is enclosed by screens and a bamboo fence, so it keeps the bugs and nosey neighbors out. At night everything is lit with black light to give it a true retro feel. I love my Tiki bar!

When I was a kid (around 1973) my family went to Zaberer’s Restaurant just minutes away from Atlantic City. One of the lounges

Colleen at the Tiki Bar
Colleen at the Tiki Bar

(there were several, the place enormous) was decorated in a tropical style. I remember it was very dark, I think the walls were painted black, and there were plants everywhere…plastic ones…and they were lit with black light. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Funny enough, my father did the same thing (not sure if it was before or after we saw it at Zaberer’s) on a smaller scale in our house…and I still remember that too. When I was about 8 we went to Disney World, and to the newly opened Pirates of the Carribean ride. When we go home, my dad turned my room into a Pirate Room, complete with a black light to light up a pirate ghost ship built into the wall. Those images stuck with me for years, and when I built my first Tiki bar in the basement of my house in Northfield, NJ, I added black light to it…plus a waterfall and plants in the corner.

I still have my 1976 black light; it’s in our middle room and gets used at halloween to light up decorations. I also still have the plastic sword and “Pirate’s Cove” sign my dad made for me out of a piece of driftwood for my bedroom…they hang on the Tiki Bar, along with a cap gun and coin pouch I got at Disney World in ’76.

I guess some of just never grow up…but why should we, when we can still drink like pirates at the Tiki Bar!

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