25 November, 2014

SUCK EM UP MELBOURNE MAI TAI CRAWL 2014

Well my head has finally stopped hurting from my trip to Melbourne on the weekend. If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a number of snapshots over the weekend of my journey to Melbourne and, the whole reason I was there, the Suck Em Up Melbourne Mai Tai Crawl 2014. Created by Melbourne Tiki-o-phile Careless Navigator, this was the second annual Mai Tai Crawl but was to be my first. Lots of the Unholy Rabble Queensland Ohana made the trip down, as did the Sydney crew and the local turnout was also fantastic. It was like a little Tiki Oasis reunion!
 
 
Beginning at The Beaufort with a bit of a sip and shop, the festivities kicked off at 12 noon. The atmosphere was awesome with so many happy faces and friends being reunited. Some of the local and interstate tiki creative were selling their wares including tiki mugs, pendants, hand carved statues, bracelets, aloha wear and even some vintage vinyl. Not to mention the official crawl t-shirts, mugs and other ephemera. Zombies, Mai Tais, Jerry & Cherry's and whole host of other delicious tiki cocktails were consumed to the exotic sounds of the sitar which just managed to make itself heard over the cacophony of happiness and fun. I had to remember to pace myself to ensure I'd make it to the 2am finish time. Yep 12 noon til 2 am drinking Mai Tai's, now you know why my head hurt!

Image by Paul Fiddes
Side Note: This is the first time I'd ever been to The Beaufort and it was awesome! The area we were in featured cute wooden tables and chairs and astroturf! It was like a cute little beer garden in the comfort of the indoors. We also ate here and the food was amazing!! Great wings, awesome pork ribs and a beef rib that is to die for!! It's so hard to find good ribs (in Brisbane anyway) so I was really impressed! The place had a great vibe and the staff were wonderful, very friendly and somehow managed to stay on top of things despite all the people and craziness. The next time I'm in Melbourne I will definitely be back!

Image by Paul Fiddes
At about 5pm we wandered on down to The LuWow, a firm Melbourne favourite of mine. Despite all my travels in the USA, The LuWow still remains one of the best tiki bars I've been to in my opinion. Run by Skipper Josh, the guy is amazing! Him and his wife Babs have lead such interesting lives and have been responsible for a number of killer bars here and overseas including Deville's Pad in Perth (although no longer run by them). We started in the Island Village to refill our mai tais, grab a booth and nibble on some pupu platters that were very generously put on for us. Then it was time to move into the Forbidden Temple for Skipper Josh to deliver the talk he also gave at Tiki Oasis. Having been lucky enough to be there the first time, we floated between the two.

 
Shortly after, the Nuholani Wahines welcomed us with a hip shaking performance before the Tiki Pop movie was screened. After DJ Jumpin Josh spun some tunes, a burlesque troupe called the Itty Bitty Titty Committee also performed. I was in the Island Village when the burlesque was on but many of the men in the crowd reliably informed me it was good. Next the GoGo Goddesses took to the stage to keep things pumping. Not that the crowd needed any encouragement! It was about 10pm by this stage and we were all well on our way to drunk town haha The headline act was INTOXICA a fun band that blended surf music with a bit of rock, blues and rockabilly for a thoroughly good time.
 

The rest of the night was a blur of mai tais, DJs and silly photos. Although there was one other cool thing that happened...My friends Danielle of Black Lagoon Designs and her man Evan of Johnny Voodoo's Barber Shop GOT ENGAGED!!! How exciting! It was so wonderful and they are such a perfect couple, I am so happy for them. It's rare to see two people who so clearly adore each other so much and who are just made to be together. They are the best couple! I will admit, I may have teared up a little.
 
 
I have to say a HUGE thank you to Rohan and Tan for putting together such a fantastic day. It was my first time meeting them in person and they are just such lovely people! I know they put a lot of work in to organise everything, just so that we could all have a great time. I'm also super grateful to the staff at The Beaufort for being so cool about everything, it really was the perfect place to get things started and line our stomachs. And of course, a big thanks to Skipper Josh for being such a cool cat and making sure we were all looked after and everything went so smoothly. I can't believe how lucky I am to know so many fun, generous, talented, super cool people. I also want to say a big thank you to Tiki Dylans Idol Hands for being super sweet and gifting me a beautiful wooden bracelet that he hand carved. I don't, however, thank him for all his attempts to stick his tentacle up my nose haha 
 
You can bet your sweet bippy I'll be back for this again next year! I only wish it wasn't so far away!

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