I arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel with Tiki Oasis already in full swing on a Saturday afternoon in San Diego. Since Wednesday the party had been in full tilt, and wouldn’t be letting up until Sunday evening. I was joined by my compadre Pete Stoup, a local who I’ve known since the early ’80s. He and I did the necessary prep that took place back at his house with my camera gear and a spot on party planning on both our parts. Pete has an extensive family in San Diego so it wasn’t a surprise that we would be joining his sister Liz and his brother in law Lawrence.
Pete parked the car and I entered the Crowne Plaza from the side near the hotel pool. Things were swinging with a DJ while Go-Go Girls, twitching and gyrating hips, held their dominant position just above the pool area and the market place a little further out on the patio. We took in Tiki arrivals and fashion aficionados in all directions looking participate in any number of activities at the shrine of all things Tiki.
We all nested in the atrium of the Crowne Plaza, where volcano rocks form pools fed by tropical inspired waterfalls and where you can slip into a chair on a deck to lounge and kibitz with friends. It a shady place with exotic bushes and palms rise and shade those around them. The white noise of water flowing and splashing offers tranquility to separate you from your worries.
While lingering in this Polynesian-inspired paradise, it so happened that we became surrounded by a bevy of beautiful young ladies and a handful of photographers. Ann Liz’s sister came from a group of ladies further down the atrium to join us. David Arson of the Insect Surfers popped into the atrium for a bit. He had played the concert the night before with Agent Orange. We all listed and exchanged Tiki info and itineraries for the evening as well as the following day’s activities. Our quiet spot had become a place of surprising activity.
The young ladies were part of the Pin-Up Photos provided by Tiki Oasis and Vixen Photography. The pin-up package includes an hour of make-up and modeling tips followed by an hour of modeling for your very own pin-up look. As we leisurely took in the afternoon I popped off a few shots to capture the action, and the women tapped into their inner primitive for a splashy exotica photo session that Martin Denny or Arthur Lyman would have found inspiring.
Pete and I transitioned to the parking lot to look at some of the vintage cars and a continuation of the pin-up photoshoot where the ladies pose with all these old, lovely cars. With that, we retreat to Pete’s place before launching ourselves into the evening.