Before my husband Brian and I moved to Hawaii, we weren’t sure where we would retire. Brian and I both grew up in military families so we moved quite a bit. Brian served 30 years in the Air Force and never stayed in any one place for too long so no place felt like “home.” We got lucky and found each other later in life! Because of Brian’s hard work and smart financial decisions, we were able to retire at an age that we could still be active and enjoy life!
We have three children between us spread across the mainland. We were splitting our time between Florida and Hawaii and decided we needed to pick only one. Hawaii seemed right, but what about Colorado?? I liked Tucson, Arizona too. But we didn’t have to decide. The decision was made for us when a bamboo house came on the market in Captain Cook, Hawaii on the Big Island. It sits on 5 acres of lush tropical landscape with tons of fruit, including ones I knew: pineapple, mango, banana, coconut - - and ones I didn’t: jaboticaba, mountain apple, dragon fruit, tropical teas, jackfruit, plus so much more! And coffee, glorious Kona coffee!
Our harvests have been abundant and I’ve been learning what we can do with all of the bounty. Sure, you can eat a pineapple, but after dozens of pineapples, what could I do with them? So, I combined my love of tiki and exotic drinks to preserve and use the fruit on our property. Nothing like fresh organic pineapple soaked in vodka for a few weeks!
Even before owning the bamboo home, I’ve had themed drinks wherever we lived! In Destin, Florida, it was the “Vitamin Sea” with lemonade and blue Curaçao. In Waikoloa, Hawaii, it was the “Hula Girl” with mango nectar and vodka. Now I have fresh, unusual ingredients to explore and make unique drinks. With great neighbors and friends (our product development team) the quest for living our tiki dream has begun!
Building a tiki bar in the loft of our bamboo house was the fruition of a life long dream. I’m the idea person and Brian is the craftsman. We make a great team! Every piece of the bar came from the property somewhere. We’ve started decorating too…but I suppose that will never be done as we make and find new treasures.