CONCERNING THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN ORDINARY PIECE OF FLORIDA EARTH INTO A SOUTH SEA ISLAND PARADISE.
It began with a simple phrase: "I have a dream . . . a tiki dream."
and I recently decided that the bare concrete platform out back of our apartment complex was the perfect zone for a tiki-style lounge, one we can enjoy now that the nighttime weather is so cool and refreshing.
We began by making a list of "Tiki Items" necessary for transforming the stone foundation surrounded by bracken into a tropical den.
Giant wooden Indian
Firepit (can wait till fall)
We made our first foray into the world of "tiki hunting" by visiting The Orange Lake Antiques Mall (hours: "if the gate is closed, we are closed") on 441, just south of the town of Orange Lake. Be sure to bring cash (they have never heard of credit cards), a camera (for slyly taking pictures of the acres of amazing junk), and an open mind when you visit. The weatherbeaten family presiding from their lounge chairs look like cannibals, but are actually quite friendly, and if some of the pieces you encounter in searching the grounds give you nightmares, or the screaming chickens in the unseen coop frighten the daylights out of you, it's quite likely that you'll still come away with some worthwhile finds. Whoever said treasure hunting was easy?
For $10, we acquired the following items:
The Golden Laughing God
The Nutty Squirrel
The Lobster Claw Ashtray
These items, in my view, take care of the "small statuary" requirement. We have yet to locate the giant wooden Indian, but when we do, I have the perfect place for him to nestle in some grapevines and look appropriately creepy.
Todd also made this amazing find, one that kind of defines the glory of the Tiki Haven--four strands of colorful tiki head lights. Only three of the bulbs didn't work, and those were easily replaced. Amazing, considering they've been sitting out in the junk yard for God knows how long.
For the torches, oil, wicks, and candles, we made a late-night excursion to Wal-Mart on Archer Road.
Stay tuned for more to come!