Pre-wedding at the Tiki Lounge
A dear friend of mine, Erin, is getting married tomorrow, so a crew of us have
trekked up from Ann Arbor to Ludington for the wedding. We hit the road sometime
after work and had an extremely elaborate plan.
While hanging with Bill and Sam in the parking lot waiting for Gretchen it dawned on
me that I had booked a room for Gretchen at me on the outskirts of Ludington while
Bill and Sam had a room at the Stern's Motor Lodge, home of the Tiki Lounge. When I say
outskirts, I mean at least 3 miles from downtown where all the hot bar action lives.
Some quick dialing and I've canceled our reservation at the days inn or whatever and have
a room directly above the Tiki Room (what more could you want? maybe a fire-poll down
to a barstool!).
Gretchen shows up and we drive off. First off to Perry to drop Gretchen's car at her
parent's place (complicated plan) then westward on I-69 and I-96, up 31 and in to
Ludington. We checked into the Sterns just before midnight. Up to the second floor on
the slowest elevator in existence (also the dumbest, it
can only remember one call at a time. If someone
on the second floor presses the button and the elevator starts to come down from the
third, it's not
going to be able to remember someone on the first floor pushing the call button too. wow!)
and push through the door to our enormous suite.
Then I nearly pass out from the smells of unimaginable chemical interacting with yet
more chemicals. I can barely pay attention to my eyes which report horrendous brown
floral patterns everywhere! Ahhh!
Gretchen starts to hyper ventilate at the thought of staying in this hole for a couple nights.
Only one thing can fix this: the Tiki. Gretchen lights a candle to burn off some of the
toxic fumes and we head down to meet Bill and Sam.
The Tiki is a place that I first became acquainted with during Erin's
4th of July party. It's a rural
Michigan bar trying to be a hip tropical themed dance club. It fails horribly, but
honestly, that is why we love it.
Apparently Bill and Sam's two room suite was only slightly less scary than ours so
the only thing to do is drink ourselves so silly that we would be able to
Quickly Bill and I found our pace with a Gin&Tonic + an MGD each per round. This worked
out to a whopping $7 per round for the these 4 drinks. It was really a pity that we couldn't
have made it to Ludington earlier. In our hour and a half of drinking (5 or 6 rounds? I
can't remember) we could both walk pretty well. This isn't to say that we weren't drunk,
because we really were. But when one sets off with such a grand charter and the
convenience of being in the bar connected to one's hotel, one hopes to be crawling across
the worn carpet and rolled in and out of the elevator by friends. Alas.
Near the end of my tenure at the Tiki I went to the bathroom and found "Andy Smo+Erin"
on a chalkboard. I thought that this was so cute that I totally missed the swastika.
Isn't rural Michigan great? Home of the Michigan Militia. Weee.
After touring the "Uncle Fester Suite" (note the orange spread, blue carpet, and much
to Sam's chagrin, tv with no remote) Gretchen retired (passed out) to her bed and I
wandered. I walked down to the beach (7 or 8 blocks from the hotel), got the dialies and
talked to Eva (it's great having friend in PST when your drunk and have the dailies...
no big worries about disturbing said friend's sleep). I wandered back and recall watching
some crazed 14-year-old driving a delivery van in and out of parking lots and making many
u-turns on the bolevarded main drag (stolen? i think so).