08 June 2001

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 sleep/passout anywhere. 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).

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