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AutoMatters & More: Tiki Oasis — even better in 2022

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(Jan Wagner)

After missing Tiki Oasis last year, and after the disruptions caused by COVID-19, I returned to a new and improved Tiki Oasis San Diego in 2022.

I was skeptical at first. As you can see from my previous coverage of Tiki Oasis (pre-COVID-19), Tiki Oasis is a Polynesian-themed getaway into the wonderful world of Tiki culture (enter “Tiki Oasis” in the Search bar of the “AutoMatters & More” home page, at: https://automatters.net). Often, major changes to iconic events are not necessarily for the better, but I am happy to report that Tiki Oasis 2022, themed “Trip to the Tropics,” was indeed better — not just a little better, but a lot.

The biggest difference was the one thing that I was particularly skeptical about: the change in venue. For years Tiki Oasis was celebrated at the Crowne Plaza Hanalei Hotel and the Bali Hai Restaurant in San Diego, but last year – a year that I did not cover — the venue was relocated to the spacious, recently renovated Town & Country Resort.

The Town & Country Resort
The Town & Country Resort
(Jan Wagner)

Sometimes change can be difficult. Participants knew where everything was at the old venue — where to go to see and do what we so looked forward to each year. Where was everything now, and would it still be at least as much fun?

My coverage of Tiki Oasis 2022 almost did not happen since this year I did not receive any advance notifications about Tiki Oasis. The first that I heard about it was on the Wednesday evening that this year’s event began. I was at home watching the local ABC news, during which I learned that Tiki Oasis 2022 had just begun! I fired off an email to my previous media contact person, letting him know why my request for a media credential was so late this year.

By the time that I received his reply, it was already Friday morning. I had already missed the activities on Wednesday and Thursday, and part of Friday. I hurried to finish the other work that I was doing, grabbed a camera and headed off to cover Tiki Oasis 2022.

Charles Phoenix presenting Floridaland
Charles Phoenix presenting Floridaland
(Jan Wagner)

The first big improvement was in the parking situation. Parking for the new venue was plentiful and close-by.

The ballrooms and other meeting spaces were large — easily able to accommodate the many attendees in the seminars, presentations, marketplace and more — another improvement.

Thankfully, at least one thing stayed the same and, as usual, it was especially helpful. Tiki Oasis still published the paper version of the “Official Program and Schedules.” This publication served as my handy guide for the days that I covered Tiki Oasis.

Car show in front of the Town & Country Resort
Car show in front of the Town & Country Resort
(Jan Wagner)

My photography will show you the wonderfulness that was Tiki Oasis 2022. Highlights included seminars; lots and lots of music — played by numerous live bands and disk jockeys; spending time at the swimming pool; suite soirees (room parties!), hosted by the beverage event sponsors; midnight burlesque shows (unfortunately, long after I needed to leave to return home each day); a car show in front of the resort’s main entrance; food & drink (plentiful tastings of alcoholic beverages); a marketplace filled with vendors (I was unable to resist purchasing handcrafted ceramics from Hawaii — see HawaiianImport.com); and much more.

The new venue featured a large, flat, grass-covered area in front of the main stage — upon which people arrayed their lawn chairs. There was also a gentle, grass-covered slope and a second, raised viewing level.

Attendees applauding at the event.
(Jan Wagner)

Sadly, because I missed the opening days, I missed the seminar titled “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Tiki with Mike Skinner,” however I did see other great, not-to-be-missed presentations and activities, ending my Friday in spectacular fashion by shooting the night-time SeaWorld fireworks from the top level of my parking garage!

On Sunday I went to see “Floridaland with Charles Phoenix,” in which — as in past years, he thoroughly entertained the audience with his often-hilarious accompanying descriptions of other people’s decades-old vacation slides.

I ended my visit to Tiki Oasis 2022 with the 8th annual San Diego Bartender Battle.

For more information about Tiki Oasis 2022, and for updates about Tiki Oasis 2023 in San Diego, as they become available, visit www.tikioasis.com.

To see the most photos and the latest text, and to explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, visit AutoMatters & More at AutoMatters.net. On the Home Page, search by title or topic, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes.

Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #754


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