Bali Hai On Shelter Island - Powerful Tiki Kitsch.

I go out way, way, way, way less living in San Diego County than I ever did living in Toronto, NYC or Boston.

There are a few reasons:
  • I have to drive everywhere. Which means I will be paranoid having anything more than a single glass of wine or a beer. "I don't want to get a Dewey! (DUI)"
  • Part of the draw of moving to Encinitas was to get a break from the easy-to-access social scene of the urban settings I had matriculated across in the past 14 years.
  • I like staying in and decompressing. Cooking my own meals. Drinking wine that I personally selected and keep in stock.

But occasionally, I do like to get out and see things. And nowadays, I am particular about where I go. I want it to be really worth it if I am deigning to go out. So when my quirky and awesome friend, IT Guy, and my high school pal, Special K, came to visit me this weekend from Phoenix... I knew this would be a good chance to get out. 

Especially since there was a particular place IT Guy has been dying to hit since I moved here...


The Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island.


IT Guy is a collector and connoisseur of all things Tiki. He collects Tiki mugs and loves Tiki drinks. So I understood why he wanted to hit this place. 

I made a reservation for dinner, and we showed up an hour early to hit the bar for some epic cocktails.


Two of the cocktails come with keepsake mugs. These are the Mr. Bali Hai cocktail mugs. We each got one.

The cocktail menu is solid. I found three cocktails that I wanted to try...


And Special K offered to be the designated driver for the ride back. Which meant...


YAY! Cocktail number one: Mr. Bali Hai.


Followed by cocktail number two: Goof Punch.


Caboosed by cocktail number three: Paralyzing Puffer Fish... Which I did NOT finish.

I downed the first two cocktails quickly, thinking, "These aren't very strong." But I was wrong. Just as we were sitting down to dinner, it all hit me.

"Tiki drinks are 'sneakers'," IT Guy said. "They sneak up on you!"

Too right, he was.

A few hours later, we were hanging out on my back patio, back in Encinitas. And I was still very much drunk. I was drunk when I walked upstairs to my room, laying down on my bed cross-ways with all of my clothes still on and contacts still in... World spinning.

About an hour later, I managed to get into my PJs, peel my contacts out of my eyes, and lay down on my bed the proper way.

"Just go in the bathroom and lay on the floor," I kept saying to myself, afraid I was going to have to puke.

Eventually, I lulled myself to sleep saying that. I woke up this morning, full 100%.

All I needed was sleep.

And now I have two commemorative mugs to remember the awesome evening. The powerful drinks from the evening.