Wednesday, November 21, 2007

California Road Trip: Chongolian Hospitality

I’m back from an incredible adventure along the California coast. Arriving on Halloween, I started in LA, dipped down to San Diego for Tiki Magazine’s “Tiki Island at the Bali Hai” art show and then cruised up to the Bay Area for the Tiki Central Tiki Crawl with all sorts of memorable pit stops along the way. Most of the time, travel buddies Tiki Racer (who'd flown over from England with me) and Chongolio (who’d flown in from Kauai) were by my side. In retrospect, the whole trip seems very Wizard of Oz, with fascinating characters, new and old friends making appearances and plenty of lessons learned. However, when it came time to fly back, I was clicking my heels wishing I could stay just a little bit longer.

A highlight of my California Road Trip was finally getting to meet artist/illustrator and s
elf-described "freewheelin' monkey boy" Chongolio. I've known Chongo since 2005, when the two of us collaborated on a limited edition, three-volume illustrated series based upon the ancient Hawaiian legend of Kamapua'a, the Hawaiian Pig God. However, at that time I was living in New Jersey and Chongo was in Santa Cruz. We produced the series via the Internet and a whole lotta gabbin' on the phone. Despite never actually meeting in person, we really hit it off and our emails and gabbin' continued well past the time we had sold our last pig god book.

Although a native Californian, Chongolio now lives on Kauai. As one of the Tiki Island at the Bali Hai's showing artists, he came over to the mainland for the exhibition and to visit with family and friends ... and to cruise up the coast with me and Tiki Racer. Much of what made our trip so memorable was Chongo's aloha-spirit. That and the fact he frickin' knows everybody in the state of California. See, Chongo's the one that got Holden to open up Tiki Farm on a Sunday for us. Chongo's also the mastermind behind the wacky hang time at Ken Ruzic's studio. Et cetera, et cetera.

Thanks man!

For more about Chongolio, the artist, click here to read my artist profile about him.

Related links:
Barefoot Bloggin'
Chongolio's Lost-Isle
Coconut Wired with Chongolio and Friends

Make sure to check out all my California Road Trip posts!

Photography by Tiki Racer

No comments:

More Stuff

Search Tiki Chris Presents ...

Latest ontoTravel

Latest ontoLondon


Don't Get it?

If you like this blog ...