Vacation in a Glass
When thinking tropical drinks with an umbrella, what typically comes to mind?
Without a doubt the cocktail that takes top billing at nearly every bar in HawaiÔ i
is the Mai Tai. Although it is a common misconception, the Mai Tai is not
indigenous to these Islands. In fact, it even sports a foreign name, maita‘i,
derived from the Tahitian word for Ò good.Ó Its origin spurred great debateÑ
and a great rivalryÑb etween two infamous and wildly popular California
restaurateurs in the 1940s and 1950s. Trader Vic (Victor J. Bergeron) and
Don the Beachcomber both laid claim to inventing the original Mai Tai recipe
and their ongoing battle propelled curiosity and interest in this juicy and potent
concoction. Trader Vic eventually took the crown having introduced the Mai
Tai at his Trader VicÕs Ò Polynesian-styleÓ restaurant in Oakland, California
in 1944, despite Don the BeachcomberÕ s claim to have created it more than
10-years earlier in 1933. In reality, the restaurateursÕ recipes vary greatly,
Don’s containing a much more complex flavor that is pleasing, though quite
different than the Ò original.Ó As for Trader Vic, his story goes a little something
like this: Bergeron mixed a drink one afternoon for some friends who were
visiting from Tahiti. One of those friends, Carrie Guild, tasted it and cried out,
Ò MaitaÔ i roa ae!Ó (Translated as Ò very good!Ó or Ò out of this world, the best!Ó in
popular Tahitian slang of the time.) From that moment, the Mai Tai was born
and long may it liven up vacationers everywhere.
Guided by the Hawaiian concept of living in balance
with nature, the 2009 renovation of The St. Regis
Princeville Resort included refurbishin of the green
eco-roofs on the tiered crowns of the hotel. Covered
with vegetation, the sustainable roofs are located
below the main hotel. While the appearance is
organically seamless with nature, the principle
reasoning behind the installation was inline with The
St. RegisÕ environmental initiatives of maintaining
an uncompromising stewardship with the land.
The green eco-roofs significantly minimize heat
cooling the interior
of the building. The
addition also attracts
moisture during rains
to reduce water runoff
and improves air
quality by reducing
Ò Talk storyÓ is at once an art form, an integral part of
the aloha lifestyle and a treasured Hawaiian tradition.
But what exactly is Ò talk story?Ó ItÕs simply the act of
slowing down, living in the moment and engagingÑ
really engagingÑw ith the person or people around you.
Talk story is spontaneous and erupts anywhere and
everywhere among long-time friends and strangers alike!
It might start at the bank, the beach, the grocery store or
at a favorite shave ice stand, and you never know where
it might lead or when it might end. ThatÕ s all part of the
fun and freedom of letting go of time and sharing. This
Ò downtimeÓ spent exchanging stories, opinions and ideas
can spark inspiration, new found wisdom, a new path or
important life connections; more often, though, it provides
one of the most Ò upliftingÓ parts of any given day. At its
core, talk story is one of the sincerest forms of aloha.
Underlying the most casual of chats, the message is
always the same: I appreciate you; IÕm happy to spend
this time with you; IÕm interested in knowing you or
knowing you better. Live aloha, talk story!
PHOTO COURTESY: (BOTTOM LEFT) AFEINPHOTO.COM