Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Meet Me At The Luau
This family I married into? I'll tell you one thing. They know how to throw a party.
Last month we made the pilgrimage to New Jersey to visit the good folks of The Compound for their annual celebration that is so much more than any family get-together you TRAVELMONKEYS readers can imagine.
The theme was LUAU, and there was everything that word conjures, and so much more.
Picture tiki huts and margarita machines, massive piles of pulled pork and about twenty other kinds of meat. Picture dogs wearing leis and women wearing flowers and men wearing pirate hats--because this year, the idea was that the luau was overtaken by pirates.
There's Uncle Dick, looking none-too-menacing. Arrrrr.
Now picture being greeted upon entry by a massive boat, decked out with an actual anchor and a wheel that really turns, and a massive black pirate sail--all built so that guests could have their pictures taken as a memento.
...and so that as the contents of the margarita machines dipped lower, they could re-enact their Titanic fantasies.
Now imagine that there is also a pool, for overheated guests and hyperactive kids.
And now imagine that there's an enormous treasure chest outside, and when opened, it reveals every kind of novelty ice cream bar you can imagine--even the ChocoTaco.
A live band? Of course.
Daring feats of strength? You bet.
An incredibly meticulous cake featuring three completely different layers, bedecked with a treasure chest made of chocolate and studded with gold? Oh, sure.
There were over 200 people there, many of whom I never even met, but all of whom knew Baci's name because he went from table to table, introducing himself and begging for scraps. The poor boy wasn't right for the next 48 hours, but now when he's yipping in his sleep, I know exactly what he's dreaming about.
I wish I had a group picture of all the folks who worked so hard to pull this epic event together--Martin, who built the ship and ice cream chest, Aunt Angela, who must have cooked and cleaned for a week straight, David, who was the sound engineer for the karaoke and live band and the go-to-guy for just about everything else, Connor and Amanda and Uncle Dick (all pictured in various shots above), who all gave enormously of their time and talents.
But being a director myself, I have to give special mention to Kris, who really was the mastermind behind the operation, overseeing this epic event from start to finish, and somehow managing to never lose her cool or forget to have fun.
We had a blast, and can only begin to image what the gang is going to come up with for next year's party. Whatever it is, and whenever it is, we'll do our best to aim our ship straight toward it so we don't miss out on the fun.