And you will note, there’s a lump in my throat.

Although the Mona ‘Roa Lanai is intended to translate to House on Monroe, you’d easily think it truly means – lanai built from love.

When The Tikimen – Pat and Dwayne – first met, each had a substantial collection of tiki artifacts, including authentic Polynesian art, headhunter items, Disney, and nautical items. When they combined households, they were faced with a decision. Would they find extra storage or figure out how to display the doubled collection? I’m glad they chose the later. Their decision was the birth of the amazing space in their home called the Mona ‘Roa Lanai.

When I asked what advice The Tikimen might give to others who want to create their own lanai, Dwayne immediately offered: plan the lighting in advance. Given the complexity involved with wiring multiple lamps or considering lighting colors and schemes, the last thing you want is to install lighting after the bones and finishes of your build have been set in place.

Pat did have a lump in his throat as we talked about the items that sat around us, including a ceremonial lei from their wedding on Bora Bora, a gifted carved tiki of their recently departed and much loved golden retriever Bailey, artifacts from his family’s tiki room when he was a child, and countless other treasures.

As our enchanted evening drew to a close, Dwayne shared that he had sung the lead role of Emile in the musical South Pacific. As such, my mind couldn’t help but start singing those songs in my head as I sipped on Pat’s delicious “Tikimen Zombie.”

As the South Pacific musical lyric reminds us, love is a grand and beautiful thing. You feel it here at the Mona ‘Roa Lanai.

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