If I were trying to woo the love of my life, I’m not sure I’d ask that person to run miles with me while I recounted the detailed history of the Anglo-Zulu War. It wouldn’t be at the top of my list of fifty ways to woo a lover. Out of breath discussions of military history? Naw. But, that’s just me.
It worked for Scott and Beth. While in medical school together, Scott had a longstanding crush on Beth. After spending lots of time studying together, Scott marshalled the courage to ask Beth to run with him. Beth was not an avid runner, but she agreed to join him under one condition: Scott had to tell lengthy stories to keep her mind off the run. Apparently, it worked quite well. Scott recounted military history, and Beth was wooed. As an homage to their romance from years ago, you’ll find a nook in the wall of the Papa Nui with a collection of vintage British Navy memorabilia. It serves as a reminder to that wonderful decision to run together.
The Papa Nui, Scott and Beth’s home tiki bar and guest house, is named in honor of their grandfathers and fathers. Scott and Beth’s family served in the military. Scott’s grandfathers both served in the Army and were stationed in the Pacific during World War II. Scott’s PaPa, the inspiration for his tiki interests, served at the 80th General Hospital in Papua New Guinea. Beth’s father was in the Navy and served during the Cold War. Scott credits his good friend Shannon Brunner, his brother-in-law, and Beth’s dad with the success of the build. Together they built an amazing tiki house from the ground up, complete with a home bar, a gathering room, and a full bath. Their collection of vintage lamps, tikis, carvings, and PNG masks is one of absolute envy.
To me, the real magic of the Papa Nui is the integration of family lore and history into the design and build of the space. When I first arrived, Beth took time to describe how she had painted traditional tattoo symbols on the support beam for the girl’s loft area. The tattoo symbols form a pictograph that begins with the story of Scott and Beth’s families, then honors their journey together to the present. and continues to a future filled with love and hope for Victoria and Beatrice, their girls. As you look around the bar, you’ll be grounded in the family’s past with multiple photographs of PaPa from the years he served in Papua New Guinea. Art from Victoria and Beatrice adorn the walls, and lamps have been crafted from family art projects. Beth and the girls have even hand sculpted a series of cannibal tikis, similar to those found in the Mai Kai. As I admired the family items, Scott emphasized – the Papa Nui belongs to the whole family, and all have inspired its creation. Ohana means family, and that is quite evident at the Papa Nui. Throughout the night, Beth and Scott continued to tell me wonderful stories of how they surprise each other with thoughtful gifts – either thrifted or created – that now find their home at the Papa Nui.
As the evening got late, we said our goodnights, and I crawled into the Murphy bed under the watchful eye of the iconic Kon Tiki Thor Heyerdahl mask. As I lay still, I noticed that the world was now in motion. I figured it was the gentle rocking of the Pacific Ocean waves, as I was now on the Kon Tiki. Then, I realized – it might just be my head spinning from the five (yes) expertly crafted cocktails that Scott had made that night. It didn’t matter. I was soon asleep on the Papa Nui raft, dreaming of the Zulu conflict.