The first day of Coachella’s Weekend Two kicked off Friday withe lovely, scorching temperatures in what felt like the 500 degree range. I had a brilliant idea to escape the heat by heading into the “secret” tiki bar set up this year at the event – as some time in the a/c and a good cocktail sounded like an excellent way to kick off the weekend. But, here’s the thing, apparently everyone else had the same idea and, well, the secret tiki bar is not really a secret anymore.

After locating the spot, dubbed PDTiki, the wife and I were greeted by a hostess who told us the place was full and that they weren’t letting anyone else in all night. This was at 4:30 pm. This was a bummer.

So we did what one does at a festival, went out and had a beer while also kicking in a tip for the staff as it was going to an important cause…

We then did what one does at a music fest: enjoy some music!  We went and caught some of Big Gigantic’s set and most of Oh Wonder – both of which were really good.

We also strolled around the grounds a bit – which has expanded and is freakin’ huge now – and had some really good mozzarella sticks.

These are good (sorry for potato quality of the photo)

On a whim, we strolled back by the tiki bar and, they told us they might be able to get us in and handed my wife one of those restaurant buzzer things you get when waiting for a table.

“We’ll buzz you when we can get you in, just don’t go outside of the mile range of the buzzer,” the hostess said.

A mile? How big are the Coachella grounds this year!

They actually got us in before we could go far. the buzzer went off, we checked in and we were taken into a pretty crowded, converted storage container that was all tiki’d out.

The menu isn’t huge, but it has some quality options and 15 bucks for a quality tiki drink at a festival isn’t that bad at all.

My wife got “The Shark,” I opted for the “Indian Summer.”

It was a really good drink.

As I sat in the secret tiki bar, enjoying time with my wife, looking around at the decor, and enjoying my whiskey drink, I thought back to 18 years ago – when I had a little time between Ben Harper and Rage Against the Machine to chow down a terrible hot dog with a Budweiser at a picnic table.

It’s amazing how far this event has come.

Cactus Hugs will be at the Empire Polo Fields covering Coachella Weekend Two throughout the weekend.  Check back for more stories and updates…or don’t.  It’s your life, live it how you want.