Food Travel America / Hawaii

Rain rain (wouldn’t) go away

I’ve made a big deal in my previous Maui posts about the rain for the week I was there. It was hard not to feel down about my time there, when I anticipated a week lying on the beach, frolicking in the water and soaking up the rays only to find the reality of my reality looked very different.


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I tried not to wallow in self-pity because at the end of the day, according to most, I was in a better position hiding from the rain in Maui than if I were at home in Vancouver (in the sun) suffering from record low temperatures.

While I was stuck in the middle of it, it was hard to feel enthusiastic, but looking back there were some good times, amazing views and fun finds amidst the precipitation in Maui.

With it raining from morning to evening and little else to do, I quickly found that drinking was a great way to pass the time. I discovered Costco’s ready-made Kirkland Golden Margarita turned out to be quite an excellent pre-dinner cocktail. I revisited the Kona beer family, but determined that my favourite “house beer” came from the very local Maui Brewing Co.

It was almost a joke how many times we referred to this as

It was almost a comical how many times I referred to this as the “award-winning” Bikini Blonde. But I guess everything’s just funnier when you’ve had a beer (or 3 or 4)…

Everywhere I looked, I’d see beautiful rainbows. But then again, you can’t have a rainbow without rain…

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I’m a sun rise/set fanatic and I think they’re best when there are clouds in the sky for the colours to bounce off of. As luck would have it, most nights I’d see a sun setting in the distance, (usually while sitting under clouds in the rain).

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I do feel supremely lucky that on one night, there was only one rain cloud (right above my head), so I was able to see the sunset in all its colour changing glory.

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I quickly discovered the poke challenge that I set for myself wasn’t going to pan out. I tried Costco, Safeway and Foodland Farms poke. I visited 2 other places only to realize they were also owned by Foodland, so I gave up trying. It was a bit of a disappointment, because a food challenge is always a good way to occupy my time.

In the end, after going back to Foodland almost every other night to pick up my favourite limu and furikake poke, on the last night, a pre-packaged shoyu poke turned up on the kitchen counter from the Times Supermarket in Kaanapali. Of all that I tried during the week, it actually rated 2nd to Foodland.

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Blurry photo compliments of Kirkland Golden Margarita

As I’d mentioned, to escape the boredom of sitting in the condo in the rain, my main activity for the day would be food/drink related.

One day, we made our way to Naplii beach to spend Happy Hour at the Sea House restaurant. While the drinks and food were just ok, it was nice to be out to gaze out at the ocean.

Getting caught in the rain outside while taking photos of the clouds rolling in quickly.

Getting caught in the rain outside while taking photos of the clouds rolling in quickly.

Maui Beach Balls - Rock shrimp, mahimahi, corn, pepper jack cheese, scallions, furikake crust, mango mustard, wasabi vinaigrette and remoulade dipping sauce

Maui Beach Balls – Rock shrimp, mahimahi, corn, pepper jack cheese, scallions, furikake crust, mango mustard, wasabi vinaigrette and remoulade dipping sauce

Poke nachos - Ahi Poke on wonton chips with wasabi cream, roasted pepper aioli and sweet soy

Ahi Poke on wonton chips with wasabi cream, roasted pepper aioli and sweet soy

Crispy furikake crusted calamari, Asian slaw

Crispy furikake crusted calamari, Asian slaw

Lani ribs - Asian bbq'd and the most delicious taste on the HH menu

Lani ribs – Asian bbq’d and the most delicious taste on the HH menu

The weather we had waiting for us after we were done eating...

The weather we had waiting for us after we were done eating…

I’ve also mentioned that drinking was a great way to pass the time and luckily Maui Brewing Co’s brewpub was up the street from where I was staying. Although Maui Brewing Co only cans 4-5 varieties of beer for mass distribution, there were over 20 beers on tap at their brewpub.

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The day I left Maui, on the way to the airport, I wanted one last meal. The few places that had been suggested to me were closed on Sundays, so I ended up at the Tasty Crust for a sampling of some island favourites.

Saimin with vegetables with a side of fried rice loco moco.

Saimin with vegetables with a side of fried rice loco moco.

My savoury choice was satisfying to me, but the pancakes were the real winner. Maybe I should have paid better attention to the sign as I walked in.

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I wanted to make one last stop before leaving Maui and that was to the little town of Paia. A friend told me to go check it out, as it was cute former plantation town and I thought I’d do some research for the next time I’m back, (because I will be back). Paia turned out to be charming and a place I know I’ll return to when I get my do-over for Maui.

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