Monday, December 27, 2010

December 26, 2010: Maui - Pai'a Fish Market, Mana Foods, Beach Hopping, Best Pasta Dinner Ever

We slept in late our first morning in Maui, enjoying the freedom of not having any particular plan. After getting up I browsed through our guidebook for tips on lunch and groceries. I also mulled over where to leave my laptop and camera - we didn't have a room safe like we'd had in Kaua'i. I decided to hide them in the microwave, where they just fit.

We decided to head down to the nearby oceanside town of Pai'a. Reviews for The Paia Fish Market were favourable, and Mark was looking forward to a great fish taco. We got there a bit before noon which turned out to be fortunate - it wasn't long before the line was stretching out the door and there weren't any more places to sit. We squeezed over at our picnic-table-style seating to make room for an elderly couple - they've been many times to Maui over the years, and said they always made a point of going for lunch at the Fish Market.

After lunch we walked around a bit through some gift shops, and then stopped in at Mana Foods - from the storefront it looked like it might just be a small health food store, but it turned out to be an extensive grocery store with a great selection of local fruits and vegetables - the kind of place we'd been hoping to find all throughout our time in Hawai'i. At last we could feast on the island's bounty! We got local Maui onions (a sweet Vidalia-type onion), tomatoes, dinosaur kale, garlic, mushrooms, and I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting.

On our way out of town we stopped by the beach, although we weren't prepared with swimsuits, sunscreen or towels. The waves were very strong there, as is typical for the north shore, so we could see that we wouldn't do any swimming. After dropping our groceries off at home we decided to drive over to the south shore of Maui instead, which was supposed to better for swimming.

Maui is bigger than Kaua'i and more developed, although it varied from one part of the island to another. It reminded me a bit of California, particularly the rolling hills of the upland area where we were staying. The south shore also seemed quite California in a different respect - crowded beaches and non-stop stretches of upscale resorts. We didn't really like this aspect of it, but the landscape of the beaches was beautiful, and different from what we'd seen on the other islands, with rugged outcroppings of black volcanic rock. We spent a bit of time beach-hopping from Kama'ole Beach (very busy with tourists) to Makena Landing (not busy at all, and it looked like a favourite local hang-out).

For dinner we made pasta, with all of our fantastic local vegetables plus an unusual artichoke pesto and an amazing herb-encrusted salami. It may have just been the setting, or the fun of cooking for ourselves on our honeymoon, or the bottle of wine, but it seemed like the best pasta dinner ever.

Our rental place was just off Kokomo Road - the Beach Boys song 'Kokomo' keeps running through my head every time we turn onto it. Which is unfortunate - I am not a Beach Boys fan.

Pai'a store Alice in Hulaland

South shore beach

Sea urchin!

Volcanic peak in the distance

Trying to figure out how this sign had been altered, my first thought was "how did they change the 't' in 'steep' into an 'h'?" Silly me - 'r' to 'p' would be far easier. I do not have a future career as a sign vandalizer.

Sunset at Makena Landing

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