day 7 :

sunday, 10 february

Today, Jamie came to babysit for the morning, so while Ian played on the beach, building tunnels and blowing bubbles with her, Eric and Dawn headed for the north coast. Originally, we had planned this morning to go snorkeling, but there was a surge warning, and the winds and waves were high. The biggest surf of this winter, in fact. So instead, we decided to see whether we could find some wind surfers to watch.

After a stop for some Thai iced coffee and lemon Bundt cake (both, yum) at Anthony's Coffee Company in Paia, we headed just up the road to Hoʻokipa Beach, the windsurfing capital of the world, and the location of a few annual windsurfing competitions. It turns out that when the waves start to approach 25 feet, as they were on this morning, it's not a great place for big-wave riding, since the waves tend to break along its length all at once. So we only saw a couple wind surfers and one lone surfer at this location. We'd read about Jaws, just a few miles down the road, as a superb surfing spot, but earlier, our host had confirmed what the guidebook said, which is that it's difficult for observers to access this area.

When the surfer we'd been watching finally paddled in, we managed to chat with him, and showed him some of the frames we'd captured with our camera. This guy was an impressive athlete, to say the least.

But we were nearing the time of our reservation at Mama's Fish House, just down the road. We were so impressed with our meal here two days ago, that we wanted to return one last time to try a few more items on the menu. This time, we started with a fish crudo paired with a spicy red chili sorbet, which was an amazing pairing as it melted. Eric had the Hawaiian plate lunch (possibly the most expensive mixed plate you'll find in the islands?), and Dawn had the ono with caramelized Maui onions and black forbidden rice with mango sauce, which she had been eyeing last time. Both dishes were amazing, and while they left us stuffed, we did want to try dessert here. They are known for the Black Pearl dessert, which is a sphere of chocolate mousse with passion fruit filling and glazed with chocolate (the black pearl), set inside a pastry oyster shell atop a beautiful star pattern of passion fruit and chocolate sauces. Outstanding.

We relaxed at the rental while Ian napped, and afterwards decided to walk the oceanfront trail by the Wailea resorts. It's remarkable how lush this posh area is, with groomed lawns extending to the edge of the ocean, and covered lounge chairs perched above the rocks, with waves crashing below.

After walking an impressive distance, Ian was ready to eat, so we decided to try Pita Paradise. While there is a full service bistro in Wailea that takes reservations, we went to the location in Kihei, which is a casual counter service spot. The staff were very friendly, and we loved our food: crispy falafel, a lamb gyro, and a "pita pizza" with feta, fresh tomatoes and basil. Ian must have been hungry because he gobbled up the pizza, ignoring the green specks that typically cause him to declare food "yuck!" The soft homemade pita was outstanding. We would recommend a visit if you're looking for a casual bite and a change from local Hawaiian food (they did have selections that included local fish wrapped in pita, if you're interested in Hawaiian-Greek fusion).

We came back home for a dessert of fresh pineapple, as we watched the sun turn the sky into a rainbow from orange at the bottom to deep blue at the top.


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