From the Maui Mountains to Mexico

Where else but in Maui can you start the day shivering in a rainstorm at an elevation of over 4,000 feet and end the day requesting a shaded table at a beachside Mexican restaurant?

I know of no other location on the planet like Maui. With a climate as diverse as its culture, this island is truly magical–a fact I was reminded of countless times throughout the day.

The morning dawned dark and cloudy. My spirits sank as we prepared to head into the upcountry. It had poured during the night and it appeared that the heavens were about to open again. And no one wants to stroll around a botanical garden (the first stop on our self-guided upcountry tour) in the rain.

But…that’s exactly what happened–and I loved every minute of it!

The Kula Botanical Gardens were shrouded in thick, billowing fog and the flowers were sprinkled with crystalline raindrops–perfect for taking pictures! Thankfully, Mom and I  were able to borrow umbrellas and we set off on a flower photographing expedition.

Although it was slightly chilly out, the gardens were beautiful and I managed to snap a ton of pictures (as you can see below 🙂 )

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The rain began to slow just as we finished our botanical trek and hopped in the car to find our next stop: Alii Kula Lavender Farm. Thankfully, the rain had stopped entirely by the time we parked next to a lavender field and hopped out to explore.

awrgargAfter gazing at more flowers, we poked around in the small farm store, where we sampled lavender-infused jellies and lotions before deciding to split a fresh lavender scone. I was too hungry to snap a picture before digging in, but trust me: it looked (and tasted) amazing! The giant, dense scone was rich and slightly floral-tasting. Both flavors were accentuated when I dipped the scone in some complimentary lavender honey…yum!

18034056_483958448662168_2989470504806237327_nThe last stop on our upcountry tour was the Surfing Goat Dairy, where we took time to examine the copious amounts of goats’ milk merchandise before checking out the herd of goats hanging around the bustling farm stand. By the time we turned back to the condo, the temperature had risen from 66 degrees (at the botanical garden) to 91! Ah…the magic of paradise.

We lazed around the condo for the rest of the afternoon, taking plenty of time to soak in the sun and gaze at the glorious blue ocean before getting ready for dinner out at Frida’s, a Mexican restaurant only a short stroll away from the condo.

Only a few days ago, I’d laughed at the idea of a Mexican restaurant in Maui. After checking out the reviews and getting a recommendation from my aunt, however, I was eager to experience the local hotspot for myself.

Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. We were instantly given a basket of extra-salty chips and salsa. The salsa was slightly orange in color and overall unappealing-looking. But I did my best to be adventurous, tried a bite, and fell in love with the smoky Mexican fusion flavors. I also sampled the mango habanero salsa which was…uh…zippy. A little too zippy, if you ask me–and I have a high heat tolerance!

Dinner was on point, too. My veggie taco platter came with a fantastic assortment of veggies (including poblano peppers, my favorite!) as well as beans, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, cilantro rice, and other necessary Mexican condiments. Rolled up inside a steamy tortilla, everything came together to create a delectable dining experience.

After dinner, Mom and I managed to make it back to the condo in time to watch as the sun sank behind a bank of color-changing clouds. Several sailboats zipped back and forth over the water as waves lapped at the shore, reminding me that every day spent in paradise is a good day indeed.

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