You've saved for months or even longer! You've just flown 1000's of miles only to see that rain is in the forecast for Hawaii. What can you do? Don't despair. Your vacation plans may have changed but they are NOT ruined! Be flexible, like the bamboo. There is a reason that our islands are green and lush. It is from the rain. Here are some suggestions for how you can salvage a rainy day in Hawaii:
1. Spa Day! Oh yea! I love spending at least one day of my vacation in a great spa even if the weather is sunny! Call ahead. Book a couple of treatments but go early and spend the day enjoying the jacuzzis and saunas.
2. Take a class at a local bead shop. Many of the little shops are quite flexible and even welcome drop-ins. I recommend a wire wrap class. You can learn how to turn anything from small pieces of driftwood, coral or beach glass into pendants and earrings. It is a skill you will have for life and even young ones can get in on it.
3. Go shopping! Like you really needed a reason to do that, right? Hawaii spawns creativity is seems. There are SO many talented artisans on each island that I am always amazed and inspired by them. If it is safe enough to be on the roads, drive to the little out-of-the-way towns and check out their galleries and boutiques. On the Big Island, check out Hawi! Oh how I love that town. It is just charming! Also Holualoa and Waimea have some great shops. On Oahu, drive to the north shore and see what Haleiwa has to offer. Molokai? Yes, they have great shops too. I think they are all on the mainstreet. Specifically stop in to Kalele Bookstore. Kauai? Oh yes, who doesn't know how much I adore that island? Pretty much any little town on that island will have unique gift boutiques. In Koloa, check out Palm Palm. There are also little shops near Eleele and over in Princeville and Hanalei. Adventure out as long as there are conditions safe enough to do so.
4. Find a LOCAL coffee shop. Get a cup of Kona Coffee or even coffee from the other islands. Don't wast your vacation time drinking coffee at the big mainland name shops. You could do that anywhere! Shop local. Be friendly with the staff and they may even offer more suggestions exclusive to their island for rainy day things to do. Buy a local paper, do a crossword puzzle and RELAX!
5. Take a walk in the rain. Most often tropical rain is fairly warm. A huge downpour is an experience you will never forget. There is something quite liberating about walking with no umbrella and knowing you are going to get soaked. Don't fight it. You won't melt. Just be safe! Stay on high ground and be aware of your surroundings. We don't want to lose anyone!
6. Go to a movie. I know, you could do that anywhere. But some warm buttery popcorn on a rainy day sounds pretty good to me.
7. Get a day pass to a local yoga studio or gym. Most fees are $10 or less.
8. Make lei. Longs drugstores carry the long lei making needles near the checkout stands. Ask if you don't see them. There are many things you can make lei out of. My suggestion is to always make one more lei than you need. Drive to a local beach and present your lei randomly to someone you don't know. It will make their day. Usually they expect you are wanting money! ha! When you just say "Aloha, have a great day", it truly is a welcome random act of aloha.
9. Wine, don't whine! Some of the wine shops on the islands offer free tastings. Call ahead and ask.
10. Accept that you can not control the weather. Go with the flow and don't let it ruin your day. The islands will give you just what it is that you need and it isn't always a sunny beach. Take this time to slow down, enjoy your loved ones and make some new memories. Remember, no rain, no waterfalls!