I see you. I know you’re doing it, because I’ve done it too. It’s a month out, then two weeks, then those final days leading up to your coveted vacation - and you can’t stop checking the weather forecast.

Put the phone down and back away slowly. Would it make you feel better if I told you that it is possible to enjoy a vacation even if it rains the entire time?

This past February, I visited Maui and Kauai with my husband and two of our good friends. We planned this trip for months and in the weeks leading up to it, I obsessed over the weather. I stressed over thoughts of muddy hikes, ruined excursions, and lack of beach days. I was convinced it was going to rain every single day.

And guess what? It did. Well, almost. We had two sunny days out of 10 - one on each island. Vacation ruined! Or not?

We had a blast - taking advantage of the warm sun when it made quick and rare appearances that week, and soaking up the gloriousness of Hawaii even when it rained on our parade. This attitude saved our vacation and created fantastic memories.

Here are my 3 favorite rainy day memories.

  • Rainy Road to Hana: We had rented a Jeep Wrangler and decided the drive would be so much better with the doors and roof off. That’s the only way to drive a Wrangler in Hawaii, right? (Sorry rental car company!)

    We knew the morning would be chilly, but we weren’t prepared for the sudden and quick bursts of rain that came and went all day long. We wrapped ourselves in towels and huddled together for warmth while our husbands yukked it up in the front seats, soaked from the rain. That drive resulted in one of my favorite travel photos.

Doing our best to look miserable on the rainy Road to Hana even thought we couldn’t stop laughing.

Doing our best to look miserable on the rainy Road to Hana even thought we couldn’t stop laughing.

  • Sunset Dinner at Polihale: We grabbed a picnic dinner from a local deli and headed out. The weather did not look promising, but we were so confident that the clouds woud part and we would be treated to a stunning Hawaiian sunset.

    Nope. We sat on the beach with our wine and campfire and watched the clouds turn into more clouds. The laughs had at our bad timing helped ease the sting of a sunset dinner gone awry.

Check out that stunning sunset!

Check out that stunning sunset!

  • A Sunset Dinner Cruise: The grand finale of our rainy day hilarity was a sunset catamaran cruise along the Na Pali coast. The cruise advertised stunning views of the sunset-lit sea cliffs, humpback whales, and an open bar. What a perfect way to end a day.

    Instead we were met with driving rains, wind, and enough waves to send multiple passengers hurling their cookies over the railings. We couldn’t believe our luck, and I’m certain the other cruisers thought we were absolutely crazy as we laughed at our bad fortune. There was no sunset that night, but we did get to see humpback whales and enjoy local Hawaiian brews from the bar. We arrived back to port with soaked clothes and sore cheeks from laughing.

Toasting the weather gods for the perfect weather. Can you sense my sarcasm?

Toasting the weather gods for the perfect weather. Can you sense my sarcasm?

The upside to all of this rain? Stunning waterfalls, rainbows, and a good excuse to sit on the covered lanai and watch the rain-fueled surf come in.

Somehow, we still came home with sunburns. But more importantly, we came home with hilarious memories and an agreement to try for a sunny Hawaiian holiday again in the future.

The rain doesn’t ruin a vacation - your perspective of the rain does.

And after all, no rain - no rainbows.

Hopefully your Hawaiian vacation will be sunnier than this one!