the road to hana (hawaii, day 4 – 1/18)


We made a game time decision to drive the road to Hana today. C hasn’t been sleeping as much as usual, and it’s starting to show in her temperament. Really, the same could be said for Ben and me, too, but we have coffee to get us through the day. So, we gambled that a nice drive might give her the time she needs to get a decent nap in. We figured she’d sleep in the drive in, we could bookmark the places that interested us, then stop at them on the way back.

Speaking of bookmarking, we used a GPS audio tour called “Maui Free” for our journey on the road to hana. As we approached various gps coordinates on our drive, the app recognized them and gave us a narrative on the nearby attractions. The attraction points were mapped by GPS coordinates, so even though you couldn’t see the map due to data loss, the application still recognized when you got to various locations. We could add “pins” to the locations of interest, so they were easy to come back to. Pretty nifty.

The drive was beautiful. And it was ideal to get an idea of what there was to see before committing to stopping. Knowing that we had to turn around and come back the same way was comforting in a way. It gave us a chance to take it all in.

image We dove right in to the excitement from the beginning of the trip, with an attraction not on the map. We spotted the bright, colorful birds from the car, drove past, then turned around to go back and check things out. A man from some sort of “conservation” group was posing these birds for photo ops. As we approached, the guy told us it was $20 to take pictures, but that he was a photographer, would pose the birds for us and snap the pictures. Sure, why not, we figured. So, here are a few of the shots we got. The photos turned out great. I’m skeptical that he was really a part of any not for profit group, but that really wasn’t the point of it for us.

On the road again, and C dozed off as we took in the sites. Unfortunately, she didn’t nap as long as we’d hoped. When we made a detour at a local fruit stand for bananas and a thai tea, she woke up. A mere 45 minute nap. Not nearly long enough. The stop was worth it, though. We met an energetic imagelady at the stand, who was enamored with C, snapped pictures of all of us to put on her wall, and told us stories about her son, the lead guitarist for weird Al. We got a refreshing thai ice tea, some coconut candy and mini bananas. Man, I love those mini bananas. Not only does C look adorable eating them, but they are delicious!

We stopped for lunch at a black sand beach just outside Hana. It was a great break. We’d enjoyed our packed lunch, swam a bit and soaked in the sun.



C was getting tired by the end of lunch, so we put her back in the car and drive on, hoping she’d take another nap. We drove on, taking in most of the sights from the car, bookmarking as we went. The plan was still to hit most on the way back. Sleep didn’t come, though.

We’d traveled nearly to the end of the line, the road was narrowing and would turn to dirt shortly, and we decided we were ready to make the trip back. We were just about to turn around when good fortune smiled upon us and I spotted what looked like a whale. We pulled over at the nearest spot, got out and rushed down to the beach. Within minutes, we saw it again, a fin, a head, a flipper, spouting. Then, full breaching. Incredible. Whales are such majestic creatures. It humbles me to see them in the wild.

Whale breaching

Saying "hello"!

Mid air! Wow!!

A new-found excitement about the drive filled us. The whale sighting alone was enough to make the long drive worth it. On the way back, we stopped at a waterfall to hike out and take pictures. It was one of the easiest hikes along the road to Hana, but it was breathtaking all the same. C wanted, so badly, to swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall. We, however, weren’t ready to get wet again, or manage the slippery rocks with a tired two year old, so we stayed safely aloft for our photo ops.

C finally fell back to sleep just as we were nearing Twin Falls, a spot we really wanted to check out. Still, even awake she was in no mood to explore, so we let her sleep and made a plan to come back. Luckily, the falls are at the beginning of the drive, and we had lunch reservations scheduled nearby for Sunday already.

A side note – the mosquitoes here love me. And, brilliantly, despite the fact that I packed bug spray for the road to Hana yesterday, I failed to use it. I didn’t notice any mosquitoes while we were out, but they must have been there – I have the bites to prove it. And, yet, C and Ben came out unscathed. I’ve found eight bites so far. Eight. And mosquito bites are not kind to me. They itch like crazy and swell up to quarter size, minimum. You know the toothpaste trick? The one where you coat blemishes with toothpaste for a cheap for acne treatment? The itching was bad enough tonight that I tested it out on my bites. If it works on zits, maybe it will dry out these bites as well. The verdict? Helps quell the itching, didn’t do a darn thing for the bite. Oh well, worth a shot. (A few days later, Ben told me that’s actually a sanctioned mosquito bite remedy. Guess I wasn’t the first to think of it!)

The verdict? Road to Hana – totally awesome. Mosquito bites – not so much. Take your bug spray with you… and use it.

(As a side note, I tried to get this post up last night, but ran in to infuriating technical difficulties – namely, error messages from wordpress servers. So, these hawaii posts are going up slower than anticipated, but I hope you’re all enjoying them despite the delay!)

Click the photo below to see all of our pics from day 4!

Maui, Day 4 – 1.18.12

2 Responses to “the road to hana (hawaii, day 4 – 1/18)”

  1. 1 Helen Ketcham (@HelenOE) February 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Beautiful photos and… awww… you met Jim’s mom! I’ve never met Mrs. West, but nice to read that she’s energetic and enjoying life. I’ve met Jim pretty frequently, and he’s a quiet, intelligent guy who has completely tapped into the spirit of aloha. Seeing him onstage with Weird Al and then meeting him offstage, you’d think it was two different people.

    • 2 suzyness February 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM

      Thanks so much for the comment! It’s great to hear a little more about Jim. If you have a link to Mrs. West’s fruit stand, I’d love to post it on my blog as well. It’s be great to share my fantastic experience with others. :)

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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