It feels sooooo good to be warm!

The Road to Hana

Our travel went surprisingly  well, our connections were clear of bad weather which is a miracle in itself as most of the USA is being hit hard with bad weather – except our hometown of Greenville, Greenville needs snow for the tourist who come up to ski & snowmobile. Now that I don’t have to shovel I hope it snows a lot!

I don’t have time to go into details  but thought I would share impressions of our vacation so far:

  • We hit the ground running & we spent 4 hours at the Ohana Honolulu airport hotel before taking a sunrise flight to Maui.
  • Maui is incredibly beautiful,  mountains dropping into the ocean with beaches of black &golden sand scattered between.
  • We have seen most of the Island & it is less crowded that we thought it would be. We have looped most of the Island & you can actually see the ocean for most of the drive. There is public beach access everywhere, with picnic tables & washrooms. Traffic was not bad. We bought some warm banana bread at one of the beaches – yummy!
  • Sunrises: our first one was on the plane, our second one was on top of Haleakala (a 10,000′ volcano).
  • Haleakala Sunrise tour & Bike ride – This was the reason we came to Maui & it was worth the trip.

Haleakala Mountain Sunrise

    • We were picked up from our hotel at 2:45am & were  regaled with great Maui info & folklore as we drove to & ascended the mountain into a clear sky.
    • We had about an hour to star gaze, the sky was incredibly clear & there were more stars than I have ever seen -  but it was cold ~ 30 degrees.
    • We then got fitted with bikes & helmets & started our descent on hairpins turns to the coast. ABSOLUTELY EXHILARATING & BREATHTAKING. We were in a guided group of 8 spirited individuals & by mile 8 we were moving fast down the mountain, I was in a tuck & leaning into the turns – yahoo!
    • As we got off of the mountain we rode through rural roads of agriculture, sugarcane and small villages. The sights & smells were incredible & all of the senses were heightened.

      Biking down Haleakala

    • We had a van following us so we could peel of layers as we moved from temps of 30 degrees to 80.
    • We stopped at a stand for breakfast halfway through the trip & our final stop was at an ocean-side park where we could dip our feet into the ocean & look back towards the mountain we had been standing on a few hours earlier!

    The Road to Hana. This was a full day trip, we were on the road for 12 hours -  though we make a number of stops to enjoy the sights, sounds & food.  We were prepared for a terrible roads of hairpin turns but road is actually better than most in Maine, in my opinion

    • Our first stop was Paia, a neat hippy town just before the Road to Hana starts. We had breakfast at Anthony’s – excellent coffee, omelets & a great atmosphere.

      Anthony's for Breakfast

    • We got on the road relatively early so the traffic was light & we made many stops along the ways to enjoy breathtaking views, beautiful vistas, gorgeous beaches & the volcanic geology was great – needless to say.
    • Most cars turn back after they reach Hana, as rental cars are not allowed to continue the journey around the mountain & the roads were supposed to be bad. (thanks to my great accountant Steve A. he told us to continue the whole way). Steve was right, by Maine standards the roads were fine (a bit rough, dirt & hairpin turns with out guard rails) but this was some of the best stuff of the day so thanks Steve!
  • Whales. They are everywhere you look in the ocean- frock-ling around, blow holes abound. Amazing!
  • Sunsets & coconut rum drinks. We have sat on a beach for every sunset with our cooler of drinks,  appetizers & binoculars to get a close up of  the whales. All incredible.
  • We stayed on Kaanapali Beach by the quaint historic whaling town of Lahaina
    (thanks Nancy S. for the suggestion). I think it is the best location on Maui & it was fun to walk around Lahaina, enjoy the shops & waterfront restaurants & music.

Maui Sunset

Well, I need to get my swimsuit on & start another day – we head over to Oahu this afternoon & time is a wasting – so more later….

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