To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and our first trip to Hawaii together, Dana and I decided to go back to the islands. However, rather than go back to Oahu - which I've visited repeatedly - we decided to go to Maui, which I've only been to once, and Dana has never seen at all.
After scrambling for airline tickets, arranging lodging, and frantically e-mailing everyone for advice, we found ourselves waking up early Thursday morning and heading to the airport to start our vacation.
Five or so hours later - we arrived at the Kahului airport:
and picked up our rental car. Yeah - we rented a red convertible Mustang. Hey - if you're going to drive around the islands, you might as well do it right:
I took that photo on one of our first long driving excursions - up the 'Iao Valley to the state park. This is what we saw:
This was quite a contrast to the desert-like conditions we experienced where we were staying in Kihei. Basically - Maui has a desert side and a rainforest side. What you're seeing above is the rainforest side.
We did a few more things like visit a swap meet and get shave ice:
attend a Polynesian dance exhibition:
and take pictures of working, well-maintained payphones:
Our next big excursion was driving the Hana Highway. This is not an exercise for the faint of heart. Although it's only a 52 mile stretch, it takes 2 1/2 hours to drive without stopping - there are 59 bridges, 620 curves and many stretches where the road is only one lane wide.
Still - the scenery was amazing:
Finally - we got to the outskirts of the Hana area, and went to the Wai'anapanapa State Park with their famous black sand beaches:
While we were there - we found a
Then - back to the beach:
Finally - we reached the Hasegawa General Store in Hana, which is considered a landmark and a sign that you'd "completed" the Hana Highway. I bought a celebratory t-shirt and mug, and took a couple of pictures:
We'd done it! We'd made it to Hana! Unfortunately - the remaining highway doesn't connect around the island. So, to get back to Kihei, I had to drive the entire Hana Highway again - in the reverse direction. Oh - and did I mention that the sun had set before we started back? And - there are no streetlights on the Hana Highway, and it's pitch black?
Yeah - that was kind of nerve racking - 620 hairpin turns and 59 narrow bridges on an occasional single lane road in the darkest dark.
But - we made it with out any damage - except to my nervous system - and we were ready for the next phase of our Maui adventure.
To Be Continued in Part 2! --> The Ideal Copy: Family Trip to Maui - Feb. 19th to Feb. 27th - Part 2 of 2