Do you know the road to … Hana?

Here is the final post that I forgot to make for our recent trip to Hawaii. See previous posts here and here.

There is a lot of water surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

Chris and James

After landing on Maui (Lahaina), we drove the western part of the island to waste some hours prior to checking in to our vacation home. We stopped briefly at DT Fleming Beach park, and drove around the winding roads to see some magnificant views of cliffs plunging into the ocean. As we were getting hungry we headed back to Kapalua to the Pineapple Grill, where we enjoyed a beer on the putting green patio and some good (not quite as good as Kalypso’s) Fish and Chips.

Following this, we were ready to settle in, and headed over to the Maui Tradewinds on the north part of Maui, in a town called Haiku. Here are some of the views from the balcony.

Tradewinds View Nature's Widescreen

As Maui was our last part of our journey, we decided to head to the beach for part of the day, and ended up going to HA Baldwin Beach. This was a really pleasant beach, as we had tree shade, and water for days. The beach also was in the pathway for planes taking off, so we got to see some planes leaving, and we realized that we would be doing this in just a few days. Here is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. I tried to get a close up but the heads had come apart at that stage. It is a picture of Chris and CMom on a boogie board, on the beach, drinking a beer.
Chris and Mom

No trip to Maui is complete without attempting the Road to Hana. It’s not for the light hearted, and you want to make sure that your driver is very focused on what they are doing (which we were fortunate to have). There are some truly breathtaking views along the road, and it is so easy to just get amazed at what you see, and potentially plummet into the ocean. So … eyes focused! Also a word to the wise, don’t try to rush this trip. It will take you up to three hours to get there, and 2-3 hours to get back. You can’t do this trip in a 4 hour window, so don’t plan on doing that. Besides you will want to stop and snap pictures, which means frequent stops, and “oohs and ahhss.” You’ll see what I mean here…

Road to Hana: Coast Waikani Falls: Chris Road from Hana: Ke'anae
Road from Hana: Honomanu Bay Wai'anapanapa State Park

Along the way, we stopped at this little gallery/cafe and picked up some Mango & Cranberry Scones made fresh that morning. We actually met the lady who made them, and she shared that this was a modification of the Cranberry & Orange scones in the Williams Sonoma cookbook. As some of you know, Cranberry & Orange scones are one of my favorite snacks, and I have to say that what was on offer was just a tad better than my normal fare.

While we didn’t make it all the way to Hana, we did make it to Wainapanapa State Park where there is a black sand beach, and fantastic views of waves crashing into, under and over the rock formations. I even snapped a video for your viewing pleasure.

The very last night, we headed over to Little Beach and found a drum circle in progress. Little Beach is one of the few nude beaches in Hawaii, however there was not a lot of that happening due to the activities that were occurring. The unique thing about Little Beach is that it was separated from Big Beach by a lava flow, so you have to climb over a lava hill to get there. Both Chris and I decided that Big Beach was the place to be, and will make it a definate place to visit during our next visit to Maui.

Places we ate:

  • Milagro’s, Paia HI (Blackened Ahi Fajitas)
  • The Waterfront, Ma’alaea HI (Mahi Mahi stuffed with crabmeat)
  • Paia Fish Market, Paia HI (Fish and Chips)

Leaving Maui was a little hard to do, but we took away some great memories, and a over 2500 pictures!

The Garden Island

Okay. It appears that I failed to publish some blog posts from our recent trip to Hawaii. Rather than just hit the delete button, I’m going to post them — aren’t you all lucky?

From memory, and by checking my last post, I left you on Oahu. This post picks up with our travels to Kauai, The Garden Island.

One thing to note about Lahui Airport, it’s small. After a fantastic view approaching the island, and a beautiful sunny landing, where we were asked to wave to the Air Traffic Controllers, Chad and Brian. They waved back! It was quite amusing to hear people on the plane get excited about seeing someone wave back to them.

After arriving at the airport, getting our car, and getting packed … it rained. It’s was a good tropical rain though, so we enjoyed a casual drive up the road until we got to Kapa’a where Chris’s mom (“CMom”) pointed out this cafe called Olympic Cafe. It being lunch, we stopped, and WOW! Try the pig quesadilla or the fish tacos — unbelievably good.

Even in paradise...As we continued our drive to our accommodation, we stopped at Anini Beach Park. It was a small park, but the water was clear and warm, and it was very nice to be able to just stop for a short time and check our mail. It was actually kind of funny, as both of us were texting friends to let them how beautiful it was. We did get to visit this beach again for a longer time later in the week, and dream about what it must be like to wake up to that view every day. Do you think one would get bored with it, and just take it for granted?

Hanalei Valley OverlookLater that day after settling into our “home” away from home, we decided to take a trip over the Ke’e Beach (Haena State Park) for the sunset, and along the way (actually just around the corner) we found the Hanalei Valley Overlook which is home to migratory birds throughout the year. During the trip we drove through Hanalei, and found a great restaurant called Kalypso’s Cafe. Awesome food! We ate there twice – two nights in a row. The first night I had probably the best Calimari I have ever eaten. It was just perfectly cooked in a fine tempura-esque batter. I followed it up with Fish and Chip, and to this day these would be the best I’ve ever had (which is actually saying something). Of course, it was made with Ono (also called Wahoo) which is just a delicious fish. The second night, I ordered a Penne Pasta Pesto with Ono and followed it up with a Grasshopper Pie. A further triumph! Thank the heavens we were walking everywhere.

We did manage to get to Hanalei Bay Beach for some sunset shots (this one is the one I use on my desktop). This was probably the prettiest place that we saw the sunset during our trip.

Our last full day was spent driving all over the place, and visited Opaeka Falls, Wailea Falls, Po’ipu Beach; the Tunnel of trees (all eucalypts); spouting horn; and Waimea Canyon.

Opaeka Falls Wailua Falls Poipu Beach Spouting Horn Waimea Canyon Clouds

One the way back, we stopped at the memorial for Captain James Cook (for those not in the know, the [re-]discoverer of Australia).