I promised my family that the professional cameras would stay home, so I made due with my Iphone 7 and waterproof point-and-shoot. Nevertheless, we made some memories, and I want to share them with you. The moment we arrived to our VRBO, we knew we were in paradise. Honua Kai is absolutely stunning, kid friendly, and centrally located. I had never used VRBO before, but would do that again in a heartbeat. The condo was fully stacked with supplies and beach gear. All we needed was food and clothes. Konea Tower is brand new and beautiful. Every room has a gorgeous view.
Of course one of the best parts of any island, is the beach! That was my favorite part. The snorkeling is around every corner, but Molokini Island is a fun day trip, if you like sailing. That was my favorite part as well. I was surprised that I didn't hear the waves, but they are so calm on this side of the island, that you don't hear them at all. It is very relaxing.
The Road to Hana was a 50 mile stretch of glorious green jungle wonder. Our friend suggested a guided tour through an APP, and that was all we needed. It begins at the Mile marker 00, is connected to your GPS and takes you through all the stops before you get there. The Seven Sacred Pools are closed due to flooding, so check with the park before you go. https://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/kipahulu.htm But, it's still fun to see, if you want to pay $25 just to hike to it. Across the road is a bamboo forest that I heard was worth the walk, but I couldn't convince my kids of that. The eucalyptus painted trees are not really painted. They grow that way!
Start your travels at 7 am and take your time making all the stops. It's the journey, not the destination, right?! You should make your way back by 4:30pm, so you don't drive in the dark in the winding road. There are over 600 turns and no lights!
On the way back, the APP talked about the history of Hawaii. It made me so sad and ashamed to be part of a country that takes over by force just to make a profit. Read more about that here, if you're interested. Not sure of the source, but the content in this article is true. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/HAWAII/hawaii.php#axzz4kVN7i3Gm I wasn't born an American, but I feel very sorry for what Native Hawaiians went through.
Black Beach on the Road to Hana was magical! The lava cooled so fast that the rocks stayed black, but not for long. They are smooth and beautiful to walk on, but water shoes are helpful if you want to walk into the caves and hike up to a blowhole. We ran out of time to see the blowhole, but that is why you should leave for the road to Hana early.
Lahaina is a town full of character just south of where we stayed. This is a place to just hang loose and relax. Great food and shopping too! We met the sweetest lady at the Chinese Museum & Gift Shop. She is a researcher of Chinese history and told us her story of how her family came to this country. She showed my girls how to pin up their hair. There are a lot of different missionaries here, and so much culture. The trees are so big! The Banyan Tree is located here at the park. It's better to visit during the day to see how it has spread throughout the park. At first it seems like a forest, but it's actually one tree, with 10 trunks, 50 feet tall, spanning 2/3 of an acre. It was brought from India in 1873 at only 8 feet. Our favorite restaurants were Babba Gump and Cheeseburger in Paradise. Island living is so very nice! I would visit them all. I hope you get a chance to see Maui! Mahalo!