We have been away now for almost 2 weeks and I have not had a chance to write anything at length on this Blog. So I thought it was time to re-cap on our time in Hawaii since we have already moved on to Los Angeles. It is late here, about mid-night, so don’t expect anything too in depth, but I will try and throw in a heap of photo’s to speak the thousands of words I should be writing.
Shortly after arriving in Honolulu we boarded a small plane for Maui. Surprisingly after 15 hours on the move Ari was still in good enough spirits to win over the one lady crew and get a look around the cock-pit, perhaps it was a team tactic with Tess as she was working hard to distract the lady with giggles and smiles, in any event it seems he was pretty lucky to get a pass into the front of the plane in this day and age, especially in the US, and he thought it was pretty special.
Maui was a very relaxing place to start our trip, we hired a car the whole time and tried to cover a fair portion of the island starting in Lahaina, the most historic port discovered by Captain Cook around the time he came to Australia but of course inhabited long before, where we did spend some time winding down in the resort pools and spa’s and exploring the small local area while the kids got into the time zone. There is a fantastic ancient Banyan tree in the middle of town, in the courtyard of the old court house, that has a canopy circumference of some 400m, where the kids happily played with other kids. We sampled a few local restaurants and of course local beaches. The old steam sugar train ride deceptively did not take us through sugar cane fields but rather the golf course where the fields used to be, but the kids enjoyed it nonetheless especially with a half way stop with a shaved ice stall. The highlight of this area was a drive we took to the north on the Kahekil Hwy, which is a narrow, winding road along the mountain edged coast with amazing views and fruit stands. It is also where we learned that Tess gets car sick on winding roads. At one point we came around a single lane hair-pin bend to be greeted by a very happy, very smiley, breakdancing local in the middle of the road putting his body on the line for some laughs and to sell us some pineapple, which worked of course.
Lahaina was also where Tess was wowed by the free hula dance during dinner in a mall.
After a few days in Lahaina, we drove to the other end of Maui, to a place called Hana. On the way we stopped at a little town called P’ia, which appears to be a little hippy area and was worth stopping in, we also stopped at a really nice beach just past P’ia which we made time to stop at on the way back too, I did though slip on the rocks here while carrying Tess and we both had a bit of a nasty tumble, enough to break my drop-proof camera but luckily not Tess, a reminder to actually take note of the sign that says ‘do not pass this sign’. The distance from here to Hana is not far but the main section of road, the Hana Highway, took us about 3 hours to cover 36 miles, it is extremely winding with I think we read it has 300 turns and mostly single lane bridges and hair-pins. There are waterfalls, swimming holes and fruit and food stands to stop at along the way as well as fantastic views. Hana is quite in contrast to Lahaina, it has mostly black sand beaches, rainforest areas, lava caves and areas of goat and cattle farms. A very nice area and worth the visit. Our apartment looked straight up one of the black beaches. We walked through the largest lava tube cave followed by a cordiline maze and spent some time on the beaches. There are few restaurants here and we were advised to try one of the roadside BBQ’s, the food from which was out of this world.
After Hana we drove to the middle of the island, Kihei, only to be closer to the airport for our departure, but we were pleasantly surprised by this area with nice beaches and friendly feel.
We flew back to the main island of Oahu to spend a couple of days in Waikiki before leaving Hawaii and after Skye and I spent a week here in December 2005 we were very surprised to see how much it has changed, with a huge re-vamp of the shops and buildings off the main beach. We really enjoyed our short time here as a good-bye to Hawaii. It was here that Ari started noticeably honing his friend finding skills, around the same time as Tess has realised she can win over anyone with a smile and some shy tactics. Ari introduces himself to everyone and has taken to spelling out his name to assist with the accents, he follows up by trying to take all his new friends photo’s, mostly adults, which they seem to happily oblige no questions asked. His best moment I think was winning over a russian lady on the beach who was very focussed on her methodical grid like fossiking in the sand with not one but two sets of headphones on to block out the outside world with music while still hearing the beep of her machine, and he wormed his way into her head and heart while taking control of what was clearly her prize possession metal detector, which he found her a few coins with. We found Waikiki is great place for night time strolls on the beach.
And that’s Hawaii, unless of course Skye adds her bit in the next few days. It was a good relaxing start to the trip and tired us out at the same time. Now on to Los Angeles.