by Lisa Lipkind Leibow, Author of Smart Women’s Fiction
We shifted course after realizing most of Hilo closes on Sundays and instead of driving Northern rout as originally planned, we repeated to the Sourthern route back to Kona.
We stopped for breakfast at the Coffee Shack, walked arund Kona, and bought Aloha shirts for the boys and a new dress for me. We arrived at the Airport, checked our bags, explored the gift shop, where Spencer bought a snow globe.
A short flight to Maui and we lucked out as while Phil went to rent the car, I took the kids to get the luggage (we had to check our bags on this little commuter flight ).
We started our drive toward the Road to Hana at about 2:40 p.m. Before we reached the scenic route, we stopped to watch a huge group of Windsurfers in the bay. The colorful sails looked like butterflies flitting around in the waves below.
The Road to Hana was unlike any other drive I’ve ever taken. Along the way, we made stops to hike to Twin Falls and swim beneath the 20 foot falls. We stopped at an overlook to see a beautiful town in a valley below. The boys got smoothies at the roadside stand while I sipped fresh coconut water fight from the coconut!
We tried to follow the guide map and tour book but at mile marker #7 we expected to pull over to see a view of a bamboo forest. We were bamboozled because it didn’t appear until much later – spectacular though, with Bamboo leaves seeming to carpet the hillside, growing parallel to the ground, perpendicular to the hillside. The winding road with tropical forest and waterfalls on one side and cliffs and ocean views on the other, varying road width with many one lane bridges make the drive a challenge. Poor Thing 1 had to close his eyes and rest due to carsickness so he missed some of the spectacular sites.
When we pulled up outside the Hana hotel, we were greeted with beautiful nut leis. We made the quick change into our new clothes from Kona, and headed to dinner.
The meal was spectacular: seared tuna with tempura crust, a sald with ferns—so cool. I had Cloudy Bay Savignon Blanc with dinner and Tiramisu for dessert (yum!) While the food was 5-star, the highlight of the meal was the entertainment. A local group of Hula dancers of all ages—adults, teens, and keiki accompanied by a local couple singing native folk songs. The dancers were family: great grandmothers with each generation down to great grandchildren. The whole experience was so moving. I loved witnessing the traditions being passed on in this way.
While we sat in the beautiful room, eating, drinking, and watching the dancers, Hubby said, “I think I’m in heaven.”
I joked. “Maybe we took a wrong turn on the Road to Hana?”
A long and perfect day in paradise…