Right now Maui is my favorite island. Maybe it's b/c I've been to Oahu 3 times; maybe it's b/c I only got to spend one day there; maybe it b/c it's the only island with a Krispy Kreme. I'm not sure, but I do know that I really want to go back.
Since we only had one day to experience Maui we tried to be really smart about what activity we chose. Lindsay, one of Cody's roommates, decided to come with us (& we're so glad she did!). We flew in, picked up our rental car, & headed to K-Mart for some munchies.
We stopped in Paia for a little window shopping. We found a shop with a Santa Claus outside it's front door & stopped for a photo op. A kind, golden Australian surfer boy stopped to take the pic for us. Such nice people in Hawaii! :-)
We had decided that we would drive the Road to Hana with the help of Cody's tour book, "Maui Revealed". This is an excellent book that I would wholeheartedly recommend. Armed with granola bars, raisins, water, & m&m's, we hit the road (this food came in so handy later!).
The Road to Hana is about 40 miles of road cut into the mountainside along the coast. It is very windy & has more one lane bridges than I could count. Thankfully I was the only one in our group who has any tendency towards motion sickness so I could drive the whole way & we all were able to ride in comfort. Autumn kept tabs on the book & told me where to pull over. We saw Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (they only grow on Maui - nowhere else on earth) & we saw waterfalls. The first falls was a quick 3 minute hike down a little path. We were higher than the falls & looked over a valley to see it on the other side. So beautiful & it was really cool because we could hear it before we could see it. We hopped back in the car & headed out to find another falls that promised to be private & lacey - definitely worth the hike. We found the spot, locked up the car (toting our purses with us b/c of the theft problems) & ran into some people just coming back from the falls. They promised us that it was worth the hike. We discovered minutes later that we would be hopping boulders the whole way. After about 30 minutes of rock hopping in flip flops we reached the falls. So beautiful & lacy. Water trickling down so far to land in a deep almost completely still pool. The falls was so high that I couldn't really take a picture of the whole thing. We managed to make it all the way in & out without any real mishaps. I thought we were going to have to piggy-back Autumn out more than once b/c her flip flops kept having blow-outs!
We then headed to Hana & the black sand beach. The contrast between the almost navy blue water & the black sand was remarkable. To say it was beautiful just doesn't even begin to describe it.
We wandered into Hana hoping to grab some dinner before turning around & heading for the airport. I was starting to feel a bit of time crunch b/c it would have been BAD if we had missed our flight. So we ended up at a mom & pop kind of restaurant w/ a walk-up order window & outside eating area. Lindsay ordered a sandwich (which she got right away) while Autumn & I ordered the dinner special. We waited for something like 20 minutes & still no food. Long story short, Hawaiian people are sometimes too laid back. They had put our order together & just not bothered to give it to us. I got a refund (no way could I eat it & drive). We loaded into the car & headed back to the airport while I munched on a granola bar :-) But we didn't miss our flight!