The Road to Hana

The Road to HanaHello from pregnant-land! Tuesday night we had our first childbirth class, which was awesome and exhausting and lasted until 9:30, and then I fell straight into bed when we got home. Since I like to write blog posts before bed to publish in the morning, I am kind of thinking that Wednesday posts will be a rare thing for the next nine weeks. Of course, by then, it won’t be long until our little friend is here, and the words “blog schedule” will probably make me laugh hard enough to fall out of my chair (as long as that isn’t too painful…and I’m not holding the baby). All that is to say, we are entering the zone of erratic blogging! But I love it too much to stay away for too long. Thank you for reading! And thank you for all your sweet comments this week!

And now, the main attraction: the road to Hana! What is it? Hana is a little town on the far eastern side of Maui. The road there is full of curves and blind corners and one-lane bridges and WATERFALLS. It’s basically a rainforest, and it’s where the water for the sugarcane fields in the central part of the island is pumped in from. I had read a few things about this road, and I was fairly intimidated by it. It’s about 50 miles. And it takes all day, due to traffic and frequent stops to look at gorgeous things. I was feeling kind of nervous about it, so I was a little surprised when Eric said he wanted to do it. But how could I say no to waterfalls? I couldn’t.

The Road to HanaThe first stretch of it was rather un-fun because there wasn’t too much to see and we were still getting our bearings (Eric was a total champion of driving, BTW). But things started looking up when we stopped at a little park overlooking the water. This photo is not doctored at all–that’s just how bright the blues and greens are in Hawaii. Swoon.

The Road to HanaWe hiked up a little path for a broader view. More swooning.

The Road to HanaHere is Eric next to a typical cliffside along the way, to give you an idea of the magnitude of the scale.

The Road to HanaOur next stop was a beautiful botanical garden full of native plants (and, more unfortunately, mosquitos!). This stream ran through it, and it was so lovely.

The Road to HanaLook at the branches of this tree!

The Road to HanaThese are called painted eucalyptus trees, and I was so excited to find them! As the bark peels, layers of different colors are revealed. We marveled at them for such a long time. It seems like almost every day nature makes me trip all over myself with its beauty, and I never ever get tired of it.

The Road to HanaA close-up of a trunk.

The Road to HanaA sweet couple took a picture of the three of us in front of them.

The Road to HanaMoving down the road, we came to an overlook of Keanae, which is the halfway point to Hana. We missed the turn for the little town, but we went back to see it, and I am so glad that we did. It was utterly gorgeous. Those are taro patches down there by the ocean.

The Road to HanaIt was so peaceful and quiet there, except for the crashing of the waves along the volcanic rocks. We must have stood there for ten minutes, just listening to the ocean.

The Road to HanaWe took so many pictures.

The Road to HanaHow could we not?

The Road to HanaBy then we were getting kind of hungry, so we stopped for some famous banana bread. And it was amazing, still warm from the oven. I know it’s made with island bananas, and it had a little bit of plantain flavor. Island bananas are special bananas.

The Road to HanaWe took our picture by the rocks before hitting the road again.

The Road to HanaSo much more loveliness awaited us.

The Road to HanaAnd waterfalls!

The Road to HanaToo many to count.

The Road to HanaWe stopped for a quick lunch, and I couldn’t believe we were only six miles from Hana. Still, six miles will take you a while to travel on this road!

The Road to HanaI admired this baby pineapple. I should have put my hand in for scale–it was tiny! In related news, did you know that if you plant the top of a pineapple (the part you cut off), it will grow another one? I keep trying to remember this every time we buy one!

The Road to HanaOur last stop before Hana was this beautiful state park. It was a jaw-dropper.

The Road to HanaSee what I mean?

The Road to HanaCouldn’t. Stop. Taking. Pictures. And just generally being in awe. I try to make it a habit to spend more time looking than taking pictures. It’s awesome to have reminders in visual form, but I don’t want to miss the experience of being there.

The Road to HanaDown in the cove is a black sand beach. Eric wanted to go down and take pictures, and I waited for him because it was too steep of a climb for me. I smiled watching him take pictures and met him when he came back up. “I got you a prize,” he said, as he pulled a perfectly smoothed stone out of his pocket. I love him.

The Road to HanaThe funny thing about the road to Hana is that it’s the road itself that’s the destination. Hana is a very small town, but it has lots of history. This store has been here since 1910. We were both kind of amazed that we made it! Our drive back was miraculously free of traffic, and we made it home in time to crash on the couch for a few minutes before dinner. I am so glad we went on this trek. Some of my favorite memories are of the incredible places we saw along the way. I couldn’t help but think of my Dad, who loves to drive on winding roads. You can’t go too fast on this one, but I think he’d love it just the same. Because I can never stop planning imaginary vacations, I am already daydreaming about coming here again with our whole family! (And if you made it all the way to end of this impossibly long post, you too have traveled your own road to Hana!)

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