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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

tackling the road to hana

the next morning, we decided to head back out to lahaina to grab breakfast at a cafe that our friends had highly recommended.  except that when we got there, the line of people waiting to be seated was insanely long, and we were all starving.  and so we turned to the easiest, fastest option that was just around the corner...mcdonald's, for one of their spam plates.  delish.

we didn't have any plans for most of our time on maui, opting to just wing it and do whatever sounded good.  after we were done with breakfast, we ended up hopping onto the road to hana.  the first stop we made was here, at twin falls:

it was hot and humid, and a little busy (at least, for a wednesday) as we went on the short hike to the waterfall.  it was pretty easy though, and the bean didn't complain...much.  heh.  and i was extra glad i'd sucked it up and bought a pair of teva sandals for myself, because as much as i hate to admit it, those ugly things were really comfortable and the best for light hiking on uneven terrain and even through water.

a few minutes later, we found the waterfall.

 once everyone was cooled off and happy again, we turned around to head back.

we came upon this weird little cocoon thing in the trees, and while the bean and the guys decided they wanted to walk through it and see what there was to see, the old lady and i opted out.

it was a long winding road to hana, with lots of narrow areas where we had to yield to oncoming traffic before proceeding.  we were behind a tour bus that was obviously quite used to the drive, and the hub happily followed along as they whizzed through the curves and took all of the turns instead of waiting for others to pass.  haha.  but it was a fun drive, with lots of beautiful scenery and gushing waterfalls along the way.

we stopped at waianapanapa state park so that we could see the black sand beach and stretch our legs after the long ride in the car.

 the bean had zero interest in taking pictures and headed right into the water.

look ma, black sand!

on our way back to the car the hub and the bean stopped to check out the cave we'd spotted off to one side.

 and we stopped for another photo op before giving up our sweet parking spot.

the drive to hana really isn't about hana itself - there really isn't much there at all.  it's really all about the journey, the gorgeous scenery, stopping to check out the waterfalls and the little eateries that pop up on the side of the road.  we'd made a note to stop at one of those spots as we prepared to make the drive back to town, but of course when we arrived the kitchen was already closed and the only things available to eat were loaves of homemade banana bread.  while i'm sure it's delicious, it wasn't what we were in the mood for, and so we drove on.

this time, though, the waterfalls were on my side of the car and i was able to get a few more pictures.  we even stopped at one, but the hub and i were the only ones interested enough to get out for a minute.

once we were back in civilization where internet access was again available, yelp directed us to our dinner spot - da kitchen.  there were quite a few people waiting to be seated, but it didn't take too long for us to get a table.  and as the bean pointed out on the wall, guy fieri ate here too.

deep fried spam musubi and kalua wontons were our pupus of choice.  the wontons were served with a spicy cream cheese sauce that we all wanted to bathe in.

the bean must've been hungry, because she went for the hawaiian plate - pork lau lau, kalua pork, a chicken noodle dish plus salmon with rice and macaroni salad.

the kalbi ribs were tender and flavorful.

kalua pork plate, with rice and macaroni salad.

and their special garlic shrimp fried rice.

we stuffed ourselves silly with the delicious grub, and by the time we got back to the condo everyone was sleepy and ready to hit the pillows.  it was somewhat cool once we got inside, with that a/c wall unit working overtime.  and while it wasn't as comfortable as our last condo, we were all tired enough from our long day and went right to sleep.  another great day in hawaii, check!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

a little interisland travel

the next morning was spent getting all of our stuff packed up for a quick half hour flight to maui, where we'd spend the next four days on the ka'anapali side of the island.  we still had some groceries left over, including a full bottle of champagne that the old lady and i shared as we packed.  i'd never found time to actually cook anything, and so these were last items that i tucked away in my suitcase:

we managed to get all five suitcases into the trunk of our rented chevy equinox and squeezed ourselves into the seats for the drive to the airport.

getting checked in was easy breezy, and then we had a little time to kill before boarding the plane.

and then it was time for our flight.

never mind how ridiculous i looked with my hair up like that.  oh, and i seem to have a ton of shots like this, snuck in by the bean every time i handed her my phone for a picture:

the flight was even quicker than flying to vegas.  i don't think there was even time for a drink.  and as we approached the island i looked out the window and noticed how different it was from o'ahu:

this time, the hub opted to upgrade our rental car to a ford explorer so that we'd all have more room and not have to use a shoehorn to get all of us seated.  the drive from the airport was about 40 minutes, and then we arrived at the papakea resort.  as soon as we opened the door we knew it was going to be a very different experience from the luxurious condo we'd enjoyed in ko'olina.  still spacious, but a little...dated.

this was our room:

the old lady and her special friend got this one:

and at the top of those stairs was a loft that the bean got to have all to herself.  as you can see, she was perfectly happy with her accommodations despite the fact that instead of central air, there was only a single wall unit that we all prayed would keep us all cool and comfortable (spoiler:  it didn't).

once we were all settled in, we decided to hop back into the car and drive around to get an idea of our surroundings.  we found a grocery store in nearby napili and picked up a bunch of drinks and snacks.  after we dropped everything off, it was time to take another quick drive to lahaina to meet up with some friends.  one of our girl scout troop families moved to maui last year, and we always said that if we ever made it out we'd make sure to hit them up for dinner.  we were happy to make good on that promise, meeting up at cheeseburger in paradise right on the beach.

what better way to chat and get caught up with old friends than over nachos and burgers?

after we'd gobbled down all of our grub, we headed down the street to grab some dessert in the form of "adult shave ice."  i never knew such a thing existed, but i'm so glad they introduced it to us because it was pretty damn delicious.  we went with the mudslide and the piƱa colada.

and then we headed down the street a bit and hit up the little ice cream shop for the girls.

it was a pretty awesome way to kick off the maui leg of our trip.  and so wonderful to reconnect with our friends!  gotta love hawaiian vacay.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...