Road to Hana

I set out to experience what I have heard AMAZING things about: The Road to Hana. I unfortunately had two work calls I had to take first so I didn’t leave the hotel until about 1030am. I was expecting traffic and that’s pretty much what I got.

I hit some traffic right at the beginning of Hana highway, but that was mostly just little town that caused people to drive slowly. Once out of the town, the speed limit dropped to 30 and basically stayed that way for the next 30 miles. Often times the speed limit would drop to 15 mph to take curves more carefully or stopping completely to allow traffic from the other direction proceed. Much of the drive is spent waiting for oncoming traffic to clear a bridge as they are all 1 lane.

The views were beautiful, lush and green vegetation made the 2 hour drive (each way) worth it. Many people dropped along the drive to get out and swim or hike – but there were so many people stopping there was no where to park so I just drove straight through on the way there. I holkeed up my gopro to the windshield inside then realized I was going slow enough I stopped and hooked it up outside on the side mirror.

I made it to Hana and turned around to head home. About 15 minutes before I made it to Hana I noticed a sign that said “lava tunnel .” I stopped at the lava tunnel on the way back – it was interesting, not what I thought at all, but interesting nonetheless.

I hit the road back to the hotel, stopped a few times to take pictures and enjoy the view. I arrived back at the hotel around 4pm. When I got back I went to meet up with Mike, Amy and the girls for dinner. We spent a little time on the beach but couldn’t decide on dinner so we parted ways and I went to read and order room service, while they went to their little restaurant on their property. The day ended amazing with some fancy macaroni and cheese along with onion soup and of course beautiful views from the balcony!!

Aloha Maui!!

My cousin is getting married in Maui and that afforded me the perfect opportunity to head to the islands for the first time. With all the traveling I do I have acquired quite a bit of airline and hotel points and finally decided to use them. I first splurged on AA.com buying myself first class tickets to and from the islands for 40,000 points each way. Next up, the hotel. Since Hilton is my brand of choice, I choose the Waldorf Astoria – Grand Wailea.

Wednesday was my travel day, I set out to San Jose airport around 630am. Even though I booked using American points my flight was an AlaskaAir flight. I checked in, checked my bag and headed to the gate for an on-time departure.

First class was pretty amazing, we got a menu for our breakfast options and a great flight attendant serving us. I went with the omelet with cheese, onions and tomatoes. It did not disappoint. Sadly I fell asleep before the snack basket came around. You have to fill out a form declaring any produce or animal products – clearing trying to keep down the contamination. I’m actually shocked they D idnt spray/treat the plane like they did when I landed in New Zealand.

Upon landing I headed to baggage claim to meet up with my other cousins: Amy, Mike and their kids Phoebe and Juniper. We all collected our bags then headed out with the rest of the crowds to the rental car shuttles. I learned a few things about Maui airport that day, mainly that you can walk to the rental cars. If you have multiple people in your party send the driver to get the car and come back to get the rest of the group.

I got my rental car for a steal, $126 for 5 days. That can often be the single day price. The rental car process took about an hour and a half. But after I got my car, I hit the road for the 30 minute drive to my hotel. Upon arrival I got a lei and greeted very warmly by the staff. Since I arrived around 2 my room wasn’t quite ready, so I checked my bags with the bellman and headed to Mike and Amy’s hotel – Wailea Beach Resort – a quick 10 minute walk along the ocean. We got the, settled and immediately my room was ready, so back I came to get checked in. I was upgraded to am ocean view room, and I can hear the waves crashing from my balcony.

Amy I went to Costco and Target after we all unpacked to get some food for our stay. It was perfect – we were able to split lots of stuff and get snacks for during the day. We are probably the least efficient shoppers, but in the end we got what we needed. We all ended up crashing early, since the time change is 3 hours and we were all up very early.