Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Delayed Hawaiian Honeymoon: Part 3

6:40 AM was the pick up time to head for the Road to Hana.  I was up at 3-something AM anyway, so I was super ready to go.  The funny thing about Maui was that lots of people were up in the wee hours of the morning.  Not so much at 3, but in the 5 - 6 hour, people were headed out to start their days.  Lots of runners were running along the beach walk and through our resort.  Every time we saw them, Eddie asked, why work out on vacation?  I was like, if you were the type of person who worked out, I'd be working out with you on vacation.  He was like, nope.  And then the Road To Hana bus arrived, and the driver and tour guide, Tim, greeted us using our names and introduced everyone to everyone else including where we were all from.  We were the only people from New York and the only people who took a direct flight from New York.  Everyone else was in scared awe.  Apparently, the ten hour and 55 minute jaunt across the USA and half the Pacific was not on anyone else's to-do list.

We took Valley Isle Excursions, and it was fabulous.  Unfortunately, one stop was cut off the trip, which I found out the day before when I'd called to confirm, and that stop was the winery.  I haven't been drinking alcohol since like ever, but for some reason, on this particular trip, I was downing some kind of spirit or malted beverage once a day, so the stop on the winery was a huge downer.  (When I got home, after a few emails, the company sent me a small refund for part of the trip--that's good service!).  Apparently, the winery put the kybosh on all tours coming through because there were too many people not buying wine. Valley Isle has smaller tours--12 in the van--but other tours have like 30 and that's a lot.

Even so, the Road to Hana was everything I dreamed it would be.  It rained quite a bit that day, but Tim the Tour Guide kept spinning it--more rain means better waterfalls.  He was so right.  Water was gushing everywhere, and it was amazing and pretty.  Ah, nature. Through the window of a comfy van.  That's exactly my kind of being one with the world.  I'm getting ahead of myself.

We had a continental breakfast at a golf course.  Crescents and muffins with butter and jelly.  Pineapple and cantaloupe.  Coffee and tea.  And pog.  Of course, pog.  It's the sweetest most delicious juice ever because it's three in one: passion fruit, orange, and grapefruit (or is it grape?).  Tim the Tour Guide had warned if we are prone to motion sickness, steer clear of the pineapple because it tends to spike something inside along the windy roads.  I can't eat pineapple anyway as it causes sharp stabbing pains in my stomach about an hour after I eat it, so I was good with skipping out on it.  This was the breakfast in which I discovered lilikoi jelly.  Oh my.  It's the best jelly ever.

I'm realizing that I basically ate and drank my way through my vacation.  Seriously, was that the only thing I did?

I took a picture so I could find it later on and buy it somewhere, which is exactly what I did.

The entire tour was basically Tim the Tour Guide pointing out plants and animals and pig hunter trucks (those exist) and then his stopping the van along the side of a narrow road and saying to us something like, "Okay, so carefully get out of the van, don't get hit by a car, walk along the side, climb up onto that mound of dirt, and look down."  We would do just that and a gorgeous waterfall would be there.  Every single time.  We went over one lane bridges and saw water rushing below.  We went on unpaved roads (that felt like the roads in New York after the winter--pish posh on their unpaved) and made other vehicles back up so we could go through.  The whole time, Tim the Tour Guide was explaining Hawaiian culture and history.

And yes, it rained, especially on our first stop when I jumped out to get some banana bread.

Wow, it really was all about food.

This is a type of tree that has roots that grow outside.

It was raining on us in this picture, but we're professionals, so you can't tell. Except for my matted hair.

Some other kind of tree--I learned so much and can't remember any of it.


Freshly made!

Raining and cold

Of course I ate some right away.

Rainy but that's what the flash is for
The rain did let up for some of our stops.  Plus, when you're near a waterfall, you've got to expect a bit of mist.  We stopped and started and stopped and started, helping each other up and over mounds of dirt and rocks to take the perfect pictures of waterfalls.

Don't know what this is but it was on the road to Hana.

There's one of those bridges.

He's looking at the button to press instead of at the camera lens.
You ever been to a black sand beach?  They are pretty amazing.  The one we went to has a cave.  We went into the cave.  Then Eddie somehow thought he was a rock climber and climbed out of the cave through a hole and began crawling all over the rocks as the tide started to come into the cave where I was.  He got some pretty pictures.  So, you know, worth it.

It's rocks first.

This is a cave.

This is my husband's idea of a good picture of me.  Thanks, Edwar.

All that climbing on slippery rocks led to this.

 We also saw some avocado plants and pineapple plants and trees that looked like they were painted.  Then the rain cleared up a bit and we were able to have lunch at a florist who also sells jewelry.

One lane bridge

Clearing up.  This is my favorite picture.

Look at that painted trunk that's not really painted!


Lunch!  Eddie ate it!

The sun came out and I took off my cardigan!
We wound around the unpaved portion of the road after lunch and headed to the Pools at Oheo where everyone could swim.  The two college grads next to us eagerly raised their hands when Tim the Tour Guide asked who would be swimming.  They seemed surprised that Eddie and I did not raise our hands.  Which means they thought we are younger than we actually are.  We've still got it. And we act like 12 year olds.

Getting down to the pools was quite a trek in itself, and when we got there, it was so windy as all heck and I thought I was going to fall over on the rocks.  Then there were other people in bikinis and board shorts, swimming and jumping in the water.  We are not like other people at all.

Looking down on Oheo

I said this was a pretty tree.  Eddie said it looks broken.

Terrified in the wind

That's the bridge from where I took that top pic.
This was the beginning of the last leg where we would have taken a winery jaunt, but instead, after seeing the grave of Lindbergh, all the land that Oprah owns but won't build on, and several driveways to the stars (like Woody Harrelson and formerly George Harrison), we had a long stretch until a comfort stop (aka bathroom break) at the Enchanted Gardens.  However, we could not go into the actual gardens because who has time for that?  The comfort of porter potties was not the kind of comfort I prefer, but to balance it out, I had some lilikoi sorbetto.  Because Maui is for eating.

You can see the comfort potties under this tree.
Oh, we also stopped in the desert at some point.  Maui has everything.

Cattle as we drove through ranch land.  We also saw wild goats.

On the long road home, we saw wind turbines that we'd seen far away from below up close.

We thought we were going to be dead to the world exhausted when we would return from the Road to Hana, but surprisingly, we were actually pretty awake still.  Sidenote: whenever we came back to the resort and someone was in the entrance booth, we would show our parking pass, and they would say, Welcome home.  Awww.  That was nice.

We walked around the resort.  We walked to the shopping center next door where our favorite general store was, and we went to CJ's Restaurant Diner for dinner, and it had so much hope and promise, but, well, it sucked really really bad.  Poor service and yucky food.  To make up for it and end Road To Hana Day on a high note, we went to our favorite general store and I bought some guava gummies and ate some.
Cool and funky decor do not make food taste good.

Looks good, tastes gross

Because it's all about the food
On a miscellaneous note, we kept the hotel room temperature at about 72 because we are always cold.  Even so, that night I was particularly freezing, so Eddie told me to wear his socks.  I am the mecca of all things Hawaiian fashion.
Fashionista.  Don't be jealous.
Oh!  I almost forgot! The Oprah thing!  So, yeah, Oprah owns all this land in Hawaii, and she wanted to build this grand Oprah estate on it.  BUT Hawaii has a law that says you can't restrict access to any beach.  There are no private beaches anywhere in Hawaii.  So if Oprah built a mansion overlooking the water, anyone would be able to go on the beach that her mansion overlooks, and she wouldn't be able to have a private road.  Which means, when Oprah said she wanted to build something with ultimate privacy, they were basically like, Noprah! 

Eddie thinks this joke is hysterical.

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