With that, I started researching the road and found the best piece of advice on the internet. It said something like: "go as far as you can handle and turn around...". That was what we were looking for!
With that we started planning the drive that would carry us on the road to Hana. The car was packed with three kids, my wife and mom. We took off early. Here are the five stops we made and it was well worth the drive!
Honolulu Coffee in PaiaThis is a great little coffee shop at what I would call the last town you can stop in. The staff is super friendly and great to talk with. We stopped here both ways to get coffee. Charity ordered their most famous drink (just ask what it's called) and she loved it. I grabbed a decaf and it was super good.
Twin FallsThis is a great little walk/hike to take with your family. It's right off the road at Mile Marker 2. The mile markers start and then restart so keep your eyes out early. If you arrive early there is a good parking lot. If you park further away there are warning signs for theirs.
As for the hike, we actually walked a little further than needed. When you park, walk past the school bus on the large trail (you can't miss it). When you see the bamboo on your right make a left. This trail will take this straight to the water fall. You can walk further on the trail and see the top of the falls.
For us, the water fall was only on one side due to lack of rain. Either way it's still beautiful!
Garden of EdenWe heard about this spot online initially. On the elevator I was talking with some guys and they mentioned it. After looking it up on Yelp I decided we needed to check it out.
Some tips: if you're in a group of five or more there is a discount. We also were able to get all three kids in for free since they are in car seats (booster seats count). Get some quarters at the entrance to feed the peacocks. Watch out for the ducks, they are persistent in wanting food.
Get out of the car and walk around here. There are some super cool trees you can see! Leah liked the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. I wanted to see the old mango tree. You can also walk to see a waterfall overlook. The views up here were breathtaking!
Small pool to swim inWe found a small pool to swim in about 3 miles before our last stop. We actually passed it and then came back. I don't know how to explain where it's at. If I said: "It's by the bridge after the corner" it wouldn't help you at all!
We pulled over on the side of the road, parked the car and headed down. It was a small path down to the pool. When we got there there was a few other people. They soon departed and it was just the Benson family. The water was cold (seriously cold), but I jumped in and started swimming. Isaiah wanted to come with and we swam to the other side. Being the great dad I am I encouraged the kids to come in and make some memories!
At the end I bribed them all with chocolate to get this great picture. In reality we had such a good time!
Halfway to HanaThis is our journey on the road to Hana concluded. While doing some research it made sense to end here. We stopped for a shave ice and to stretch our legs. We ended up connecting with some locals and taking about pig hunting. Once the shave ice was done it was back on the road.
As I think back to our adventure I'm reminded of the creative nature of God. The road to Hana is full of twists and turns. There is beauty in the beach, plants and water. The lush, and untouched, beauty is something g to marvel at. If you take this adventure keep this in the front of your mind. Think about how awesome God is when you stop at these spots, hear the sounds and smell this wonderful place!