If I had my way, we would visit Hawaii every other year for vacation. Unfortunately, Hawaii is rather far away and rather expensive. And don't get me started on the flight there. Luckily, Hawaiian Airlines now has direct flights from JFK to Oahu but the flight is still roughly 11 hours on the way there. It's a long flight but I think it's totally worth it. Just look at that picture above of the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park. I was playing with the various settings and filters on my camera a bit, but it really is that gorgeous. Waianapanapa State Park is on the road to Hana, which (if you haven't done it before) is one of the craziest drives I have ever done. The road itself is a tiny little 2 lane-road that has 54 one-lane bridges and something like 600+ hairpin curves. The drive is about 50 miles from one end to another, but it takes 3 hours to drive those 50 miles. And then you have to turn around and go back. The day we drove the road to Hana we left our hotel just before 6:00 am and didn't return until after 7:00 pm. We were staying on the other side of the island from Paia (which is where the trip really kicks off) so it took us an hour and a half or so to get there, but we were still out and about for 13 hours. And we didn't stop at half of the stops. Some people split the drive up over a number of days, which is what you really have to do if you want to enjoy each stop along the way, but we packed it all into one. If you ever think about heading to Maui I highly recommend the drive. Bring tennis shoes and a water bottle because there is a fair bit of hiking, along with a good camera to catch some pictures of beautiful beaches, waterfalls and other scenery along the way. And don't forget your swim suit. If you want a more relaxing day in Maui you can always hit Kaanapali Beach (picture below). It's so pretty.
More (including more pictures) after the jump!