My husband and I recently traded the cold Iowa winter for a week in Maui. It was our first time to travel to this beautiful island and I fully intended to make the most of it. On our first full day there, Gene had to attend a conference. I waited a respectable 30 seconds after he left the room to grab my swim suit and head to the infinity pool. It was amazing. The pool appears to drop off into the ocean. I claimed my seat, ordered a drink, and started some serious daydreaming about moving to Maui and enjoying 80 degree weather every day. Around mid-January, I start thinking that four seasons in Iowa is highly over rated. Give me some sun!

About that time, I noticed a whales fin and tail slapping the water out in the bay. I held my breath and watched in awe. I had hoped to see a whale while I was there and could you believe it, one appears just outside our hotel pool! I looked around and wondered why others weren’t similarly awed. I started pointing and telling anyone who would listen, “Look, there is a whale!” A few people glanced up and smiled politely and I thought how sad it was that they weren’t taking in the beauty. I tromp down the pool steps and swim to the edge so I could watch to my heart’s content. It wasn’t until a few days later that I found out that February was the month that all the whales come to the bay and that there were literally thousands of them in the bay. You would have to be blind NOT to see one. It reminds me of how someone will say, “I saw a deer in your yard!” and I smile politely and think, “Quick, grab a gun and shoot it before it eats another $200 worth of landscaping!”

I don’t want you to think this country girl spent all of her time in Maui at the pool. I was determined to scout out the entire island and have some adventure while I was there. While reading the tour books, we found mention about the breathtaking views along the road to Hana that should not be missed. The road is described as follows:

“The world famous road to Hana is a gorgeous, winding costal drive through breathtaking valleys, beautiful beaches, lush rain forests, spectacular waterfalls, desert-like landscape, and remarkable cliffs. This will be one of the most unforgettable journeys of your life (They should underline that part!) with beautiful photo opportunities.” The brochure goes on and on to describe the 617 curves and 54 one-lane bridges.

What the brochure doesn’t tell you is that your vehicle will be hugging the edge of the road as you travel by the remarkable cliffs. Your teeth and kidneys will be jarred from all the bumps on the unpaved portion in the “untouched” southern side of the island where rental car contracts expressly state, “Travel at your own risk. We won’t come get you, and the tow truck will ask for the deed to your home to come get you.” At one point, a passenger in front of us turned to his wife and said, “Am I worried? Why should I be worried? Our driver is a kleptomaniac who makes up facts at every turn and then reassures us by saying, Don’t worry, I know this road like the back of my hand!” I’m not catholic, but when people started crossing themselves, I started thinking it was a good idea. We hit the bar when we got back to the hotel.

Kathy Lariviere, Author