We awoke early and watched the sunrise from our lanai in Hana and then headed counterclockwise along the road we’d followed the day before (since construction prohibited our continuing clockwise as we’d planned).
On the way, we stopped to check out the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park–another phenomenon I’ve wanted to see my whole life but had never seen in person–arriving at 7:30am. It did not disappoint. I loved walking along the tiny black pebbles of “sand” along the ocean. We explored a lava tube cave leading to the water and a blowhole nearby before getting back in the car to head to our scheduled tour of O’o Farm.
To make our start time at O’o Farm required driving faster than one should probably drive along a road with over 600 curves in the rain, and the children were not enjoying the experience in the back seat. Nausea set in before long, and not long after, our youngest was leaning out her window to spew all over the side of the Explorer. Not to be outdone by his sister, a few miles later, our boy followed suit, and about a half hour after that, his little sister added to her artwork on her side of the vehicle. I kept driving, because 1) I didn’t want to be late, 2) it was raining, and 3) it’s a rental.
We arrived right on time at the farm–10:30am–and got to take a guided tour that including pulling various fruits off trees and eating them as we went (which was a nice way to refill emptied tummies). We gradually filled our guide’s basket with the vegetables we learned about as we walked, and at the end of our tour, a chef prepared the veggies we’d just gathered, added some chicken and shortrib, and we had a delicious meal outside. Farm to table. Quite literally.
After lunch, we toured the Kula Botanical Garden, a peaceful, quiet place with lots of native foliage to see, touch, and learn about, and after that, Ali’i Kula Lavender farm, where I enjoyed smelling all the lavender one nose can smell.
That night we stayed at the rustic Kula Lodge, where we’d be well positioned to get up early and watch the sun rise from 10,000 feet the next morning. Our room had an interesting configuration that featured a loft for the 11 and 9yo to sleep in above our bed, and the youngest had a mattress under the stairs, which made her feel like Harry Potter at the Dursleys’. We set the alarm for 4:20am, excited to see an “other worldly” national park the next day.
That lava tube was SO cool. But nothing was as good on this day as the lunch. Except maybe the looks on every valet’s face the rest of the trip when we handed over the keys to a car with undeniable streaks of actual vomit coming diagonally from each rear window. Oh, my.