Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Road Not Taken

There is a famous road in Maui -- the Road to Hana -- that has inspired raptures over its natural beauty and a variety of t-shirts ("I survived the road to Hana"). The road is, apparently, the most popular tourist attraction in Maui.

We rented a car so that DH could go surfing (bet he wishes he'd reapplied sunscreen -- 2nd degree burns on the backs of his legs are not going to make for a pleasant flight home) -- and we decided to spend yesterday, our last full day here, doing a bit of the sightseeing we've otherwise avoided.

We could have driven the road to Hana, and joined the legions of tourists who "survived" the hairpin turns and won the right to view magical waterfalls and secluded beaches, and to buy the all-important t-shirt proclaiming our victory. We didn't do that, though. We took the road to Lahaina instead.

I don't really know why I wanted to see Lahaina, but I suspect it had something to do with distant memories of James Michener's "Hawaii" which I read in high school. Whatever the reason, Lahaina seemed far more "magical" than anything on the road to Hana could have -- because Lahaina is nearly a double of the place I live now, Coupeville. Seriously.

I know it shouldn't be surprising -- although Lahaina is larger, and sunnier, and Hawaiian (duh) -- both towns were built around the same time, by the same types of whaling-sailing-settlers, and strolling down Front street in either of these towns gives you a remarkably similar view ... during the summer. And now I have another place to dream of when I'm stuck in the bleak tableau of a Washington winter. That's the best souvenir (along with the Hawaiian Hello Kitty, of course) -- and I'm glad to have it since we're flying home to a winter storm this afternoon.

I'm not sure we'll ever come back here, but this time, I am sure we've taken the right road.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

I'm very glad about the road (both literal and metaphorical) but not entirely certain about Hawaiian Hello Kitty :).