In 1998, FTF asked a dozen top travel writers to share their favorite family resort with the community and this family chose Hana.
With my son scheduled to leave home for college at the end of the summer, starting down the road to independence, I felt that it was important to squeeze one last family vacation into our mutual memory banks. It had to be someplace really special. Someplace both he and my preteen daughter could enjoy without their peers. He rejected Europe in favor of Hawai’i.
I fine-tuned the trip to include a stay in mysterious, remote Hana on Maui. I booked us in on a flight arriving around noon at Kahului Airport on Maui. Anticipating that if ever a person should be driving a convertible it is on the fabled road to Hana, I splurged and reserved a red Mustang convertible–requested specifically by both children. And I made reservations in a private hale (cottage) in Hana for two nights.
Since there is nothing much to do in Hana, we found ourselves settling in with books and games in the tranquil evenings. Our spacious hale did have a TV, but the kids voluntarily kept it off most of the time. They preferred to just sit and enjoy our unobstructed view of the ocean and listen to the pounding surf.
One night we shared the discovery of rats climbing the coconut palm in our front yard. We formulated theories about why they were doing this. (Later, when we saw wide metal bands around some of the coconut palms at a resort we visited, we asked if this was to keep the rats from eating the coconuts. “No,” we were told. “It’s to keep them from having the opportunity to fall out of the trees and into the laps of guests.”)
My fantasies of family togetherness were realized. The whole family was sitting in the living room interacting– cuddling, laughing, talking. Even the teen! Completely away from our usual distractions, we were enjoying that proverbial “quality time.”
On the day we left, the kids composed their own entry for the hale guest book. They wrote ‘This was the most funky, fresh, chillin’ place.’. Mission accomplished.
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