Molokai – The Friendly Isle (Day 1 – The West Side)

BugleOne of our goals while living here in Hawaii is to visit all of the other Hawaiian Islands that we can…minus two that are kind of difficult and probably won’t happen.  First up for the Yetman family…Molokai – the Friendly Isle.  Talk about an amazing weekend.  We left early Friday morning, spend two nights, and came home Sunday afternoon.  The perfect amount of time to see this quaint little island.

We flew with Makani Kai Air in this tiny 9 seat prop plane.  I thought I would be nervous or be more prone to motion sickness, but it was just the opposite for me.  It was such a nice flight.  Of course, it helped to be able to see out of the front of the plane.  Ellie loved every second of it.  She pointed to all of the planes we pasted on the runway and just stared out the window the whole time.

After landing, we grabbed our luggage from the baggage claim bench…this place didn’t even have a baggage carousel…I knew at that moment that we were away from crowds of Oahu and entering small island living.  We grabbed our rental car from across the street and were off to explore the island. 

Check-in wasn’t until 4pm, so we headed off to explore the West side of the island.  We went through the old pineapple plantation town of Maunaloa.  It seemed like a ghost town minus this cute little kite shop.  Ellie was sleeping so we decided to go back later.  The paved road ended and a dirt road continued to which Matt said “YOLO” and kept driving down it in our two-wheel drive Nissan Altima.  Lessoned learned…rent the 4-wheel drive jeep next time.  We ended at what looked like and old harbor where there were some locals fishing.  We enjoyed the view and then turned around to go back up the same route we had just descended.  Lucky we made it out without a scratch on the car…phew.  I on the other hand needed to reapply some deodorant and air out my shirt, but it was worth the view and part of the fun.  Matt kept turning to look at me the whole time laughing at the look on my face. 

After our dirt road fun, we drove back down the “paved” road to find a beach….and boy did we!!!  We stopped at Papohaku Beach just as Ellie was stirring from her nap. After walking through a cute little park and burning our feet on molten hot sand (I’m not convinced that the volcano that made this island is extinct…that sand was hot!!!!) we made to a beautiful, pristine, and almost empty beach.   WHAT???  An empty beach all to ourselves!!!  The water was very rough, but we had fun just playing and lounging in the sand.  I walked down the beach a little ways and found a treasure trove of shells.  The tide was starting to come up at that time and was creating a little pool area as the waves washed over the berm, so Ellie started stomping around the water while I combed the beach for some amazing sea shells.  It was then about time to head back to town to check-in at the hotel and find some dinner.

Our hotel was super cute and had this Polynesian village feel to it with beautiful blooms, roaming chickens, and hammocks strung between palm trees.  Our room didn’t have any air conditioning, but had this huge sliding door with a screen to open at night.  We dropped our luggage, freshened up…which really means wash the sand off of us…and headed to dinner.  We found this Pizza Café with some arcade games, quarter ride toys, and a monkey machine that dispenses dinosaur toys.  Ellie was having a blast while we waited for our food.

After we ate, we stopped by the grocery store, grabbed some water bottles, and headed back to the hotel.  Matt and Ellie enjoyed a quick dip in the pool, while I sat on the side swirling my legs in the water and watched a beautiful sunset.  What a perfect first day.

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