As the trip winds down, we spent our final day visiting Ka’anapoli Beach for a short while before packing up and checking out of our room. It was a relaxing and busy ten days for us. Touring the entire island and participating in a variety of activities was fun and exciting. It will be a quiet week at home returning on a red eye flight and adjusting to the 4 hour time change.
As we drove away from the North side, we drove to Kihei. There is another timeshare there and since that was one area where our tours did not take us, we took a short detour to take a look around. The coast there was rocky mostly with only small areas of sandy beaches. The town however was busy and filled with tourists and locals both. There were beachside parks where children rode their scooters and played on the swings. There were big birthday parties under the shelters in the park. It looked like normal weekend life for the residents. We grabbed a mocha from a local coffee shop touting the best frozen mochas in town. (They were delicious too!) . Exploring the town for just those few minutes convinced us that while we might prefer the North shore as it fit our demographic a bit better, we would also enjoy the more family feel of Kihei.
We still had some time before we needed to return to the airport so Paia called our name once more. A short drive away, we were treated by Google to a view of an old sugar mill along with a museum nearby. I wonder if that will still remain standing whenever we return. It’s a huge abandoned venture now with a lot of rusting parts sitting around the property. Time will tell what happens to these acres that were once sugar cane fields and sugar processing plants. Abandoned a couple of years ago it leaves behind a legacy for the island but not one that is likely to return, paving the way for something new to take its place. While the locals hope for more agriculture, it’s difficult to think that development won’t take place instead. Time will tell…but one can certainly hope that not all of it turns into a big city.
Paia was a bustling town when we arrived. Parking was scarce. We later heard they were playing polo somewhere in the area so perhaps that accounted for some of the traffic. Quaint shops and art galleries abound in this little community along with a couple of the best fish restaurants on the island – Mama’s Fish House and Paia Fish Market. We grabbed an early dinner at the latter of these and were satisfied with our choice. We drove out to Mama’s to look at the view however which was stunning. Next time we definitely should eat there too!
Evening flights make for long days…so we put off going to the airport until we felt that it was necessary. Traveling north for a little ways we were treated to views of the harbor as well as a senior fishing club loading dock. There were a variety of conditions on this coastline ranging from beginning level surfing waves in the coves, to larger waves which entice the professionals. The coastline is generally rocky near the airport as best as we could see. The clouds that formed over the volcano on the north side shut out the sun the farther north we drove.
Maui has a lot to offer and there is not much better place to enjoy the tropics, especially in the USA. It certainly is nice that one can go there and not have to traverse immigration and customs! The flight back to Seattle was a short 5 and a half hours. If not for the long layover we would be home by now! If you get the chance to travel to Hawaii, be sure to stop at Maui. It has been the number one island favorite by tourists in many years and certainly one I will return to!