Our flight wasn’t scheduled to depart until 8:30 and we had to check out of the house by 11:00, so we spent the morning packing up and cleaning up, then headed out to entertain ourselves for the day. We started with one final trip to Front Street for souvenirs for friends and family, then enjoyed a nice lunch at Lahaina Coolers on Dickenson Street. Our server was a nut, and spent the time joking around with us and telling stories. He was very thorough about explaining everything on the menu (maybe a bit too thorough) and also let us know that they could fix anything anyway we wanted, if we need substitutions.
They offer a variety of entrees from fish, sandwiches, stir-fry, and pastas to standard bar fare like pizzas, nachos, tacos, and burgers. Pretty much anything you want. We started with the goat cheese and caramelized onion flatbread for an appetizer. I ordered the veggie stirfry with rice, as I was craving vegetables after a week of indulging in rich foods. The girls each got pizzas, which were pretty big – they could have just split one, and Chip had fish.
After lunch I popped into the cutest store next door to the restaurant – Hale Zen. It’s a boutique with lots of cute home decor, cook books, jewelry, clothing, baby clothes, candles, and more. I couldn’t spent thousands in there. I ended up buying a cute white painted wooden pineapple that looks perfect in my kitchen.
I read somewhere that the shops on Market Street in Wailuku were a good stop, so we drove over, went up and down a couple times, and didn’t see anything very exciting, so we bailed on that idea and drove on to Kahalui. As we approached the business district, we noticed some kites in the air over the ocean, so we drove in that direction, parked, and stood on the beach for a bit to watch the kite surfers. They are amazing!
After watching for a while we headed over to the mall, the Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall. The girls wanted some ice cream so we popped into Double Dipz. Not the hugest selection of flavors, and no dairy-free options, but the ice creams that they had were pretty good. We weren’t really feeling the mall – too basic for a Hawaiian vacay – and it was way to early to go to the airport, so we back tracked to Paia for the rest of the afternoon. The mall in Kahului is nice, and it’s probably a great place to kill time, if you’re into malls ad that is what you’re looking for. It’s clean and has all the basic stores as well as a movie theatre. It’s just not how we wanted to end our vacay.
Back in Paia, we did some shopping on Baldwin Avenue, picking up some miscellaneous items, and also popped into Mana Foods. This is a super cool little grocery store, that’s kind of like a mini Whole Foods. They carry a huge selection of organic and vegetarian items, fresh and frozen foods. They also have a public bathroom, which can be a challenge to find in Paia! I wish we had stopped in there the day we went to Baldwin Beach, as we could have stocked up on snacks and drinks.
Sadly, the time finally came for us to make our way back to the airport and return the rental car. The airport is fairly small and easy to navigate. You must run your checked luggage through Department of Agriculture inspection prior to checking them with the airlines. The lines for both the inspection and the airline moved quickly and it only took a few minutes to drop off our luggage and print out boarding passes. The security line was only about 10 minutes long, and once out of there we had enough time for a quick drink before boarding. Be aware that you must put your carry-on luggage through another Department of Agriculture screening station on your way to the gate, so allow enough time.
We would definitely like to go back again someday, but with a different itinerary, stay in a different area, or visit a different island. There were several items on the list that we sadly never got to: Mama’s Fish House, poke bowls, Surfing Goat Dairy, Star Noodles, helicopter tour, Maui Tropical Plantation, whale watching, Molokini snorkeling trip, and coffee and pineapple farms…but we DID do, see, and experience a lot of fun, wonderful things!
Mahalo, Maui for a wonderful time.