On our last morning, we packed and cleaned up, then spent about an hour walking the beach in front of our condo. We met another fellow paddler who was out walking her dog and chatted with her for a while. It was so neat to meet so many outrigger paddlers while on the island.
We headed to the airport two hours before our flight because we were not sure how long it would take considering my husband had lost his drivers license while on the island and had no other forms of picture ID. We should not have worried. TSA asked to see certain things (credit cards, prescription medications, etc) and put him through additional screening, including a pat down and extra screening of his carry on. It only took an extra 10 minutes and they did not need the police report we had filed at the Kihei police station. All in all, it wasn't too big of a deal, much like the TSA agent advised me when I called earlier in the week, which was a big relief!
We had an hour before boarding started so we ate lunch at Sammy's and watched the planes landing. Our flight home was uneventful and we even lucked out and got a row to ourselves!
A few thoughts I wanted to share based in my own experiences:
1. You want the wind. I see many posts about wind, people wanting to stay somewhere it's not windy. Let me tell you, you want the wind! The wind keeps the temperature lovely. For the first three days, we had the wind and it was perfect! The rest of the week l, the wind died and it was HOT
2. People seem to have certain impressions of the different parts of the island, which might not necessarily be true. For instance, when we visited a couple up in the Napili area, the woman told us she does not like to stay down south because it's too windy. Well, it was FAR windier in Napili than Wailea/Kihei, that day at least. I even looked around as she made that comment because it was SO windy (early in the morning) and she said "Well, it's windier down south." Maybe, maybe not, but not on that day. Also, see my note about wind above. You want it!
Another man we met while sailing told us he doesn't like Kihei/Wailea because "there are no good restaurants." I am not sure where he got that impression, there are TONS of amazing restaurants down south, from casual to fine dining and everything between. My take away from this is don't let other people's impressions influence what you do or where you stay. Get out there and explore on your own and form your own opinions.
3. Do the Road the Hana early. My husband was praising my decision to leave early all day long. In the morning we had the road to ourselves and it was awesome. We did everything we wanted to do and still made it back to our condo in time for the sunset. It was great.
4. When planning your trip to Maui (or any if the other islands), make it as long as possible. It takes a few days to slip into that island feeling and really start to relax. I felt like just as I was "getting it" our trip was over. Don't try to cram in a bunch of different islands unless you have a lot of time. I can't imagine four days on Maui, three on Oahu, etc. You will never really get that relaxing island mellowness and that is what it's all about.
5. When renting a condo, evaluate what is most important to you (is it the view, proximity to a swimming beach, upgraded interior?). There is something for everyone on Maui and you can usually find something you will really like no matter your budget. We found the perfect condo for us, I was so happy with it and I just don't think we could have done better for the price. Every single day I thought about how happy I was with our condo!
6. It's good to have a plan of the things you would like to do, but don't be a slave to that plan. Don't try to cram in as much as possible because you loose that relaxed, laid-back Maui feeling. We stuck to our plan when it came to the Road to Hana, paddling with the Kihei Canoe Club and sailing on the Scotch Mist, but skipped some things and did some things were had not planned on, like snorkeling with all the turtles in Honukeana Bay. So glad we were flexible as snorkeling with all the turtles was one of my favorite moments of the trip.
Well, that's it for me. Our Maui trip was memorable and it never would have been so amazing without all of the helpful people here in this forum. All week long, my husband kept asking me about how I knew about all of these neat places and great restaurants and I kept saying Trip Advisor! Thank you Maui TA forum!!!