Our trip to Hawai`i (2009)–Day 16

One final morning here, packing up the rest of our stuff and checking out. I found myself thinking back on these past two weeks and what had transpired. There were some pleasant surprises, such as the Brothers Cazimero concert, the hiking tour, Longhi’s. Needless to say, the big unpleasant surprise was Northwest Airlines screwing up not one, but two consecutive flights. I’ll say this again; another airline is needed in Minnesota to provide some serious competition, but Northwest’s merging with Delta only stengthens their hold on this area. Unlucky us.

The weather was nice, for the most part. Last year’s weather was nicer, but you have to remember that this is a tropical environment. Humidity happens. Rain happens. Sometimes the wind shifts and you get to smell Kilauea. So what?

Hugs with MK and a somewhat sad goodbye; we thanked Allison for all her assistance. She told us to check back when we book our next trip about getting the same room. We now have a short list of three rooms we’d be more than happy staying in. We then took one final look around and drove off.

The flights home were uneventful, exactly what we expected and hoped for. By the way, if you’re hungry in the Kahului airport? Stay away from Stinger Rays unless you like paying $40 for a salad, burger, soft drinks and a tip! This shouldn’t surprise us by now, knowing the only bigger restaurant rip-off than at resorts is at airports. But it still makes us grit our teeth every time we hand over the credit card to pay such exorbitant prices.

Adding to this? $6 for a small bowl of ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in the Honolulu airport. They should wear masks for charging those prices, but yep, we keep paying it, so we’re as much to blame at they are.

Both flights (HNL to MSP and MSP to DLH) were on time. Again, flying overnight is a royal pain, and sleeping on these planes is pretty tough in coach class, but at least we’re used to it. Finally, we’re back home just after 11 a.m.

Final Thoughts

Plans to kick Northwest Airlines to the curb and going with a combination of Allegiant Air and Hawaiian Airlines will have to wait. As it turns out, we have enough perk miles for another free round-trip flight to Hawaii. If it wasn’t for that….

Is it possible to become bored with Maui? For us, it’s doubtful. We’ve been coming here on vacation the past three years (and have made six trips to Maui since our wedding in 1996), and every time we leave it’s with the thought of “you know, next time we come here we need to do this, we need to do that..”. So there is always justification for a return trip. We’re familiar with the island, but every time we land in Kahului it seems like a fresh experience, if that makes sense.

Dining and activity choices are also compacted into one small area. Sunset cruises, snorkel adventures, whale-watching tours, all can be done from the Lahaina Harbor. Dozens of good to excellent restaurants abound on Front Street, within walking distance of our hotel. Many beaches also exist within a quick 20-30 minute drive of Lahaina. In short, it’s all here and you don’t have to go out of your way to find things to do. You can be as busy (or as lazy) as you want, and that’s one of Maui’s strongest selling points. That and the near-perfect weather found on the west and south coasts.

In past reviews, I questioned whether we would be coming back to Maui. The question no longer exists. It’s an absolute no-brainer. We’ve already started booking our trip for April-May of 2010!

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