Some Final Hawaii Thoughts

Just some stream-of-consciousness thoughts about our trip before allowing myself to slip back to the “real world”…

– Shea’s highlight was Anini Beach

– My dad’s highlight was the helicopter tour we did of Kauai

– I forgot to ask my mom what her highlight was so I’ll say that it was hearing me admit I was wrong and that we should’ve printed out the boarding passes at the condo complex office before going to the Maui airport instead of standing in the long line with the rest of the passengers (true, this was much worse because a flight had been cancelled a couple days earlier so there were a huge number of people trying to get onto our flight.)

– My highlight is honestly hard to choose – it felt like every day had something that could qualify as a potential “highlight of the trip”

– Pace said his highlight was “getting new Lego!”

– two big regrets were not getting to Waimea Canyon in Kauai (due to flooding from heavy rain the day we planned to go) and Haleakala Volcanic Crater in Maui (due to simply running out of time and also not wanting to spend a second full day in the car after doing the Road to Hana)

– there are various other minor regrets – from not buying a few more souvenirs to a few other places we didn’t get to on each island.  But that’s all the more reason to go back!

– Some highlights are less of the guidebook kind and more of the “this is just a cool moment” – from taking an inter-island flight on a small single prop plane to listening to the Beach Boys/Elvis/Jack Johnson/Jimmy Buffett and various local island reggae groups while cruising around the islands from destination to destination.

– One of the other joys of traveling is getting to talk to complete strangers and compare stories and tips – from the young couple from Chicago doing their first trip with their 15-month old who tipped us off about an excellent Mexican restaurant near our condo in Maui to another honeymooning couple in Kauai who also got rained out on the same day we missed our trip to Waimea Canyon.  I said “so, did you just stay in your condo and hang out?” prompting Shea to quip: “They’re on their honeymoon.  They were probably doing more than hanging out!” 😉

– the tourist attraction we visited the most times?  Costco!  Twice in Kauai and twice more in Maui!  (Good thing I remembered my membership card as Shea had pulled her card while cleaning her wallet out before we left.)

– Before we left, we turned the house upside down looking for a folding beach bag with zip pocket we’d used every day in Cuba last February never finding it.  When we got home and were unpacking, I finally found it in a side pouch of my suitcase – it had been with us the whole time!

– on that note, two things I didn’t plan to take – one of those numerous canvas bags you get at library conventions and the molded plastic container for my snorkel mask – turned out to be the two things we used most on the beach.  The snorkel mask case was pretty much sand and water tight and a great place to keep our sunglasses, room and car keys, etc. while on the beach meaning the canvas bag worked fine as a beach bag.

– It cost a bit more but I’m really glad we went for ocean front properties in both locations.  In addition to great views from convenient locations, both complexes had pools (our Maui one had two pools and two hot tubs), BBQ stations.  Our units were well-appointed with lots of beach stuff for us to use (beach mats, toys, boogie boards, etc.), coffee makers, all the dishes you need (and dishwashers – M&D didn’t have a dishwasher during their first two weeks on Oahu and said they did dishes three times a day to keep up!)

– With my reliance on technology, this could’ve been bad since our Kauai condo only had wired Internet inside but I was able to piggyback on a nearby unit’s unlocked Internet connection wherever I was in our condo, inside or out.  In Maui, the wireless didn’t have a strong signal in the back room where Shea and I were from the front room where the router was located but it was strong enough in the kitchen/living room/on the lanai so that wasn’t a huge issue.

I guess that’s about it.  I titled this post “Final Thoughts” but I’m sure I’ll have other thoughts and even that our trip will infuse many of my posts in ways obvious and less so in the weeks and months to come.  But as I said off the top, now it’s time to head back to reality…at least until the next time!

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