All good things must come to an end, including Hawaiian adventures. But our flights were booked for 9 p.m., so we still had a full day to soak it in. What's up with the Kahului airport by the way? One of my least favorites. But when you arrive there, you're in paradise, so I'll give it a pass.
I had a stand-up paddleboarding lesson scheduled with the wonderful Rob (who took us scuba-diving) from Maui Undersea Adventures, on-site at the Four Seasons. The water was choppy so not ideal for a beginner, but by the end, I totally understood why Giada de Laurentiis, Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Aniston are obsessed.
I *only* fell three times during our lesson, which felt pretty good to me. When I thought I was going to fall, I would get nervous, lose my balance and fall. But when I was calm, looked at the horizon and thought "You're not going to fall, just catch your balance," I stayed up. And Rob said he has heard a 1/2 hour of paddleboarding is like doing 1.5 hours of Pilates. A good workout no matter what! We saw three turtles along the way.
The DUO brunch buffet is one to be savored-made-to order omelettes, pancakes & waffles, fresh fruit, croissants, muffins, granola, yogurt, eggs, Asian-inspired rice, and even a gluten-free selection. Like all food at the resort, it spoiled us for what we have to eat when we leave.
I have never been convinced of the value of a cabana until I tried a cabana at The Serenity Pool. I still miss my cabana boy. Fresh fruit, champagne, a flat-screen TV, doors to shut the world out and front-row seats to a magazine-cover (Conde Nast Traveler, June 2011) view. It's adults-only, which is a nice change of pace from the many families at the main pool.
The worst part for me is always checking out. You have to prepare yourself to leave what I call the Great Hotel Cocoon.
Mama's Fish House
Our last dinner was at the famous Mama's Fish House just outside of Paia town, worth every bit of praise it's given. Fish is caught twice a day and that's what's served. Mine was Ono "caught by Alan Cadiz near the towering cliffs of Molokai," served with caramlized Maui onions, avocado and jasmine rice. You have to get a table facing the ocean for sunset views. Please, please don't miss Mama's.
We toasted to Maui and headed off to Kahului where we were in chaotic airport reality again.