Days 6 - 12 - Lounging in Lahaina: What’s New To do?
The drive to Lahaina from Paia took all of 45 minutes. After a relaxed lunch at Kimo’s on Front Street, we were checking into our favourite hotel, the Sheraton Maui at Ka’anapali Beach, by 3 pm. With 6 nights in Maui and not a single tour booked or plan scheduled, I made a mental checklist of Maui attractions to make sure we hadn’t missed anything:
Been there, done all that. For the first time ever, we had an entire week to spend without an agenda. We looked forward to our twice-a-day swims in the crystalline waters by Black Rock, amongst the Honu (sea turtles) and fishes, and dining at all our cherished eateries: Hula Grill, Mala, Honu, Lahaina Grill, Star Noodle and Pineapple Grill. We longed for that old familiarity that keeps drawing us back every year: the “welcome backs” and the catch-up stories with the hotel and restaurant staff that we’ve come to know so well.
But wait, something was different this time around in the town in Lahaina. The ABC Store that we’d buy our essentials from, located at the Lahaina Center at 900 Front Street (between Papalaua and Wainee Sts) had moved and another shop had taken its place. Previously filled with “dead” retail spaces, the complex seemed to have a new vibe this time around. For starters there were people everywhere, laden with shopping bags. What was going on?
“Let’s park the car and see what’s happening,” I said to Peter.
It wasn’t long before we realized what was causing all the excitement. The complex had been renovated to house Outlet Stores! The new Outlets of Maui is now home to some 35 retail and restaurant retailers, including Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Adidas, Guess, Calvin Klein, Carter's Babies & Kids, Izod, Lucky Brand, Gap, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Crocs, Kay Jewelers, Perfumania, Skechers, The Luggage Factory, and Wilson's Leather.
Before long we had joined the throng of shoppers. We’d be leaving Maui this time around with heavy hearts, weighty bags and considerably lighter wallets!