“We will be arriving in Hawaii shortly”, the flight attendant announced as the plane was getting lower, the ocean was blue with lots of white boats. Once we entered the airport and got our bags, the heat hit me. It was so warm outside, that the heat traveled into the airport because of all the open spaces. It was not like any airport I had been to before. Every person I passed had a positive attitude towards all of the tourists. When we went to get our bags from baggage claim, we saw colorful birds that swooped in and out of the Kahului airport There was an ambiance of relaxation in the air. People were taking their time. My mom sat on a bench, took out her camera, and began to take beautiful photos of the trees outside. The branches of the palm trees lazily swayed in the early afternoon breeze. It was only two o'clock in the afternoon, but felt like eight at night to me because Michigan is six hours ahead of Hawaii. I could not believe I was actually in Maui, Hawaii and that I was going to be there for the next three weeks.
“This is going to be a wonderful vacation,” I told my mom, as she took pictures. I looked around at the signs and remembered that Hawaiians have their own native language. For example aloha means “hello”, wahine means “women”, and mahalo means “thank you”. For some reason all the excitement got to me and I did not feel a bit tired from being so busy all day. It was so exciting to be in a tropical location. I saw that some tall green palm trees had fresh brown coconuts swinging high up. I was given a pretty magenta colored flower lei from a kind woman who greeted me with a inviting smile; the sweet fragrance reminded me of a perfume that my mom had once bought from Nordstrom.
“ Be careful with it, it is delicate and someone worked hard early this morning to get the flowers, and put it together for all the incoming tourists”, my mom explained to me.
“I like it, I’ve never seen or worn an real flower lei before”, I told my mom.
The whole entire lei was made from fresh flowers and each felt cool when it hit my skin as I continued to walk. I could smell the tropics in the breeze every time the wind blew. The sky was sunny and was tinted in shade of blue like the photo in a postcard. I quickly noticed when we went outside after gathering all of our bags and my dad’s heavy golf clubs that one side of the island (the side I was on) was sunny and blue, while just a ways away the sky was deep blue, but cloudy and looked as though it was going to rain.
Almost every single person in the Kahului airport at the time was wearing something nice and colorful along with either a fresh flower lei for women or a Kukui Nut lei, which is made out of giant seeds that kinda look like stones, for the men. Another thing that I noticed was that people were rocking either Birkenstocks or Palis, which are rubber sandals that have an alligator texture and are durable for the rocks. As I stared at the people who were wearing Birkenstocks, I thought back to my final days in middle school. I remembered that lots of people in my grade wore those exact sandals. It made me realize that all of the exciting moments in middle school were now memories. I had been imagining this trip ever since March when my dad first brought it up, now it was happening, but the moments that I had just a few months ago during my middle school days will never return. I stayed with my mom at the airport while my dad went to pick up the rental car. Colorful birds fluttered and tweeted throughout the open air arrival area. As I sat in the sunny Maui outdoors, I started thinking back to the long plane ride, and I realized that it was well worth the beauty I saw in front of me. I began to imagine all the fun, adventurous things that were about to happen during my three week vacation on this magnificent island in Hawaii.