Aloha! (Finally)

Upon arrival, each and everyone of us was greeted with "Aloha!" and a lei. photo by Alex Farris

“What if there is a volcano explosion in Hawaii and the whole island disappears?”

“Don’t joke about it!” about 10 voices cut in.

And it’s understandable that we’re a pretty paranoid group. After all, our last trip was canceled due to an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.  I think the general sentiment was, “We will not believe we are going to Hawaii until we feel the sand between our toes and splash in the surf.”

Each time we completed a small part of our journey, a member of our group would announce, “Well guys, we’ve made to the security line/the plane/Salt Lake City.”

But finally, after about 16 hours of travel, we made it to Honolulu.

When did I believe I was finally here?

It could have been when I saw a lady draping leis around my friends’ necks. Or when a blast of hot, humid air hit me as I stepped out of the airport. Or even when we sat down to dinner outside with the beach to my left and Diamond Head jutting in front of me.

But I knew we had finally made our destination when, reenergized by dinner, I raced my fellow students to the water, flung myself into the Pacific and tasted the salty water.

Aloha, Hawaii!

Susan at the Indianapolis International Airport...

...and Susan once she made it into the Pacific. What a difference 16 hours of traveling can make!

In the first 24 hours, we have done tons. In the next day or so, look for posts about Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl, Hawaiian culture, Italian tour guides and of course, the nature!
(And sorry for the slight overlap between this post and If at first you don’t succeed…It was my turn to blog for the IU website and I’m killing two birds with one stone with this post.)
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