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I arrived in Kona late in the evening, and I was a tad disappointed that I hadn’t thought better about timing my flight. I had done my research on which side of the plane would give me the best perspective coming into the landing (right side, I was told) and I always love that first moment when you see the black lava fields coming into view. However, since my flight arrived around 7:30pm all I saw was black. I could tell when we were getting closer to Kona though, because the light on the plane’s wing was cutting through the vog which got thicker and thicker as we drew near.
The Kona airport always makes me a bit nostalgic. If I reach really far back into my memory, I can pull up vague images from when the Maui airport was open-air, like Kona. When instead of jetways you’d use the stairs off the tarmac to board your plane. I still remember the big tree where the baggage claim now lies. So stepping off my plane in Kona, all of those memories came back and it gave me a feeling of going back in time. Already, my mind slows down, muscles relax, and I let out a deep sigh. Ahhhhh…. vacation.
Heading south down the highway, we started climbing higher and higher in elevation, and light rain misting down on the windshield as my girlfriends and I caught up on each other’s lives and loves and all the fun things they’d been doing in Kona without me the past couple of days. We arrived in Kaohe, our home base for the next two days, and in the night we were surrounded by the sounds of the forest and the love from our hosts. I could tell already this was going to be a great trip – you know that feeling when you arrive in a place you’ve never been, yet it feels like home?