When I stepped out of the hot, stuffy plane into the bright, dazzling sunlight beaming down across the burning pavement, I felt nervous and excited. Holding my beach bag in my hand and slipping sunglasses on with my other, I flip-flopped down the airspace. Over head I heard the screech of gulls and the chatter of the small fluffy sparrows. I couldn’t believe it! I was actually in Hawaii. The Hawaiian sun beat down on my skin, warming and basking my arms in its radiance. I took a deep breath and smelt a sweet, flowery perfume wafting out of a small stand which was completely covered in different brightly colored garlands of all sorts. There were red ones, and blue ones, and pink ones, and just about any color you can think of. I walked over to the booth and picked up a white and pink garland that smelled so sweet and flowery. I plunged my face deep into its cool, damp petals. My eyes closed, I breathed in the intoxicating smell that was coming from the little snowy-white flowers. I asked what the flower was called and the little old lady with her skin darkened and wrinkled by the sun, told me that this particular flower was called tuberose and the pink flowers were orchids. I couldn’t part with the glorious smells so I bought the beautiful tuberose-orchid garland. The little old lady told me it was called lei, which is Hawaiian for garland.
After pushing my way through the crowds of eager tourists, I finally made it to my luggage. After pulling my purple suitcase off the conveyer belt, I made my way to the doors where I was picked up by some of my friends living there. As we started driving out of the airport and into the city, I started to see wondrous things. All the trees had bright pinkish-red flowers just bedecking each branch and if there weren’t any flowers, the trees were laden with mangos, papayas, and star fruit. I couldn’t believe my eyes; Hawaii was just so gorgeous and vibrant. Everywhere I looked brilliant rich hues, every color of the rainbow leaped to my eyes.
After driving for about ten minutes, we slowed down and around the corner was the dazzling sea. It took my breath away. We were on a cliff edge made of sharp, black lava rock. The ocean danced beneath the sunlight which was sparking insensately on the rippling waves. It was a rich, deep blue in some spots and in others a bright, aquamarine green. Dark purple streaked through it and turquoise speckled the surface. The gleaming creamy yellow sand shimmered in the sun’s heat. As the blue waves crashed against the black lava rock, the water thrust into the air spraying a rainbow of mist everywhere. We drove down to a beach called Sandy’s and I leaped out of the car and ran down to the crystal clear deep blue water. The warm sand squished under my feet and made my calf muscles clench to keep myself balanced and moving. I stopped just before the water touched my toes and ripped off my t-shirt that I was wearing on top of my bathing suit. I stood there taking it all in, the sun on my bare white shoulders, the warm cozy sand beneath my feet, and the insane need to jump into the fresh cool water.
The waves gently crashed along the shore and pulled themselves closer and closer as if they were beckoning me to join them and play their games. I smiled to myself and decided that I would go join in their fun. With that, I took a huge deep breath and plunged into the silky salty water. The water was cool and refreshing; I felt it slide through my hair making it dance in the water. I swam deeper and deeper into the turquoise water. Sunlight streamed though it, lighting up the water around me turning it to gold. I kicked harder and I felt my muscles surge with strength and I propelled further. My lunges started to burn for the need of oxygen, but I refused to go up. Just a little longer…just a little more… Unable to move anymore without more air in my lungs, I swam to the top and thrust out of the water taking a huge breath, filling my lungs with renewed air. I could taste the strong salty water as it ran down my face and trickled over my lips. Just then I thought, I will never forget this moment, this place, or the experiences I felt while visiting here. Hawaii changed me forever, and I never stopped remembering it.
By: Kalindi Fournier