If I had known how wonderful Hawaii was going to be, I would've been up without an alarm on Saturday! As it was, Ross and I got up around 6:30 AM and headed to the airport by 7 AM. Not too bad for a morning flight. The time change was also in our favor on the flight west.
We met up with my parents in Denver and boarded the second flight together. We passed over the Southwest US and before I knew it, it was all water below us.
This isn't too profound, but most of the 6 hour flight was over water. That's a lot of water. I tried to picture a large swimming pool below us, or even the biggest lake I'd seen, and they would still look like droplets of water or puddles compared to the ocean. That's an unfathomable amount of water!
We knew we were starting out descent when we could see coral reefs below the clouds.
Equally impressive, we then saw a mountain top above the clouds!
Before we knew it, we were in Hawaii!
The airport tarmac was in the middle of a lava field and the building itself was just a cluster of open-air pavilions, which was bizarre. But I LOVED Hawaii at first sight! When we stepped out onto the tarmac, it wasn't nearly as humid as we expected it to be. Just plain warm and perfect.
After grabbing out luggage, we picked up our rental car and headed into Kona for 5 PM Mass.
Mass was under a perma-tent while the church raises money for a new building. I actually thought it was really cool for a service to take place like that right on a busy street! People walking near the beach a block away could hear the songs and prayers. Surely it was somewhat reminiscent of Jesus preaching to the crowds on the shores as well.
After Mass, we walked a few blocks to the Kona Inn to eat fresh seafood and witness our first Hawaiian sunset over the water. The food was pretty darn good (Mom, Dad, and I had fish and Ross had a Hawaiian BBQ pulled pork sandwich) but the view was even better.
What a great way to begin our vacation!
After that, we headed to the hotel. I can't believe I didn't take a picture when we walked in, but the lobby was open-air as well, with a wide view of the gardens, pool, and ocean below. Paradise!