The airport at Honolulu was quite small, but it had this special cozy atmosphere that is very hard to describe. The buildings were quite old, but very spacious, allowing a constant flow of the maritime breeze that cooled the tropical heat. In some of the waiting rooms there were random miniature planes hanging from the ceiling, which I found exceedingly interesting.
The other thing that hit me was the amount of Japanese people at the terminal. There were endless gates for the exclusive use of Japan Airlines, and the queues were full of happy Japanese tourists, taking the last pictures, and buying the last few memorabilia left in the stores before they returned to Japan. Quite amusing!
Like a tourist in a foreign land, I got somewhat lost looking for the check-in counter for Hawaiian Airlines. The plan was to check in, and then wander around the area. However, I spent almost half an hour looking for the said counter, and the only signs or information I could get was from airlines other than Hawaiian. I eventually found it, and it turned out that I needed to get going if I wanted to catch the plane. After emptying my water bottle, I passed through security and US Dept of Agriculture checkpoints, and proceeded to my gate, which was a bit far away. Interestingly, the hallway that connects the counters with the gates was not indoors, like any other airport I´ve been too. Rather, it was more like a long terrace, and the tropical heat of Hawaii was not helping when you had to carry a big heavy bag and running against time. In the end I made it on time, half way through boarding. I was dissapointed I did not get to see much of Hawaii at all, but I hope I may return some other time.
As we were boarding, I again noticed the demographics around me. As the previous flight, most of them were young caucasian couples and small families, all of them wearing luau motifs, and lots of shopping bags. The way they spoke suggested that they were mostly Americans, an obvious statment given the route (HNL-LAX). I already started to miss the beautiful Australian accent!
As before, the plane was exactly the same: a bit old and small. The leg room was even worse, but that was because someone was sitting next to me. But in the end, it did not matter too much. As we departed Honolulu, I was glued to the window, admiring the beautiful and pristine beaches below me, as we continued our journey to the US mainland.