For 10 seconds it is dark and silent on board. The plane has not moved for 1 hour since the doors of the 747 closed. The captain has just reset the electrical system for the third time and to everybody’s relief the radio shouts we finally have a go. I send a last text message to Marieke and put my device on airplane mode. The flight is smooth and I watch 2 movies, 3 TV series and read 50 pages in my new Jack Reacher, English version. When the wheels touch the ground in LA, I notice it’s cloudy. The arrival hall is crowded and I distinguish about 20 different languages as I wriggle along in the endless row towards the border police.
At that moment Marieke is a sunrise and two airports away. She will fly in from Honolulu but will have to travel first from the Big Island to Oahu, where the capital of Hawaii is situated. It will be 4 months since I have seen my daughter and I am anxious to see how she is looking and to listen to her stories about here adventures and insights.
Marieke’s flight arrives at 9:45 pm at terminal 4, according the LAX website. The airport is quite big, but I manage to park the hired car near Hall 4 and wait near the exit doors. Every time the door opens I stretch and scan for a ginger girl with freckles. Around 10 PM I receive a text message: I landed, to early, I am next to belt 1, bright green shirt. I check the belt but cannot find her. Are you in terminal 4? No idea to be honest followed by: it’s 5, terminal 5. I urge to terminal 5 and start scanning the hall, suddenly I here a very familiar voice ‘PAP’ (=DAD) and then I see her. Our happy hearts make our faces cheerful, holding each other after all that time. She looks amazing; golden brown tainted skin, slim body and happy smile. Marieke is hungry and I can use a bite myself. During diner I listen to her stories, watch photos and movies and get to taste a bit of the adventurous life she has been leading in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands and Hawaii. Her accent is very American, like she has been living in Cali for a few years.
Next day we start our road trip early. Target is Monterey a 5,5 hour drive. We take the Pacific Highway (1), which is beautiful. The sun wins it from the grey clouds in the course of the morning. Half way we find an Outlet Shopping Centre; let’s spend some dollars….