Today was one of David's rare days that he has the majority of the day free, so we spent the morning running a bunch of errands (which left us feeling very accomplished), and then decided that we would do a "jungle dash" through the back of Manoa Valley during David's last hour of free time before work. Like I said, we were feeling very accomplished and a little too ambitious! We decided to shoot for Manoa Falls since it's a relatively short AND easy hike. Well, by the time we were actually on the trail, we were pretty certain that we wouldn't make it all the way to the falls, but just going on a short little adventure was more than enough to make all of us happy :)
During the hike David and I kept talking about how different hiking in Hawaii is from hiking in Chicago! When we were living there, everyone would talk to us about Starved Rock and how fun and adventurous and daring that place was, so we made a point to take the long trek down to the trail to see what it was all about. By the way, we had a 3-month-old with us! Yikes! It was pretty darn gorgeous with all the fall colors and leaves on the ground, but David and I both agreed... it wasn't a hike. It was a paved path running straight through the woods lol I'm not a huge pro-hiker or anything, but it was pretty obvious that it was a city-folk version of a hike ;) There were stairs to climb, and even railings to hold on to. Sometimes there were even benches along the way! Which were awfully nice when your 3-month-old is not much of a hiker and would rather sit and nurse all day. Nevertheless, we did have a GREAT time on that little adventure, and it made for some gorgeous pictures and priceless memories.
Today's hike was so different because even though it was easy, you are still mostly in the raw jungle, and it was also very different because Ryenne is no longer a helpless little 3-month-old, but an independent 16-month-old with a very adventurous little soul. She was amazed by all of the wildlife around us - she was just taking everything in! Sometimes she even seemed a little creeped out haha She's such a city baby yet ;)
^This is how she looked for most of the hike - in awe of where we were/kiiiiinda creeped out
^David snagged this family shot which is now one of my new favorite pictures.
Adventuring is really fun when you are a single person and hiking alone or with friends, and it takes a different twist when you go on a hike with your boyfriend or husband because it's an experience you get to make and share together as a couple. And then factor in a little person who has never seen any of this tall, high, lush, green stuff before, and the experience is totally new again for everyone because you're seeing it through this child's eyes too. I wish we had had more time because it would have been really fun to just slow down and let Ryenne walk for more of it. I know we would have been able to catch a lot more of what she was thinking about things if she had been able to take the hike on more independently. Next time!!
We've made a goal to try to go on more hikes or have more beach days at least once every other week. It's not easy when David is working crazy hours (as in over 60 hours a week!), but hopefully if we set it as a high enough priority we will be able to make it out into the jungle more often. When we didn't have a car, we were always saying that that was the reason that we weren't able to go out on so many adventures, but now that we have one, we want to take advantage of it and of this time that we have here in beautiful Hawaii! One day we may look back and be sad we didn't do more when we lived here in paradise :)