So the Road to Hana. This long stretch of winding, old road is known for its majestic scenery and also its penchant to cause car sickness. There are old, skinny, tiny roads with one way bridges and sharp curves. Of course, there is also spectacular scenery, but I find it just as beautiful when Jess brings the scenery home to me. Those cameras have an important purpose - they buy my freedom.
I always find a way out of it. The old stand by, "The babies are too little. I'll stay with them. You go." Or there is, "Oh, the girls get car sick. Do you want to clean up puke?" Or maybe, "Just no. No."
Somehow, and I'm still not sure how it happened, but I agreed to take the kids on the Road to Hana (now otherwise known as the Road to Hell). Jess promised to take it "normal person speed" and not "photographer speed." Meaning, Jess promised to not stop every time a bug moved and take a thirty minute video. (True story.)
To be fair, he stayed true to his word. But the Road to Hana. How can I? The Road to Hana with kids is just a very dumb idea. It's long, hot, humid, and why don't a bunch of fast food chains take up camp there? Do you know what some chicken nuggets would do for the stamina of the toddlers? JUST A BRILLIANT IDEA. I KNOW.
Anyhow, the aforementioned curving road description is for reals. Thankfully, no one puked, but kids really don't care about the sweeping jungle vistas. They just want to be covering every inch of their body in sand and stuffing their faces with resort chicken tenders and fries.
The hike Jess really wanted us to do, the one to the "bamboo forest" (we call it the Bamboo Forest Hike but it is actually called Pipiwai Trail, just adjacent to the Seven Sacred Pools), was at the very end of the miserably long drive. So it was like, let's sit in the car and starve and sweat for hours. Okay now let's get out and hike up a mountain. Four miles round trip.
We did that. Our babies did that.
(Side note. It was a very beautiful hike. But that fact is literally tangential at this point.)
I'm sure that I would love Hana if I went without the kids. I would enjoy the singular scenery of the Hawaiian jungle, stay in the car and read books while Jess filmed palms fluttering in the winds, all while munching on a roasted pig. Because hungry. The struggle is real. But with kids, no. Just no.
Every person who ever said the Road to Hana was totally manageable with kids is a big fat liar. Or maybe insane. That said, I can now say I've done the Road to Hana. And I'm fairly certain I can say I'll never do it again.
This giant banyan tree is about 1/4 the way up the trail. You want to believe you've made progress. But then you start the uphill journey again and you realize it may. never. end. (The girls are sitting on one of it's ginormous extended branches.)
This is how basically every hiking photo of me looks. If I would've looked up, my death glare would've possibly killed Jess, at the very least, his camera.
Lou was a friggin machine. We would've turned back gladly had this little psycho not kept going and going and "Imma hiker!" "I'm da leader!" on and on and on. She is from another planet. I'm convinced. She's driving the ship, and we're just along for the ride, I'm fairly certain.
All the way down we sang songs to distract us from our pain and starvation issues. Belle and I stopped to take photos.
Exhibit A: fake.
Exhibit B: REALITY.
We reached the bamboo forest and we were like YAY WE CAN GO BACK. But at just that moment, Grandma and Aunt Jessica appeared. And suddenly the girls were like, "Heck yes we're going to make it to the top." And so we did. Major props to these babies who not only met their Daddy's expectations but exceeded them. They really were little amazing hiking troopers.
|The distortion on this one is just too great to pass up.|
Also, don't mind the FATALITIES sign my child is posing with.
And we're out. They literally slept like bears in hibernation that night. So darn proud of these hiking babies who have a far better attitude than me. :) So long Hana!