IMGP1778  Keani, her mom Anela, and  her mom Genie (spelling? sorry!) on a holiday hike up the Old Pali Rd all the way to the Lookout! This is awapuhi, or Indian Ginger (I think!). What Paul Mitchell came up with for a shampoo which ultimately pulled him out of homelessness...thanks to Genie for that background. IMGP1780  Real monkey bars! IMGP1785  There's Joshua up in the tree! IMGP1786  The kids had such a great time and we were only 5 min into the hike.
IMGP1790  Camden and Ben doing sword fights. IMGP1793  A geocache! Tamara's fave activity :) IMGP1795  The same die that we take and give back! Too funny! Ben got a little red ball which we somehow managed to keep track of alllllll the way up to the Lookout and baaaack! Whew. Like having an extra child along because that ball would bounce and roll, man! The kids were so cute to help pick it up and give it back to Mr. Ben. IMGP1797  Joshua hid when he got ahead of the group and really got me good! Here's another set of kids hiding and waiting to scare their mom!
IMGP1799  Tamara got voted to go to the front of the line so she could get a good spooking... IMGP1800  The hike leaders! IMGP1801  Wood Rose, per our naturalist, Genie. I now have some saved in a special bouquet in my living room. IMGP1802  Starts as a small yellow flower, then turns into this interesting pod-like flower. Oh - should also mention we were told that the Golden Cup flower is toxic if you smell the pollen - we ran into a tour group on a hike and the leader told us that as Keani held the gorgeous, huge Golden Cup flower. As soon as he said that, no lie, Keani starts sneezing! So Genie Googled it when we got out of the woods and it doesn't seem to be as "toxic" as forewarned. It was kinda funny. I was thinking if it gives you a sense of peace and even some good visions, I'm all for it - could make me a better mom!
IMGP1803  We made it to the underpass! Snack time, then on up to the Lookout! IMGP1804  We all brought extra Christmas candy to feed the hungry kiddos and bribe them if need be. Joshua enjoyed sprinkling a few on the ground and when the younger kids found it, he told them that Santa's bag must  have broken and some fell out! IMGP1806  Funny face time! IMGP1807  Ages 2 1/2 (Ben) to 7 (Joshua).
IMGP1809  Funny running time! Ben did this entire trail all on his own! Wow. I am still amazed. It's 5 miles roundtrip - just about - and 900 ft elev. IMGP1810  Here we are at the top - at the ancient snack bench :) Three pictures because it took that many to get everyone to look. The kids like to scatter like little rodents once they've had a snack. They were starting to climb the walls...literally! So we coralled them and started herding them down the trail. The momentum downhill carried them, but we were worried someone would really wipe out. Usually there's some blood on the trail, but this time no one got hurt or blown over! Amazing! IMGP1811  take2! IMGP1812  take3! Josh looks good in all of them. Is that what being 7 does for you? Great job, Josh!
IMGP1813  Playing snake dice...or something. IMGP1816  Ben knocked my camera over the wall - thankfully the hill side of the wall so we could retrieve it by Joshua going through the puka! So Keani had to give it a whirl, too :) IMGP1818  And back down the rickety ladder and under the underpass. Thanks to all the moms, we did a great job navigating this tricky bit. IMGP1820  A nice, soft rest spot :)
IMGP1823  There's Genie with her Wood Rose bouquet! IMGP1824  You would think that a 5 mile hike would wear the kids out, right? Now. We had to climb a crumbly dirt cliff 1/4 mi from the end. IMGP1825  Looking back up the Old Pali to the new Pali Hwy crossing over. IMGP1826  Here are the kids clambering around and butt-sliding down this cliff!
IMGP1827  Keani going down! I am up holding onto Ben and keeping an eye on Camden, who has really gotten very sure-footed and reliable on the trail. IMGP1828  There's big Camden in the foreground, then Joshua, who found his cool shades on the hike. I think it gives him a secret service agent look, don't you? IMGP1835  Loved this impatient growing out of the wall. And at this point, I must admit I was impatient to get the kids safely into their own respective vehicles and buckled in! A bit much entropy by this point - loopy, happy kids! IMGP1836  Swinging on a vine at the end of the trail.
IMGP1837  And candy canes for finishers! Thanks Tamara! Great call :) Look at Sam's legs and Ben's face! What a great time - awesome way to kick off the holiday and enjoy friends. Happy trails!