Waimea Valley Falls

If I was forced to pick my favorite activity while in Hawaii, I would have to say that the hike in Waimea Valley wins.  

We were all sitting around the house one afternoon and spontaneously decided to get everyone in the car as fast as possible to go do this short hike to a waterfall.  I was amazed we got nearly 20 people out the door so quickly.  We hiked the 3/4 mile paved path in our swimsuits so that we could jump in the water once we reached the waterfall. The hike was BEAUTIFUL.  So many amazing plants and trees lined the path.   I didn't take nearly enough pictures to do it justice but here's a little bit of beauty to give you the idea.  

But first, you must see the best photo bomb of all time, pulled off by my niece Addy.  I was hoping to capture the whole group chatting pre-hike when Addy jumped up from beneath my viewfinder with both thumbs up.  You know it's a good photo bomb when you didn't even realize what happened til looking at the picture after the fact.  You win Addy!

Ok now on to the hike!  Can you believe this tree??

Once we reached the waterfall, we quickly took a family photo as you must do whenever you reach such a picturesque destination.  It's the whole gang except Ford and Ophelia who were sleeping in their strollers. 
Then we stripped down to our bathing suits, put on the provided life jackets and hopped in to the (freezing) water.  Everyone tried to swim up under the waterfall and stay as long as possible underneath while the water crashed down on us.  Pretty quickly though the water would force you back out into the calmer pool in front.  It was very funny to watch everyone's facial expressions as they struggled to stay underneath.

I think the reason I loved this Waimea Valley hike so much though was that there was a moment where we were all swimming out in the water laughing and trading off holding each others kids that I looked around and just felt SO happy.  There was my whole family in this amazingly gorgeous place just having fun together.  And that's what life is about folks--family togetherness :)

I was feeling all happy inside with family love that I started snapping pictures of everyone in front of the waterfall.  Bear with me as a I share a slew of family pictures...
^^Eleanor's still trying to master the thumbs up sign
^^Ford was sleeping at this point but we managed to get a photo with him too after he woke up

If you are going to be in the North Shore anytime, I highly recommend Waimea Valley Falls.  It's beautiful, inexpensive, easy and so so fun.

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