Two Kapoanos Enter, Three Kapoanos Leave

Two Kapoanos Enter, Three Kapoanos Leave

So… that happened…

Hard for me to believe that I started this blog after Ariel and I decided we were ready to start a family, but wanted to have one last big adventure before we did. Now it is six years to the day later, and all the things that I was pondering as we finished planning our New Zealand trip are finally coming to fruition.

Welcome to the party Ethan. We’ve been waiting a long time to meet you!

I’ll never forget standing on top of Mount Sunday (the Lord of the Rings film location for Edoras) with Ariel, alone, surrounded by a truly epic landscape and feeling like – this was it. We had reached the pinnacle of our travel abilities, and were likely to never to experience anything like this ever again. And I was ok with that – our main justification for splurging on going to New Zealand was that that was probably our last opportunity to do something like that – maybe ever. Then we went on a frankly crazy babymoon to Alaska after Ariel got pregnant with Jacob. And surely THAT was the last great adventure ever…

…but then there was I was just 6 months ago, standing on the side of the Pi’ilani Highway, aka the “forbidden road” to Haleakala, staring off into the deeps of the Pacific ocean, with a newly pregnant again Ariel, Jacob napping in the car, and feeling again like we had re-mastered adventure travel, this time with a child, and yet unsure of when/if we could do it again.

And then we AGAIN went on a bonkers babymoon, this time to Iceland, and with Jacob.

Even though it took about four years to get to the point where we felt like we could go anywhere with Jacob, it’s not like we sat idly by until then. Outside of the misery of Covid, Ariel and I had some short trips of our own, and some fun – albeit modified-to-be-children-friendly adventures with him too. Maybe we were just lucky with him, but even when he was still in diapers we went with him to Jamaica, Israel, Toronto, and a long road trip to the Outer Banks.

While there’s a lot to not be thrilled about dealing with diapers, late night wake-ups, and all the baggage that comes with a baby, I’m feeling way less existential this time around. It may take a few years until we’re back to where we were in Maui or Iceland, but I now am pretty sure that we will get there. And traveling with two kids instead of just one obviously offers different challenges. But as long as we instill a love of the road and adventure in Ethan the way we did with Jacob (and you know we will), I know that eventually we’ll go wherever we want, even New Zealand again someday.

My greatest wish for you Ethan is that you always make the best of the time that is given to you.

The hospital experience itself is also a bit of an adventure. Like last time with Jacob, we are just 10 miles from our beds and it’s the same weird experience where it feels like we might as well be on an overseas trip. There’s also something I didn’t notice last time — when I needed to step out for a bit to go to the on-site Walgreens, a staff member needed to open the door for me. And when we went on a little walk with Ethan, we got a little too close to an open elevator and a bunch of alarms went off. Babies on this place have a proximity sensor around their feet and if you try to leave before being discharged, you set off a bunch of alarms.

In fact, at one point the staff had found one of these sensors somewhere outside, and they came around to all the babies to check to make sure it hadn’t been removed. It’s slowly dawned on me that we are kind of prisoners here…

So we’re definitely out of our comfort zone – but not quite in the same way as with Jacob – because we’ve been through this before. Rather than having to think about challenges like Tongariro, we’re just… comparing it to last time we came in as a couple and left as a trio.

Still, a lifetime of adventures does make it a little easier to adapt to strange circumstances and surroundings. And hospital life is nothing if not strange.

Going to be a while before I’m somewhere as remote as the Pi’ilani Highway again, but when I am it will be with my complete family. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

As we get ready to (hopefully) pack up and go back to our home and re-unite with Jacob and Sammy, I am much more optimistic about our travel prospects for the future. We have big plans for next year – hopefully the newest member of our now complete fellowship will be up for them.

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