Life has been so busy lately that this past week Adam and I both crashed. I particularly found it hard to focus on work because I had been doing so much, including going to the lab for the first time. Because my students are on a week long trip to Kibbutz Keturah, I had this past Friday off. While there was plenty to do around the house, Adam and I felt that it was important for us to use this time together to do something as a family. It seemed like a waste of a day off to just cook and clean. So we decided to do a short hike.
Because of Adina, we wanted to plan something simple. We also wanted to stay close to home so that we could be back in time to finish the cooking and cleaning we needed to do before Shabbat. We were having guests over and still had a bunch of things to do before sundown. We decided to return to Gan Hakipod, which we explored over the summer. We took the bus to Ramot and made our way to the park. Adina dozed off on the bus but woke up as we got to the park itself. We entered the park by the gigantic hedgehog jungle-gym that gives the park its name. We headed straight to the gazelle trail because we had missed it last time. We had a gut feeling we wouldn’t see any gazelles, but we thought it would be nice to try a new route. As we began to walk through the park, I could feel myself de-stress. I began to ramble which is something I do when I am relaxed and happy. Who wouldn’t be happy outside in the beautiful Ramot forest? The air is so clean, and you can really hear the birds chirping. Everywhere you looked there was a blanket of grass dotted with small red flowers. It was breath-taking and so different then when we were here in June. Everything was so brown and burnt looking back then. Now, everything was so vibrant with color! It was so beautiful!
We made our way down to the gazelle trail and started following the path. After walking down a bit of a hill, we didn’t feel confident which way to go, so we walked back up. After investigating the markers again, we realized we had been going in the right direction. No big deal though! If we hadn’t walked back up the hill we might have missed the olive grove that was next to the path.
As we walked along the trail, we chatted about various things. Shortly after we started, the trail turned into a road, which was a bit disappointing at first. After all, we came to get away from civilization! Rather than turning back, we continued to follow the markers, trusting that we would head back into the forest again, which we did a few minutes later. About this time, Adina and Adam started to get hungry, so we found a good place to sit. After Adina ate, she was reaching for everything around her. She is such an explorer! Excited to introduce her to nature, we gave her a rock to touch. She seemed to really like it since she immediately tried to put it in her mouth. A future geologist in the making?? After all, the best way to determine grain size is to rub a rock on your teeth. 🙂
After convincing Adina to feel the rock with her fingers rather than put it in her mouth, we started to walk again. We moved at a good pace, but we made sure to stop to take pictures whenever we saw something that struck us. Eventually Adina started to indicate that she was tired, so we turned her around in the bjorn and she fell right to sleep. It wasn’t too surprising since it was her nap time. She ended up sleeping the rest of the hike. Oh well!
As we continued to follow the path we passed a few almond trees which were still in bloom. I really like the flowers and hadn’t yet taken a picture of them so I stopped to do so. At the next almond tree, we stopped to look at some lichen and noticed that this tree had less flowers but lots of almonds! I think this was my first time seeing almonds on a tree!
The rest of the hike was peaceful and fun. Adam and I talked a lot, which we haven’t had as much time to do lately since we are both so busy. It was very therapeutic to get away from our life in the city. Sometimes you get so lost in the hustle and bustle that you don’t realize that you need a dose of nature to make you feel balanced again. It was the perfect way to spend my day off!
Until next time…
P.S. We made it home in time to cook and clean!
Enjoy some of the beauty of Gan Hakipod!