So since I suck at sticking to 30 day Photography challenges, I've decided to make up for it with an account of our latest adventure: our overnight trip to Yosemite. :)
Yosemite has to be the most spectacular place that I've ever been to. It truly is a wonder of the world. But you must already know that. ;) We only stayed overnight; any longer and that and the little kids would explode. Not a pretty picture. Trust me. But the kids did AMAZING this trip. They were fine throughout the long car trip. We were amazed and VERY happy that they did so well.
So we left early Wednesday morning, and with only SLIGHT confusion about which direction the correct path lay, we made it to Yosemite in the early afternoon (I won the Alphabet Game 3 times in a row on the way there. Dang Qs were hiding from me though.)
Yosemite is like a hidden treasure; we drove through the foothills surrounding the Yosemite Valley, which looks like any other set of foothills, and then you drive around the bend and....and IT'S there. The most amazing view I've ever seen. The cliffs climb so high it seems like they may never end, and when they do, the sky is so blue it looks like a painting. In fact, all of Yosemite looks like a painting; it's so beautiful.
The mountains right across from our hotel were BRIGHT orange, covered in poppies. Loads and loads of poppies. It was amazing! I've never seen that many poppies before!
So anyway we reached our hotel, unpacked, snacked, and then set out again to explore. Thane spotted our first waterfall. A beautiful, loud, misty waterfall, which we marveled at for a bit before continuing. I was in complete awe as we drove around (and totally speechless) We saw these HUGE boulders that over time have been split by ice and water, until they fall apart in a spectacular way.
We reached the Visitor's center and walked around for the rest of the afternoon, marveling at the beauty of the place. I was looking up most of the time there, just trying to soak it all in as fast as I could. That's a place where you could sit for hours, staring at the cliffs and not ever get bored. It takes hours to actually soak it in.
We walked around the museum for a bit; there was a room about the rocks and glaciers, a room for Native American clothes, and baskets, (which were gorgeous) and a man playing a lovely flute. Then we walked around, where they had the wooden houses, and a amazing underground sweat lodge (Which is still in use, to this day). There were signs placed around, talking about the different plants and such, but since the little kids wanted to run around, we ended up taking pictures of the signs to read later. Haha!
It was so nice to just walk around. The air there is so delightful to breathe, it just fills your soul and heart.
Dad left to go get the car (so we could go find dinner) and we walked around the Yosemtie Cemetery. It's a lovely little cemetery, with a few graves. What a lovely place to rest. There was one headstone for a girl who drowned in the rapids and on her head stone it said "Oh, that beauteous head. If it did go down, It carried sunshine into the rapids". So sweet and sad. I swear Anne Shirley would love Yosemite. There are so many romantic stories to be told, and only Anne could hear them and retell them.
We had dinner at the Mountain Room, a very fancy restaurant. Mom and I had fish, Dad and Thane had hamburgers, and Em and Gwyn had ice cream. Then we drove back to our hotel for the night.
The next morning was a heavenly morning. The sky was clear, the sun shining, the mountains looked like a painting. I walked outside and the mountains looked so majestic and pretty. We ate breakfast, from the large amount of food we brought along, and then set out to go on a hike up to the waterfall before we left that afternoon. As we were driving around, we saw Fern Spring; a incredible natural spring that's been there for hundreds of years. The water tastes like... like heaven in liquid form. ;) It tastes amazing. It's REAL water.
We all got out and took a drink before we continued on to Tunnel View, which if you've ever googled pictures of Yosemite you've probably seen this view though there is NOTHING like seeing it in person. It's a captivating view of the whole valley. It really is a magical experience, standing there in the morning looking out over the whole valley, the early morning mist, the waterfall flowing, the cliffs standing tall and proud. You can just see the glacier that carved the valley. That has to be my favorite part of the whole trip.
Then we drove down to the little village, and Dad got coffee before we went on a walk to the bottom of Yosemite falls. It's a nice little walk, up to a bridge right in front of the waterfall. Right before you reach the bridge you start to feel mist on your face, which adds to the excitement. When you're on the bridge that waterfall is so loud. It just sounds powerful. . Again, I could have stayed there for a long time, but not too long for I would be completely soaked pretty soon from the wet breeze that was coming from the waterfall.
It was a nice quiet walk back to the car. Emrys got tired so he got a piggyback ride from me.
Then sadly it was time to go. I really didn't want to leave. I could have stayed there forever. We stocked up on junk food from the little grocery store there (potato chips, Pepsi, lunch meats, goat cheese) and then headed back home.
I don't remember half the trip back because I was listening to The Winter Sea by Susana Kearsley. AMAZING book. Loved it. My Mom and I are new Susanna Kearsley fans. I'm now listening to Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison-Allen (which is really good too) and I'm planning on re-listening to Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. I listed to Book of a 1,000 Days by her as well, and that was a really good retelling of the Grimm's fairy tale, "Maid Maleen." And I intend to listen to the Hunger Games soon. I've gotten a few different reviews from different people. My mom and a few of my friends LOVED the series, and some of my other friends don't like them as much. I'm very curious to hear the stories and decide for myself. I've found listening to books very handy for me. I haven't had much time to sit down a read, but I've gone through a lot more books listening than I have actually reading. I also get a LOT more done (around the house) when I'm listening.
Well THAT was long. It feels good to write a long post. I haven't done so in a while. :)