Thursday, July 7, 2016

Family Adventures in Yosemite!

My husband and I talked years ago of doing a road trip in a RV with the family and this past Spring Break in 2016, we actually did it!  We planned a trip with five other families and had a great adventure in Yosemite!

Day 1 – March 21, 2016
The drive was breathtaking, lots of farmland, rolling hills, mountainsides and the mesmerizing Merced River on the side of the road guiding you to Yosemite. I had never been so close to these scenes that looked like they were straight out of a movie!

The families all arrived within hours of each other and the kids spent the afternoon exploring the area- picking up sticks, jumping in the water, climbing on rocks and riding bikes.   Unfortunately it ended up raining most of the day, which put a damper on our outside activity plans. So we hung out in one of our friend’s RVs for a bit. The kids played games and I caught up on the latest social media hashtags with the older kids. That was an interesting conversation! 

By 7 pm we were ready to all turn into our separate RVs. It was so cold! Temperatures were around 30 degrees outside.I wondered how these people tenting it nearby were going to survive the night!  We were comfy cozy in our small but heated RV.  However, the constant drip drop of the rain hindered me from falling asleep. It lasted all night.

Day 2- March 22, 2016
Even though I didn't sleep much, I woke up excited to begin our first full day here immersed in nature's playground! After breakfast, we decided to hike to Mirror Lake. We took some pictures by the running water near our campsite as we headed out.

The hike on the trail was a bit rough for me with the muddy ground and having to step over rocks, twigs, etc…my weak ankle wasn't cooperating! My family and I decided to walk the path of least resistance and took the trail on the pavement.  We could see our travelling counterparts across the way on the original trail and thought we would meet up with them at some point, but the lake was too big! We already hiked for about an hour and a half. It would take maybe another hour of hiking to meet up with them! We just waved to each other and enjoyed the lake from our different viewpoints!  There were many families that packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it here. I may a mental note of this!

I took this picture of "Mirror Lake"!
We made it back to the campground ravenous after those hours of exercise.  We were extremely thankful that Grandpa Ernie stayed back and had lunch ready.  Good thing too as he reported he had to shoo off squirrels trying to take off with our hamburger buns! After lunch, it was relaxation time! We had scant cell service which forced us just to enjoy our surroundings.

Each family sponsored a meal throughout the trip. Dinner on this night consisted of lots of yummy items like siopao, pizza rolls, kielbasa and potatoes. But we all gravitated to the mami soup which warmed our bellies! 

Dessert was a takeoff on s’mores - ice cream cones filled up with all sorts of goodies, wrapped with foil and roasted over the campfire.

We all slept well on this night, tired from a full day and no raindrops pelting our rooftops to keep us up!

Day 3-March 23, 2016:
We decided to visit two places today.  After breakfast, we drove our RV about 20 minutes to see Bridalveil Falls. From the parking lot it is literally five minutes or less to the waterfall.  It was very misty and the pavement was slippery. We had to be careful with our steps or else we could easily slide and fall down!  This was the closest I’ve ever been to a waterfall! The mist from the waterfall got us wet rather quickly! 

From Bridalveil, it was another ten minute drive to Lower Yosemite Falls.  This is a trail that is easily accessible for all ages, even people in scooters or wheelchairs. This trail had some snow from the rainfall two days ago!

I got silly with the waterfall!

We got back to camp and just like the day before, Grandpa Ernie had lunch ready- bbq and pancit! Twice, park rangers stopped by in their trucks and commented how the aroma of the bbq drew them to our campsite! Of course we offered for them to join us, but they professionally and politely declined.

The afternoon consisted of more exploring.  We saw some deer! We also saw a little black bear crossing the brook, but he was too fast for me to snap a picture.

My family prepared dinner on this day. It was my loving husband Eric's birthday so he wanted to host dinner! We made chicken adobo, skirt steak and grilled veggies. The group played games while waiting for the food to be done!

Tres leches cake was the dessert for our birthday celebrant.
After dinner we enjoyed time around the campfire again. 
My nephew Vincent used his camera to take this night shot! Check out more of his work on Instagram @vincent.sunico.
Day 4 – March 24, 2016:
Today was our godson Cris' 13th birthday and our family's last day at Yosemite.  
I woke up early today to do some hiking with Alli and Isa on the John Muir Trail! 

It was an easy walk to the start of the trail, but little did I know what I was in for!
Those inclines were steep!  It was like being on a stair master machine at the highest possible level! Every step made me huff and puff and my legs were on fire after about 20 minutes!  I would say I made it up 80% of the way, then had to call it quits as I was getting a bit lightheaded and my face was as red as my vest! I managed to take some selfies though they're not that great! I just wanted a souvenir of me being in these spots with the awesome views! I rested for a bit before deciding to head back and told the girls to go on without me. Alli and Isa made it to the top!

Check out was at 1:00 pm on this day, so we ate some lunch when we got back to camp, packed up and headed out. We made one more stop so I could walk this trail. I absolutely loved every moment being in nature. Not caring about the time of day, or answering the phone, checking email or sitting in front of a laptop, all my day to day worries were gone while we were here.
Listening to the running brooks, the sound of fallen leaves and pine needles crunching under every step, the aroma of burning wood, the presence of the majestic trees, the picture perfect skyline of the mountains, enjoying laughter with the people I love, seeing my kids smile and play, my senses were awaken by all of it! I was especially refreshed by the cool, fresh air and scenery.  It was a great trip! I will carry these memories of our time at Yosemite forever.

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