We spent the weekend camping in Yosemite and I’m already jonesing to go back. Mike and I took half days off of work on Friday, driving out to meet friends that were already there. We arrived around 7 that evening and just in time for dinner!
Every year our friend Ben (who we went to Tahoe with in February) plans a trip to Yosemite with a bunch of friends and the meals are divided between everyone. This is nice because you only have to worry about cooking one meal the whole time you’re there. On Friday we had salad, spinach ravioli, and garlic bread. Nom nom. Being the class act that I am, I brought a boxed Pinot and sipped it from a solo cup while we jammed around the camp fire for a bit.
Lucky for us there was a meteor shower that night so around 12am we headed down to the beach (along side of a river) and got cozy under the stars. I saw the brightest, biggest shooting star within the first 10 minutes we were there. It was spectacular (!) but the rest of the stargazing fell short in comparison… After 45 minutes or so (and no more huge shooting star sightings) we headed back to camp and called it a night. …or so we thought.
Both Mike and I had trouble sleeping the first night. Finally – at one point when we were both awake at the same time – we decided to go back out to the beach for some more meteor searching. The best time was supposed to be around 4am so we thought we would have better luck on our second round.
Instead of making it down to the sand again, we ended up folding our towels into makeshift pillows and laying on the bridge connecting the camp grounds to the beach. This was both very romantic and terrifying at the same time. My mind kept alternating between us sharing a RomCom-esce moment, sweetly laying hand in hand on a bridge underneath the stars, and a horror movie with a predator bear on a killing rampage (&two star gazing lovers making for a tasty appetizer). Ek!
When I wasn’t movie-montaging my life, I was concentrating on the sky. Unfortunately it ended up being later than we thought (around 5am) so we didn’t see too many shooting stars but, nonetheless, there is just something about being surrounded by nature, isn’t there?
We went back to camp and were able to sleep for a few hours, waking up around 9:30am for a slow and delicious morning. I happily learned that there was coffee for sale at the general store nearby. We were staying at Housekeeping, which is almost glamping (oh hey!) with the showers, laundry facilities, a store and, most importantly, fresh brewed coffee on the premises. Mike and I took a stroll down to the store and filled up on caffeine while breakfast was being made. When we got back we had eggs, bacon, waffles, and fruit to fuel us for the day.
After breakfast we all went for a hike to lower Yosemite falls and let me just say, highlight of the trip! To get to the falls you “hike” – but really rock climb – up about a mile or so. The climb up itself was a lot of fun (especially since I’ve recently got back into rock climbing and felt like a little ninja up there, demonstrating all of my bouldering abilities) but nothing prepared me for the gorgeous scene that was waiting at the top.
My words won’t do this spot justice but imagine a rocky nook hidden in a waterfall’s stream – boulders lazily laying all around – with water pooling and making the area a swimming hole. When the waterfall is at full power and, well, water is falling, this place is unreachable. But this past weekend the water was more …trinkling than falling (a watertrinkle!) and we took full advantage.
I will let the pictures we took up there tell the rest…
(Word to the wise, if you have/use a Go Pro, be sure to constantly wipe the thing down so water spots don’t ruin your pix! At least half of our pictures are blurry because we forgot to.)
After a few hours in the water, we hiked back down to our camp site; just in time for lunch! Ben’s dad and stepmom had an amazing spread of homemade chicken pesto salad, assorted breads, hummus, chips, Mary’s Gone Crackers (my fav!), fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and cantaloupe.
I usually try to balance out my meals – aiming for a carb meal, a protein meal, and a combo meal within a day – but with all of the hiking we did, I didn’t even care that I had some heavy carbs that morning (waffles); BRING ON THE BREAD (and crackers and chips). Full and ready to hit the water again, we headed down to the river, armed with rum and floaties.
We left the beach after a hour or so and went back to the campsite. It mine and Mike’s turn to cook for everyone. We made a salad and fajitas, which turned out to be great for vegetarians and meat eaters! (I opted for my fajitas without chicken since I already had meat earlier in the day.) After dinner we were transported back to college and played a few rounds of beer pong. (I learned that I’m still terrible at the game and Mike quickly replaced me as a partner;) We ended the night with a few rounds of a new board game Mike has been playing (with a title that isn’t very PC…).
The next morning we went to brunch at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. I didn’t even know this existed and, to be honest, it was a little off-putting to see such a grand hotel in the middle of a national forrest… Don’t get me wrong, brunch was good (I had eggs, ham, fruit and an iced coffee) but I couldn’t help but think do we really need couches, a flat screen TV, and a fireplace in Yosemite!?
Fun fact: I did learn the Obama’s recently stayed there by eavesdropping on a another table’s conversation with a waiter. I think I was literally craning my neck to hear more.
After brunch and packing everything up, we all said goodbye. Having taken our bikes but not having a chance to ride them, Mike and I decided to bike to the hike from the day before (Mike, bike, hike…). It was as amazing the second time around as it was the first and a great way to end a fun weekend!