The week before our departure to Sacramento, I was very mindful of my cuticle. You probably clicked on this blog to read about the wonders of Yosemite and you are, most likely, puzzled a bit about my mention of cuticles as I begin my travel blog. Yes, I would be puzzled too. If you have read my blog on our Mexico trip, you would know. I bit my cuticle right before our trip and I spent most of our vacation in considerable pain, till Sean lanced my hugely swollen, infected finger in a dark bathroom in a little hotel in Playa Del Carmen. So when I felt that annoying piece of skin irritating me to no end, I reached for the nail clipper.
We first decided to go to Tanzania for our spring break, then it was Peru and finally Yosemite. Neither Sean (the world traveler) nor I had seen the splendors of Yosemite but we had heard about it from those who had visited the National Park. They all proclaimed Yosemite ranks high in terms of natural beauty, grandeur and the sheer force of nature. So Yosemite it was. The time leading up to the trip was as usual – hectic. Sean traveled far and wide, Sahana stayed lost in her euphoria in getting into college and making new friends virtually, Ryan juggled grades, baseball, music and little bit of swimming while I tried to balance full-time work and home. I checked out a few books on Yosemite but did not touch them. We had 8 hours on the plane, we decided to make good use of the time and plan our activities then while we flew over clouds on our way to see glorious mountains and gushing waterfalls.
The flight was uneventful except for the fact that we did not find seats next to each other because we were late in checking in. Ryan sat next to two strangers who were very kind to him, offered him chocolates and window seat. The kind folks also asked me if I were his sister when I went to check on him. Wait, it gets better! When I said I was his mother, they laughed and said he had told them he had a seventeen year old sister so they assumed I was the sister. I thanked them for their kindness and beamed all the way to my seat next to Sean and relayed the story. He probably rolled his eyes, I don’t know. He was finally reading the book on Yosemite and making ambitious plans of tackling the celebrated Half Dome and for those of you wondering what is the big deal, why am I being snarky about it, here is some information from trusted source – Wikipedia.
Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape. One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.
My husband likes challenges and urges the family to do something daring. Thankfully, he knows me well and when I said I am NOT even thinking of setting my foot on that Half Dome, he knew not to push. I wanted to see Half Dome and I was willing to oooh aah over it, but from far! While I read The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman on the flight, Sean mapped out some trails that he thought will be fun and somewhat challenging for us all. I kept reminding him, without looking away from my book, to keep my physical abilities in mind and he kept reassuring me, without looking away from his book that I will be fine. I am stronger than I think I am. Cliches like that.
We landed in Sacramento quite late in the evening, went to get our rental car and drove towards our hotel. The road was dark, it was between large expanses of fields and we were somewhat disoriented. After we checked in to the hotel, the three of us, myself and my two children, discovered we were ravenous and needed food. We got back in our car and ended up in a McDonald half a block away. Sad but true, McDonald’s was our first food in the West Coast. It could only get better. The food was the same as any other McDonald but you must believe me when I say, the water was delicious. Yes, the water! So fresh and tasty! All I remember from that meal is the taste of water. Sean refused to eat food from McDonald so he went to bed hungry. The plan was to wake up, eat breakfast and then hit the road to our next destination – Yosemite National Park. Stay with me!