Everything was going just dandy until we stopped for some dinner and snacks. Now I'm not going to mention who bought the caramel apple suckers (ahem Brian), you know the green kind covered in caramel, but it didn't take more that 5 minutes after we opened them for my mom to say "Guys, you're never going to believe this..." In my mind I'm thinking, well this is just great, did she book the wrong night?, are we going the wrong way? blahblahblah..."my crown just fell out!" By now she has Brian's full attention and he's asking all kinds of questions and she's asking all kinds of questions and no one has a solid answer as to how to fix the tooth. Suddenly, a light bulb goes off in Brian's head and he remembers that some stores sell temporary bonding stuff, so we went and got some, and my mom had to put her tooth back on!
Finally, we make it to Yosemite around 11pm. We're all getting tired and the last thing we want to do is to decipher the road signs that our GPS can't seem to get right. Mind you, it's a National Park, so the use of street lights is very limited to try to keep the 'natural ambiance,' which I totally respect, but they could at least have drawn their maps better. Either way, we finally find the check in place, and there, they gave us another map with our cabin circled on it. It might as well have been directions to find a needle in a haystack, because we were convinced that our cabin didn't exist. We parked and walked around, then parked and walked around again, then we went back to the check-in place, and finally, we parked and walked around until one of us stumbled upon our cute little cabin. There was definitely nothing fancy about the cabin, but we weren't planning on spending much time in there anyway. We all quickly unpacked, got ready for bed, and hit the hay.
The next morning, we all managed to get up and get ready for our adventures! My mom had booked a tram tour through the valley of the park and we still needed to find out how to get to the departure site...we all know how following a map goes, so we tried to leave early. As I was walking away from the cabin to go and get something out of the car, I turned around to see if Brian was behind me, only to see a HUGE granite wall, towering thousands of feet over my head. We were right in the middle of a the Yosemite Valley and we had no idea the night before! It was incredible!! I just couldn't get enough! I was taking pictures as if it was all going to disappear if I didn't hurry up! Once everyone was ready, we headed to Yosemite Lodge to find our tram tour.
Now for anyone who goes to visit Yosemite, the tram tour is well worth your money! They drive you around the valley, show you all the beautiful scenery that Yosemite is famous for, teach you all about the history of the park, all while you just sit there and soak in the awesomeness of this place! The tour took about 2 hours, after which we got some lunch. Sadly, during lunch, it started to rain. Believe it or not, rain storms/thunderstorms are a force to be reckoned with in Yosemite since there are so many high points and tons of granite, particularly if you are a rock climber or hiker. Therefore, we decided to hang out for a little bit to see if the storms passed.
So far, I haven't really mentioned anything about the pain my mom had been having in her lower ribcage/abdomen area. The pain had been going on for at least a week but she just had a thorough physical so she ruled anything serious out, but it was still bothering her. As we were sitting there waiting out the rain, she decided that she wanted to go to the urgent care clinic to see if they could tell her what's wrong. While she and my dad went to the clinic, Brian and I put on our rain jackets and walked around the park a little bit. We got to see some bucks in a meadow and some beautiful waterfalls! It quickly began to get dark so we headed back to our cabin to hear the verdict on my mom's pain. When we finally met up with them, she told us she had shingles (which quickly became her nickname for the rest of the trip!). Shingles is supposed to be seriously painful, so we are glad she was a trooper and participated in everything!
That night, we ate a little pizza place and met up with one of Brian's co-workers and his friend. We ate a ton of pizza and played some cards, then called it a night and crashed. We were exhausted! The next day, we took a climb...I mean a hike, pretty much straight up hill the entire way, to Vernal Falls. Once we got to the falls, there were tons of stairs carved into the rock. I get a little shaky in the knees when it comes to heights so I was a little nervous climbing up those stairs...especially since it was still raining and wet. It was still gorgeous though and the views were pretty amazing. The clouds were really low which made for some neat pictures! All in all, we had a great trip to Yosemite and I am dying to go back when the snow is melting which would make the rivers more full and the waterfalls more beautiful:)
Face of El Capitan...do you see the heart in it? By the way, people rock climb up El Capitan which is over 2000 feet high (over 2 Empire State buildings). People who were rock climbing were sooo tiny against the huge rock that you had to use binoculars to see them!
El Capitan again.
View of the whole valley. Our cabin was down in there somewhere.
They are super serious about this...a bear will tear up your car if you leave food in there!
Hiking in the rain.
Hiking in the rain.
Vernal Falls...it doesn't look like much but after the snowmelt it's supposed to be beautiful!
Cool clouds after the rain.
Our little cabin.
Buck just hanging out...