Friday, November 9, 2012

Snow Angels in Yosemite

This was the first snow sighting for the girls!

Deciding to do a road trip from Las Vegas to San Francisco was one of the best spontaneous decisions we made. We had been in LV a few days and I was about to book our onward flight to SF when B said, "Want to drive instead? There might still be snow..."

A chance of snow?! How cool! We told the girls about the road trip but didn't mention the snow part. This was going to be a surprise. 

Snow is one of the biggest curiosities for those like us who come from places with only two seasons (wet and dry). I experienced my first snow when I was 11 while visiting mom's sister in Canada. I still remember exactly how I felt, so I could imagine exactly how the girls were going to feel. I was so excited for them.

We couldn't contain them (and their excitement) inside the car for long-- we had to keep stopping so they could play in the snow. We stopped so often that their jeans were wet and they were cold. Okay, enough of that you two, and back in the car NOW!

I've visited Yosemite a couple of times in the past, each time in July or August--the US summertime. This road trip was in May, Manila summertime but and technically the end of spring in the States. This was probably the last snow of the season.

Our car was equipped with satellite radio and we were glued to a station that was playing the top 20 pop songs over and over again. I finally heard all the songs the kid sing with their friends. Now whenever I hear these pop songs, I remember Yosemite and snow.

Like our drive through Death Valley, we were also just driving through Yosemite. We weren't planning to stop for any length of time. It took us about an hour to navigate Tioga pass and get to the California side of the park.

It was fun teaching them how to pronounce "Yosemite." Having only seen the word in books, they thought it was Yoh-se-might. So when we told them we were driving through Yoh-seh'-mee-tee, there was a lot of "Yo-seh-mee-tee?! Isn't it Yose-might? Why is it called Yoh-seh-mee-tee?" A quick google search (don't you just love Google?) revealed its American Indian origins.

An information center and a gift shop welcomes visitors at the California side of the park. We didn't see anything similar at the Nevada side.

Here we are at the end of our Yosemite drive and now heading straight for the Bay Area.

Google maps on my iPhone was a great tool. Those companies that make those GPS navigational gadgets for cars are probably all out of business by now.

Look at the beautiful California spring weather on the other side of the park. We came from summer in Death Valley, the drove through winter in Yosemite and here is spring in California.

We still had a few hours' drive. We were actually trying to catch some friends at a picnic in Palo Alto.

It's such a pleasure to drive in the States. The roads are beautiful and directions are well-marked.

We stopped to pick up a few baskets of strawberries from the farms we passed.

We finally arrived at our destination at the tail end of the picnic. It was an unusually cold and overcast day in Los Altos and our friends, although happy to see us, didn't  look like very happy picnickers.  If they only knew that our kids were happily rolling in the snow just a few hours ago...

Time to warm up and have some S'mores.

Driving from LV to the Bay Area was much longer than a quick airport to airport hop, but it was definitely worth the adventure. This road trip will definitely be one of the girls' more memorable experiences.

Yosemite National Park
California and Nevada

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