Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Yosemite & Road to Las Vegas | Stop Two | Travel

Road Trip West Coast USA | Stop Two | Yosemite
Before I start going off on a tangent and raving about Yosemite let me just first say, the drive from San Francisco to Yosemite- Oh. My. God. Just awful. In general I have to admit it was quite the pleasant drive, got to a point called Mariposa county, which was cute, very much 'outback' feels. Stopped off for some (incredible) pizza at a little spot called the Pizza Factory,  I highly recommend. But unfortunately, the devious sat nav took us on a cheeky 20 minute detour up a very windy, very bumpy, dirt track. Consequently resulting in a speedy stop at the side of the road, and me, emptying the contents of my stomach into a bush, before quickly dashing off, before a bear (unlikely) caught a whiff of my vomit. Yeah, not so glamorous side of travelling there for yah folks. Unfortunately reality dictates that long car trips aren't always agreeable with those of us cursed with a stomach sensitive to nausea.

Nevertheless however ill you may be feeling, when you're driving through such beautiful scenery, your mind is quickly distracted and totally absorbed by the sheer beauty of America's West Coast (yes let me live here). By early evening we got to our hotel, Tenaya Lodge, which was crazy beautiful and definitely in-keeping with its setting. I was still queasy beyond belief so I dragged myself into bed with a facemask for a pamper session and an early night, whilst my brothers explored the gym and my parents went to a campfire sing-a-long (my mums a cub leader, she lives and breathes for this stuff.) And thennnnn, dun dun dunnn, waking up in Yosemite for my 20th birthday (there is no better feeling).
There's this thing about Yosemite, a kind of charm that the national park holds, the kind of magic that steals your breath and ties your stomach up in knots. Honestly, if you get the chance to visit this wonderful corner of the world, I couldn't recommend it enough. There is something there for any outdoor lover, fancy a picnic by a lake floating on an inflatable, surrounded by astounding rock-faces? No problem. Horse riding up to the top of the waterfalls? No problem. Fancy a bit of golf? Wander round a museum for a few hours? Try out a zipline or test your kayaking skills? Done, done and done. Yosemite is just damn good for your soul, it's the best place to reconnect with your inner creativity and sense of adventure. (At least that's what I found.)
There isn't much I can say about Yosemite, other than ramble on for days about how beautiful and awesome it is. So I'm just gunna break down what we did on our single day there and insert some pretty pictures for you to gawp at.
So we decided to basically spend our day aimlessly wandering around Yosemite, we trekked up to Yosemite falls (not a bad walk at all for those of you looking for something less extreme and more relaxed) and we meandered along all the lakes and rivers and found an adorable picnic spot to stop and have a splash in the (cold) water and crack open a bottle of wine and cupcakes. We walked all day and hugged trees and climbed rocks and took pictures, we spotted three bears and basically just had the best day, ever.
Climbing up to the Yosemite falls
Hugging the fallen trees. Yosemite management has a great ideology, in working with nature rather than against it. If a tree falls it's left to provide new habitats for small creatures and creepy crawlies. There are so few places in the world that are so immensely popular but has such restricted human interference. 
As you drive around Yosemite, if you are driving of course, there are literally the most immense viewpoints that pop up every five minutes, it is so hard to resist the temptation to constantly pull over to get more and more snaps of all that stunning nature.
Unfortunately our stay in Yosemite was short lived, but we weren't too sad because our next stop was Las Vegas (yayayayayayay) and we still had a day of driving through Yosemite and its pretty surroundings and Death Valley to get to our third hotel of the trip, the MGM Grand. Mumma and Papa Ray Ray planned our road trip so immensely, that we were still gawping out the window all the way to Sin City. We stopped off by Tenaya lake (I could live in a tent by the side of this lake forever) and Lake Mono, which was kind of creepy and alien-like.
Tenaya Lake
Lake Mono

To catch up on Stop One, San Francisco click here!
To read about being under 21 in Stop Three, Las Vegas click here!
For Stop Three in Grand Canyon click here!
For Stop Four, Los Angeles click here!

and if you also fancy checking out my blog post comparing the Universal Studios VIP experience West coast vs East coast click here!


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