Where Do You Go To Unwind?

Rainbow at the base of Nevada Falls

Rainbow near the base of Vernal Falls

I’m still coming off my high from vacation. … I like the John Muir quote I put in my sidebar. (Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature can heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul after. …) My son and I found it in the Yosemite visitors’ center. I think Muir is absolutely right. We all need a place where we can go to unwind, to connect with nature and the simplest, most beautiful things in life — sunlight on a brook, a deer in a quiet meadow, the smell of pine trees, the crunch of needles underfoot, the laughter of your child, the relaxed posture of your teenager, the feel of your husband’s hand in yours. … It reminds you of the beauty of simplicity, and the naturalness of beauty. It reminds you to think about what’s important.

Where do you go to get reconnected?

Bear in Yosemite …

Bear in Yosemite

Bear in Yosemite

Okay, this was a first for me. (Suburban Southern Cal doesn’t turn up many bears.) You really know you’re on vacation when you turn around a see a bear nearby. We saw this one right in the meadow near Sentinel Bridge. Fascinating. He looks small in this picture, but really the trees are just huge!

We also took the hike to Vernal Falls. It’s nice that the kids are older and we can do cooler hikes. But gosh, this one just reminded me how OUT OF SHAPE I am! I used to do these much easier. I had to look the hike up in my guidebook when we got to the top because I could have sworn it said “easy” (and I was appropriately horrified). But at least it said “moderate” (400 ft gain). Anyway, so beautiful. It’s called the “Mist Trail,” and my daughter said it looked like something out of a fairy story, with all the ferns and mossy rocks. (You half expected the Seven Dwarves to come marching around the corner.) So pretty …

Please continue to share any Yosemite stories you have! I love to hear them! Love the wildlife? Ever seen a bear? Have you taken a hike that ended up being more than you bargained for?

Gorgeous Yosemite ….

View of the valley floor when you first come around the corner on the 41. It literally takes your breath away.

View of the valley floor when you first come around the corner on the 41. It literally takes your breath away. That's El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the distance on the right, and Bridalveil Falls in the foreground on the right.

I need to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to say that I’m in Yosemite, and I can never get over how beautiful it is. … I wanted to take our kids to the “Top 3” national parks, which are Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. So far our assessment: We LOVED Grand Canyon, are even MORE in love with Yosemite. It’s just hard to believe so much beauty could exist in one place.

We “hiked” (it’s an easy walk) to Lower Yosemite Falls the first day. We’ll see what’s in store for Day 2. …

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