Well, luckily I got a chance to remedy my uppity Californistic attitude recently when Sis asked me to chaperone a field trip to Yosemite with her geology class. For me, I jumped at the chance to accompany Sis on one last school field trip before she graduates (I'm getting very nostalgic as the big day nears). I really didn't care where we were going (Cali attitude again). The main thing I was worried about was camping at that elevation in April. I generally don't camp in April. It still gets way too cold at night for my liking.
At any rate we left early Sunday morning. As luck would have it there were two vans that the kids rode in, and one car which happened to be Sis' boyfriend's parents, so I got to ride with them. No obnoxious teenagers to be cooped up with. Hooray.
The memories I have of being 5 in Yosemite differ quite a bit from the memories I made during my recent trip. As a 5 year old I was thrilled at getting to ride in grandma and grandpa's cab-over camper (even though I had a nasty fall off the bunk during the drive). I remember driving through the tunnels and camping with all of my cousins and aunts and uncles. I remember seeing a bear going through someone's camp in broad daylight and I do remember some of the sights, but it didn't awe me like it did this time around.
As a 44 year old, I came home with memories of getting soaked at Bridalveil Falls, hiking to Mirror Lake (where most of the kids jumped in to swim in the melted snow water), seeing the rubble from the most recent rock slide, looking up at El Capitan and spotting a minuscule climber, marveling at how picturesque Half Dome is, walking up to Yosemite Falls and being in awe of the power of falling water, listening to bears rattling the bear-proof food lockers during the night, and best of all hanging out with my daughter to enjoy all this with. Even the weather cooperated by being unseasonably warm for April. I couldn't have asked for more.
In fact, I started planning my next trip to Yosemite after I'd been in the valley all of 5 minutes. I want to go there again soon. I'm thinking maybe even as soon as next month. I can not believe that I haven't made the effort to go there sooner. I am really kicking myself. To think people come from all over the world to see this incredible place and I couldn't be bothered to make a short drive. Well, never again will I wait 40 years to experience Yosemite (or anything else for that matter). I just changed my attitude!