Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now That I'm Older...

As of yesterday at 12:20 PM PST I am officially 41 years old.  On my 40th birthday, most of my family was out of town, so the celebration was pretty low-key.  I went to work in the morning, picked my mom up at the airport, then we all took the kids to the city to play at Crissy Field (and ended up in the Bay), then picked up some sushi on the way home. 
So this year I wanted to do something REALLY special.  Hubby, LG, WG, S-I-L, and Dog all got in the car and we drove to Yosemite. I hadn't been there in 7 years, and WG had NEVER been. (Unless you count the trip 7 years ago, when she was in utero.  But she didn't really get to see the sights.)
We made really good time (3 1/2 hours from San Mateo the the West Entrance) and found a PERFECT spot near the river, in the shadow of El Capitan.  We had the place almost entirely to ourselves, and we stayed for nearly 4 hours.  LG cuddled with me in the hammock for a good amount of the time, while WG played in the cold but clean water.  She even tried to get herself caught in the current, lol!
Dog, meanwhile, behaved like a puppy; she stalked the ducks who kept coming by for crumbs from our picnic, and managed to get HERself caught in the current (and needing to be rescued) quite a few times.  She LOVES to swim, and it's freakin' ADORABLE to watch! She has these short little legs that have to work so hard...
(Of course, she's NOT a puppy, she's 12 years old.  And has pretty much been asleep since 5:00 yesterday afternoon, with brief periods of lucidity in order to go out and take care of her business.)
We then drove to El Capitan Meadows, where we watched the climbers for a bit.  If you haven't been to Yosemite, you MUST go!  Pictures don't do it justice.  Standing in the meadow, looking up at the largest piece of granite IN THE WORLD (3,000 feet!) really gives you a sense of perspective, lol! Add to that the fact that there are literally thousands of people milling around, from all parts of the world, and, I hate to sound goofy, but you get a feeling that is not attainable anywhere else.  Yosemite is my husband's favorite place in the world, and I completely understand why.
We ended up buying an annual pass; the day pass was $20, and the annual is $40, so we figured what the heck, why not?  We can go all year, as much as we want! 
Yesterday's trip was just for the day.  We got home at 9:30 at night.  It was a perfect day all-around, and THE BEST birthday EVER (so far)!
It also made me realize that I need to do that more; get away from everything, even if it's only for one day.  I tend to take myself a little too seriously sometimes (I know, SHOCKING! lol) and can easily get caught up in the day-to-day drek.  Next 4th of July, when Hubby goes to Yosemite, we're all going with him!  We'll take as many trips there as we can throughout the year, because it's important for us to get away, and it's important for the kids to see the natural world.  As beautiful as San Francisco is, there is nothing to compare to Yosemite.
Hopefully, when the kids are older, we can get to other national parks; we've never been to Yellowstone or Glacier, for example.  Or even Redwood, which is nearby!
We've also decided to go to Muir Woods in the next few weeks, which we've also never been to, despite the fact that it's so close.
Last week, as you may have guesses from my previous post, was a bit rough.  Friday was the worst; I was in SUCH a mood, and everything seemed to be falling apart.  But one day in Yosemite changed my perspective COMPLETELY.  Just being able to relax, to breathe in that gorgeously clean air and wade in that clear water, to take in the majesty of half-dome and 3 brothers, and to see all the other folks, from all over the world, enjoying this beautiful piece of land, made me SO HAPPY!  And then to see my family so excited and content, well, that was worth its weight in gold.
I've written before about how sometimes feeling my feelings absolutely sucks.  Well, not this time, baby!  This was AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Happy birthday to me? Oh, you betcha!!!!!!

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