We woke up early and headed down early to the valley for breakfast. This was our first time travelling overseas as a family and I had a few things to learn, like how difficult it is to do laundry! We packed light, so we could shop and bring clothes home with us, what we didn’t think through was that we didn’t have much time, inclination or ability to do laundry. So by this stage we were re wearing some clothes, but… holidays.
We sat outside in the early morning air at Yosemite eating oatmeal and drinking coffee hardly believing that we were all here, in my favourite place on earth. For some strange (read, details are not my strong suit) reason I thought it was Australian Mother’s day and so the family treated me like a queen for the day, only to find out the following week that it was mothers day again! But on this day I enjoyed mothers day in Yosemite.
We went for a walk to the waterfalls to start the day, which was truly beautiful, the sound as we approached and the spray on our faces before we could even see the base of the waterfall added to the delight of walking through the forest.
We had already booked ourselves into the Valley Floor tour, which I cannot recommend more highly, this happened to be Mia’s favourite part of our whole trip and Shane’s until we got to San Diego, which is another blog.
Travelling around the Valley on an open bus with a ranger who gave us so much interesting information, while at the same time breathing in the cool air was something I will remember forever.
Part of the tour was travelling up to tunnel view, where the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Mia repeated over and again “The God who made all of this, made me” it was a genuine moment of wonder at creation, that inspires awe.
Not to mention, tom foolery, classic dad shot.
After all of our, hours of bear looking, we finally found one! On the tour, Shane very happily called “Bear” to which the tour stopped and we all looked to see a bear happily playing and looking through a log. Greatest moment ever! Even Mia who was scared to see a bear, was overjoyed seeing him at a distance with the safety of a ranger in a bus.
Once we finished the trip, we went for a walk through the valley, and upon meeting a ranger Mia proceeded to tell him with great excitement all she had learned on the tour. This kind of learning, the kind that makes you want to share it, even with complete strangers because of the joy that it gives you, is why I love with all my heart, learning in the wild. These moments, are what make Homeschooling so special to me, and all the doubts I have fade away into seeing a genuine love of learning, together, in one of if not the most beautiful place on earth. He was so impressed with her love of the park and learning that he awarded her a Junior Ranger Badge (we didn’t even know about these)! Well there could not have been a prouder, more delightful moment for her ever, it was truly special and I am so grateful for the encouragement of kids learning in the park from the staff.
Mia spent the rest of the day learning all she could about a park she wanted to learn to protect and care for as a Junior ranger.
We wandered the park for the afternoon, watching squirrels, birds, the river and the trees, followed by dinner and a stroll through the meadow. Shane and I had a mini date while the kids played and we sat and prayed for our future, on the valley floor of Yosemite, asked God to guide our next steps and to lead us into our next calling. That evening we had one of the best nights ever on the Star Gazing Tour, I didn’t take any photos as I just wanted to be in the moment, plus photos in the dark is hard. We met at 8:45 to walk in the dark to a field, lay on mats laid out for us by the ranger and gazed into the stars, huddled together as a family, while she pointed out constellations and told stories, it was stunning. By the time we got home it was close to midnight, a beautiful and full day in a glorious park.
Lots of Love