Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos
Oh and gorgeous scenery helps too.
Late August our family joined a wonderful group of friends for a 5 day camping trip to Yosemite.
[The video above was taken just after reaching the top of Sentinal Dome. You can hear lots of huffing and puffing...Sujoy and I reached the top first! Before all the kids! It was the best hike of my life. I'm ready for Mt. Everest now!].
Our group covered a wide spectrum of people, aged 4 to...54?? I dared not ask our oldest member's age (well he's a former San Diego cop - a detective- and he's much bigger than me...by about, ah roughly 2 feet give or take a few inches!).
I am not the hardiest camper...but honestly, I relished every minute of this trip.
The company could not have been better - they were all so laid back and up for having FUN. No whiners, all good timers. (Honestly I have to shake this rap rhyming thing that's been goin' on lately. Where did I get that???).
I REALLY enjoyed spending time with the teenagers (as I am stuck at age 14...mentally, on a good day).
Most of the group are from Cambodia, originally...but the teens were born here. Melissa, aged 12, cracked me up to no end. She would beckon her family by saying, "My fellow Asian people!!! Come!" She teased her dad for wearing a FOBISH outfit (FOB meaning Fresh Off the Boat).
Hanging around them made me feel proud to be an American. You see, they escaped the Pol Pot Regime in Cambodia - perhaps you've seen The Killing Fields? Well, the men in their family were murdered at the hands of Pol Pot.
The older kids and adults (those not born here of course) WALKED from Cambodia to Thailand...stepping over dead bodies along the way.
I could share some harrowing details, but I do not wish to invade their privacy.
When they arrived in the US, they stayed in refugee camps and worked in the farms of Northern California - all of them, including the children.
They eventually moved to San Diego....where they received a decent education and later went onto receive college degrees. My dear friend Sokoun has her Master's degree in Elementary Education and her sister has an Associate's in Nursing.
They are all hard working, good, fun. honest US citizens. It pains me to receive junk email about refugees draining the system here. This has NEVER been the case with any of my friends who have come as either a refugee or student.
BUT I digress.
The absolute highlight of the trip, aside from some sensational hikes...was hanging out in a river, where we spotted a BEAR!! I was beyond elated having experienced a bear sighting.
We were swimming in a river, and spotted what we figured was a "teenage" bear (of course you become an expert in beardom once you camp in Yosemite). He was just hanging out along the river's edge, munching on grass...but he made a (slow) beeline to a sandy beach area, where a family had their cooler and blankets, etc. They hadn't set up the grill yet! hee hee. We screamed at them to get the heck out of there, so they floated their cooler and flew across the river...just in time!
Here are some pics..they're a little blurry but oh well!
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sokoun and Half Dome (in the background)
This is the river...and you can see the sandy "beach" in the background
Hanging at the camp
I have to mention that I have never ever had gourmet food on a camping trip before this one! Sokoun and her family LOVE to cook...our (meager) contribution was curried BBQ lamb that we'd marinated for a few days...yum it was really quite delish.
After one of these nights around the fire (well 2 nights actually) most of us took a little night time hike to a huge meadow. We brought our blankets and gazed up at a sumptuous banquet of stars that the heavens had conveniently laid out for us...and lucky us to have shared 2 night's worth of meterorite showers. Watching them fall, I thanked my lucky stars for friends like these...that is, until Khan, in a drunken stupor exclaimed," how come we never see a SHOOTING MOON man?! What's up with that? Why don't we ever see a shooting moon?"