Camping was…

Actually, really great! We only camped for two nights and Shaiya basically planned everything, so I can’t pretend it was really roughing it. But we still slept outside, in tents-and it was freezing-there were no showers and we were at 8000 feet, so…definitely camping!

Yosemite was breathtaking. The location was also a first and I could not get over the beauty. Right here! Just a few hours away from Oakland.

Highlights from the trip:

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Our incredible hosts. It was Sachin’s 30th and Shaiya’s been planning this surprise for months. Sachin thought he and Shaiya were going to Yosemite for a few days for a quiet getaway…and then on Friday-surprise! 9 of us showed up to crash the fun. Shaiya thought of everything-the logistics of all of this were impressive. On top of that, she and Sachin cooked all of the meals for all of us. Incredible stews, thai ginger tilapia, bacon and eggs, picnics-really-it was incredible and delicious.

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(Birthday boy making a mean meat stew)

Waking up outside, in the sunshine.

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We camped at White Wolf, and at that elevation the temperature DROPS at dramatically at night. It wasn’t the best sleep, but waking up, unzipping the tent pocket, and peaking out to the trees-a pretty neat way to greet the day.

Shaiya had a fire going first thing in the morning. It was so cozy to just meander over to their camp sight, pour some hot tea, and wake up by relaxing around the campfire, catching up and laughing with the group.

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Cozy Melissa with her coffee :)

YOSEMITE. It’s unreal. I felt so much pride for Janou and her colleagues each time we passed a NPS sign or spoke with a ranger. The park just celebrated its 150th anniversary-and it looks great!

After breakfast on Saturday, Shaiya lined us up into two rows of chairs.
Not Hunger Games-but she was dividing us up into teams…for a scavenger hunt! Despite finishing first time wise, the other team had so many extra points that they won. Bummer. But really, we were all winners (cheese!) because the hunt took us all over the valley. It was an afternoon of jaw dropping views followed by a victory picnic for all:

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(The final clue led us to a picnic area, where Shaiya greeted us with sandwiches and champagne. Really-she thought of everything.)

Swapping stories.

Any venue, trip, or situation, that lends itself to sitting around for hours, drinking wine, and just swapping stories, is pretty much an ideal night for me. And that was most of the weekend. This is a group that lovvvvves
to talk (TGs) and I love to listen. So, that’s what camping is, count me in for Sachin’s 31st.

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