In 2008, my mom, sister and I took an 8-hour bus ride from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. It was my mom's idea to visit because she had heard of its beauty from other people. I was excited about visiting the place that inspired one of the greatest photographers in the world, Ansel Adams.
We were driven by an enthusiastic and animated Filipino driver who knew so much about sequoia trees that by the time we reached the park, I knew more than I really cared to. The journey was tiring and the view remained more or less consistent -- flat, and boring. Before driving up, we stopped by a fruit market with restrooms where we could both relieve ourselves and shop. A usual tourist trap.
As soon as we started heading upwards, the view became more and more surreal. I had slept for about more than 5 hours on the way, but couldn't get myself to ignore what was unfolding before me. Strategically, my sister and I sat on the very front row so we had full view of everything. We were also both dead asleep up until we reached the mountain. Shame, I know.
Nothing could possibly prepare anyone for the beauty in Yosemite. It felt like a dream to be there. The hills are indeed alive and they are welcoming.
Happy 2013, everyone! As a positive way to welcome this new year, I am publishing in full for the first time photos of my first visit to Yosemite back in 2008. Only 3 out of these 12 photos were ever posted online and I'm not sure why. I'm so glad to have revisited these shots though. I hope you like them.
I am looking forward to many more travels this year, possibly solo. I had such a great 2012 and I'm determined to make 2013 even better. No silly resolutions this time because I never get to keep them anyway. I'll just try my best to be a good person and let everything else follow.