April 26, 2013

Yosemite! - Part 1

And THIS is the reason I missed school on Friday!

I woke up at 4am to get ready to be picked up at the McDonald's in Camarillo.
Today I was going on a trip! And not just a random trip! No, this was the LAST. BIG. TRIP arranged for us exchange students by CHI and honestly.. I wasn't exactly feeling the excitement.. I didn't know if I had made a wrong decision regarding going on this trip, or if it was just because it was freaking 6am in the morning and I was standing in the middle of a dewy parking lot. Yeah. That was probably it.

I said bye to my dad and went to hug the first person I saw there - The other Danish girl, Johanne. She was supposed to be in the same car as me (You see.. On these trips, they rent large cars and put 6 of us in each), but it turned out she had switched to another car. I didn't mind. It's not that I don't like her, we just don't talk. I mean.. We're fine. I just don't find talking to her that interesting. She's Danish like me and I know what she comes from already.. but my friend from Japan.. I have NO idea what her life has been like before we met. It's just more exciting to talk to foreigners.

I went to put my bag in the back of the car when I saw a rather familiar asian guy by the other car.
"Is that? Hmm... Could that be? Wait, I know that mark on his cheek... "It's Vee. It's Vee! OHMYGOSH IT'S VEE!!!"
My eyes were wide open. I dropped my bag instantly and ran over to hug him (Ha, so movie-like). He was taken by surprise over my sudden hug-attack, but it was clear that he was happy to see me. Not as excited as I was though :) (I get pretty excited)

In our car we had me, my very good friend Risa (Risako), and a Chinese girl named Rui - Super sweet person.
We picked up a German girl named Sophia and my other very good friend Wojtek (The Polish guy) in Ventura and then the last person, Richardo from Spain, a little later.
 Sophia, Risa, Wojtek, and I 

Following the traditions, our first stop was at In and Out burger in Fresno where we had our lunch. You just know that it's going to be a great trip when random students you have never talked to just walk up to you and say: "I'm sorry I can't help it. You're just so pretty!"
They had told us to dress warm and on our packing list it even said that we should bring sweaters and gloves and scarfs and umbrellas.. But with 80°F (27°C) that didn't seem like the best idea.. Sadly I had been too tired to pack the night before which resulted in me packing at 5am and being too tired to think of packing t-shirts... just for the heck of it.
We all met up at our hotel, Oakhurst Lodge, and were given rooms. I wish we could get to choose rooms and roommates by ourselves.. But oh well..  The Italian and the Spaniard I got to share room with are pretty tight. Nice girls.. not super talkative, but nice.

By the way! Here are our plans for the weekend! (Just so you guys out there will have an idea of our schedule)

After spending maybe 10 minutes in our rooms, the trip went on and we set our GPS to Yosemite Valley where we would have our dinner. Before that though, we'd make a couple of stops to enjoy our surroundings.
The entire drive we were BLASTING music and singing along .. With our windows wide open! Now THAT is living!
We had to get through a tunnel before we could get there and apparently it was tradition to be super loud (at least for CHI) when you drove through.
So our 7 big mafia cars would all be driving in a straight line through that tunnel and we'd honk and listen to loud music.. oh and whenever we passed a car going in the other direction, we'd stick our heads out the window and SCREAM at people. It was great!

Our mafia ready to take off!

We went to this absolutely stunning lookout point where we could see several of the famous rock formation there such as El Capitan.
We all got out of our cars and in one HUUUGE group we walked over and took sooooooooo many picturse (and a bunch of group pictures) before we drove on and found this little path that we could walk on. It led to a biiiig waterfall with a very vivid double rainbow crossing over; however, we couldn't stay long as it was raining from the waterfall. Rain couldn't stop us from acting like complete tourists (aka taking WAAAY too many pictures again) but when we came back... we were pretty much soaked. No shower needed for tonight!

 Sooooo many students! :O
Stunning huh? This is truly nature at its best 
 Exchange students... gotta love them. No matter how down you feel, 
THESE guys can cheer you up in a second!
 Wojtek and I 
And a more... teatrical version of the above picture. When I look at this, I think of some kind of spy who just saved a girl and now he's trying to get away by shooting his claw-gun to grap onto buildings... or Spiderman.. uh uh! Or bond. James Bond! I think of his movies when I look at this picture! (Not that I could ever be a "bon-babe" but I can dream! Nahh.. I don't really want to).
Heading back to the mafia cars! 

We then went to another parking lot (I think because someone had to use the restroom) and once again we got some amazing pictures of the view.
 My other new friends Aina (Japan) and Prim (Thailand) <3
Getting into the forest!

 Deer would walk around and act like there were no people around. 
We got SUPER close to them without them minding at all
 Belgian photobomb! 
 This picture is of Angel Falls. In front of the water, the two vivid rainbows 
would create the perfect scene that most people cannot even imagine
Federica (Italy), Aina, Wojtek, Risa, and I in front of the big waterfall. Right after this picture was taken, a breeze came in and made the water fall in our direction. Our hair was soaked!

And so we walked on! 

 My beautiful beautiful friend Risa <3


After spending time in Yosemite, we finally got to our restaurant. 
As I thought I had seen it all, BAM! You step out of the car and here's a mountain! Right in front of you! 
The restaurant was right behind those tall trees

Wojtek (Poland), Uyanga (Mongolia), Vee (Thailand), Rachel (Belgium), Dominik (Germany), Seiya (Japan), and I (Denmark). Woooh internationality FTW!
This was taken while we were waiting for our pizza at the restaurant.

Around 30-40 meters away from where we ate, you could rent yourself a little tent/house thingie so you could stay inside the park. I'm glad we didn't though... I'm not a super outdoor'y person.

Fooling around in the souvenir shop~ Risa and Seiya were showing off the bear bags while Dominik.. a pretty awesome photobomb! 

After that, we headed back to the cars... We were all pretty tired from getting up so early in the morning, so we weren't playing loud music and screaming at people this time. Instead, Risa and I, both sitting in the very back with Wojtek, fell asleep on him on the 1½ hour drive back to the hotel. And Wojtek? He didn't mind. Like he said himself: 
"I have two pretty chicks sleeping on me, what more could a guy wish for?"

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