Spring Break 2016: Yosemite National Park

As our eyes first set in this magnificent valley, I could only whisper all my gratitude to the Almighty.  For this tranquility, for this peaceful beauty.

Welcome to Yosemite National Park

I know it's already summer here, but I still have some stories to share from our last spring's adventures. Here's Spring Break 2016: Yosemite National Park chapter.


"Mama, where are we heading?" asked Bo in the car that day.
"Yosemite, Bang" I replied.
"Hmm..what's that again ma?
"Y-o-s-e-m-i-t-e.." I said 
"Oooh cool.. Like the one we saw on TV!" 
"So what are going to see here ma?" Added Obi.
My hubby and I just smiled and said," You'll see, kiddos, you'll see..."
Obviously, we just couldn't wait to see this world-wide famous National Park.

7 AM.
Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, California.

Yes, we're here, in the California Republic.
The alarm screamed its heart out at 7 AM dot.

"Wakey, wakey, kiddos. We gotta move, El Capitan is waiting" I gently tapped Bo et Obi. 
"And we will see that great sand dunes nearby before heading to Yosemite," 
I know it was early and we were on spring break (a.k.a vacation ;)), but with the bathroom fun rituals (bubble bath session, enjoying the hot tub) and delicious breakfasts waiting for us, even 7 AM is considered late.

The kids had a great sleep after spending some times under the sun in the driest part in the US, the Death Valley. We stayed quite late down there, until sunset. And by the time we arrived at the Stovepipe Wells, we were all washed out.

Mesquita Sand Dune at the Stovepipe Walls..

After a brief morning walk at the Sand dunes, we were driving straight to Yosemite National Park. Wuhuuuu...


What intrigued us in the first place is how you pronounce the name of this famous park.
I know...it might sound silly for you.
But for a non-native English speakers like us, you'll be surprise to hear the way we said it :).
Of course the correct way of saying it is (/jˈsɛmti/ yoh-sem-it-ee) as I copy paste it from wikipedia.

But anyway, we still have tons of questions in our head when we first prepared our journey last spring.

Where is it? How do we go there?
What can we do there? How long do we have to stay there?
Where are we going to stay? How about the food?
And the questions seemed to continue on and on and on, until the day we actually went there.

We have zero knowledge of Yosemite National Park when we first heard about it. 
But as if the faith has been sealed for us, our itchy feet brought us to this lovely place on earth.

We drove around 4.5 hours from Death Valley, but we stopped for quite some times in Oakhurst as we had a little problem with our rent car. All was okay after we visited the car center and had our tyre checked. Apparently, after super hot days in the Death Valley, the car tyres and brakes were a bit compromised. It was worrying because the route we took was hilly and curvy. Good working brakes were definitely needed. Good thing it was handled swiftly, although we arrived a bit late in Mariposa, where we stayed for the first 2 nights in Yosemite. We managed to visit the Park but it was 8 PM already so it was all dark. 

And the view along the way was awesome. How can you complained over super blue sky, green lush trees and hills.
We pretty much enjoyed it.

We stayed at the Yosemite Miners Inn Motel, around 1 hour from the gate of Yosemite National Park. It was a lovely motel and Mariposa was a lovely place indeed. A perfect gateway to the Park.

Early morning, we were so ready to visit this infamous national park. After a hearty breakfast, we smoothly got in with our membership card which was bought in Grand Canyon.
With our America the beautiful card, we paid USD 80 for a full-year free entrance to the all US National Parks all over the country for a family of four like us and/or with other 3 adults.
What a steal!

Surely there are abundant things you can do in this beautiful place. 
Hiking, driving along the scenic routes, rock climbing, biking, camping, tracking, bear and bird watching and so many more. Initially, we wanted to see and try everything.
Somehow, with limited time we have, we really had to choose where to go. We highlighted the landmarks and some friendly tracks for us and the kids. Being outdoor is our favorite, but traveling with kids require further consideration,

On the first day, we drove through El Portal Road and headed to meet El Capitan and the Three Brothers. In case you were wondering, those are the names of granites rocks which dominantly adorned the Valley View. 

Meet El Capitan...

We hiked to the Bridalveil Fall as well. It was only 30 minutes walk from the parking spot near El Capitan area.
And just as beautiful as its name, the Fall is mesmerizing. 
It felt so fresh to walk on the ground like this.

Bridalveil bridge from a far..

We drove and walked around the Valley to enjoy the spectacular view right in front of our eyes. Wherever you look, you won't stop admiring the irrevocable beauty nature can bring. 
As much as I enjoyed the sceneries, I couldn't stop taking pictures here and there.

meet El Capitan

On the way to the Yosemite Village, we stopped at several places.
From Valley View to the  Yosemite Village, you can see El Capitan with its horse tail fall and ribbon fall, as well as the Three Brothers and the Cathedral Rocks

the Valley seen from the Vista Point

Heading south, you will see the  Sentinel Falls as well as Columbia Rock, which is not far from the majestic  Yosemite Falls, the upper and lower parts. 

The Falls is easily accessible from the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center as well as from the Sentinel Bridge. There is a path that you can follow if you want to walk along the trail and get closer to the Falls. But both Falls look fantastic from a far.

Yosemite Falls

While enjoying this beautiful area, we were just sitting in one of the valleys, simply doing nothing but sitting on the grass, deeply inhaling the fresh air, and giggling around. Obviously we took tons of pictures and videos, so we spent sometimes waiting for our GoPro to do its magic and recorded some of those time lapse videos.
I didn't mind waiting, as the scenery is wonderful and we got lucky that some wild animals joining our leisure time there.

And finally, we stopped at the famous Tunnel View.
I have no further explanation but leave it to your judgement in these photos.
No wonder people are flocking in this very spot to witness what Mother Nature presents.

the 4 of us...

We spent three days in this one of the world's natural wonders.
And I have to admit, even three days are not enough.
Sometimes we just got confused which rock or falls that we were seeing as there are so many of them. But whatever it is, it's beautiful beyond words.

I don't think my story and photos do justice to the real beauty of this place.
Nevertheless, I have to go back with more stories and photos (for sure) about our 2nd and 3rd day here at the Park.

Have you visited this place or other national Park as well?
How do you like it?

Check out more stories and photos in my Steller :)


  1. that Picture is amazing, May I know, what use your camera?

    1. Hi there.. I'm using iPhone 6 plus and Ztylus lenses. Some were taken by Canon 5D mark II and Canon 24-70 and 16-35 :)

  2. You really captured the beauty of Yosemite very well in each photo. I can't wait to visit this national park some day and take in all the beauty for myself.

    1. I sincerely hope you will visit this paradise soon

  3. Ahhhhhhh tunggu aku di kotamu ya mba. Kapan? Entahlah. Tapi suatu saat nanti aku akan injakkan kaki di AMERIKA! ahahhahahahhahha. AMEN!

  4. feel like coming back here again :)

  5. Gorgeous photos! How do you get to travel so much, Indah?

    1. I took some days off ;). Been working like crazy so I have to have a great break ;)

  6. Indah, how beautiful! Whispering to the Almighty, thank You for making it and bringing you there to enjoy it for those precious 3 days. Not long enough, indeed. Susan

    1. Thank you, Susan.. Indeed it was so inspiring to be here. Can't thank the Almighty enough ;)

  7. OMG! I wish someday i could go there too

  8. Thes landscape photos are so amazing~~ wow!! :o how beautiful it is! I hope I could be there someday with my little family <3

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  9. this is unbelieveble art tgood one keep it up
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