Student Blog Contest Winner (AAP/SAT): Cherished Memories

Have you ever heard of heaven on earth or seen the greatest God's creation? Have you ever encountered a bear while hiking? Have you ever felt more bonded to your family or friends after traveling? Well, if you want to experience all these magical things visit Yosemite Park reservations with your loved ones.

August 2017 was one of the most memorable summers in my life. My family and I decided to travel together for the first time after ten years of being apart. After choosing the place which was Yosemite reservations; we did some homework about the area. We got all the packing lists needed before hitting the road. Afterward, we drove from Palmdale, which is a county in Los Angeles; also well known for the aerospace industry, to one of the greenest places in California, Yosemite park. We drove for almost seven hours on the curvy and narrow roads up to the mountains. As we got closer we passed by many beautiful lakes, we saw huge mountains as well as very big trees that we had never seen before. In addition, one of the things that I still remember and still vivid in my memory is the fresh breeze. After that long trip, we reached our camp and we had some rest. Then, At night my brother played guitar while the other family members were watching the stars. My sister suggested making a bonfire. However, one of our friends told us it is not allowed due to fire danger. It was one of the magic moments when we enjoyed nature's splendor, the bonding, and the heartwarming feeling.

The next day, we hiked to the top of the waterfall, the way to the top of these flowing cascades was slippery because of the mist, the stairs were made of stones and some metal fence. Next, we visited an iconic place " El Capitan Meadow" which is almost 3000 feet high, made with granite rock, and surrounded by many pine trees.

The following day, we went to another landmark by using the bus because the cars were not allowed due to hazardous roads. Once we got there the guide provided us with the history and with all the information needed to hike the trail.  Afterward, we started the trail which was almost 13 miles long. Along the way, we passed by many bear signs stating that if we encounter a bear we should not run and we should remain still. Thus, Seeing all these signs made me anxious and worried about my family more than myself and my brain could not stop thinking. However, my brother reassured me and tried to alleviate my anxiety, and advised me to focus more on enjoying the ride and its challenges. On the way back we stopped by some hot springs, the water was turquoise in color with some steam, and the scenery was just spectacular.

In conclusion, besides having fun and admiring the wildlife, that summer vacation helped me to change my mindset, by being brave, supportive, and a better person. I learned that if we want to be happy and successful in life we need to control our fear and embrace challenges. I learned also that having family support helps to create a sense of belonging which helps to have high well-being.

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